At 9/14/12 07:06 PM, Warforger wrote:
The economic growth back then was shit in comparison to today,
Um, it was greatest period of economic growth in American history
wages were fucking horrible and prices were horrible due to monopolies. Economic recessions today mean a couple of people are pissed and moving in with their parents, back during the Gilded Age economic recessions (and yes there were many) meant people starved to death. Oh yah and those wages? Yah say you make 40 $ a week, during a recession in the Gilded Age that would drop to 20$ per week, but during the next economic boom it would go up to 22$ per week. It also didn't match the cost of living either, so in order for people to have enough money often times the entire family had to go to work. Even then that still meant the majority of people lived in poverty (By the way during the "Roaring" 20's, 50% of Americans lived in poverty and another 20% were in danger of joining them).
Wages were terrible? America was basically a new country starting from scratch. Without the capital accumulation that takes centuries, of course wages aren't going to be good. The point is, the growth was enormous. That's what matters.
pro-tip; EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD HAD SHITTY WAGES. That was life. Except, nowhere else were things improving as much as in america.
Seriously though, if the taxation adn regulartory structure that is in place was enforced back then, america would never have gotten off the ground in the first place and would be a third-world country. Yes, really, because the gilded age made america industrialised, which is what makes higher wages and better standards of living possible.
This at the end of the day was not even mentioning working conditions, which often led to things like I said before with Sawdust in meat.
This has nothing to do with "regulations". Because America was in the middle of economic DEVELOPMENT they didn't have the productivity that they do today and so would have starved if they didn't eat shit.
Overall economic booms did not benefit everyone evenly, wages for the average worker would go up slightly but then go up ALOT
This is why you don't send your kids to public school.
In any case, the period of real wage increases of the poor during the gilded age has never been matched since. There are no absolutes in economics, only relatives, and relatively speaking, the poor never saw a greater rate of improvement after the gilded age.
more for the upper class, this if of course why Labor Unions became large (despite winning no strikes) this is also why during the subsequent period criticism of Capitalism was very acceptable and why Socialist organizations reached such performance as taking a couple of seats in the House or taking the governorship of cities.
This just means there was inequality, it does not mean that the lasseiz-faire system was not optimal.
So yah, in today's economic world things aren't great, but dear lord in the Gilded age you ate shit and who knows even literally back then. It was fucking terrible. To compliment on it being a success and calling the modern economy crap is just flat out ignorant.
I don't think you understand, the economy of today is only possible because of the gilded age.
NO COUNTRY was ever good right from the beginning. No system could have made live comparable to today during the gilded age without killing off most people and giving their resources to the ramining few, but this would have meant that there wouldn't have been economic development in the future.
I really don't understand how you don't get it that until the means of production are built up, you can't have modern standards of living. And it was precisely the guilded age that led to this building up.
The reason things are so much better now has nothing to do with regulations, but because of productivity. We can produce way, way more things now at much better quality and much lower cost because of centuries of capital investment.