Third Party & Independents Archives

The Gilded Age Is Upon Us, Again.

In Sunday’s Washington Post Francois Furstenberg reminds us of an earlier time of economic despair and of the beginnings of the welfare state. He relates that the political and economic situation of the ‘gilded age’ is highly analogous to the current era of ‘greed is good’.

The gilded age was fraught with periods of economic booms and busts. A major financial crisis began with the failure of Jay Cooke & CO, the nation’s prime investment bank. This bank, and many others failed due to offering risky loans based on overvalued property.

Economic decline continued for over five years, the longest such stretch in US history. By 1876, half of the railroad companies had declared bankruptcy. Almost half of iron works were shuttered and coal production collapsed. Demand for goods dropped leading to high unemployment, reduced wages and deflation slashed wholesale prices by 30%.

There was no central bank and government stimulus had not yet been invented. Neither political party offered any meaningful solution, dividing over the spoils rather than issues and neither challenged their corporate masters. Republican Mark Hanna said, in 1895, “There are two things that are important in politics, the first is money and I can’t remember what the second one is.”

With the government on the sidelines political movements began to emerge such as antimonopoly coalitions, reform parties and labor candidates. The gap between wealth and workers became great extremely divisive causing frequent strikes, a bombing that killed 8 in Chicago, and increasing violence in labor conflicts. State and federal militias were called out to squelch such activity. In 1877, Pennsylvania militia fired on crowds causing President Rutherford B. Hayes to send federal troops to the area.

The spectacular concentration of wealth garnered by the the richest Americans and the inability of government to manage the crisis brought the nation to the edge of class warfare and social disintegration. People began to think of the US as taking on the European social order with their aristocrats and permanent underclass. Wealthy Americans began to fear instability.

Francois concludes with “The Gilded Age plutocrats who first acceded to a social welfare system and state regulations did not do so from the goodness of their hearts. They did so because the alternatives seemed so much more terrifying.”

The Gilded Age covers the period, 1877-1917, when the US was moving from an agrarian to an industrialized base. The major difference in the times is that in moving to a globalised economy corporations have become super wealthy with corporate profits accruing to the corporations and their owners. It’s clear the corpocracy has run the working class into a box. The country seems headed for a repeat of the Gilded Age. CEO pay is up some 436% from 1970 while the average worker pay is up 26%. Millions under/unemployed and the gov’t seems incapable or uninterested to create jobs or take any meaningful action.

The Gilded Age brought forth many 3rd party candidates and reform activists. The Progressive movement was established with the hope of regaining control of the government from special interest groups.

Otherwise, we have the corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by Roy Ellis at July 3, 2011 7:12 PM
Comment #325244

Roy good work. I am a bit surprised to see you talking about the gilded age and the excesses of the time.

Those that follow Glenn Beck have been railing against the progressives and the progressive era, as if it was the cause of the problems of this country, for some time. Many yearn for the return to the days and the ways of the time before the progressive era which as we know was the gilded age, the golden age of conservatism.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 3, 2011 8:59 PM
Comment #325248

Gilded Age

j2t2, listening to Beck and repeating some of his information doesn’t make one a fatalistic Beckian, IMO.

I advocate for a sane centrist position. Progressives were able to accomplish many important reform initiatives but seem to have waned in recent decades.

And, some of the laws put in place have been way diluted or twisted toward the opposition. For example, anti-trust and globalisation, income tax and corporate welfare. Social Security is a great ponzi, has worked well to this point. But, I don’t believe that bringing one-two million people to citizenship yearly plus however many illegals come across, is the way to restore SS in light of 20 some million un/underemployed. That’s right up there with using corn for ethanol, IMO.

Centrist, and sticking with the call for a 3rd party with a diff - - -
Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at July 3, 2011 10:22 PM
Comment #325263

I was sent this by a friend, the author is unknown but I believe it is in answer to why progressives changed their name to liberals.

“The agenda of liberals has greatly changed over the years to the degree that it has become a pejorative. So now they hide under the upscale word — progressives. Progressive have been around for decades, but the liberals thought ‘liberal’ was a better word — until recently.

You must be careful of confusing dictionary definitions with the reality of the current political climate.

Here is the best way to differentiate between conservatives and liberals:

If a conservative doesn’t like guns, he doesn`t buy one.

If a liberal doesn’t like guns, he wants guns outlawed.

If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat.

If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants meat products banned.

If a conservative is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.

If a liberal is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

If a conservative is down-and-out, he tries to better his situation.

