What Caused Extreme Economic Inequality?

Over the last thirty years, US businesses – and the workers who make them run – have steadily increased their productivity. But workers’ wages have flat-lined. After adjusting for inflation, US workers today make only about $1.00 per hour more than they did in 1980 – yet, the companies they work for are twice as productive.

This graph shows the year-by-year percentage change in productivity and average hourly wages:

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And here is the cumulative effect:

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If workers were getting their fair share of productivity gains, average hourly wages should have doubled by now. Instead, those productivity gains went into the pockets of managers, owners, and bankers, turning the already rich into the astoundingly super-rich.

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