Gilded Age Vs Modern

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The saying that history repeats itself has been proven to be true time and time again. History seems to be doomed to repeat itself as if lessons were never learned from past mistakes. The Gilded Age is a unique period in American history that is undoubtedly repeating itself in the modern day. Corruption, unprecedented immigration, and the massing of wealth by the top 1% of the population are just a few of the things that characterize this period of American history. The same issues that plagued America over 100 years ago are re-emerging in todays’ society leading scholars to say that America has arrived in “The Second Gilded Age”. The similarities between modern day America and the Gilded Age are astounding. To understand why this is occurring…show more content…
Barons such as Andrew Carnegie, J.P Morgan, and John Rockefeller dominated the country through the enormous wealth that they amassed. The power that these individuals wielded was unfathomable. They even bought the presidency. It was through their combined might that William McKinley was elected. This pushed their power and wealth to even greater heights. During J. P. Morgan’s time, Morgan himself was in a position to loan the Federal government huge sums of money. In essence he indirectly controlled the federal government and influenced their policies to serve his interests. He considered it a form of nationalism by doing so, even though he was rewarded handsomely in the form of interest paid back on the loan. The amount of wealth amassed by the top 1% of the population began to unnerve the American public and politicians alike. The rich got richer while the rest remained stagnant or became poorer. Labor strikes and riots were common during the time. Policies were put into place to prevent individuals from gaining this much power ever again. In todays’ modern Gilded Age loopholes have been exploited and the rich are becoming just as powerful as they have ever been. Individuals such as the Koch Brothers have taken up the plutocratic mantle, they “buy politicians” in order to further their agenda and business…show more content…
Starting with Ronald Reagans policies in the 1980s, America began to look more and more like the Gilded Age. The Bull Market of the 90s and the policies of both Bush administrations began to shift capital from the working and middle class to the capitalist class. In 2005 economist and Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman pointed out that America was in the midst of a “New Gilded Age” because income, wealth and power were increasingly concentrated in the hands of a small group of elites at levels not seen since the days of the robber barons. As long as the illusion of shared prosperity was maintained through things like over-valued stock and real estate America had to reason to protest the return of Gilded Age
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