James, I agree with your sentiments. The divide between rich and poor with a growing middle class is expanding rapidly. I wouldn’t classify all billionaires as greedy. The pursuit of self-interest is always a factor and often at the cost of others as too often occurs in corporations. There are, however, a few good people that either use their money to better society, improve our educational system, help those who can’t help themselves, and even fight world hunger and illiteracy. We know of Warren Buffet and Bill Gates in the business world who have started foundations for these purposes. They seem to be trying to do the right thing. The jury is still out on Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, who has pledged to donate a significant amount of his money. Oprah Winfrey comes to mind and her charitable efforts as well as using personal gravitas to improve conditions around the world. Perhaps we can include someone like Angelina Jolie who seems genuinely concerned about the unfortunate circumstances of way too many people in other countries. That said, you are absolutely right that the fabric of our nation has changed and not for the better. The middle class get squeezed more and more. The sad part is nothing has be done, even with the financial crisis, to address these issues and I fear nothing will be done because of the influence and desire of those with the billions to continue the trend and the willingness of our Congressional leaders, many of whom are already wealthy (or hope to be so after leaving office)to support the obsessively rich because they hope to join their ranks some day.
I recommend you add The Ethics Sage to your favorites.