Gradually, over the last 20 years or more, America has experienced a wide separation of wealth. Many at the top get more wealthy but many many more reach further toward a bottom that seems to have no limit. At one point the view was that a “rising tide floats all boats,” suggesting that when one or a few do well that we all do well. But no one believes that anymore. Increasingly, those at the bottom multiply in number earning less and living at or close to the edge of poverty. This may not be deliberate policy, but it is the direction of things presently. Indeed, it now appears that on the order of two-thirds of America’s children are born into poverty. Slowly but steadily the safety net is disappearing.
Increasingly, people are forced to survive on less and less. More walk and bike, while some still have cars for transportation to jobs that inevitably pay less. Some share rides, or other assets, live together in sometimes larger but older apartments to avoid homelessness. But that’s increasingly unavoidable for many. Gradually many people are coming together with mutually supportive skills, where the combination of one with another becomes better than two. American society is gradually splitting into two separate fragments or perhaps more than two: those with adequate net worth to survive and thrive and those without an adequate support structure to survive on their own.