Ian Welsh's short essay Living In A Rich Society is a masterpiece of succinct description of how economics, society, and politics went badly wrong in America, telling the tale as well as could be told in under a fifteen hundred words.
Americans voted for suburbia and against black people (and don’t tell me otherwise, I remember Reagan’s campaign, and it was based on racism). The people who made those votes, the Reagan Democrats, mostly won their bet: their house prices went up, they didn’t have to live near people with melanin, and they retired wealthy and went to live in the south, where brown people wiped their butts.
But the price of this was the end of the rich society. The end of a society where you could tell your boss to go screw himself. And it was the end of a society in which big projects were regularly undertaken.