What’s wrong with this picture? Everything:
The red line is productivity, the green line is real median family income. The time period spans from 1947 to 2011.
Notice that while the red line has kept marching upward at roughly the same rate from beginning to end, the green line — which up to 1971 had matched up nearly exactly with the red line — stopped going upward forty years ago and has largely been stagnant since then?
While you’re considering the implications of this, here’s another chart covering a similar time period:
So, to sum up:
— Productivity has gone up dramatically and continuously since 1947, and at roughly the same rate since 1947.
— Workers’ wages had risen at the same rate as their productivity from 1947 to 1971, but since 1971 their wages have not risen for the most part.
— Corporations since the early 1950s have seen their earned profits rise greatly, with the biggest rises occurring in the past twenty years, yet the amount of tax they pay on those earnings has gone down greatly.
How can a society sustain itself, much less its people, under these conditions?