September 1, 2013 - admin

Volume 39, Issue 5: Profits of Doom

Robust economic growth during the last half of the 20th century resulted in many changes: workers increasingly acquired the trappings of a middle class existence as they bought homes, cars and all the ‘modern appliances’; families moved into better housing in suburban neighborhoods, abandoned the worst of the inner cities in the USA (or moved into the more affordable environs surrounding the older European cities); it seemed like everyone improved their standard of living and laid the groundwork for their children and grandchildren to live even better lives as they went to university for the first time, became professionals, and moved ever further out into shining new suburbs accessed by an ever expanding Federal highway system. The evils of the Industrial Revolution with exploitation of children and women workers, wages that barely kept workers and their families out of the most extreme forms of poverty, and working and living conditions in sweatshops and tenement slums all seemed a thing of the past, and the memories of the Great Depression faded for all but the oldest workers. Capitalism, it seemed, delivered the ‘goods’ in more ways than one.

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