Land of the Plebs
Well when you have a country set up with the express purpose of making money, what do you expect from the rich and powerful.
The US was founded by slave traders and Scottish tobacco merchants hell bent on making money. All that crap about "land of the free, home of the brave" is spin designed to convince the labrourers to head the new colonies when they were first founded. The traders and tobacco merchants put the workers they convinced to head out there in search of a new life, plus the millions of poor, unfortunate Africans who had no choice in going there, to get into debt to the merchants. You need tools and you want the nice things that are only available from back home? Well you can have it on tick and work it off. The rich and powerful don't like we plebs and they need a way to ensure we're doing as we're told and stay put. Thus Prism is simply the latest in a long line of variations of keeping we plebs in line and beholden to our masters. Surfdom never really did die, it simply evolved.