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Excerpt from my book.Let's Do What Works and Call it Capitalism:

Chapter 6.  The Third Progressive Period: Civil Rights, The Great Society, Medicare

“What is good for the country is good for General Motors—and vice versa.“

-    Charles Wilson, CEO of General Motors in testimony on his nomination to be Secretary of Defense, 1953

"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of
unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex."

-  Dwight D. Eisenhower, Farewell Speech as President, 1961

“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

-  John F. Kennedy, Inauguration Address, 1961

“I have a dream...”

-  Martin Luther King, Jr., March on Washington, 1963

“The great society rests on abundance and liberty for all. It demands an end to poverty and racial injustice, to which we are totally committed in our time.”

-  Lyndon B. Johnson, May 22, 1964

Each of the three progressive periods of the 20th Century was initiated by a calamity, two of them by Presidential assassinations. John Kennedy inspired millions in his brief time as President, but it was Lyndon Johnson, his Vice President who became President on November 22, 1963 when Kennedy was shot to death, who translated that inspiration into concrete action. Following his landslide election in 1964, Johnson initiated the most extensive federal action program since FDR's New Deal in the early years of the Great Depression 30 years earlier.

While one of his key goals was to eliminate poverty, the Great Society was far more focused on social change than either of the two earlier Progressive periods. And Johnson was far more successful in getting his programs approved by Congress and not negated by the Supreme Court than any of his predecessors. If Johnson had not escalated the Vietnam War he might today be viewed as one of our greatest Presidents.

The third progressive period was the shortest of the three and it was not brought about by any banking or financial crisis. The nation still was experiencing enormous economic growth that began at the end of World War II. Lyndon Johnson's Great Society programs addressed major problems not dealt with in the earlier progressive periods, including civil rights, the high rate of poverty, and medical care for the elderly and the poor. All of the legal barriers to racial equality in housing, voting, hiring and education were eliminated. The percentage of people in poverty was cut in half. With Medicare and Medicaid the elderly and the poor no longer had to worry about the cost of medical care.

Johnson's achievements have been eclipsed by the terrible mistake he made in escalating the Vietnam War, but with the wounds of the war receding they now can be seen more objectively as truly phenomenal, especially coming near the end of the greatest economic booms in American history.

The boom began almost as soon as World War II ended. Since there was so little that could be purchased during the war – and so many Americans had earned good incomes  – millions had healthy savings accounts and were ready to spend money when the war ended. Also, $35 billion in private investment from Wall Street poured into American companies in 1946 and instead of a recession that could have been expected with the ending of the massive war spending, there was a post-war boom.

The United States had the only major industrial economy undamaged by World War II, and following the war it became the engine for the rebuilding of Europe and Japan.  American products spread across the globe with little competition, causing unprecedented economic growth in the U.S.  The rapid development of millions of good-paying jobs, many in completely new industries and occupations, was not slowed by the Korean War, the Cold War, or by labor unrest.

The power that labor unions acquired with the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 enabled them to achieve huge improvements in wages, benefits and working conditions, which contributed dramatically to the rapid expansion of the middle class following World War II. These gains often came as the result of strikes, which increased in frequency after the war. There were 43,000 strikes in the ten years following the War. In 1947, a Republican-controlled Congress enacted the Taft-Hartley Act over the veto of President Truman. It cut back on the rights and powers of labor unions granted by the 1935 Act. The Taft-Hartley Act gave states the right to adopt “Right to Work” laws, which outlawed union shops. Since then 24 states have adopted right to work laws, and business interests continue to try to sell the value of these laws to states that have not adopted them.

The mid 1950s turned out to be the high water mark for union membership and influence. Union membership reached its greatest level ever, but then it began to decline. It seemed that almost as soon as unions achieved the kinds of benefits and wages they had been struggling to gain for their members for a century, they started to lose support.

Corporate managements became concerned about the power of unions, particularly their increasing encroachment into areas traditionally considered management responsibilities. Some unions forced “featherbedding” on employers, keeping jobs filled that no longer were needed, and that limited efficiency and sometimes offset the benefits of new technologies.  Unions were frequently viewed as unreasonably resisting the replacement of poor performing employees. Companies began to look for ways to reduce labor-intensity, and their dependence on union-organized workers.  Automation, aided by early generations of computer technology, began to appear in factories. Between 1956 and 1962, 1.5 million factory jobs were eliminated.[1]

 Unions suffered losses in prestige when some were penetrated by organized crime, and corrupt leadership was exposed in others.  White-collar work became more prestigious and more attainable. It usually resulted in a higher income, a more pleasant working environment, and wearing a suit to work. It also usually meant not having to be a member of a union.

