But then the effects of trickle-down economic theory grew stronger, another Republican president followed Reagan, and then a third-way Democrat was elected who presided over a massive economic bubble. The public came to believe in the absolute natural rightness of private corporations, indeed, their very personhood. Loud voices have clamored for constant deregulation and tax-cutting, the undoing of decades of laws and programs intended to ensure an upper working class.
In the 30 years between childhood and middle age, I have seen a way of life, a world and consciousness disappear. A sense of displacement has taken over me; I am a sort of economic refugee.
I miss the modest prosperity of my youth. I wonder if it can ever return.
Shirley O’Shea is a contributing writer for The Daily Star.