What a difference a century makes. 100 years ago, America was at the beginning of a decade that would become known as the Roaring 20s. The war was over, a woman’s right to vote was realized, the economy was booming and even though Prohibition was enacted, it only served to ignite American’s spirit of independence and led them to roar!
Today, 100 years later, we are in a new “20’s” decade. Perhaps, this decade will become known at the “Raging 20’s.”
According to a recent NPR poll, 84% of people surveyed said Americans are angrier than ever. “We’re living in a big anger incubator,” says University of California psychology professor, Raymond Novaco.
There is rage in the town square regarding teacher salaries and public education; against immigration; against expanding equality and ensuring rights. And rage against each other for disagreeing on each of those things.
The current of rage, fanned by certain media, has manufactured a movement thathas a paradoxical view of progress. 102 years ago, the right of women to participate equally in American governance was finally recognized, yet today an activist Supreme Court has denied the immutable right of women to have dominion over their own bodies.
This movement rages against progress in scientific data regarding climate and even medicine. And chastises a public educational system that gives every child, regardless of race, religion or economic circumstances, an education.
They’ve taken statehouses and underfundschools that then have to cut music and language programs to survive. Civics classes that teach government also fall under non-essential.
Look no further than our own Governor Reynolds’ proposal to cut $55 million from public school funding to use toward vouchers. The governor would prefer to pander to corporations by reducing their taxes by $300 million over 5 years.
Corporations that laugh all the way to the Citizen’s United Bank and collectively give billions to elect more “trickle down” politicians who’ll give their shareholderseven more breaks.
Public schools, once recognized as the most foundational institution to secure America’s prosperity have been labeled liberal indoctrination. Teachers recognized as the gatekeepers of knowledge and skills our children need to realize their dreams have become political foils blamed for the rising costs.
In these Raging 20’s the educated are branded “elitists,” teachers are accused of being overpaid, and students seeking higher learning are irresponsible because they took out astronomical loans. Loans that became astronomical because tuitions have risen to compensate for funding that hasn’t.
The Roaring 20’s came to a screeching halt when the stock market crashed in 1929. There are similar trends today: Low wages and falling gross domestic product.
If our tax and wage structures continue to benefit only those who already prosper and continues to burden those who need a break, the bottom falls out!
Look what I just did. I got myself into a rage. Instead, I’d like to see America come together to adequately fund education, reward teachers, respect science, acknowledge rights and equality, and turn “trickle down” upside down to the benefit of us all.
We’ll call it the “New Deal” and usher in the“Hunky-dory 30’s.”