While union membership began to decline in the later 1950s, the significant declines did not come until the nation began converting to a post-industrial economy in the 1980s and 1990s. And that is when middle class incomes stagnated. Most of the growth in jobs since then has been in industries where there is little union representation.

There also is the effect of the right to work laws authorized by the Taft-Hartley Act, which make it very difficult for unions to organize. These laws have been successful in reducing union membership in the states where they have been adopted, or preventing it from growing. Among the 20 states with the highest percentage of union workers only Nevada and Michigan have a right to work law. But 19 of the 21 states with the lowest union membership have right to work laws.  Workers in states with right to work laws make less, on average, than those in states that have not adopted them. In fact, there is little evidence that right to work laws benefit anyone other than the businesses that have been able to avoid unionization.

Using government income and unemployment statistics, I compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia on per capita income and unemployment. There are only four right to work states in the top 20 states in per capita income, but 14 of the 20 states with the lowest per capita incomes have adopted right to work laws. The average per capita income of the states without right to work laws, is about 15% higher than the states that have them, approximately $6,000 more per year.

As to unemployment, there seems to be a slight advantage to having right to work laws. Thirteen of the 25 states with the lowest unemployment have right to work laws, as do 11 of the 25 states that have the highest unemployment. The average unemployment rate in states without right to work laws is about .5 % higher than the states with them.

The Economic Policy Institute has done extensive research into right to work laws and states that have adopted them. Their conclusions are similar to mine. There is very little evidence that right to work laws benefit either workers, or the general population of the states that have adopted them.[2]

Perhaps lacking popular support to do so, when Democrats have had the power to do so, they have not repealed the Taft-Hartley Act.

The Korean War and the Cold War helped the economy. Instead of a complete demobilization following World War II, as the United States historically had done after wars, the nation now had to maintain a powerful peacetime military. The defense industry, essentially created by World War II, continued to grow and produce more modern planes, ships and other weapons. American-built passenger planes, a direct result of the massive defense industry, dominated the skies around the world for more than a generation after the war.

In his farewell address as President in 1961, Dwight Eisenhower, the great military hero of World War II, warned Americans about the growing power and influence of the “military-industrial complex.” We did not pay much attention. It is far more powerful today, and nearly the largest component of our economy, and the defense budget is expected to remain close to its present size even after most American troops are out of Afghanistan.

The 1950s were an amazing period of economic, technological and social change. A rapid rise in the incomes of millions of Americans fueled a mass migration to homes in the suburbs, and a dramatic expansion of a consumer economy driven by advertising, new products, and retail chains located in the new shopping centers. The first nationwide television broadcast was in 1951 and in a very short time it became the national passion. Television united the nation, and through its entertainment and advertising, it portrayed the ideals of middle class living.

There had been nothing like it before in the history of the world. National output doubled between 1946 and 1956 and would double again by 1970.  With the exception of the elderly on fixed incomes, the mass of people enjoyed spectacular increases in their spending power. Personal incomes nearly tripled between 1940 and 1955. A whole new middle class, made up of 60 per cent of all American families, was created...
Some 13 million new homes were bought in the decade after 1948; 83 per cent of American homes had a television; the number of two-car families doubled between 1951 and 1958; and the consumption of hot dogs went from 750 million in 1950 to 2 billion in 1960. America, with 6 per cent of the world's population, was consuming one third of the world's goods and services. But that same 6 per cent was making no less than two thirds of the world's manufactures.[3]
A huge increase in the birth rate followed the war and those children soon had their own name, the “Baby Boomers,” and by the time they were teenagers, their own identity and culture that frequently clashed with that of their parents. Between 1950 and 1960, the population grew by 29 million, from 150 million to 179 million, the largest population increase in any decade until the 1990-2000 decade when it grew by 33 million, but that included many more immigrants.

Despite the fact that the highest income tax rates were in the 90% range, every level above the bottom 20% experienced substantial income growth during the 1950s.
The period from 1945 to 1980 saw the greatest increase in the wealth of the middle class, and the least disparity in income across most levels, according to Thomas Piketty's research, since at least the 18th Century.[4] Despite the high taxes at the top end, the consumer demand of the increasingly affluent middle class fueled economic growth that also made the rich even richer. Millions of American families had their own personal success stories, improving their lives far beyond what their parents had. Many of their children went to college, far more than ever before. In 20 years – one generation – a majority of Americans went from economic desperation to reasonable financial security.

