So many misconceptions it is hard to know where to begin. Try looking at tax rates and distribution of wealth from Eisenhower on forward. Do the same for labor laws, worker protections and income distribution (which is different from welath distribution). You may not like to think about it, but such vital things as distribution of wealth and income are heavily impacted by public policy--specifically in the areas of taxation and labor laws.<quoted text>Redistribution is how it is termed, not how I put it. If you do not like the term, I suggest you look at what it entailed before suggesting it is the wording of a fringe set of people.
There has always been a greater burden on those who benefited most from our society and economy. Outside of social security which FDR knew was unconstitutional before he ever became president and was billed as you getting back what you were forced to pay in so wasn't really redistribution, the concept of redistribution came about in practice well after WWII. In fact, it wasn't until the 70's for the most part that the US started practicing it large scale. It largely came about in the 1968 civil rights legislation where the good democrats decided the way to ensure peace, opportunity, and equality was to create high rise apartments all the way over on the other side of town and put the negros in those projects free of charge, provide for their well being and modest medical. This didn't kick in strong until after the 70's. Unfortunately, instead of most of America looking and saying what the fuck, they observed and said, I want mine too.
So unless you consider a quarter century and two wars later to be right after a war happened, you might want to revisit that patch of history.
We have seen a number of unhealthy shifts in recent years: the upwards distribution of wealth, the stagnation of income overall and a widening income gap between those at the top and those at the bottom. Further, the number of those in the middle--the middle class-have been shrinking while the number at the bottom has grown.
In terms of political and economic stability such trends have never been regarded as harbingers of good times.
Changes have tended to be incremental and have been exacerbated by global competition and ease with which labor can be "outsourced." Both political parties have contributed.
This is where we are. The question before us is whether we continue in this direction to the crisis point, or attempt an about face.