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The New Gilded Age

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I have a piece up at Alternet today comparing the Gilded Age to the present, showing 8 ways that Republicans are trying to recreate the late 19th century, buy elections, exploit labor, limit people of color’s ability to vote, etc. Some of these distill issues I have explored in greater detail here. Others I haven’t talked about quite so directly. The intro:

Over the past 40 years, corporations and politicians have rolled back many of the gains made by working and middle-class people over the previous century. We have the highest level of income inequality in 90 years, both private and public sector unions are under a concerted attack, and federal and state governments intend to cut deficits by slashing services to the poor.

We are recreating the Gilded Age, the period of the late 19th and early 20th centuries when corporations ruled this nation, buying politicians, using violence against unions, and engaging in open corruption. During the Gilded Age, many Americans lived in stark poverty, in crowded tenement housing, without safe workplaces, and lacked any safety net to help lift them out of hard times.

With Republicans more committed than ever to repealing every economic gain the working-class has achieved in the last century and the Democrats seemingly unable to resist, we need to understand the Gilded Age to see what conservatives are trying to do to this nation. Here are 8 ways our corporations, politicians and courts are trying to recreate the Gilded Age.

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