The whole thing started a very long time ago, when you realized that you were going to lose one of the most important assets you had in building this country so that you could benefit from it. It actually even started before then, when you ran out of indentured servants from England and Ireland, but luckily, the African slave trade came at just the right time.
But once you realized you were going to lose the slaves to that nefarious thing called freedom, you had a lot to accomplish. The guiding force, of course, has always been that someone else should do the work, and you would benefit. There were all sorts of hurdles to jump, of course. Unionization was one of the biggest hurdles. And you almost grabbed the gold ring in the 20s, but then you got a little too ebullient, and you caused the stock market crash. Then that radical Franklin Roosevelt came into power, and almost ruined it for you. It set you back years. The 60s and 70s with its civil rights, feminist and gay rights movements were tough to get through, for sure.
You had to do a lot of careful planning. The standard ways of keeping people in line, such as, well, letting them starve, or sending them to debtor's prison, weren't going to work in the post-Roosevelt era. So you had to came up with other ideas - among them pretending that people could actually get the things you had if they worked hard enough and played by the rules. Then there was the genius called marketing. Yes, it was genius. Use human psychology to steal people's self-respect, and sell it back to them for the price of a product that they don't need. And then, you came up with the brilliant plan to entertain people - getting people to spend half of the time they weren't working for you watching things that made them want to buy more stuff - a twofer! Another genius thing was insurance. Remind people of their fears - primarily their fear of death, and tell them that they need not be afraid if they buy this or that policy. And then, there was the home mortgage. You hit a home run with that one.
You also managed quite well to co-opt the movements of the 60s - that was well done! You managed to convince African Americans that they wanted the "American Dream" too, and women just wanted the right to work just as hard as men, and you convinced queer people if they just had the rights to the institutions of the US - marriage and the freedom to serve in the military, that would be enough.
While you were keeping most people busy working and commuting so that they could buy stuff they didn't need, insuring themselves against their fears, being held hostage to their shelter, and being "entertained" so they didn't notice, there were some people you couldn't control that way. People who, for one reason or another, started out already so far down, that none of those things worked. The only thing they wanted to do was find a way out of their pain. Then, the next genius. Provide them with the means to self-medicate, and then make it illegal. That way, you could just put them in jail, which you did by the millions, making quite the tidy profits off of it in the process.
You managed to even co-opt people's desire to help their fellow human beings. All you need do was spend a few crumbs of your profits and you'd have people literally eating out of your hand, and they would be happy to listen to what you told them to do.
And you used the fact that the radical changes brought on by Roosevelt made life in this country pretty good for a while, to attract a new group of people who would come here and be happily exploited by you for often lower than minimum wage, and would put up with horrible working conditions because they were afraid of being sent away.
Of course, you got too ebullient again, and started to take stupid risks with other people's money. You almost sent the whole thing crashing down. But people started to see cracks in the facade. People started to talk about "corporate greed" and "the 99%." People did things like march in the streets, and shut down ports. You are starting to get worried. So worried that you are beginning to bring that one tool to bear that you have been resisting because of its obvious nature: force.
But you are running out of time. Why? Two reasons. First, you've taken just about all you can take from the Earth. There's not a whole lot more to take, without the effects actually damaging your way of life. Second, you've taken about all you can take from people, too. Once people start really waking up to this whole scam, there isn't much you'll be able to do to stop them. Even force won't be enough. You can't close down the urban farms, or the cooperatives, or the community exchanges, or the myriad ways people are beginning to find to come together as communities to take care of each other and make sure that every person gets the full benefit of their own efforts.