A liberal wants to know who is going to fix it for him.

If a conservative doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels.

Liberals want those they don’t like to be silenced.

If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church.

If a liberal is a non-believer he wants any mention of religion silenced.

If a conservative needs health care he shops for it, or looks for a job that will provide it.

A liberal demands that the rest of us provide for it.

A conservative will read this and will forward it, so his friends can have a good laugh.

A liberal will read this and delete it, because he’s offended.

Posted by: Mike at July 4, 2011 1:43 PM
Comment #325269


i saw that one a few years ago. it’s absolutely spot on though. funny how e-mails seem to resurface every few years.

Posted by: dbs at July 4, 2011 2:39 PM
Comment #325271

Yea, we know.

You are either a conservative or you are not a real American, you are unpatriotic, an enemy of America.

You are either a laissez faire, caveat emptor free market conservative or you are a socialists or a communists.

You are either a hard working conservative or your a lazy good for nothing looking for a hand out.

You are either a born again evangelical Christian or you are going to hell.

There are many more reasons why conservatives think of themselves as superior humans, demanding that all others concede their superiority.

Their superiority is manifest in their ability to judge other humans as inferior product.

The point to remember about the Gilded Age is that it was followed by the Progressive Era which could be characterized as a second or a continuation of the revolution.

Mike, In the last few decades, despite the rhetoric to the contrary, conservatives and liberals have worked quite well with one another. The results of their magnanimous work have given us our great economy.

Our manufacturing base has been replaced by great paying high tech jobs and we are enjoying the very low prices that we were promised. The Republican led, liberal conceding, counter revolution has produced amazing results, and when we all wake up from this bad dream, we will be overjoyed.

It has been 20 years now and the current president, like his two predecessors, is still talking about those future high tech jobs that are going to put our people to work and save our economy.

Posted by: jlw at July 4, 2011 3:25 PM
Comment #325286

jlw, you do realize this email was meant as a joke, don’t you? Lighten up a little.

Posted by: Mike at July 4, 2011 9:44 PM
Comment #325288

Yer on a roll, jlw!

Lemme try… for those who would like to see where globalisation takes us in their lifetime we might try to speed up the process of globalizing for quicker results.

We could privatize social security and allow workers to dabble in the stock market with their SS funds.

We could offer a ‘head fee’ of, say $10k, for each immigrant willing to come to the US and take those jobs we won’t do.

We could start a ‘spring offensive’ to counter the ‘spring revolutions’.

We could provide seed money for the Muslim Brotherhood.
We could approve more ‘AFTA’s and pay off the unions for related jobs that would be lost.

We could get a jump start on creating a permanent underclass by putting all under/unemployed on a gov’t subsidy.

We could re-implement the NAU.

We could offer subsidies to foreign nations who will invest sovereign funds in purchasing US assets.

We could require that 75% instead of the current 50% of graduate student positions be made available for foreign students.

We could mandate that any domestic mfctr who is about to innovate a new product, immediately sell out lock-stock and barrel to any multi-national corporation.

We could set a date whereby all US workers would sign up for wage reductions to somewhere between $8-12, each wage assigned by a weekly lottery.

If we just adopted these few things we could, within a few years, see where globalisation will take us. Otherwise, it’s going to take another 20 years or so.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at July 4, 2011 10:07 PM
Comment #325332

“jlw, you do realize this email was meant as a joke.”

dbs said,


i saw that one a few years ago. it’s absolutely spot on though.”

I’ve seen it before as well, posted on WatchBlog.

In the last few decades, the distinctions between progressive and liberal have drifted apart. Anyone who thinks differently should look at the Democratic caucuses in the Congress and the voting records of the members of those caucuses.

The liberals rejected the progressives to form the conservative/liberal alliance that has given us our great economy.

“There are two things that are important in politics, the first is money and I can’t remember what the other one is.”

Roy, from the beginning of human civilization, there has always been a permanent underclass, surfs, peons, unskilled labor, call them what you will. How we treat them is what has changed.

Government interventions helped move many of the permanent underclass into a large middle class, much to the chagrin of capitol. Workers were almost on a par with capitol in influencing the government. That trend has been in the process of reverting to the good old days in recent decades.

Posted by: jlw at July 6, 2011 3:48 PM
Comment #325409

jlw, with the corpocracy pushing for globalisation and harmonization of the world it’s a natural that the US will produce a larger class of nonworkers. Salaries for the upper crust have increased way more tban inflation while falling for the lowercrust. Uppercrust workers are working longer hours per week while the lowercrust hours are being cut. More workers are losing the 40 hour work week status, being relegated to less than 40 and being assigned as part time workers, losing benefits in the process.

