I have been asking myself “What made Americans such awful people? When did this happen?”
And I have concluded that it occurred during the period when Americans became very rich – the two decades after WWII. These were good times for Americans – there were plenty of jobs, and going to college cost little. Immigrants from all over Latin America came to partake of this wealth.
But Americans did not use this wealth to make a Great Society (although there were efforts in that direction also) – but wasted it in the Cold War.
Affluence went to their heads – and made them feel superior to everyone else – because everyone else was poorer!
This assumption must be basic to the human personality – that the rich are better. Every religion preaches against it – and every successful religion becomes rich!
I have even seen this in Costa Rica and Nicaragua – when areas become affluent – usually because some Gringos buy the place up – it becomes a worse place. People become more interested in making money than in liking people. And this change happens rapidly – in only a few years, or less!
The lure of money is powerful and hard to control.