It has been announced, and even fact-checked, that 400 individuals own as much wealth as the bottom 50% of the population:
The Empire's Gods
This, of course, is something that has developed over decades. A slide into darkness, perpetuated by continuous government/corporate collusion, an ugly relationship convincingly argued in the recent book "Winner Take-All Politics."
Sadly, the citizens of the Empire, instead of focusing on this apostasy at the highest levels, have turned on each other, their rage stoked by penury and general immiseration.
The conclusion is that we are dunderheads, yes, with invisible rings of hatred through our noses, clipped to chains of political rhetoric that keep us braying and gnawing at each others' lowly heels.
Meanwhile, the rich transfer more and more capital into their names, hiding money out of sight in foreign banks, and nurturing lucrative enterprises overseas, where none of us peons can take notice, let alone benefit.
I suppose all Empires in the past have crumbled this way, first slathered in gold, then infected by greed, and finally tumbling in the pull of an internecine gravity.
Shame on us all. May the future forgive. If there is a future, that is, which our huge military cannot pre-emptively annihilate in the forthcoming anomie.