What was considered middle class in the 1950s probably would be considered lower middle class today. The divisions weren't so distinct then, and there was a huge step-up from the destitution of the 1930s. Most people were not especially affluent by the standards of today, but they could buy what they needed to live reasonably comfortably. Most important, this new middle class lifestyle generally was being supported by one income, compared to the two incomes required today that often still are falling short. Most married women with children did not work outside the home. Salaries were modest, even for management positions. Big bonuses and large stock options were uncommon. But the cost of living was such that middle class families had enough money to buy, or build, small houses, usually with no more than three or four bedrooms, and often with only one bathroom. Almost every family had at least one car.
Homes were furnished with new home appliances General Electric, Westinghouse, RCA and others brought to market in increasing numbers and greater variety -  washers and driers, dishwashers, electric and gas stoves and refrigerator-freezers, televisions and hi-fis - and, they were made in America.

In the middle part of the decade the number of people employed in white collar jobs passed the number in blue collars for the first time. It became the era of “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit.”[5]

The 1950s had a sinister side. Sen. Joe McCarthy, R-WI, led an investigation into supposed communist penetration of government and American culture. It stemmed from the espionage the Soviet Union conducted on the U.S. in the 1940s and 1950s when they acquired the U.S. secrets of the atomic bomb, as well as other intelligence. Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were convicted of espionage for the Soviets and executed in 1953, the first – and last - civilians ever executed by the U.S. for espionage. The case was enormously controversial with considerable doubt expressed by many about the couple's guilt.

While McCarthy's investigation did not involve nighttime raids on private homes and thousands of illegal arrests like the 1919 red scare raids, he got even more attention because his sensational congressional hearings were televised – one of the first major events shown on national television. His investigation resulted in the “blacklisting” of people who were identified as having communist “sympathies,” including some prominent writers in Hollywood. Others who refused to testify served time in prison for contempt of Congress.

The “Red Scare” faded when CBS journalist Edward R. Murrow attacked McCarthy for his demagoguery, and when McCarthy accused heroes such as Gen. George Marshall of being communists. As it turned out, documents released by Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union confirmed the guilt of Julius Rosenberg, but not necessarily that of his wife. The documents also confirmed that Alger Hiss, who was convicted of perjury in 1950 through the efforts of California Republican Congressman Richard Nixon, was a Soviet spy.

The Russian “Venona” documents detailed an extensive Soviet professional espionage network in the U.S. in the 1940s and 50s, but it did not involve many amateurs, and none of the Hollywood writers and performers whose lives were damaged by McCarthy. Communist agents were not in every neighborhood as the television show, “I Led Three Lives,” based on the book by an FBI agent, made people believe.[6]

The paranoid suspicions about the loyalty of people who advocate liberal and progressive ideas that marked the period of World War I and the McCarthy era of the 1950s has recently been revived. Extreme right-wing members of Congress have accused progressive Democratic members of being communists. Once upon a time, when communist countries such as the Soviet Union and China were America's major enemies, that also was an accusation of treason. Today, with only a few nations left with communist governments, such accusations seem rather silly, but do provide insight into those making them.

The John Birch Society was formed in 1958 by Joseph Welch who had a paranoid vision of the world, believing that communists ran both the U.S. and the Soviet governments. Welch also did not believe in democracy, arguing that the founders never intended the U.S. to be a democracy. He was an admirer of the fascist Italian dictator Mussolini because he opposed communism. One of the co-founders of the John Birch Society was Edward Koch, founder of Koch Industries, an oil refinery company that today is the second largest privately owned corporation in America. Two of his sons, both multi-billionaires, have provided major financial support to the extreme right-wing Tea Party, and to many other Republicans, and right-wing causes, some of whom recently have been accusing progressives of being communists. Currently the Koch brothers probably are providing more money to extreme right-wing causes in the U.S. than anyone else, although current laws prevent us from knowing for sure.

Welch organized the John Birch Society into secretive “cells” and was believed to have attracted 80,000 members within a couple of years.[7] The mainstream conservatives of the Republican Party viewed the John Birch Society as fascist, and discounted its influence.[8] However, Tear Party extremists have revived many of its core principles and are having great influence on the Republican Party.

