A friend once told me that the wealthy elite didn’t want to just “roll back” the New Deal, they wanted to roll back the entire 20th Century. His point was that all the social gains of the 20th Century were granted to us in order to combat global communism, and that with the collapse of communism the wealthy elite is going it take it all back.
I didn’t fully appreciate his sentiments until recently.
The recent upsurge in global piracy seems strange and exotic in today’s world, but in fact it is rather appropriate in the full context of national events.
Below is a list of trends which show the 21st Century is going to look a lot more like the 19th Century than the 20th Century.
Can we finally stop saying “Big Labor”? Last year labor union membership had shrunk to 11.8% of the total workforce and only 6.6% of the private sector.
You have to go all the way back to 1900 to find such a small union footprint in the private sector.
The New Asylums
50 years ago people were horrified that the mentally ill were being “warehoused” in mental institutions. So the government turned the mentally ill out to live in the street. Now we have come full circle and the mentally ill are being warehoused again, but this time in dangerous prisons.
The most vulnerable in our society have been completely abandoned by our society.
It appears that the lessons in humanity that people learned 150 years ago have been forgotten.
The country’s three biggest jail systems-Cook County, in Illinois; Los Angeles County; and New York City-are on the front lines. With more than 11,000 prisoners under treatment on any given day, they represent by far the largest mental-health treatment facilities in the country. By comparison, the three largest state-run mental hospitals have a combined 4,000 beds.
“In every city and state I have visited, the jails have become the de facto mental institutions,” says Esteban Gonzalez, president of the American Jail Association, an organization for jail employees…
Two centuries ago, reformers were disturbed to find large numbers of the mentally ill in jails, paving the way for the development of state-run institutions.