American History (the Old America and the New America)

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In many discussions today in the United States and even abroad, comparisons are being made about the 'Old America' and the 'New America'. While these dialogues are not novel, they have become more common as the 2008 presidential elections wrapped up. With the election of an African-American as President, most Americans are in agreement that the country has really come a long way especially from its dark periods; slavery, social inequality etc.


Author Gene Smiley (2008) writes that "despite the 1920-1921 depression and the minor interruptions in 1924 and 1927, the American economy exhibited impressive economic growth during the 1920s. The same can be said for the periods from 1992-2000, where the American economy grew only to worsen in the years after. Economic commentators in both era's have suggested that the 'seeds' to both the depression in the 1930's and the current recession in 2008 were sown in the boom periods preceding them.
According to Smiley (2008), the 1920's America economic growth was very impressive. Many in the population owned cars, new household appliances, and homes. Innovations and inventions were in high rates and drove growth. Manufacturing was increasing leading to the growing rise in the productivity of labor and capital. New innovations and products created new markets and services. Company stocks experienced a boom in the markets. For example RCA, one of the 'high end' stocks of the era, experienced an appreciation in its value even though it paid no dividends: expectations were that high. ...
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