This makes sense if you adjust for inflation using the PCI index instead of the CPI. Using the PCI, the average household income in today's dollars of a family from the mid 1950s is close to $250k a year. This means that if you are making $50k a year today, you are only actually making about 1/5th of what your forebears did. This is why you can't afford college, this is why you have no retirment savings, this is why you and your spouse have to work, and this is why you live pay check to pay check.
We're basically getting paid slave wages, and the masters in charge have created a system of laws to prevent us from ever taking up arms to rise up... we're fucked. Watch the movie "In Time" if you want to get a glimpse into the world you've been born into, when watching the movie just replace their plot concept of "Time credits" with money and it all makes sense.