As the Russell Sage Foundation points out, the slow housing recovery means that, in 2013, median households were still 36 percent poorer than they were a decade earlier.
In fact, the housing bust was big enough to erase all the gains the middle class had made the past 30 years—and then some. As you can see below, median households didn’t add much wealth between 1984 and 2007. That’s what happens when real wages don’t increase, and the cost of a middle class lifestyle—housing, healthcare, and higher education—does. So, as Dean Baker points out, when the crisis did come, it devoured these meager gains and left the middle class with 20 percent less wealth than they had when it was “Morning in America.”
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at The middle class is 20 percent poorer than it was in 1984 – The Washington Post.