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Back then, the top 10% earned 45% of all income (compared with 50% today) and owned 85% of the wealth (compared with 75% today).
Even the political characters are the same...
The 1930s saw a popular socialist presidential candidate just like we had in 2016. Huey Long was a former governor of Louisiana and a U.S. senator. He proposed an income cap at $1 million... a 30-hour federal work week... and 100% income taxes at the highest level. Long even established 27,000 “Share Our Wealth” clubs around the country and had a radio show that was listened to by one in five Americans. So where did this all lead? It led to America’s most dramatic Debt Jubilee to date... How Americans Lost 69% of Their Savings In 1933 – in order to deal with mounting debts and print money to pay for dozens of new social programs – President Roosevelt made two extraordinary changes to the financial system. First, he closed banks for four days and forced Americans to turn in each ounce of gold they owned for $20.67 in paper money. Then the government raised the price of gold, wiping out 69% of the savings of anyone who followed these rules.
You’re probably familiar with that part of the story.
But that was only the beginning...
Roosevelt also eliminated the “Gold Clause” in all contracts, including loans, bonds, and other financial instruments. You see, at the time, people were worried the government might inflate away the value of their money. So they added a Gold Clause, which said repayments could be required to be made in gold.
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