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How Now the DOW?

So how is it that from about 1950 up to about 1985, the DOW Jones Industrial Average stayed mostly in  the range from about 250 to 1200, when America was growing and doing pretty well on average, and then, from about 1985 to the year 2000 -- a  mere fifteen years -- the DOW shot up to over 10,000, when middle class America realized almost no gains in real terms and the economy basically cycled from one boom and bust to the next?  This is a serious question.

Do we face one of the biggest bubbles of all time?

Is there an accounting explanation?

What has happened here?

We all need to know the answer which is not to be, I would add, meaningfully found in fighting with the question.,

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.