What happened in 2008 showed us that we were worshipping a false god, which shrunk, like a deflating parade float once the crowds are gone, before our eyes.
Yup.

I was traveling recently on vacation and it seemed everywhere I went, people were talking about how we now live in a plutocracy, not a democracy. They didn't always use that word, but there were rumblings and mumblings about the 1% and the middle class having to do staycations or no vacation.

The only way we could afford any kind of real vacation [ie., not just a long weekend] was to camp half the time and cook our own simple meals over a camp stove. [Although I'm grateful to have a vacation, I realize some don't get any. Heck, I didn't get any for about 5 years there.]

It occurs to me we've lived in plutocracies before [railroad baron era, for example]. It seems our government just shifts back and forth between a pale version of a true democracy and plutocracy, with plutocracy winning out most of the time, it seems. We kid ourselves with all this e pluribus unum crap. What's Latin for "whoever dies with the most toys wins"?

A lot of vacation-oriented business owners talked about how their business has dropped off significantly. The middle class cannot afford vacations like they used to, and even if they can, they cannot do special outings while on vacation, which is how these people earn their living [guided tours, meals out, etc].