My experience is not universal but having come of age during the raging bull 90s, I remember even then it seemed that Americans were fawning over the achievements of rising tech moguls like Bill Gates, Steve Case, Michael Dell, and putting executives on a pedestal that was unhealthy. My guess then, and now, is that the American worker was getting just enough of the action to feel good about venerating the lions of late 20th Century and early 21st Century capitalism.
What we experienced in 2001 and 2008 was probably remarkably similar to how people of the Gilded Age felt during the panics of 1893 and 1907. Yet as bad as those crises were, the mother of them all was waiting for them two decades later. I don’t think we’ll have to wait two more decades for the defining moment of a generation to come. My guess is we’re already on that trajectory. Wealth inequality of this magnitude is unsustainable.