The Second Gilded Age

Why do so many over-worked, under-paid, working poor and middle-class Americans, whose real wages have not risen since the 1980s, tolerate this weird, one-sided social arrangement they have going with the American Oligarchy? An arrangement in which this group of Americans is clearly the losers.

America had a Gilded Age from around 1870–1900. Some believe we are now in a second Gilded Age.

Once again, the working poor and middle class are tolerating it. In fact, it’s as if many of them revel in it. As if they admire the American Oligarchy for their open audacity in fleecing them without so much as a how-do-you-do. I have asked people why they tolerate it or believe it’s tolerated.

Corissa Burnell, of Rutland, responded in this way, “I believe it’s tolerated because what’s the alternative? People’s education and employment are both underwhelming, and yet they must give their complete selves to obtain and keep them. So, should they rebel? How can they? They don’t have the time or energy to rebel. They’re too busy worrying about transportation, food, housing, their children, their health … there’s nothing left to rebel with. People have been stripped of energy and given limited education and resources. Fighting back would mean leaving the little they have vulnerable to be lost or taken.”

I have no doubt that Ms. Burnell speaks for a lot of Americans who are doing the best they can do to get by. President Trump has told us that prior to Covid-19 we were living in the best economy the United States has ever had. He is right if you are one of the American Oligarchy. The economy is booming and in 2017 he, along with the Republican Congress, gave them a huge tax break.

In all actuality though, it wasn’t the president or the Republicans, or even the Democrats for that matter, because, in truth, the American Oligarchy own both, and they decide what bills are written and become law. In the first Gilded Age, the corporate elite did not own the government as they do in this version of the second Gilded Age.

This parasitic class is seizing the fruits of the common man’s labor through taxes and other means. This type of seizure has come to be valued, and the corporate elite are viewed as great men by today’s downtrodden, rather than the cause for the struggle they find themselves in.

The economy of the United States is not good. This is a lie told by the American Oligarchy and their minions in Washington. Almost half of Americans make under $30,000 a year. This does not equate to a booming economy for the average American. Ms. Burnell stated the case of the average American and how they are faring.

So, what is left for the American Oligarchy to go after? The picture on the homepage of this site shows it; it’s everything. If you are paying attention, you have already heard about cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and social services. These are programs that came out under The New Deal, and the corporate elite wants them eliminated and are using their minions in Congress to attain it.

To the American Oligarchy, this is all sport. They live a life of leisure, golfing, yachting, clubs, vacations, and seeing what else they can seize. When people are downtrodden, with no time to educate themselves on what is really happening, they grasp at dreams and sound bites, and they listen to the corporate elite’s frontman. For the last four years, his name was Trump.

He was telling Americans he cares about them and was going to Make America Great Again. He was telling the downtrodden the struggles they are facing are not their fault. He is telling them the fault lies with the immigrants who want their jobs, lower their wages, and threaten the safety of their homes and families. They are the real problems, but I am here, I feel your pain, and I am going to make it go away.

None of this is true. Hitler spouted this same fear and hatred to the German people. Some of them did not believe him and they spoke out and at first, were shouted down, then they were arrested, and then many were imprisoned or executed.

Many of America’s downtrodden could be seen standing behind Trump when he put on his rallies to stroke his ego and dispense the same hatred and lies to his supporters. If Americans continue to believe that this man or the next man was or might be their savior and not just the new face of the corporate elite, then, in a time not too far in America’s future, democracy and fascism will ring synonymous.

There is time to change this, but in order to do it, Americans have to make decisions based on facts and not emotions, on reason and not fear. The economy is bad and getting worse. Americans need to look at their own situations and realize they are not alone. Americans must come to realize the problems they are facing are not at the bottom of the pyramid but at the top. Americans must stop seeing each other as conservative vs. liberal, as enemies, but instead, as Americans, and come together to bring an end to this second Gilded Age before it brings an end to democracy as we know it.