A period of impressive growth? Not so much.
Both Kevin Drum and Matt Yglesias commented on Niall Ferguson's contention that the go-go years since Reagan was elected should be given credit for the growth in GDP up to the Bush debacle. Matt provided this chart to show how little the average American saw of this growth.
But I think what is even more telling than the fact that the income stagnated for most of the country, is that this picture doesn't show how over that time Americans experienced a serious erosion in their ability to buy things that matter. The cost of housing, health care, and education have all sky-rocketed while the loss of time and the increase in debt combined with a fraying safety net have severely diminished the quality of life for most people. Maybe all that financial innovation wasn't so grand.