Paul Krugman, the NY Times columnist and Nobelist, has a great analysis of what has contributed to America's long-term depressed economy. In, Plutocracy, Paralysis, Perplexity he persuasively postulates that the richest 0.01 percent has plundered US economic policy by highjacking one of its political parties.
... the real structural problem is in our political system, which has been warped and paralyzed by the power of a small, wealthy minority. And the key to economic recovery lies in finding a way to get past that minority’s malign influence.The First Peoples of the Pacific Northwest had a remedy for this "perplexity". It was called the Potlatch whereby the richest families redistributed their wealth in a Giveaway and therefore gained social status, power and influence by being an instrument of a reciprocity that benefited all.
The old ways sound pretty good.