Today’s Graph: US Real GDP per Capita


The data was from here

US Real GDP from 1870 to 2017, adjusted to 2012 prices.

Looked at as a whole America is not poor and America is not particularly short of money per person compared with previous decades. I know that is, on one level, an unremarkable thing to say but there has been such a long running campaign that somehow modern nations ‘can’t afford’ schools, healthcare or infrastructure spending that is it worth noting that technically ‘per person’ the US has never been richer. The issue is not the total divided by the population but the distribution and the unwillingness of the wealthy to pay taxes to support the fabric of the country that makes their wealth.


This graph is from here showing the same thing but on a post-WW2 timescale (grey areas are dips in GDP).



4 responses to “Today’s Graph: US Real GDP per Capita”

  1. It’s funny how being able to ‘afford it’ is never an issue when it comes to ludicrously expensive weapons systems or unending overseas military adventures.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ah, yes, the good old days much beloved by the right-wingers. When everybody liked Ike the WWII hero, the economy expanded greatly, we built interstates, one job held by a man with no more than a high school education sufficed to buy a house, two cars, and support a wife and several children in style… and the top tax rate was 92%. All our cars, appliances, clothes, and such were made in the US… by union labor, which paid for those families. Yet somehow the rich people still managed to build mansions and travel worldwide.

    If you were white, anyway. The parents and grandparents of today’s MAGA idiots who are slipping ever deeper into debt thanks to voting against their own self-interest.


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