A joke has been making the rounds: "A union guy, tea bagger, & CEO are @ table w/ 12 cookies. The CEO takes 11 & tells tea bagger: That union guy wants a part of your cookie." It's exactly right. The real issue, as Howard Zinn tried to point out over and over, is the power of wealth to divide the other people and get them to fight among themselves.
A number of people have been pointing out that when progressives make gains -- through labor unrest or demonstrations -- that the gains tend to be short-lived. It's not surprising because working people need to spend most of their time just keeping body and soul together. The wealthy can afford to hire people -- ruthless people -- that will work 24-7 to achieve their goals.
In the 50's, the highest tax bracket was better than 90%. If someone made more than $400,000/year, most of what was above that went to the government. Some people think that's unfair: they *earned* that money. Did they? Or were the conditions in place to enable it? Let's remember: they didn't educate the employees that made it possible. They didn't build the infrastructure that made it possible. They didn't enforce the laws that made it possible.
It's unfortunate that we let the right roll back the tax rates. In other countries, when there was a huge growth in industry, they used it to build great infrastructure and resources to serve the country. What did we do with our wealth? We used it to let rich people get even richer. While the country fell apart, we used the money to make rich people super rich.
And what did they do with their wealth? Well, they didn't invest it here, that's for sure.