This is a really excellent graphic from the New York Times. It demonstrates very clearly that the economic policies adopted by successive US administrations since 1980 – i.e. beginning really with Reagan – undid the gains to ordinary Americans experienced in the post-WWII period and transferred huge sums to the richest in society. I expect graphs for Britain would be not dissimilar, albeit not quite as bad. Interestingly, the country in Europe where there has been the greatest decline in pay relative to productivity over the last three decades is Germany. Bear this in mind the next time you hear a Coalition minister marvel at the wonders of the German industrial model.
If you want to take a look at the charts properly – and I recommend you do, click here.