Epiphanyblog

All about ideas…

Learning from Charles Dickens….

with 3 comments

When Dickens wrote the Christmas Carol, Britain’s Parliament was dominated by faction that believed in an economic philosophy we now describe as “trickle down economics.” As far as I’ve been able to discern, the mid-1800s is the first time this economic philosophy was put into effect, more than a century before it was tried again during the Reagan administration.

It failed Britain’s working class as well as the many thousands of Irish who perished during the potato famine – just as it failed during Reagan and Bush 2.

Without a strong working class, the twin evils of ignorance and want are set loose upon the world, causing hunger, ignorance and want of basic necessities…and far too much misery for those who want to work and care for their families.

Most of us are far too young to remember conditions during and prior to the Great Depression. But the early scenes of Dickens “Christmas Carol” offer a brief glimpse into the conditions facing working class people, then and now. Do you remember poor houses? “Old folks homes” where seniors were warehoused and forgotten? Children removed from their poor families to be given away to families thousands of miles away, potentially as nothing more than indentured servants. Likely not. But conditions then were not pretty; they were far away from the United States we know today.

Is that the America to which we wish to return? An era of broken families, of hunger and want, of neglected and forgotten seniors?

Yet, much of the recent Tea Party/GOP rhetoric would have the U.S. return to that earlier, Dickens’ era.

Dickens was the probably the premier social commentator of his time, along with Jonathan Swift. However, this country appears to have forgotten the lessons of these early social commentators.

Earlier generations learned from their past: the Great Depression era programs saved many families – and seniors – from the prospects of workhouses, family destruction, and old folks warehouses.

I do not think the TEA/GOP know whereof they speak. And for that I am heartily ashamed.

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3 Responses

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  1. […] When Dickens wrote the Christmas Carol, Britain’s Parliament was dominated by faction that believed in an economic philosophy we now describe as “trickle down economics.” As far as I’ve been able to discern, the mid-1800s is the first time this economic philosophy was put into effect, more than a century before it was tried again during the Reagan administration. It failed Britain’s working class as well as the many thousands of Irish who perishe … Read More […]

  2. As a writer and a fan of Charles Dickens, I was curious about your post which was reblogged by mesacoelsombrero. I had to come here to read the rest of it…and was greatly impressed. I like the way you draw comparisons between then and now.

    It is true that ignorance and want are the enemies of a successful society. I believe it is also very true that eliminating a strong working (middle) class, which supports both the upper and lower classes, will lead directly back to ignorance, poverty and want, as so graphically portrayed in “A Christmas Carol.” We are then left with two classes – the very rich and the very poor, neither of which is traditionally of much effective use to the other.

    We have also seen with our own eyes how devastating the trickle-down effect has been…then and now. I don’t believe that federal governments, any federal government, should be subsidizing the rich. This is so far from common sense, that I am astonished this practice was ever employed.

    Thank you for your insightful comments. I have subscribed.

    Sandra Bell Kirchman
    Wizards and Ogres and Elves…oh my!

    Sandra Bell Kirchman

    December 30, 2010 at 5:58 PM

  3. i like it

    jim

    January 6, 2011 at 4:28 PM


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