a reply to: bucsarg
I have thought long and hard about this OP and am pressed to make a coherent observation. I will however make an attempt at it.
1). The shrinking wealth of the middle class and the concentration of wealth in the top 1% is not an accident. After WWII, the US was taken over by
an Elite ruling class I'd refer to as Corp Gov, or Corporate Governance. That's to say the massive Corporations that had prospered through the war
effort as part of the Military Industrial complex found they had so much wealth and influence that they could take over the Political government of
the US. They became the King Makers; they determined who would be elected to high office.
At first, in the 1950's and 1960's, they did this by coercing, (gently) their employees and/or Union members to vote for the candidates the
Corporations agreed upon to be elected. But, this was a sloppy and fractious practice and failed as many times as it succeeded. At that time, the
Corporations, IBM, GM, Ford, Lockheed, Boeing, Westinghouse, AT&T, etc., employed 10s of Millions of people.
Progress, innovation and the dawn of the Computer age coupled with new trade policies, i.e., "Free Trade" and Globalization of Economies has gutted
the US American middle class. Jobs were sent overseas, and at some point around about 2007, the US Economy passed the point known as Peak Employment
or Peak Labor Participation rate. That's because, whereas in 1950, a hundred assembly line workers produced an automobile, today, Computers and
robots have replaced the assembly line workers and now only 10 employees are needed to produce an automobile and crank out a new car every 20 minutes.
Whereas in 2006, 66.4% Labor participation rate was had, today, its down to 63%; see: data.bls.gov...
As fewer and fewer workers are needed in good paying, middle class type jobs, the middle class compensation rate has of course, declined. Now...most
jobs are low paying jobs in the service sector, Baristas, burger flippers, etc.
2). In the 1960's, the "Elites" in the UK and the US looked out upon the world and realized they had come to a fork in the road. They had the
technological advancements needed to spring their societies headlong into a bright new future of Space Exploration and Space Exploitation of raw
materials. They could elect to leave the rest of the world to wallow in near Stone Age Third World status. But they decided this would be immoral
and elected instead to raise the living standards of the third world and to bring them up to a Second World status with access to clean water,
electricity, education and decent housing. They also realized the fastest way to do this would be to level the playing field between First World and
Third World by reducing the living standards of First World societies to Second World status at the same time they elevated the Third World to Second
World status. They accomplished this in First World societies by exporting the manufacturing jobs and switching employment emphasis to the Service
Sector. They also embarked, in 1965 in the US on the Open Borders policy to flood the US with unskilled and some skilled workers from Third World
and Second World societies.
Where does this all end? No one knows for sure. The switch in emphasis from Manufacturing in First World countries to the Banking and Finance
Operations that have created the great build up of wealth for the 1%, but has left the rest of the society to flounder in near poverty conditions.
But...remember one ruthless axiom, Money Talks and BS Walks, which leads to a second ruthless axiom, You Don't get the Future you want, you get the
Future the Corp Gov elites have in mind for you. Only they have the answer. There's much bold talk of the masses rising up in rebellion, but
remember the third Axiom correllative to the first two, "He who has the Guns, Tanks and Helicopters, Rules". Part of their idea for the future can
be seen in legalization of Marijuana. Which talks to the fourth axiom, "A Stoned People, is a happily Compliant People".