Earlier in the 1950s William F. Buckley, Jr. published his book, God and Man at Yale,[9] in which he accused Yale professors of anti-religious and anti-capitalist teachings. The book had enormous influence on the development of resurgent conservative thinking in the 1950s. Buckley went on to found The National Review, which became the intellectual leader of the conservative movement, and continues to have considerable influence today. Buckley's conservatism was considerably more rational than the extremist views of Joseph Welch, and it developed a far larger following for many years.

In some ways the 1950s resembled the 1920s. The 1920s had the “Lost Generation.” The 1950s had the “Beats.” The 1920s had the Charleston. The 1950s had Rock n' Roll. There was a huge emphasis in both decades on material goods, making money, having fun and getting ahead. In both decades, the middle class expanded. Unlike the 1920s, wealth disparity lessened in the 1950s. The highest tax rate was 91% in the 1950s compared to 25% in the 1920s. At the same time, unions, which had great difficulty in the 1920s, achieved record-level wages and benefits for their members in the 1950s. Thus, in the 1950s, many more Americans were sharing in the American dream than ever before.

There was little political activism in either decade. Except for the first two years of 1950s, Republicans occupied the White House in both decades, and political controversy was almost non-existent. The Democratic Party ran weak candidates against very popular Republicans. The Democrats did try a Catholic in 1928 and he was defeated in a landslide. Another Catholic was preparing to run for President at the end of the 1950s. The result would be considerably different from that of 1928.

Progressives were not very visible in either the 1920s or 1950s. The Party disappeared in the 1920s. By the 1950s, the term had disappeared. Progressive ideas and programs historically have been more popular when times are tough. When times are good, the people tend to become more conservative. That's what happened in the 1950s with the rapid improvement in the national economy, the dramatic increases in the standard of living, and the explosion of the middle class. It took the civil rights movement and the rebelliousness of the Baby Boomers for the progressive spirit to come back to life.
Like the 1920s, corporate power and influence grew substantially in the 1950s.

However, unlike the 1920s, government was not a sideshow. Big government, financial regulation, a huge military, and a budget close to 20% of the GDP that came with the Depression and World War II, were here to stay. Perhaps because of this, the 1950s, unlike the 1920s, did not end with a financial disaster. While there were occasional recessions, there were no major financial bubbles, scandals, or panics. There generally was steady, solid economic growth across the economy, major technological advances, and the creation of a massive middle class.

There were five significant developments in the 1950s that bear special attention because they altered the course of future events, and their effects still are with us.
The 1954 Brown v. Board of Education[10] Supreme Court decision that banned school segregation and the 1955 Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott that resulted from Rosa Parks' defiance, were the sparks that ignited the Civil Rights movement that dramatically altered American culture and politics. The success of the movement - the ending of official racial discrimination in the 1960s - caused dramatic social, economic and political changes in the nation, but especially in the South, that we still are experiencing today.

The introduction of industrial computers that began automating factory processes eventually had a dramatic effect on manufacturing employment as automation eliminated jobs. The concepts of these computers also set the stage for the PC and every aspect of computing that has since occurred.

The Soviet launch of the Sputnik satellite in 1957 set off the space race that led to the United States landing a man on the moon in 1969. That feat required an explosion of technological inventions and innovations, especially in digital communications and computers, as well as other areas such as chemistry, that have impacted the world in many different ways.

Major cultural changes resulted from the existence of the Baby Boomers, including the orientation of advertising, and virtually the entire culture, to youth. For the first time in the nation's history there was a youth culture of great magnitude and distinct identity, united by radio and television. The music of the Baby Boomers was Rock, which in its rebelliousness, set the generation apart and changed social and sexual behavior.

I think the most significant event of the 1950s was nationwide television. For the first time, the entire nation could see live events, or be spoken to by people whose images and words could not be edited, or censored. The nation found it riveting. Movies and newsreels had provided visual images and imaginary experiences, but seeing events live on television every day was a totally new experience.

The televising of fire hoses used on blacks in the South had an impact on the national psyche similar to the impact Upton Sinclair's The Jungle had, only more so, because people did not have to imagine images. They could see the real things.

It is impossible to underestimate the impact these and other images shown by the three television networks had on the nation. And as television technology improved, so did its impact get even greater. People could see for themselves what was going on in the world, without the information being filtered. Television network news in the 1950s was written and broadcast by professional journalists, many of whom formerly were prominent newspaper, radio and wire service reporters. Expressing a personal opinion in a newscast might end a career, and thus, seldom happened. Opinions were offered in commentary and interview programs, such as the ones done by Edward R. Murrow. There were no networks like the Fox network of today which operates as a propaganda agent of the Republican Party. In the 1950s, all three networks had credibility, professionalism, and the goal of objectivity. There were not different “facts” on different networks, and the facts could not be denied. People believed what they saw, and the instantaneous effect of television's capability of imparting information and knowledge dramatically altered American life.

