Four Major Economic Eras in Recent American History
"The Long Gilded Age: Historians generally say that the Gilded Age gave way to the Progressive Era around 1900. In many important ways, though, the Gilded Age continued right through to the New Deal. As far as we can tell, income remained about as unequally distributed as it had been in the late 19th century--or as it is today. Public policy did little to limit extremes of wealth and poverty, mainly because the political dominance of the elite remained intact; the politics of the era, in which working Americans were divided by racial, religious, and cultural issues, have recognizable parallels with modern politics.
"The Great Compression: The middle-class society . . . didn't evolve gradually or automatically. It was created, in a remarkably short period of time, by FDR and the New Deal. As the chart shows, income inequality declined drastically from the late 1930s to the mid 1940s, with the rich losing ground while working Americans saw unprecedented gains. Economic historians call what happened the Great Compression, and it's a seminal episode in American history
The chart shows the percentage share of total wealth that the richest 10 percent of the American population own.
"Middle class America: It was a society without extremes of wealth or poverty, a society of broadly shared prosperity, partly because strong unions, a high minimum wage, and a progressive tax system helped limit inequality. It was also a society in which political bipartisanship meant something: in spite of all the turmoil of Vietnam and the civil rights movement, in spite of the sinister machinations of Nixon and his henchmen, it was an era in which Democrats and Republicans agreed on basic values and could cooperate across party lines.
"The great divergence: Since the late 1970s [middle class] America has unraveled. We're no longer a middle-class society, in which the benefits of economic growth are widely shared: between 1979 and 2005 the real income of the median household rose only 13 percent, but the income of the richest 0.1% of Americans rose 296 percent." 1
Welcome to the Brave New World
Most Americans unthinkingly assume that this rise in inequality has been the result of impersonal, inevitable economic and social forces, like technological advances and globalization. On the contrary, since the 1970s the diabolical neo-conservative ideology has created the rise in income inequality.
"It started with ideology. Hard-core American conservatives have long idealized the Gilded Age, regarding everything that followed--not just the New Deal, but even the Progressive Era--as a great diversion from the true path of capitalism."2
We're now suffering under the stultifying influence of what's called "movement conservatism," the highly cohesive set of interlocking concepts and institutions that ushered Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich into power, and reached its culmination under George W. Bush, taking control of all three branches of the federal government and instituting fascist capitalism.
The Old and the New Gilded Ages and Their Accompanying Disasters
Keynote of the Gilded Ages of 1890 and 2008: Deregulation
Gilded Age of 1870-1932
Gilded Age of 1975-2008
Deregulation of labor practices leading to virtual slave labor and murder of workers on strike
The economic depression of 1893--caused, as usual, by the criminal excesses of monopoly capitalists--devastated the working class and was only overcome by the ruling cabal when it resorted to the Spanish-American war of 1898-1901.
"I think we are in a position, after the experience of the last 20 years, to state two things: in the first place, that a corporation may well be too large to be the most efficient instrument of production and distribution, and, in the second place, whether it has exceeded the point of greatest economic efficiency or not, it may be too large to be tolerated among the people who desire to be free."
Louis Brandeis, 1911
Where Are the New Progressives?
Following the 1890 gilded age, America experienced a Progressive Era which extended from 1900 to 1955. During this period, the excesses of monopoly capitalism were exposed and condemned by a number of farsighted thinkers, such as Upton Sinclair, Jane Addams, Charles Beard, and Eleanor Roosevelt, to mention only a few. Their efforts at reform resulted in a significant mass of progressive legislation and the creation of New Deal institutions such as Social Security.
The American Progressive Era ended about 1955 because Americans in general failed to advance mentally, spiritually, and socially beyond a certain very limited level (as seen in the chart below).
While Americans from 1900 to 1955 developed technological skills with which they built a modern society and acquired a limited sense of excellence, fellow-feeling, and fairmindedness, they remained in a state of social ignorance, religiosity, and ethical conservatism that deterred any further spiritual, psychological, or social awareness.
State of Consciousness
Realization of unity with Divinity
Unification awareness, Ecstasy
Discernment of Forms
Higher Intelligence Philosophical Meditation
Spiritual awareness Self-awareness Social awareness
Inability to see or hear what's happening in the world Supporting people who are destroying you
Deliberate social unawareness, religiosity, hypocrisy, provincialism, and ethical conservatism made Americans easy prey to manipulation by cabal propagandists. After World War II it became convenient for the U.S. population to embrace 200% Americanism so the cold war could be perpetrated. American social benightedness later made it easy for the ruling gang to start the Korean "police action" and the Vietnam war.
There has been a sharp decline in progressive initiatives since 1950, because Americans have failed to develop critical consciousness sufficient to recognize the destruction of our political, economic, and communication institutions.
"Radical criticism of the press was an integral component of the many large social movements of the Progressive Era, which sought to resist the effects of accelerating capitalist development. It was a time of striking similarity to the present, mirroring in particular the corruption of democracy by political and economic elites whose control over the media strangles public awareness, debate, and activism. However, unlike today, radical criticism of capitalist journalism was a dominant theme on the left during the Progressive Era, particularly in the socialist, anarchist, and progressive press. This was the Golden Age of radical press criticism, and Upton Sinclair was at its epicenter." 3
The deliberate embracing of social ignorance on the part of the large masses of Americans has resulted in the predatory cabal being able to ram a murderous dolt into the presidency through the 2000 coup d'etat and then destroying Constitutional liberties while lying the nation into a war-profiteering nightmare in Iraq.
Americans are now so mentally and spiritually decimated that they cannot distinguish between the counterfeit and the real.
Eleanor Roosevelt A genuine social reformer
Charles Beard's 1913 study of the financial interests of the drafters of the United States Constitution (An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution) is still radical today, since he proposed that the U.S. Constitution was the product of a coup d'etat by a plutocratic cabal composed of Alexander Hamilton and John Adams, among others.
Henry Kissinger has been a mandarin lackey of the cabal since his days as a professor at Harvard University when he began his series of contrived history studies. He became the cabal's controller of Dick Nixon and now presides over his international "consulting" firm.
The present international cabal erroneously assumes that it can create an ignorant mass of Americans and then lead them around by the nose indefinitely. Granted, during the last fifty years they've successfully done just that--ultimately daring to assassinate a troublesome President (JFK) in 1963, and install a psychopath through a coup d'etat in 2000 and a fake black con-man in 2008.
They assume they can flaunt their crimes against the American people (election fraud, prime mortgage scams, war-profiteering, tax-payer money to big banks, destroying Constitutional liberties) and the people will do nothing. The cabal members believe the American people are too stupid to rise up against their oppressors in any way.
Unfortunately, ignorant masses are very unpredictable--as the French rulers discovered when the ignorant French masses turned against the gilded nobility during the French Revolution.
While Americans must not be brainless enough to think that armed insurrection is a viable way of bringing about change, they must wake up to the fact that obscenely wealthy plutocrats--operating as a political-economic-social cabal--are obliterating the working class through Class Warfare: