the 1920’s and now, a recap of similarities

Here’s a list of some of the things that happened in the 1920’s that either parallel, or went on to become the origins of, many of the issues we  confront today. Much on this list is the results of a clash between modernity and entrenched tradition.  The full force of which manifested itself in a multifaceted array of conflicting needs. And judging from the relevancy of the list to circumstances today,  it’s pretty evident that either we’ve been  living in an endlessly repeating groundhog day tape loop for the last 90 years, or have simply failed to make any corrections that might remedy these conflicts so we can move on.

1 ) 3 consecutive Republican business friendly administrations (the modern counterpart would be economic policies of Clinton, Bush,& Obama)

2 ) Record low taxes on the top percentile – 28% in 1925

3 ) The adoption of what we now call supply side economics.

4 ) The deregulation of financial activity.

5 ) The beginnings of a widespread use of cheap credit.

6 ) High degree of financial speculation, for the first time including the emerging middle class.

7 ) The highest degree of income disparity, until now.

8 ) Massive financial failure due to speculative bubble 1929.

9 ) Prohibition of alcohol, and the rise of violent crime syndicates that deal the goods. (now – Mexican cartels, bloods, crips, etc in U.S.A. along with the glamorization of “gangsta” violence in rap music & hip hop culture)

10 ) Anti-immigration hysteria with harsh new laws limiting immigration passed in 1921 and 1922, limiting to 3% from any country of origin, reaching a total limit of only 150,000 in 22.

11 ) Widespread fear of “subversive” left wing political groups like the IWW, and various communist/socialist organizations. Many leaders arrested and convicted by dubious judicial means. (largely accomplished post McCarthy, decline of unions & demonetization of anything left of Benito Mussolini)

12 )  Foreign military interventions and occupations based on economic criteria, the so called banana wars in Central America, and the Caribbean. The U.S. occupied Honduras, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Dominican Republic simultaneously.

13 ) The notable rise and legitimization of nativist right wing populist groups under the banner of restoring Americanism/ white privilege, like the Ku Klux Klan.

14 ) The expansion of tabloid journalism media empires like the William R. Hearst that expanded into the area of yellow journalism,political favoritism, and advocacy. Hearst publishing reached its height in the mid 20’s.

15 ) The rise of large and sweeping Christian evangelical (Pentecostal) ministries such as the Four Square Gospel movement founded in Los Angeles by Aimee Semple McPherson, and the establishment of the first “mega church”.

16 ) Hysteria over the teaching of evolution in public schools, culminating in the Scopes “monkey trial” in 1925.

17 ) Climate of apprehension, mistrust, and fear over the effects of internationalism on American culture and politics. (eekk! the French)

Update on#17

Eric Cantor, incoming House Majority Leader, outlined this latter objection to a new in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. Asked about a proposal to fix the nation’s federal deficit co-authored by a Democratic budget expert and noted non-European retired Sen. Pete Domenici (R), which would actually lower taxes on income and corporations, Cantor dismissed it because, basically, parts of it look to him like something a European might consider.

18 ) The emergence of media driven (radio) cult personalities defining dubious political narratives, like Father Coughlin.

One Response to “the 1920’s and now, a recap of similarities”

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