Collectively, we've been trained to judge the economy primarily by the stock market and the unemployment rate. But what good is the stock market to the average American if nearly all the gains end up in just a few wealthy hands? And though the unemployment rate is important, it has little impact on workers who are already employed. Ask yourself: Has your paycheck corresponded with the unemployment rate? In other words, when unemployment goes up, does your paycheck go down? And when unemployment goes down, does your paycheck go up? Some people might respond, "yes," but I bet most would respond, "not really." Again, the unemployment rate is important, but not nearly as important to most workers as other indicators, such as real wages, consumer debt, and apartment rental costs.
The third reason we're being duped is because it benefits the rich. If we think we're doing great, even when we're clearly not, then we're less likely to seriously challenge the status quo of inherited wealth, tax evasion by the rich, financial fraud, usury, stock market manipulation, ruthless barriers to debt relief, etc. The rich know this, so they provide a steady supply of funding to their puppets in government, media, and think tanks - more and more cash to feed the propaganda juggernaut.