The major technological events of the 1950s – the introduction of computers, television and space technologies - stimulated entire new industries and killed off others. They were the seeds of the dominant technologies of the Information Age that has flowered in the 21st Century – personal computing and various forms of digital communications, including the Internet and wireless telephony.

The election of John Kennedy as President in 1960 helped to set in motion forces that were to dramatically alter the United States over the next 20 years. It was as if Kennedy awoke a sleeping giant. That giant was the Baby Boomers, who were beginning to enter college early in the decade. Even though many Baby Boomers had spent their high school years in conflict with either their parents, or their teachers, or both, the liberal contingent did not become politically active to any great extent until Kennedy. The conservative organization, Young Americans for Freedom, had started a little earlier, inspired by William Buckley. Even before Kennedy defeated Nixon in 1960, the YAF leaders were organizing support for conservative Sen. Barry Goldwater for 1964.

Far more Baby Boomers were inspired by Kennedy's optimism and energy, as well as that of other leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King. Folk and protest music suddenly became enormously popular. Music of long-forgotten left-wing heroes of the Dust Bowl and Depression, Woody Guthrie, the Almanac Singers and Pete Seeger, burst on the scene, along with contemporary folk singers.

 College campuses became hotbeds of protest and “freedom  ride” organizing. Conferences were held at various schools to bring college leaders together for training. The Students for a Democratic Society promoted a strongly leftist vision and attracted a large following. Bob Dylan provided the perfect description: “The Times, They are a Changing,”and the anthem of the 1960s, “Blowing in the Wind.”

Not only were more young people going to college than in their parent's generation, far more women were going to college than ever before. Marking perhaps the greatest social change in history, those women started entering the workforce in large numbers late in the decade. That began the era of the “two-income family” that for some years helped to extend the post-war economic boom, but now barely sustains millions of families.

These were years of huge events. The Cold War with the Soviets intensified with the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. The Civil Rights Movement engendered enormous unrest and violence in the South, but segregation ended in schools and in public accommodations. Racial violence also flared outside the South with riots in many large cities. The nation was shaken by the assassinations of President Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King.  The Vietnam War, and the opposition to it, ended the Presidency of Lyndon Johnson who had pushed the “Great Society” programs through Congress, including Medicare, Medicaid, Headstart and voting rights for blacks in the South. The Ozzie and Harriet culture of the 1950s vanished with Woodstock. Perhaps the most inspiring moment of the decade was the Moon landing in 1969.

President John Kennedy's goal, announced in his inaugural address in 1961, of sending a man to the Moon and returning him safely by 1970, gave a new generation a lofty goal to achieve, to keep faith with the achievements of previous generations – surviving the Great Depression and winning World War II. It also gave a huge shot in the arm to the engineering world, as well as massive infusions of government money. The requirements of travel in space brought dramatic technological advances in electronics, computers, communications, energy, metallurgy, and many more. That set the stage for the huge growth of communications and information technologies in the 1980s and 90s.

Lyndon Johnson became President upon John Kennedy's assassination in 1963 and then won the Presidential election in 1964 by the greatest popular vote margin in history.[11] The Democrats won two thirds of both houses of Congress and proceeded to enact Johnson's “Great Society” programs. Eighty-four of the 87 bills Johnson sent to Congress in 1965 were passed, a record no other Congress has ever matched.[12] Those programs still are the greatest peacetime expansion of federal power over the economy, and American society.

While similar in some respects to Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, the Great Society Programs were targeted more at making significant social changes, while also improving the economic well being of more Americans. They focused on raising people out of poverty, ending racial discrimination, improving education at all levels (from pre-school with Head Start through college by expanding student aid, as well as direct aid to institutions), providing more security to the elderly, expanding cultural opportunities and functions, providing greater consumer protections and greater protection for the environment and our natural heritage.

Racial discrimination was outlawed in housing, public accommodations and employment. Literacy tests and other means by which black voting had been suppressed in the South were outlawed. The Voting Rights Act, a key portion of which was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2013, finally provided a means by which blacks could vote in Southern states, where their voting had been stymied since the end of Reconstruction.

A large number of anti-poverty programs were passed, and funds spent on the poor more than tripled in the late 1960s. By 1970 the percentage of people below the poverty line had dropped to slightly more than 12 per cent compared to 22 per cent in 1961. The percentage below the poverty line has ranged between 12 and 15 per cent ever since, approaching the 15 per cent level recently.

