My husband, Paul, and I recently received a statement from Fidelity Investments. We have a solid chunk of change in a money market account with the Boston firm, but we weren’t expecting much in the way of interest. Still, the bottom line was amazing.

We had earned $1.50 over the course of the previous month.

If anyone is still wondering about the popularity of Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders in this election cycle, look no further. This, to quote Shakespeare, “is the winter of our discontent.”

What kind of country rewards people who don’t work and punishes those who save? For years, Paul and I had to pay additional taxes because we had the audacity to pay off our mortgage ahead of time. We didn’t get refunds because we didn’t have enough exemptions.

I once thought the 401(k) was a terrific idea. But at some point, probably when our account wasn’t growing much, I realized it was a scam. Big business, as usual, was off the hook. Hardworking people who were not financial experts, who didn’t have the time or interest to become stock market whizzes, were now supposed to manage their own retirement funds.

I’m OK with DIY, but the stock market is a complex game. Maybe a rigged one. I don’t know, because I don’t want to be a part of it as an individual. I want to put my money in a local bank or credit union and get interest on it. I am willing to tie up my money for five years in a certificate of deposit in order to get a higher interest rate. I faithfully put money into my IRA. But that’s because of the tax benefit. I’m not getting any interest on that, either.

I won’t romanticize the hyperinflation of the 1970s, but my parents reaped the benefits of 15 percent (or higher) interest on their savings. They used it to help pay my college tuition. We took two trips across the country and regular spring trips to Florida.

Because I drive a Prius, I might be able to get from Augusta to Waterville on that buck fifty from Fidelity.

This is part of the economic environment that has nurtured the enthusiasm for Bernie and the Donald, although they are at different points on the political spectrum. To paraphrase Howard Beale, the beleaguered anchorman in the movie “Network,” we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.

I’m a school librarian, so I see firsthand the effects of income inequality in this country. Sixty percent of students in Augusta schools receive free or reduced-price lunches. Some of these students go home on the weekends and vacations with bags of food to tide their families over. Lunches are served as part of the summer recreation program.

Many high school students who have worked hard to achieve good grades can’t go to the college of their choice. It’s too expensive. Others cannot even enroll part-time at a local school because they lack transportation.

Then there are the former students who end up in jail or dead from drug overdoses. I am rarely surprised (though always saddened) to see these names in the newspaper. They’re usually young men who, when they were boys, could not connect with school. Apparently, they didn’t qualify for special education and didn’t have the parental support that would have helped them stay in school.

In another time, these young men would have found work anyway — in the woods, on the water. They would have plucked chickens, made shoes, woven cotton. Our leaders have let corporations take away jobs like these. The CEOs keep raking in the dough, but we have been left with crumbs. Is it any surprise that when the drug dealers from Lowell and New York City come to Maine, they find such willing takers?

My mother dropped out of high school during the Depression, though she later went back to get her degree. My father was one of those cheerful lads who didn’t take school seriously. His occupation on my birth certificate was “wood cutter.” Dad didn’t hit his stride until he was nearly 30. He and Mom purchased an Arnold Bread franchise and made a success of it. Later, they ran a “day old” bread store as well. These children of immigrants built their own home, saved their money and sent their daughters to college. They achieved the American dream.

Why isn’t that possible for so many Americans today? The voters want to know.

Liz Soares welcomes e-mail at [email protected]

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