The Way We Live Now: with a long tail. Scrape together enough pennies from enough wretched poor people and before you know it, you're riding high! The poor were already poor. A little poorer won't hurt. Everyone wins!
Fantastic news of the day: new economic studies say that the government intervention after the economic collapse actually helped to avert a second depression.
Good, cause it cost hundreds of billions of dollars!
So we know that we can trust our leaders. The fact that we have no idea how many employees are suckling at the public teat, therefore, is unimportant. Instead, we need to focus more closely on ways to make money, like ripping off day laborers. Or, if you're young and cute, you can just walk across this great nation as people shower you with money.
That's the American way.
Someone has to get paid around here. Then they can pay taxes and, after various other economic things happen, the government can bail us out, for safety's sake. Once the system is sufficiently stabilized, Citigroup can build housing projects for all you poors so you don't get angry enough to riot, and then they and their Wall Street cohorts can get back to the serious business of heaping checks on Barack Obama, their greatest enemy.
Wash, rinse, repeat.