Unemployment has ticked up to 9.2%. Education, once thought of as the great equalizer, is now less so. Those with a BA represent 4% of the unemployed. A HS educated person represents 8% and those without HS are 10.5% of the unemployed. Tuition costs seem tied to the gold market.
But, education can’t solve the job problem. The US lost about 3M jobs to globalisation. That is, American workers lost those jobs and workers of foreign nations gained those jobs. As long as the proft differential remains high for goods produced abroad there will be little interest in creating new companies in this country. Thus, increasing the number of degreed workers goes to naught.

The corpocracy understands that and has to play the game that ‘jobs are right around the corner’, just be patient. In fact, the corpocracy, in pursuing globalisation, planned for the winding down of US mfctring which naturally will serve to bring wages down. With globalisation, corporations were able to move their smoke stack industries off shore and hire workers from a relatively cheap labor pool.

The corpocracy is simply allowing globalisation to run its course. They understand that business development and worker wages will continue to decline in this country until the profit differential in mfctring a product shifts in favor of the US. We can see that the corpocracy hasn’t rushed to start up any new coal mines or any kind of major business ventures. Now, if a small company innovates a new product then some multi-national will step in and buy up the company or the product. Mergers and buyouts are about the only business going on in the US right now. They will buy off some unions for the loss of jobs related to new AFTA’s, etc.

No indication the corpocracy is doing anything to change the situation. They will spend as necessary to keep things from spiraling out of control, a Greece for instance. And, they will knock off a couple of corporate welfare perks on the tax code, easily and quietly reinstated at some point. Balancing trade through a VAT is seen as an egregious act. A flat tax, which can’t be manipulated by the corpocracy, gets more hits in a poker game than on google. They aren’t calling China, our benevolent benefactor, on the carpet. No ruffling the feathers of the WTO/IMF crowd.

From all indications one has to believe their plan is on course, if not on schedule. Easy to predict that folks will be looking to toss out the Pres in 2016 due to the lack of jobs.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at July 8, 2011 6:49 PM
Comment #325468


Posted by: jlw at July 9, 2011 1:34 PM
Comment #325564

Mike - You apparently don’t know any Liberals or don’t listen to them. Also, you should recognize that applying labels to a person usually only gets the picture half-right - but I’m going to do it anyway. A person can be an economic conservative but a social liberal. Most Liberals I know want more freedom for people, but realize that the Conservative agenda gives people less freedom.
I’ve heard it said that Liberals want the USA to be more like Canada and Conservatives want us to be more like Mexico. When 1% of the people control most of the wealth as they do in the U.S., it is a little difficult for a poor person to pull themselves up.

Posted by: Dr Tom at July 10, 2011 6:49 PM
Comment #325667

The rich get richer, everyone else gets poorer. Meanwhile, our tax dollars are used to spew Faux News propaganda for the New Gilded Age Robber Barons.

Having earned $10.4 billion in profits, News Corp. would have been expected to pay $3.6 billion at the 35 percent corporate tax rate. Instead, it actually collected $4.8 billion in income tax refunds, all or nearly all from the U.S. government.
It pays to be Murdoch. Just ask US gov’t

And now the rich (of both major political parties) want to steal the Social Security and Medicare away from old people, children, the sick and the disabled.
Anyone angry yet?
Time for a new Progressive Era, yes?

Posted by: Adrienne at July 13, 2011 11:06 AM
Comment #325682

“Time for a new Progressive Era, yes?”

Time to reconstitute the old Progressive Party and tell liberal corpocrats to fend for themselves or choose between Progressives or Republicans, yes?

Let’s not pretend that Rupert gets the good tax treatment because of Republicans alone. It is not time yet to believe the Democrats rhetoric about these tax incentives for corporations.

