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View Diary: Book review: The Betrayal of the American Dream (65 comments)

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  •  Been there, done it (16+ / 0-)

    It was called the Guilded Age.  There were complicit Democrats - Grover Cleveland and his friends.  The Robber Barons of the day owned the government - the Congress, SCOTUS, the state legislatures and governors - bought and paid for.

    But we were able to move beyond this and create a more equitable society, and develop the American Dream, through government initiated reforms in the Progressive Era and the New Deal.

    "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

    by Navy Vet Terp on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 06:07:35 AM PST

    •  Trapped in repeating history (7+ / 0-)

      .... another Grover
      ...another Guilded Age
      and our 2012 election map looks like


       ...another Civil War.

      If cats could blog, they wouldn't

      by crystal eyes on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 06:23:35 AM PST

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      •  Except Grover I could be moderately liberal (7+ / 0-)

        Creation of the Interstate Commerce Commission, which would prohibit discriminatory rail freight rates that benefited the robber barons.

        Forcing the railroads to return to the government millions of acres of land granted to them gratis in previous Republican administrations.

        Opposition to imperialism in Hawaii and, after his presidency, in the Philippines.

        And, horror of horrors, implementation of the first peacetime federal income tax, with progressive rates - higher rates on higher incomes - later declared unconstitutional by a right wing SCOTUS.

        "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

        by Navy Vet Terp on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 06:43:36 AM PST

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        •  In other words, if Grover I had had his way (0+ / 0-)

          The Birthers would have been right - Barack Obama would have been born in a foreign country - Hawaii!

          "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

          by Navy Vet Terp on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 06:49:06 AM PST

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        •  Where is today's Teddy Roosevelt? (6+ / 0-)

          Today it's monopolies that need to be broken up instead of trusts, but it's the same problem.

          The beginning of the end of the gilded age was state-level activism aimed at dismantling the local political machines.  Today's most organized local activists are advocates for the tea party.  We're a long way from the reforms of the progressive era.

          "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

          by SueDe on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 07:04:55 AM PST

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          •  there's nobody entering government who _wants_ (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueoasis, historys mysteries

            to be Teddy Roosevelt.

            and the lobbyists quickly put a stop to that.

            look at the current way big pharma and big banks run the place.

            and with nary a peep from democrats or the best president of my lifetime.

            well, there's Warren and Merkley, Sanders and a few others.  Pathetic showing from 535 members of congress.

            and the republicans are the footsoldiers in the plutocratic take-over.

            big badda boom : GRB 090423

            by squarewheel on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 08:35:37 AM PST

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      •  what we forget is that the American Dream (0+ / 0-)

        we mourn was largely a myth promoted by television and ad agencies.  The dream of immigrants was quite different, and they were/are prepared to struggle, live in poverty, work long hours for low wages in order to educate their children for a chance at something better.

        Income equality has never been part of any economic system.  The swings are normal.  We're fighting another battle for more fairness, but without the manufacturing bubble of the last battle.  Obama's right to be pushing for clean energy jobs but we don't yet know what the next bubble will be - probably climate clean-up of some sort.  

        The middle class we know was a fluke.  Decentralizing is also probably the new future- more small businesses, corporations moving to the the newest economies and settling there to do the damage they always do.  

        None of this is new, and it's always greeted with shock and anger because we don't know our history.

        I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

        by I love OCD on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 07:51:33 AM PST

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