When con artists named Thatcher, Reagan and Mulroney, sold us on the scam of neoliberalism, they promised us "new economy" jobs, plenty of them, at much higher wages than the "old economy" manufacturing jobs that were about to be offshored. It was all a big lie at least for the 99%, the proles.
The past three plus decades of neoliberalism have produced the economic and political rape of what had been our once robust and prosperous middle class. Much as I hate the metaphor, in this case we really did "drink the Kool-Aid."
Noah Smith writes in Bloomberg (!) about the "fleecing" of the Gen-X and Boomer middle class -- a class that is growing continuously smaller and poorer, thanks to "financial deregulation, tax cuts and a lax attitude toward consumer protection and antitrust."
The American middle-class was fleeced by "excessive fees paid to actively managed mutual funds, financial advisers, stockbrokers, pension fund managers and the like"; "6 percent real estate commissions"; high priced, underperforming American health care; "companies that went on to monopolize markets after spending millions convincing the government to allow their megamergers" and so on.
More importantly, the middle classes were never as rich as they believed themselves to be, because the realistic picture of the eventual worth of their homes and stock-holdings was never going to match the projections of hucksters who promised crazy returns and lasting comfort by liquidating these assets when old age and retirement arrived.
Gradually a consensus is emerging that we've been screwed over. It's hard to see how this ends.