Many of us are expecting or hoping to get some benefits from Social Security and Medicare. It seems to me that the willingness of working people to fund those programs depends partially on how much money the working people will be earning when I want to collect. Hence the poll.
I could have used per capita GDP in the poll instead of median earnings, since GDP is a broader measure of the economy. I went with median earnings because everybody can vote, and these programs rely on political support not just a strong economy.
Just to clarify the question. Choosing the first line means that you're estimating the increase in real median earnings over the next 20 years will average 2.0% per year, and 2.0% per year compounds to 49% for the 20 year period.
For perspective, median CPI-adjusted earnings for full-time year-round male workers have been essentially flat since the early 1970's, possibly going up 1-2% over the entire period. They've been close to $46,000 for about 3 decades.
Female earnings have increased about 16% in the last 20 years, growing from about $31,300 to $36,300.
See Table P-38 here: http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/incom...ple/index.html