In the go-go '80's, what was good for the greedy go-getters was also good for America. Greed was good. Those who created the wealth created jobs, fed the economy and the rest was to trickle down -- right?
Reagan's Economic Tax Recovery Act cut taxes for individuals and corporations, helping the economy, yet still failing to cut deficit spending and the federal debt, became the cornerstone of the myth as well as the reality of the era.
While there has always been class resentment throughout the history of mankind, the pay gaps between CEO's and the average worker was tolerable, understood, and reasonable. The 20-to-1 pay ratio, CEO to worker of the 1950's doubled by the 1980's to 42-to-1. CEO pay Greed was good. Capitalism was a success. The American Dream was alive and well.
But something has since gone wrong. Just as today's Trump Republican party is not your daddy's Republican party of the 1980's during the Reagan heyday, capitalism as we know it, with all of it's benefits -- is dead. In its place is a system akin to Vladimir Putin's Russian oligarchs, where corrupt men benefit from their association and cooperation with their leader in order to control the masses and create enormous wealth for themselves.
Today, CEO pay is 361 times that of the average worker. They no longer merely own the nicest house on the block or in town (one of the few with an in-ground swimming pool in the back yard) or simply drive the newest luxury car. They now own islands, yachts, multiple homes and mansions, private jets, fleets of cars and more. The new American oligarchs now own our politicians, in line, of course, behind Russian oligarchs and Putin.
Pointing out the need for a correction and clamping down on corruption elicits screams of "socialism!" from those who benefit from the massive income disparities. Trump tax giveaways to the very rich as he drills down on policies that harm the rest of us, adding record debt for the next generations with nary a grimace from Republicans who traditionally made their opposition to such spending their battle cry is digging us into a hole too deep to escape.
Make no mistake about it -- your Republican congress understands this. But they no longer work for you and me -- they work for their Russian and American oligarchs.