While prosperity was in large part due to pent-up demand for goods and a wartime industrial base easily converted to peacetime manufacturing, the same benefits could be achieved if the economy were redesigned to meet the needs of a faltering middle class. Instead, they are increasingly falling into poverty because of the effects of crony capitalism, most evident in the crash of 2008 caused by bankers who walked away with billions and who remain at large, free to continue to commit their economic crimes and to serve as economic advisers in the current administration.
Democrats and Republicans are negotiating to minimize what both argue are "necessary" cuts in a social safety net that is needed more than ever. Neither seem to realize it is the fig leaf covering the real extent of the economic devastation facing the next generations of Americans, whose taxes are supposed to support Baby Boomers in their senescence. Most young people are not yet aware of what they are facing, or they would be swelling the ranks of protesters.
In the process, we could build a sustainable economy capable of meeting the needs of all its citizens rather than just a privileged few. We would also be building a far richer society in which people were encourage to develop their talents and interests while acquiring the knowledge to become responsible citizens.