The uncomfortable truth is that America has become a nation of skimmers and scammers. The rot runs deep not just in the upper reaches of the financial and political Elites, but in the bottom 99.5% as well.
America can now be summarized by this phrase: "don't call out my scam and I won't call out yours." In other words, all the skimmers and scammers have become complicit, not just in protecting their own scam from the light of day, but in protecting everyone else's scams, too, lest those who lose their swag unmask someone else's scam in revenge.
Examples of skimming and scamming abound in finance and government. It's almost tiresome to even list examples; fortunately for us, tireless truthseeker "George Washington" has amassed a list of bank fraud and malfeasance (reprinted by the equally indefatigable Barry Ritholtz).
It's easy to skewer the financial and political Elites' abuses of power, but few look at all the rot below. The fraud and embezzlement-riddled mortgage market of the previous decade included not just investment bankers but non-Elite Americans who lied about their income, debt, and other material facts in order to obtain a fraudulent mortgage.
Another "middle class" scam is practiced by public workers nearing retirement. (Please don't claim this doesn't happen, I have first-hand accounts from cousins with 30-year careers in fire and police departments.) Since the pensions are based on the top three years of pay, soon-to-retire workers pile up the overtime to amass much higher pay in their last years. Everyone involved helps make this happen because they expect to pull the same scam when their time comes.