The UK Economist points out that the distrust of government is partly because of the racial split: which is being funded by taxpayers to get votes.
The country faces a crisis of mutual resentment, masquerading as a general collapse in national morale. Sharply-delineated voter blocs are alarmingly willing to believe that rival groups are up to no good or taking more than their fair share.
what is missing from their analysis: That hard working people are losing jobs, having to pay more taxes and more for health insurance and having trouble making ends meet, but when they ask where the money is being used, they are called racist for doing so. They also see the freeloaders. And they are starting to resent it.
And this is not purely a "racial" thing: When I worked in Appalachia, the hard workers migrated to jobs elsewhere when the coal mines shut, and the free booters stayed behind, resulting in high unemployment and the freebooters complaining there were no jobs. But my Hispanic sons had no problem finding jobs... Jobs they didn't want because they didn't pay enough for the amount of work done.
Which is why you read stories of meat packing plants staffed by illegal Mexicans or Somali immigrants...
and, of course, I shouldn't talk: I took early retirement to the Philippines to care for my elderly husband. So does that make me a "freeloader" or a hard working caregiver?
Related item: For later reading: Lippman's book on propaganda and truth in politics. Even the "will of the people" is what the "experts" say it is (yes we have polls, but phrasing the question, even "polls" are biased).
Also at Librivox.
written in 1920...