Typical American Makes Less Than They Did in 1989 (Real inflation adjusted numbers)
Headlines about these numbers tend to focus on how we have now experienced a lost decade for the middle-class American family, with incomes back to their late 1990s level. But as the chart shows it's really worse than that.
In 1989, the median American household made $51,681 in current dollars (the 2012 number, again, was $51,017). That means that 24 years ago, a middle class American family was making more than the a middle class family was making one year ago.