The gravest and most debilitating malady afflicting our economy is the chronic cycle of decline followed by anemic recovery, at least as far as working people are concerned. The average worker or citizen is almost never returned to the prior level of economic well-being and security. Once or twice over the last thirty to forty odd years, full recovery for the average worker following a dip has technically occurred, only to be wiped out and blown away like dust in the next downturn. But this is not to suggest that the country as a whole has steadily gotten poorer.
No, the opposite is the case. The overall wealth of the U.S. has continued to outgrow the dips on the upstrokes during this entire period. As a result the country continues to boast the largest and richest economy in the world. What is ominous and remarkable about this entire one-third century of economic experience is the dramatic stair-step descent and decay that has been recorded against the middle class ledger, while the plutocrats, who have come to own nearly all the real wealth, have rocketed to the economic stratosphere with all of the productive gains during that time.
It's like a subtle yet tenacious and slow growing cancer, which goes through brief periods of remission, but never fully disappears. Then it returns to do more damage and bring us ever closer to absolute social and civil collapse. As a result, the last two generations or more have been left insidiously short of economic opportunity. The incumbent constituency of the middle class has been pounded and hollowed out. And the elderly are under the gun. If the Santorums of this greed infested world really wanted to address the social decline they decry in a constructive manner, they would get their heads out of the clouds and look more closely at the gluttony of their ruling class puppeteers. This is entirely fixable, but we first have to be honest about the problem.