The creation of Medicare and Medicaid solved the historic problem of how the elderly and the poor could obtain decent medical care, and both have become among the nation's most important, and most successful, safety net programs. Many of the Johnson Administration programs and laws still are with us, and are taken for granted, including Headstart, Medicare, Medicaid, crash-testing and safety-rating of automobiles, National Public Radio, and freedom for anyone to buy a home anywhere, and to be served in any business establishment open to the public.

Lyndon Johnson's progressive programs of Medicare and Medicaid improved the economic security of Americans greater than any programs since Social Security, and his civil rights laws advanced the cause of personal freedom further than any governmental action since the 13th Amendment ended slavery.

In the words of Joseph Califano, Jr., one of the significant officials in the Johnson Administration, LBJ “tore down the 'whites only' signs” with his legislation that outlawed racial discrimination in hiring, housing, public accommodations, and voting.[13]Medicare and Medicaid dramatically reduced infant mortality, and increased average lifespans by more than 10 per cent. Johnson's programs cut the poverty rate nearly in half, but since the Great Recession began, there has been about a 50 per cent increase in the number of people in poverty. In fact, in the years since the Great Recession began, in 2008, nearly one third of the population has been below the poverty lines at some point, or another.

Lyndon Johnson's progressive actions were eclipsed shortly afterward by his escalation of the Vietnam War, and the increasing public opposition to the war. Although Vice President Hubert Humphrey was the leading progressive of his time, his failure to win the Presidency in 1968 was not because the people were opposed to progressivism. It was due to the division in the Democratic Party that resulted from the war, which Humphrey supported, and to the disastrous Democratic Convention in Chicago. Many Democrats either voted for Nixon, or did not vote at all.

The assassinations, the racial violence and the war had many negative effects on the United States, some of which have been long lasting. The explosion of activism, optimism and idealism of the early part of the decade was replaced with disillusionment, drugs, and cynicism at the end when the war continued to drag on with Richard Nixon in the White House. Those who opposed the war did not give themselves enough credit. They changed the nation's views, and that led to the end of the war, but it took far longer than many thought it should have.

Economists mark President Nixon's abrupt ending of the gold standard in 1971 – and thus cancellation of the Bretton Woods agreements of 1944 – as the official end of the post-war boom. But the practical end of the years of optimism was the Democratic Presidential Convention of 1968 when the party was torn apart by dissension over the Vietnam War, and the city of Chicago was the scene of riots. Vice President Hubert Humphrey, perhaps the most progressive Democrat of his generation, won the Presidential nomination, but because he continued to support the war, he failed to unite the party, and Richard Nixon won in a very tight race.

All three progressive periods of the 20th Century began because of calamities – two Presidential assassinations and the Great Depression – and all three ended because of wars. The challenge for progressives is to gain power without a calamity and to continue in power for longer periods so that the benefits of progressive government become more obvious to the people.

[1]    Rifkin, pp. 66-67.
[2]    http://www.epi.org/...  (accessed Sept. 3, 2014)
[3] Evans, p. 435.
[4] Piketty put all his charts and tables on-line at http://piketty.pse.ens.fr/... (accessed July 12, 2014)

[5] Wilson, Sloan. The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1955. Also, made into a movie that starred Gregory Peck, this best-selling novel explored the impact of America’s rapidly expanding corporate culture on those employed by it, and their families.
[6] Philbrick, Herbert. I Led Three Lives.Citizen - Communist - Counter-Spy. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1952. There was a television series by the same name, narrated by Philbrick, of 117 episodes from 1953-1956, each episode portraying the foiling of a communist plot inside the U.S.
[7] Nagle, Robert. American Conservatism.  New York: Philosophical Library, 1988. p. 237.
[8] Ibid. P. 220.
[9] Buckley, Jr. William F. God and Man at Yale. Chicago: Regnery, 1951.
[10] Brown v. Board of Education 347 U.S. 483 (1954)
[11] Lyndon B. Johnson won 42,825,463 popular votes and 486 electoral votes to Barry Goldwater’s 27,146,969 popular votes and only 52 electoral votes.              
[12] Even then, despite the overwhelming Democratic edge, the gun lobby had enormous influence. LBJ could not get Congress to approve the licensing of gun owners, or the required registration of guns.
[13]  Joseph A. Califano, Jr.  “What Was Really Great About the Great Society..” The Washington Monthly. October, 1999.

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