Far from being gloomy, perhaps there’s a positive story here. A story that over the last forty years there has been significant movement by income category among American adults, as would be expected in a dynamic economy, with movement going in both directions. But on net, the changing income dynamics have been positive overall, with about 150 Americans moving up for every 100 Americans who moved down.
There seems to be a lot of effort expended to paint the last 40 years as a period of bleakness and despair. That’s not really that true. For a lot of people, it has been a period of upward mobility.