One of the problems with analyzing contemporary US society is a general ignorance of how awful it's always been. We imagine that the very brief period of economic expansion between 1950 - 1980 in which ordinary people experienced income growth in real terms was normal. In fact, it was highly abnormal. The USA has always been a nation built for the rich: remember the railroad barons and the inequitable laws passed by a fully paid-for Congress that in essence enslaved farmers by forcing them to sell only to the railroad companies? Remember how the automobile companies & oil companies ensured that laws were passed to favor the automobile by criminalizing crossing the road and forcing people to buy cars by eliminating public transportation? The fact is, we've simply returned to the good old days. Amusingly, US citizens have been fed so much propaganda they are unable to imagine any other reality. A trip to Sweden or any northern European country would no doubt prove totally incomprehensible: good health care, good schools, no one ever bankrupted by healthcare bills, very adequate equality of opportunity for all, no gun violence... no wonder US citizens are so terrified of socialism!

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