Automation and Job Loss
Since the late 1970s Republican led changes in federal tax law have taken all the gains of our booming economy and handed them over to the upper 1% of income earners. This is trickle down economics, or how James Buchanan and his employers the Koch brothers strangled the American dream. It has been great for wall street and terrible for main street. The other 99% of us have had no wage gains during this time. This despite the fact that in 1980 the DOW was 870 points and today it's 24 000 points. There's nothing wrong with being well off, but not sharing any of the profit from the economy for the last 40 years with the employees is wrong. These same federal administrations have removed laws that prevented monopolies. Now these monopolies own our economy and small and medium sized businesses struggle to survive.
That 1% of income earners and investors have re-invested in their companies to create value. This value has come mostly from getting rid of employees. Some of the ways these companies have done this are:
Crippling union bargaining ability, for example, right to work laws,
Sending manufacturing overseas where people are paid peanuts,
Using the internet to replace sales people,
Changing full time jobs for gig jobs.
Companies like Amazon or Facebook have used these strategies to all but completely eliminate workers from their supply chains. And since these economies of scale favor the largest organizations, these companies have also used these relative efficiencies to eliminate their competition. Even Walmart can't compete against Amazon.
These businesses strip local governments of revenue by not paying local or state taxes. The government cannot support its citizens, maintain infrastructure, enforce laws or generally do the people's business.
These problems aren't just the free market at work, they're the result of laws written by Republican and some Democrat administrations. The government can at least partly control this process through taxes and regulations. With these tools we can re-balance the economy and make it more equitable for 99% of people.
Reforming tax laws to correct these problems is going to be an uphill battle. But states that have increased taxes on the wealthy are doing well economically - for example, Wisconsin and California. States that keep cutting taxes can't keep their schools open - for example, Kansas.