Sunday, April 27, 2014

It's not the Stimulus ~ It's the Response: Gilded Age 1, led to reforms; Gilded Age 2, outcome unknown...


“Mark Twain called the late 19th century the "Gilded Age." By this, he meant that the period was glittering on the surface but corrupt underneath. In the popular view, the late 19th century was a period of greed and guile: of rapacious Robber Barons, unscrupulous speculators, and corporate buccaneers, of shady business practices, scandal-plagued politics, and vulgar display.

It is easy to caricature the Gilded Age as an era of corruption, conspicuous consumption, and unfettered capitalism. But it is more useful to think of this as modern America's formative period, when an agrarian society of small producers were transformed into an urban society dominated by industrial corporations. …”

The 1st Gilded Age followed the Colonial ERA, the Civil War and the Reconstruction Era.
We were moving rapidly from an Agrarian Culture to an Industrial Age and in that transitional chaos we let wealthy false prophets take the lead ~ which actually lead us to where we are now in the 21st Century because the False Prophets (Robber Barons of Gilded Age 1 or Robber Barons of Gilded Age 2 or GOP) never give up their quest for money and power via the manipulation of our government to their benefit at the expense of The People and via their belief in their own supremacy.

(False Prophets for my purpose today is defined as one who claims gifts of prophecy or divine inspiration and uses those gifts for evil ~ otherwise known as the GOP. )

An addition snippet about "then" that is so relevant now:

“African Americans were the not the only targets of racist ideology. Doctrines of white supremacy singled out Anglo-Saxons for special praise, fostering suspicion of Italians, Jews, Slavs, and other non-Anglo immigrants and laying the groundwork for immigration restriction. But unlike American Indians, whose remnants had been confined to reservations, and Asians, who were excluded altogether, European immigrants could at least claim that they were Caucasian. And by 1900, the word “Caucasian” was well on the way to becoming synonymous with “American.”
Anglo-Saxon racism became a crucial ingredient in the emerging ideology of empire. Theodore Roosevelt, Albert Beveridge, and other imperial ideologues assumed that Anglo-Saxons were the vanguard of progress, and they insisted that the United States in particular had a divinely ordained duty to carry forward “the regeneration of the world.” Racial ideology and religious longing merged in an imperial rhetoric of rebirth.
The pursuit of empire satisfied longings for emotional, physical, moral, and even spiritual revitalization—that is, if one accepted the idea that an American empire was the work of Providence.”


The poor, of course, were and are responsible for their own plight!
.

What’s interesting to note is that discontent with vulture capitalism spread then, as it is now. What is also interesting to note is that The People rose up and called for government assistance in managing their debt, insuring fair taxes, curbing corruption, investing in research and infrastructure and ending discrimination, etc., as they are now.


It did not come easy, but it gives me hope for the future:




"Events since 2000 underscore the utter unpredictability of the future
 The 2000 election was the first in 112 years in which a president lost the popular vote but captured enough states to win the electoral vote. It took five weeks to determine the election's outcome, which hinged on a few hundred votes in Florida. By a 5-4 majority, the U.S. Supreme Court halted a recount ordered by the Florida Supreme Court on the grounds that it violated the principle that all votes must be treated equally and that there was not enough time to conduct a new manual recount that would meet constitutional muster.

On September 11, hijackers turned commercial airlines into missiles and attacked key symbols of American economic and military might. These hideous attacks leveled the World Trade Center towers in New York, destroyed part of the Pentagon, and left Americans in a mood similar to that which the country experienced after the devastating Japanese attack on the American fleet at Pearl Harbor in 1941.

On March 20, 2003, the United States and a coalition of Allies went to war against Iraq, one of the countries (along with Iran and North Korea) that President Bush regarded as part of an "axis of evil."

In 2004, as in the election of 2000, a single state decided the outcome of the presidency, based on the distribution of electoral votes. Ohio’s 20 votes gave Bush the margin of victory over Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts. Still, with a 3.5 million popular vote margin, Bush won the first outright majority in the popular vote for president in 16 years, and the Republican Party succeeded in expanding GOP majorities in the House and Senate.”

Economically, we have been on the GOP course of seriously “drowning government in the bathtub” since the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 when “starving the beast” became the GOP obsession… As near as I can tell, the object of that obsession is a federal government that is militarized to “promote” Democracy around the world, to protect U.S. borders and to benefit big money creators via manipulation of government.

In 2007 the Great Recession hit. In 2008 Barack Obama won the presidency. In 2009 the GOP plotted to nullify his election times 2. And today we are at a crossroad…

The 21st Century can go down in history as the Gilded Age 2 on steroids or we can vote the False Prophets (GOP) out of office in November. The People turned them back once and moved forward on their own behalf and The People can turn them back again and move forward on their own behalf.

But….

We have to be willing to move into the 21st Century as we push those False Prophets out.

 To do that ~ we need to work with President Obama and the Obama Doctrine … loosely defined by me as: The United States is no longer going to police the world alone at its own cost of blood and treasure and the United States is going to recognize a global economy as key element in foreign affairs and take a lead in creating that economy, elevating the constitutional general welfare of our nation to global status and unleashing the American Spirit around the world.

Those who really follow POTUS know that, despite the GOP nullification of his presidency, the Obama Doctrine is leaking out ~ fighting for the middle class, ending wars, increasing diplomacy and positioning us for the 21st Century, some of which can be seen in the creativity happening out there. A few examples:


^^^ 3-D printed ultra-sound casts, solar powered super trees and fish farming in ocean waters...

And let me leave you with this ~



And this ~ a little reading you can do at your own convenience here:

The 2010 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR): Leading Through Civilian Power ~ a blueprint for elevating American "civilian power" to better advance our national interests and to be a better partner to the U.S. military. Leading through civilian power means directing and coordinating the resources of all America's civilian agencies to prevent and resolve conflicts; help countries lift themselves out of poverty into prosperous, stable, and democratic states; and build global coalitions to address global problems.

Other links:


21st Century Creativity: