The American middle class is no longer the world’s richest, according to a feature at the new NYT wonk blog, The Upshot. The feature compares American incomes to those of other advanced economies, and shows that people in the bottom half of the income distribution have fared better in Canada and the Netherlands than in the US over the past few decades. It’s a really interesting feature, but the first question that came to my mind was: what about Australia?
A couple of years ago, the government changed the rules so that families on $150 000 a year or more wouldn’t be eligible to receive family payments. There were the predictable cries of ‘class warfare’, but there were also claims that $150 000 in Australia leaves you struggling to make ends meet. The Daily Telegraph found a couple on $150k who said “you can survive on $150,000 but you definitely aren’t doing well,” while in The Australian, a couple on $200 000 said “the government are making it bloody hard.”