Posted by: jlw at July 13, 2011 3:37 PM
Comment #381153

michael kors watches
oakley kids sunglasses
louis vuitton weekend bag
coach outlet carlsbad
coach outlet online factory
michael kors premium outlet
louboutin pas cher
coach jewelry outlet
louis vuitton for cheap online
oakley aviator sunglasses
classic coach
michael kors las vegas
coach factory outlet clearance
louis vuitton coin purse
official michael kors factory outlet online
hijinx oakley sunglasses
oakleys on sale
sale coach bags
coach bags on sale at outlet
michael kors watch price
oakley tumbler
michael kors outlet sawgrass
louis vuitton discount store
michael kors watches for men on sale
oakley batwolf polarized
red bottoms shoes outlet
louis vuitton bloomsbury
cheap michael kors purses outlet
louis vuitton tote bag
what are red bottoms shoes
cheap michael kors handbags free shipping
oakley sunglasses lens
cheap authentic louis vuitton
is coach factory outlet online legit
louis vuitton cheap purses
louis vuitton luggage set
coach o
oakley sunglasses whisker
coach patchwork purse
michael kors york
oakley ravishing
oakley sunglasses half jacket
peep toe christian louboutin shoes
michael kors clothing outlet
polarized oakley
louis vuitton neverfull
is louis vuitton outlet authentic
louis vuitton wallets for women
michael kors nyc
michael kors watches discount
outlet coach
kids oakley sunglasses
louis vuitton on sale authentic
michael kors wedges
mens louis vuitton
coach outlet hershey
louis vuitton jeans online
christian louboutin silver shoes
oakley frogskin sunglasses
discount coach outlet
factory coach online
coach factory outlet site
cheap oakley sunglasses uk
oakley sunglasses parts
christian louboutin handbags
louis vuitton bags outlet store
oakley vault reviews
where can i find red bottom shoes
oakley hoodies
louis vuitton speedy handbag
michael kors portland
michael kors kingsbury
outlet coach purses
online coach outlet
michael kors shoes outlet online
coach handbag outlet store
kanye west louis vuitton
louis vuitton side bag
official michael kors outlet online
oakley sunglasses prices
oakley half wire
christian louboutin men store
michael kors handbags outlets
louis vuitton sale
louie vuitton
coach tote bag
louis vuitton belt
louis vuitton totes
red coach
coach outlet wallets for women
louis vuitton denim bags
coach outlet watches
oakley frogskin sunglasses
louis vuitton purse sale
is coach factory outlet online legit
oakley ballistic sunglasses
christian louboutin madame butterfly bootie
cheap michael kors handbags outlet
what are red bottom heels
louis vuitton outlet dallas
official louis vuitton outlet
christian louboutin red bottoms shoes
coach outlet gilroy
louis vuitton bags outlet authentic
coach outlet sale
michael kors clogs
louis vuitton outlet las vegas
christian louboutin boots sale
low price michael kors handbags
oakley shoes
inexpensive oakley sunglasses
christian louboutin pigalle shoes
coach outlet handbags online
red bottom louboutin
michael kors logo handbags
louis vuitton handbags at saks
womens red bottom shoes
oakley law enforcement discount
black red bottom shoes shop online
michael kors rose gold watch
louis vuitton outlet online store authentic
where can you buy louis vuitton bags - louis vuitton international page
michael kors factory store online
louis vuitton bags for men
mens louis vuitton sunglasses
coach outlet purses
authentic louis vuitton sale
louis vuitton mens
oakley dangerous sunglasses
oakley mp3 sunglasses
louis vuitton cheap handbags
designer shoes with red bottoms
michael kors watch sale
louboutin spiked
oakley polarized
michael kors online outlet
what shoes have red bottoms
cheap oakley m frame
oakley half x
michael kors white ceramic watch
red bottom boots for cheap
vuitton handbags
coach handbags outlets
oakley eye jacket
oakley fives 3.0
michael kors sandals sale
louis vuitton shades
kanye west louis vuitton
handbags coach
leather coach purse
loui vuitton bags for cheap
holbrook oakley
louboutin uk
michael kors bag sale
coach factory outlet miromar
oakley for military
oakley juliet sunglasses
oakley optical
coach bag outlet sales
louis vuitton wallet
michael kors mk8107
black heels with red bottoms
michael kors ties
oakley tightrope sunglasses
coach outlet howell mi
coach factory outlet online store sale
purse louis vuitton
vintage louis vuitton
coach swingpack
become a life coach
louis vuitton sale bags
oakley scalpel
coach patchwork purse
louis vuitton luggage outlet
coach purse sale
louis vuitton suitcase
louis vuitton atlanta
oakley sunglasses deals
authentic michael kors
coach totes outlet
is coach outlet online real
outlet red bottom shoes
cheap red bottom pumps
louis vuitton shoulder bag
michael kors uk
oakley case
cheap michael kors bags
cheap oakley polarized sunglasses
