As Media Matters reported, Fox's John Stossell went on Fox & Friends to discuss his special Rich Man, Poor Man which aired on both of their networks, and made some dubious claims about what's happened to income growth for those who are living in poverty:
Fox's John Stossel claimed that it's a "myth" that "the poor are getting poorer" and that they are actually getting "richer." In fact, incomes for the bottom fifth have shown almost no growth in recent decades, and the numbers Stossel used to support his argument were cherry-picked.
Incomes At The Bottom Have Shown Almost No Growth In Decades; Stossel Calls It "Getting Richer"
Stossel: "The Rich Have Gotten Richer, But So Have The Poor." From Fox News' Fox & Friends:
STOSSEL: There are just two myths. One is that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. And the truth is yes, over time the rich have gotten richer, but so have the poor -- 20 percent richer since I was in college. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/24/12]
CBPP: "The Era Of Shared Prosperity Ended In The 1970s." From the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report:
Census family income data show that the era of shared prosperity ended in the 1970s and illustrate the divergence in income that has emerged since that time. CBO data allow us to look at what has happened to comprehensive income since 1979 -- both before and after taxes -- and offer a better view of what has happened at the top of the distribution.
As Figure 2 shows, between 1979 and 2007, average income after taxes in the top 1 percent of the distribution rose 277 percent, meaning that it nearly quadrupled. That compares with increases of about 40 percent in the middle 60 percent of the distribution and 18 percent in the bottom fifth.
The report included this graph:
[Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/5/12]
Media Matters has a lot more charts and information in their post along with debunking more of what Stossel said on the air.
Here's the promo for Stossel's special which you can watch the very beginning of in the clip above from Fox Business Channel where it originally aired this week: Rich Man, Poor Man: