Roughly speaking, the blue line trends flat. Thus, the U.S. government (and most Western governments) has been lying about inflation for the last 40 years as a deliberate means of hiding the 50+% collapse in the standard of living for the average person. Meanwhile, the situation is more than reversed if you're one of the fat-cats at the top. While average American workers have seen their wages plummet by 57% over the past 40 years, in just 15 years (1992-2007) the 400 wealthiest Americans saw their incomes rise by 700%. Now we have the complete picture: wages grinding steadily lower year after year, decade after decade for the Little People, while wages go straight up for the fat cats. To say this is unfair would rank as one of history's greatest understatements. This is economic rape, plain and simple. To this point I have only presented the consequences of our economic rape, in a chart which is totally unequivocal/incontrovertible. The causes of that economic rape are equally obvious in terms of categories, although the actual analysis of those causes is somewhat more complex. 1) Taxation oppression. As I detailed in a previous three-part series, income taxation is the worst possible form of taxation which could possibly be devised. The length of criticisms is virtually infinite, but at the top of the list is the fact that as a matter of basic arithmetic, all income-taxation systems must funnel all wealth into the hands of the ultra-wealthy, over time. This is precisely what we see today. Billionaires and trillionaires sit with the largest fortunes in history -- while ordinary people have been turned into "the working poor." 2) Systemic/structural unemployment. Technology always eliminates jobs faster than it creates new opportunities. This means that our economies are permanently reducing jobs (and creating structural unemployment) every day, every week, every month, every year. For more than 200 years, our governments have dealt with this permanent structural unemployment problem by shortening the work week every few decades...until now. The refusal of our governments to shorten the work week (while we have the worst structural unemployment in history) is a deliberate attempt to maintain massive unemployment -- which is the strongest downward driver of average wages. 3) Oligopolies/monopolies. It is elementary capitalist theory that monopolies and oligopolies are unmitigated evils. By definition they are 100% parasitic, and 100% non-competitive -- and have absolutely no place in any capitalist economy. Yet today the global economy is totally overrun with these gigantic, non-competitive parasites. With these mega-parasites permanently blood-sucking us, the impoverishment of our societies was an inevitable result. Having now seen the consequences of our problems and the causes of our problems, the solutions are obvious. To even halt the slide in our wages (and standard of living) we must eradicate at least one of these three problems. To reverse this trend (and restore our standard of living) requires eradicating all three problems.