Thanks for the recommendations on the two Michaels. I read a selection of each man's articles and didn't see anything I disagreed with. Quite enjoyed their writing. From what I see they're primarily focused on the economics of elite control of the system, which I have zero quibbles with.
I won't get into the history of racial politics in the United States as that is not the point of this article, and it's also dangerous at this point to discuss anything even maginally outside the party line. The hollowing out of America's middle class and the destruction of low skilled and medium skilled jobs (and the inflation that drives the declining purchasing power of ever-rising minimum wages) is an enormous issue for the country, but it's not one that's solvable within the current system, I don't think. As you note, everything in the system is built around a transference of wealth to the most powerful, including those most recent bailouts, which were unbelievably massive, and much of which went to mega corporations rather than the small businesses they were supposed to be for.
One thing I will add -- regardless the economic system, every empire ends the same way: with wealth calcifying at the top of society, a destroyed middle class, and a large contingent of the impoverished, typically dependent on handouts (in ancient Rome, 50% of the 1 million citizens of Rome proper survived on state-provided corn hand-outs).
Somewhat saddening, until you put it in the perspective of the cycle of life: everything is born, expeiences a vibrant youth, grows into a productive middle age, then experiences a decline in its sunset years, a calcification, an end to growth, a stiffening, inflexibility, a breakdown in its moribund systems, and eventually a demise.
Governmental systems, economic systems, take your pick: assuming they aren't so bad as to make complex civilization impossible, they all seem to follow roughly the same trajectory.
Because it isn't the system itself that is the issue: it is the people manning the system, and the way each generation of people changes in response to the conditions left it by the prior one.