Robber Barons Redux

Little did we know that the “robber baron” history of 100 years ago would rear its ugly head and repeat itself. The parallels are strikingly identical to the point of being frightening.

  • Small business was literally wiped out
  • Any semblance of “middle class” emergence ebbed away
  • Workers were exploited with no wage protection (and child labor was rampant)
  • Most of the nation lived in poverty
  • Wealth was amassed by a small percentage of the population
  • A corrupt political system at every level was “owned” by the wealthy
  • The legal and judicial systems only protected the wealthy
  • Large segments of the population did not have human or voting rights (only white males could vote)
  • The financial system and stock market was manipulated by the wealthy to advantage
  • Health care for the greater proportion of the population was virtually nonexistent
  • Most families had to care for their own elderly

By 1929, the corrupt system completely caved in and the situation for the general population was dire. Given this history, we are forced to ask the question: Can we stop history from repeating itself?

In 2015, we are faced with a political system that is almost as corrupt as it was in the heyday of the infamous “robber barons.” Hard fought human and social rights are falling by the wayside in the interest of continued wealth concentration.

Lincoln’s famous words at Gettysburg must be remembered, “. . . and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” It is the foundation upon which this country was founded, and now an imperative for all our citizens today to actively pursue to ensure our democratic principles do not perish from the earth.

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