History often repeats itself. Rarely, however, does it do so in the way we expect. The Roaring Twenties were, at least in the cities, about booming financial markets and the accompanying extravagance and consumerism everywhere on display. There was scandalous personal behavior pushing society's limits. And in the end, there was a near-national sense of invulnerability; a party that would never end.
The divide in the 1920s was between rural America and the cities. People were leaving farms in vast numbers for the good life in urban areas. Those who stayed in rural areas had great resentment for the newfound social norms in the cities. That divide only grew.
I can't help thinking – while looking at the photos of a partying Hillary Clinton in Colombia, representing America as our secretary of state – that we are edging up on 1929. At that point the Great Depression and World War II lay just ahead. The real prosperity of the 1950s would skip an entire generation.
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This time, the divide in America is not between rural life and cities (although that divide still exists). Rather, today's divide is between government employees and private-sector workers – the latter forced to pay for benefits they will never experience.
Socialism seems to be the answer arrived at by the current government. "We're not going to give up our benefits! We'll simply extend them to everyone. Pass a law!" My! Such a deep understanding of the world by our leaders!
With 85 million Americans no longer even looking for work, the party in government circles rolls on.
- Near million-dollar banquets for government employees held in Las Vegas, Hawaii and other places we don't yet know about.
- Bonuses for senior government officials (those organizing the million-dollar parties) who are somehow "entitled" to them – even when a salary freeze is in effect.
- Air Force One used as a drunken party vehicle for an illegal-alien president and his band of drunken Secret Service thugs. Re-election campaign stops are tucked neatly in between vacations (substantial and illegal security and transportation savings for the party in power).
- Union-sponsored and activist-judge supported voter fraud against Wisconsin's governor and citizens, as solid gold paycheck-for-life retirements of state employees are finally questioned – while the private sector wonders if Social Security will even be there when they are too old to work.
- Government elected officials and bureaucrats at all levels acting as if Federal Reserve funny-money never has to be paid back, budget deficits can double every few years without effect, and the party will never end.
- A government bureaucracy for every family and a federal agent in every garage (without apologies to FDR).
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I guess the old one-room schoolmarm History likes to sneak up behind us and kick us in the butt every few generations – just to let us know she's still around. Henry Ford and the Model-T have morphed into the Internet. Instead of bringing high-wage factory jobs to the cities, mobile electrons make the low-wage world our next-door competitor.
In the face of this new reality, high schools teach students how to apply for a fast-food restaurant job. Those who graduate and go on to college are indoctrinated in political correctness by card-carrying unionists with lifetime employment. Tenure protects their freedom of hate-America-first expression. America's Ivy League universities have revolving alumni doors that perpetuate the self-anointed elites' inbreeding, creating the next generation's investment bankers, Chinese and Indian engineers and scientists, and our next crop of government "servants."
History is a tough teacher. But no generation every forgets her one-room schoolhouse lessons.