Most American workers waiting for a raise feel like the unfortunate Pompeii resident above, frozen in time.
What happens if we recognize that healthcare benefits are compensation, and add these two graphs together? After all, every dollar paid towards health insurance is a dollar that could have gone home with the employee (minus taxes, of course):
By this crude measure, total compensation increased from $63,700 in 1999 to $74,061 in 2015 — a 16% increase, instead of a 2% decrease in median income over the same period.
While conflicts of interest within the current system may prevent a graceful transition, it is still possible for concerned individuals and businesses to shelter from the coming eruption. Specifically, employers have an unprecedented opportunity to generate value by teaching their employees the financial and physical rewards of good health.