atlantic city coach outlet
discount coach outlet
coach inc
louis vuitton miami
michael kors outlet store locations
michael kors glasses frames
red bottoms for men shoes
where to buy louis vuitton online
oil rig oakley
coach wallets
official louis vuitton website
louis vuitton boston
oakley fives sunglasses
shop oakley sunglasses
coach factory sale
michael kors women watch
louis vuitton outlet stores online
michael kors mk5020
oakley gascan
coach online outlets
official coach outlet store online
michael kors 2013 outlet
michael kors ceramic watch
christian louboutin on sale
michael kors gloves
oakley juliet
coach outlet concord mills
louis vuitton sale outlet
cheap oakley radar
oakley riddle
coach outlet coach outlet
who has red bottom shoes
cheap coach bag
used coach purses
louis vuitton china
coach outlet factory online
oakley sunglasses online
michael kors crossbody bag
michael kors shoes women
red bottoms on sale
green coach purse
michael kors coin purse
authentic michael kors outlet
michael kors python wallet
oakley sunglasses replacement lenses
michael kors grayson bag
heels with red on the bottom
coach hand bags
oakley knockoffs
coach crossbody bag
outlet louis vuitton
cheap louis vuitton bags for sale
www red bottom shoes outlet com
official coach factory outlet
michael kors portland satchel
vintage louis vuitton
oakley sunglasses wikipedia
michael kors bags cheap
louis vuitton las vegas outlet
louis vuitton online outlet
kanye west louis vuitton
christian louboutin leopard booties
cheap michael kors handbags free shipping
coach outlet near me
coach factory reviews
michael kors tonne
louis vuitton for sale online
louis vuitton alma bag
black shoes with red bottoms
oakley retailers
oakley radar xl
oakley bluetooth sunglasses
the coach outlet store online
michael kors outlet prices online
louis vuitton on sale online
michael kors pumps
michael kors watch men
christian louboutin nyc
coach outlet locations
cheap michael kors handbags sale
coach outlet tannersville pa
louis vuitton designer purses
louis vuitton purses handbags
coach handbag outlet store
coach bags sale
coach outlet online store sale
red bottom heels christian louboutin
red bottom for cheap
michael michael kors
coach madison
coach factory
michael kors outlet ny
discounted louis vuitton bags
christian louboutin pigalle
best price for michael kors handbags
discounted christian louboutin
michael kors miami
coach warranty
michael kors eyeglasses
oakley prescription eyewear
oakley nanowire
oakley sunglass outlet online
oakley golf shoes
louis vuitton pumps
louis vuitton handbags sale
red bottoms high heels
red bottoms for women
louis vuitton luggage
what are the shoes with the red bottoms
michael kors santorini straw tote
coach watches for women
michael kors cosmetics
authentic louis vuitton website
coach free shipping
is louis vuitton outlet authentic
where to buy louis vuitton bags online
red bottom for cheap
coach outlet howell mi
coach outlet locations
louis vuitton speedy 25
gascan oakley
louis vuitton factory store online
coach premium outlet
oakley sunglass store
shop red bottom heels
outlet coach purses
louis vuitton products
christian louboutin pink shoes
oakley fives 3.0
oakleys sunglasses
michael kors down coat
christian louboutin red bottoms for men
red bottom black pumps
red bottom heel shoes
michael kors hand bags
michael kors bags
cheap oakley flak jacket sunglasses
discounted michael kors purses
official michael kors outlet online
oakley glasses frames
official michael kors factory outlet
loui vuitton handbags
michael kors flats
michael kors mk5039
black oakley sunglasses
oakley discount
michael michael kors sale
coach handbags outlet stores
oakley sunglasses uk
louis vuitton collection
silver michael kors watches
louis vuitton purses on sale
red bottom shoes cheap
where is christian louboutin from
michael kors factory outlet locations
prescription sunglasses oakley outlet online
the coach factory outlet
michael kors silver handbag
cheap oakley radar sunglasses
polarized oakley sunglasses
oakley knockoffs
oakley split jacket
michael kors factory outlet online sale
oakley discount store
michael kors for women
red bottom replica
louis vuitton las vegas
oakley monster pup
christian louboutins mens
official red bottom shoes for men
oakley cycling glasses
women watches michael kors
michael kors silver watches
coach outlet cabazon
michael kors shirts
louis vuitton graffiti bag
oakley flak jacket
louis vuitton bags for cheap
where is a michael kors outlet store
coach hand bag
michael kors outlet online website
louis vuitton bags on sale cheap
authentic coach purses
michael kors canada
coach outlet coach factory
discount michael kors shoes
online life coach

Posted by: haokeai at July 21, 2014 3:21 AM
Post a comment