You know, it's funny, but I'm a little older than most here and I can still remember that time when we thought of ourselves as a middle class society and took pride in that. It was the source of our strength as a country, and we saw the creation of a middle class society as an ideal.
The Reagan era ushered in a new paradigm, though, one where greed was good and "trickle down" theory postulated that if we just allow the rich get rich enough, they would throw the rest of us a bone and allow just the tiniest little bit to "trickle" back down. Along with this old economic scheme (old in that the concentration of wealth in a few hands is the traditional pattern) came the elimination of the fairness doctrine insuring that the pundits would have unfettered access to the media pulpit so to train us properly, as well as the attacks upon the Unions. Today, we are not only NOT a middle class society and one with a social stratification resembling a third world country, but we have abandoned the ideal that we should even BE a middle class society. The ideal of the sort of middle class society in which I grew up is now seen as some nefarious socialist "redistribution" of wealth!
My, how times change. I keep wondering, though, whether I am old fashioned in wanting us to return to the American ideals of my youth and I'm therefore a conservative, or if I am just one of these "socialists" everybody keeps warning us about?