Why the Economy Can't Get Out of First Gear
Starting around 1980, globalization and automation began exerting downward pressure on median wages. Employers began busting unions in order to make more profits. And increasingly deregulated financial markets began taking over the real economy.
The result was slower wage growth for most households. Women surged into paid work in order to prop up family incomes – which helped for a time. But the median wage kept flattening, and then, after 2001, began to decline.