Reply To: Income tax populists


Definitely some for the income tax; that was one of the political issues in which the Populists overlapped with the Progressives in the late-19th & early-20th century. As far as the inflation of the 20s, I wouldn’t lay the blame for that to any major extent on the Populists, other than that they had rhetorically supported inflationary currency in prior decades. But by the 1920s the Populists were fading very fast as a political force in most parts of the US. The inflation of the 20s can largely be blamed on the creation of the Fed (which the corporatist Progressives deserve more of the blame for) & the decisions made by Benjamin Strong when he was running the Fed during & after WWI. Don’t get me wrong, if the Populists had created & run the central bank in the early decades of the 20th century, they would’ve pursued some type of inflationary policies, but in practice they weren’t in charge of that stuff, so the blame needs to be directed to a much greater degree to the factions that actually made it happen (basically the more corporatist factions of the Progressives, many of whom were connected to the House of Morgan & other big corporate interests.)