Social Sensitivity

In general, the subject of Tyler’s novel is family and marital relationships. Very little social and political background is provided in the story, although it is clear that the Morans are part of the American middle class. President Reagan had come into power in 1980, promising economic prosperity via deep tax cuts. His theory was that deep tax cuts would be offset by an increase in employment rates and tax revenue through greater capital investment. Known in layman’s terms as the trickle-down theory, the premise was proven false, just as Nobel Prizewinning economist Wassily Leontief guaranteed. According to Forbes magazine, the richest one percent of Americans gained a combined total of one trillion dollars between 1979 and 1990. In other words, a greater stratification between rich and poor was the result of early 1980s economic policy.

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