How We Got Here

During the 45 years following the Civil War (1865 – 1910) there were a series of disputes or altercations between the owners/management of businesses and the workers employed by those owners.  You must recall that people such as Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller were hands on owners.  Corporations had not evolved to be what they are today.

Beginning in about 1910, the number and severity of  incidents between owners and workers sky-rocketed.  And these incidents continued with government agencies taking managements side in the eviction and killing of strikers and union related people up until June 1941 when Henry Ford recognized the UAW (United Auto Workers).

Before you go off on a tangent, this post is not intended to be either for or against unions or for or against company owners.  So just listen.

People organized.  They organized for better wages, better living conditions, for a fair portion of the profits the owners were making from the workers sweat.

And by the time World War Two started they had been organizing for over 75 years.  By 1941 none of the founders of the National Labor Union were still alive but their legacy lived on in the AF of L and the CIO.

For approximately a twelve year period, say, beginning in 1930 and continuing until industrial production to support the prosecution of World War Two got into full swing, times were tough for the average family in the United States.  The event was called, and still is referred to as, The Great Depression.  Anyone who needs a refresher on this time period can read Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath or watch Ron Howard’s Cinderella Man.

The war ends. The Allies are victorious.  The Axis powers surrendered unconditionally.

Those folks that were adults when WWII began, those folks that were parents before WWII began all suffered through the depression. Bread lines, soup kitchens, 25% unemployment, 3rd floor, cold-water, walk-up flats, living in basements with no electricity.  Their parents left them with a legacy of working /fighting for what they wanted.

I would suggest that there probably is not anyone reading this blog that has a clue to what is was like in the 1930s. I know people, today, who have it rough, who have lost their house, who cannot afford any of the niceties of life yet they are a heck of a lot better off than a lot of those folks in the ’30s.  There is a safety net of some social services they can use, such as Unemployment Insurance, which were not available in the 1930s.

If you are reading this, you probably haven’t had to band together, to stick together for the survival of the group. Those people in the ’40s & ’50s were tough. They beat the depression, they beat the Axis Powers, they were survivors and they made a better world. Their grand-children (metaphorically speaking) had it handed to them and they never had to fight for it, to really earn it.

So when President Reagan came along with his nice little bumper sticker sayings, trashed the air controllers union and blamed government for everything bad.  Government was the problem.

The Greatest Generation, who fought and won several wars, was either retired or already buried, and a new generation, the Boomers were in charge of the day to day running of everything.

I submit that the people who make up The Grass Roots for the last thirty years are not seasoned enough.  They did not spend time on the picket line.  They ran up their credit cards and sold their souls instead of cutting back.  They spent mindless hours in front of the television watching inane situation-comedies and, more recently, reality shows.

We got here by a flabby, excessive population who has forgotten that one needs to “pay your dues” before one can reap the rewards.

Explore posts in the same categories: Domestic Issues


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