Hadn't heard that term in a while...that was until I was the unfortunate bystander to a "dude-bro-douche wedding" as I sat in my hotel lobby availing myself of the free internet.
Upon hearing that, sure enough, I looked up from my laptop, and there was your stereotypical frat boy about to
"Dude, you know how much I make!? SIX FIGURES! How much do you make 'Ms. Security Guard????'"
So the ole Captain decided to do a little research on the FRED database at the federal reserve to see just how much "Six Figures" was nowadays in terms of "Cappy Dollars."
This presented some minor, but technical problems as there is not universal year in which "six figures" actually meant something. But since your ole Captain knew that was a lot of money when he graduated from college (in 1997) he decided to arbitrarily use that year as a base and make some calculations and observations from there.
First, "six figures" which was no doubt a princely sum back in 1997, is worth no more than $67,700 today. Certainly a decent wage for a late 20's/early 30's douche, but not what it meant back in 1997, and certainly nothing to be bragging about to a security guard protecting your drunk frat boy ass at his own wedding.
But the two charts above also point out some interesting observations and the effects of inflation.
As a returning WWII vet, if you made "six figures" in 1947, you were boss. It would be like making $743,000 today.
If you were a baby boomer, making "six figures" during Ford's administration, you were pulling down the equivalent of $300,000 today.
But sadly, with the effects of inflation, compound/exponential math, today's young "go getters" and "business leaders," "six figures" really doesn't mean anything anymore as it is now an obsolete metric of success, wealth, and income. You only make $67,700.
So today, if you're going to brag to people about how you make "six figures." Realize that's like saying to all generations and people before you,
"I'm solid middle management."
You aren't rich.
You aren't special.
And you certainly don't have the right to be degrading people who make less than you.