Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Second Gilded Age?

By: Dale Bowling

You may remember from US History something called the Gilded Age. It was a period of American history in the late nineteenth century when Robber Barons built huge fortunes at the expense of everyone else.

Railroads, Mining Interests, Steel, Oil flourished in great part because of Government largesse. Beneficial legislation and/or lack of regulation, land grants, low or no taxation, monopolies - politicians in the pay of Monied Interests one way or another, stacked the deck in favor of BIG BUSINESS against everyone else. At no point in American history had the Rich been richer and the Poor been poorer.

What changed? The Progressive Era. Government turned from helping the Robber Barons to protecting the working person.

The Progressives curbed abuses. They kept workers safe and healthy. They took the kids out the mines and the factories and put them in schools. And guess what? The Nation flourished as a result of having generations of educated, healthy workers.

It's been a hundred years since the Progressive Era and as we've failed to remember the worst abuses of the past, we're condemned to repeat them. There is an ancient saying, "Be careful or else you may end up where you're headed." Well, we're headed for a second Gilded Age unless we do something.

The last thirty years, we've seen an attempt to erase the America of the Progressives, but this has mostly been at the behest of the latest generation of Robber Barons.

The folks who say, "there are 47% of Americans who don't matter" are really saying that "These Americans represent a responsibility we just can't be bothered with. They interfere with us making as much money as humanly possible despite the fact we made it with their help. We've used them up and now they're on their own."

Democrats are the heirs of the Progressive movement. Democrats still recognize that America's greatness lies in Americans- whether or not they are momentarily useful to the Robber Barons of the coming Gilded Age.

Democrats don't punish the unlucky. Democrats help them make their own luck.

The new Robber Barons give unlucky Americans the back of their hands, Democrats give them the hand up.

That's who we are. We're DEMOCRATS. VOTE DEMOCRAT on November 6.

1 comment:

  1. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. --George Santayana