There have been several political-economic paradigms in American history. King James I, who gave his name to our oldest permanent English-speaking colony, stated our initial paradigm in the preface of his King James Version of the Bible. He stated the principle of monarchy when he essentially said that he was placed on Earth by God to rule over man.
That paradigm was radically changed when the House of Lords precipitated the English Civil War, executing James’ successor, Charles I, and giving our mother country an aristocracy.
In 1776 there was another paradigm shift when we began our nation, rejecting aristocracy and putting us on the road to a more democratic, independent nation. The Republican Party that came to power in 1860 strengthened that paradigm, and they also shifted the economic paradigm by giving us a Homestead Act, a transcontinental railroad, and a tax on upper incomes.
That economic paradigm was strengthened by legislation in the Progressive Era, the New Deal, and the Great Society. A regressive shift was begun in 1980 in the economic paradigm by establishing a regressive, “supply-side” tax structure. In the current election, a few wealthy benefactors are using their wealth in campaign contributions to strengthen this new, plutocratic paradigm.