Our “Ragtime” Ethical Culture
In 1933, the worst Depression year, the US population was about 125,000,000. (It’s over 300M now. What busy rabbits we are.)
–Average yearly income was just under $1,500.
–Average house rent was $18/month.
–Average weekly wages for those who could find work/for those still with jobs was $20.
–Four years after that era’s Wall Street betrayal of our nation, over 25% of the adult U.S. population eligible to work were unemployed.
–Millions of citizens not counted as homeless squatted in abandoned businesses and many more millions called shanty-town Hoovervilles home.
–The street-bound homeless numbered, in 1933, between 200,000 and 300,000.
You would have to be ill yourself to believe that under these conditions millions of pre-New Deal citizens weren’t wandering about our cities, towns, and rural areas sick and many slowly dying.
More than anything else, Mr Doctorow’s masterwork is about the ruinous ethical detritus, the disastrous flotsam of the last era of unbridled, unregulated, American corporate capital.
Even with one of the Koch brothers now gone, Republicans and too many Democrats are so deeply in the bag for our wealthiest, would so gladly drag us back to a ‘Ragtime’ of unchecked capital regardless of the harm that would cause to our nation.
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