When the Great Recession started at the end of 2007, the typical American family had a net worth of approximately $140,000. Three years later, the typical family’s net worth was approximately $85,000; three years after that, around $82,000—about the same as it was 30 years earlier. How did this happen and what are the consequences?
In a new report, Hudson Institute economist John C. Weicher has tracked the changes in the distribution of wealth in America over three decades, from the long economic expansion that began in 1983 to the current weak recovery from the Great Recession. His analysis focuses on families in the middle of the wealth distribution, in contrast to what happened to the rich and the poor. On January 31, Weicher joined Jeffrey H. Anderson and Diana Furchtgott-Roth to discuss the report’s findings on the lasting impact of the Great Recession and the weak recovery on wealth and economic security in the United States.