Don't Wake Us From This Dream
To their credit and despite the brutal attacks waged against them by workers—often out of sheer jealousy—the rich continued to make money. The number of millionaires grew from a mere 50 in 1848 to 5,000 in 1910. Despite a crippling income tax that stole virtually every dime they made, the number of millionaires somehow—by hook or by crook—grew to 50,000 in 1958 and 500,000 in 1980. But always in the back of their minds was the notion; how much more money could they have acquired were taxation not robbing them blind—or at least making them teary-eyed.
Workers continued to accuse their bosses of being greedy and indifferent, some might say insensitive, to the plight of labor. But workers didn’t have to walk in fine Italian shoes or ride in long limos or fly in company jets and know that those shoes could have been even shinier, the limos even longer and the jets bigger and faster. Workers didn’t have to spend every waking moment burdened by images of how things might have been, could have been—dammit, should have been.
This wasn’t the way it was supposed to be. The “Money Movement” that had begun with so much promise with Taft-Hartley was faltering. Who would deliver the spark needed to restore dignity to the downtrodden rich man? The young didn’t worry about the rich the way they had worried about the Vietnam War. Blacks didn’t concern themselves with the plight of the rich the way they had obsessed about Civil Rights. And the rich certainly couldn’t count on Feminists, whose concerns were lagging so far behind that “glass ceiling” wasn’t even in the vernacular yet.