National Journal article pretty much says what the title infers. 90 years ago the same thing happened, to a lesser degree or not, I don't know.
There was a guest on Thom's show about a great shift or transition. Reconstruction, then great depression were the first of cyclical shifts if I'm not mistaken. There will most likely be a lost generation, beginning with 2000. 2025 will see US broken into regional units, some with high standards of living like the Scandinavian countries. The other regions will be like Botswana, and Mexico, maybe a little Somalia style with the nra militias and insurgent bombings.
Whitmire is a story of Muncie, and Muncie is the story of America. In this place—dubbed “Middletown” by early 20th-century sociologists—people have lost faith in their institutions. Government, politics, corporations, the media, organized religion, organized labor, banks, businesses, and other mainstays of a healthy society are failing. It’s not just that the institutions are corrupt or broken; those clichés oversimplify an existential problem: With few notable exceptions, the nation’s onetime social pillars are ill-equipped for the 21st century. Most critically, they are failing to adapt quickly enough for a population buffeted by wrenching economic, technological, and demographic change.
Knock around Muncie for proof: City Hall, like Washington, is petty and polarized, driving down voter engagement. Stodgy mainline churches are losing worshipers in droves. Low-tech and unruly public schools are prompting parents to pull their children out. The city’s once-beloved business class shuttered its factories, leaving a legacy of double-digit unemployment and helplessness. Labor unions once credited with creating the middle class are now often blamed for the demise of industry. Even The Star Press, Muncie’s daily newspaper once venerated for holding locals to account, was gutted after a job-killing merger in 1996 and the sale, a few years later, to media giant Gannett.