The recent framing of our current era as a Second Gilded Age has been closely linked to economist Thomas Piketty's empirical findings regarding income inequality patterns in American history. Yet if we take a closer look at both the inequality data at our disposal as well as the broader social forces that have led to widening wealth gaps in recent decades, it becomes apparent that our current neoliberal era of rising inequality is far more similar to the Progressive Era than the Gilded Age. After arguing why the Progressive Era is a more apt historical analogy, this article will seek to explain why our contemporary moment has nonetheless been framed as a Second Gilded Age.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (SHGAPE) 2020.
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