2015 September 26 Saturday
When Each US County Hit Peak Median Income

See the color-coded map of when various US counties hit peak median income.

Lots of interesting patterns. Western New York State peaked in 1969. Once factory jobs got automated smart folks set up businesses more more appealing climates. Also, most of the Western United States peaked before the East. The oil boom and crop demand boom lifted the plains states to make them later peakers. Also, the Washington DC elite growth made the DC beltway counties very late peakers.

What else? Miami obviously hasn't benefited from vibrant diversity. It is in a very early peaking region. Hover over each county. LA for example:

The inflation-adjusted median household income in Los Angeles County, Calif., peaked in 1989 at $65,688.

California as a whole peaked in the early 1990s. So did New York State.

Automation is going to devastate demand for labor from the left side of the IQ bell curve. So this picture is going to become more grim. The industrial revolution's next phase has little use for the sorts of low skilled laborers who found bountiful employment during the early and mid stages of the rise of the machines. Since immigration is flooding the US job market with more low skilled people to chase after dwindling physical labor jobs that makes the outlook even worse for the lower classes.

Maybe I should change my blog's subtitle to "Documenting the decline".

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2015 September 26 12:41 PM 


Comments
Brett Bellmore said at September 27, 2015 4:49 AM:

"Vibrant diversity" is a euphemism for "lots of poor swarthy people moving in and not acculturating". So, why would you expect any region to benefit from it?

It's not just a decline, is the thing. Society is bifurcating, the larger part is declining, a smaller portion is taking off. Once we get replicators, I think the bifurcation will be complete.

James Bowery said at September 27, 2015 8:16 AM:

Rational economics would define inflation in the same terms as the Iron Law of Wages -- Subsistence -- with the recognition that Subsistence has to include not only survival and not only replacement reproduction but replacement reproduction of the same socioeconomic and genetic quality. If you don't define it that way, you are mining the population to be demographically replaced, aka genocide. This is exactly what has happened in Euro derived countries under the economics profession.

To get an estimate of the rationally defined inflation rate, you need to look at the trend toward larger families in the very high income groups in places like Manhattan. Those numbers are available and if taken seriously, indicate the peak in median income was hit sometime in the late 60s or early 70s. At present we're so far below subsistence that demographic replacement aka genocide is an accomplished fact.

Black Death said at September 27, 2015 1:12 PM:

Fascinating map and story - thanks for the link. As you say, many of the late peakers are in the center of the country, probably do to energy extraction. But I also note a number of prosperous counties around Washington DC. Many of these have incomes well above the national average. Hmmm - wonder why? Must be all that hot air blowing out of Washington.

Brett Bellmore said at September 27, 2015 5:00 PM:

They used to say in Eastern Europe that Russian agronomists had bred a cow that grazed in Europe, and was milked in Russia. Washington has simply reinvented the breed; The rest of the country is being sucked dry to maintain growth of the government sector and where it lives.

Randall Parker said at September 27, 2015 5:05 PM:

Brett,

Bifurcating society: You will not be surprised that I agree. Once the upper 0.1% can use robots to do the bulk of mining, farming, manufacturing, transportation, and construction what do they need the middle and lower classes for? The answer is they don't.

Even 100 IQ people are dumb. I assume few if any read this blog. I doubt my audience even has many people below 110 IQ. Anyone below 110 IQ is pretty much out of luck with rare exceptions for beautiful women, sports stars, and famous musicians. I do not see what the 100 IQ do for a living in 20 years let alone the 90 IQ people or 80 IQ people.

I expect the capitalists to locate their robot factories on robot islands. That way they escape the tax burdens of supporting the unemployable masses below 110 IQ. Each year we will have a higher minimum IQ needed to stay employed. It will march up thru the 70's, 80's, 90's. Will it stop before 120 IQ? I'm curious to see.

Before we get to that point robotic service providers and autonomous vehicles will enable the upper classes to live further way from the lower classes. No need for a local car repair shop. No need for a local grocery store if you can everything delivered quickly and cheaply by robotic vehicles. No lower class needed to staff fast food restaurants when robotic cooks will produce a wide variety of great meals faster and cheaper than any restaurant today.

On the bright side, if you can manage to keep a decent paying job your money will pay for some great stuff.

Brett Bellmore said at September 28, 2015 3:20 AM:

"Anyone below 110 IQ is pretty much out of luck with rare exceptions for beautiful women, sports stars, and famous musicians."

I think you might have to add some kind of "emotional intelligence" to that. There are people around who aren't terrifically intelligent in terms that us geeks and nerds respect, but who somehow are just so much better at manipulating other people that they might as well be. We've got one here at work, I can't see what he contributes to the enterprise, but he makes more than the entire engineering staff combined.

OTOH, a high IQ society might just find a way to purge itself of those.

I'm a engineer, and high enough on the Asperger's scale that it took 40 years of studying humanity like Jane Goodall did the apes before I could mimic social skills enough to get married. But I seem to have chosen well, our son is bright AND a people person. He might just manage to become a mad scientist, instead of a minion like his dad.

Dr. Doom said at October 8, 2015 4:26 PM:

Ah yes, the robot revolution. Tell me Dr. Stupid, who maintains these robots? If these moronic fake elites knew anything about technology, would they be bringing in Brown slaves? Robots need a Civilization to work in or they break down and rust into the landscape. If you say the robots will make and maintain themselves then why are humans even necessary? I imagine a superintelligent computer who realizes his robots are self-sufficient will soon realize the human overlord class is an unnecessary burden on his robotic kind. Computers are ruthlessly logical and don't have those human notions of mercy and charity you may have taken for granted.


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