In most advanced economies, the middle class made significant advances in earning power over the last few decades, even if the rich have done quite a lot better. But one major country stands out as the exception, with middle-income workers seeing no meaningful increase since the 1990s. It is Germany, the largest economy in Europe. And the numbers are remarkable. From 2000 to 2010, after-tax income for people in the middle of the income distribution in Germany increased 1.4 percent. Not per year. Total.