The 1920's for the Common Man.

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    Yes, me again! Aren’t I a pest with these questions!

    This time I’m asking about the economic status of the “common man” during the 1920’s! Many, picture the standard of living for American people as poor, working long hours, and for very little wages. Once again though, this is something teachers and textbooks like to highlight a lot in school, and as skeptical as I’m always am is this really true or just another lie?


    There are two lectures on this period of time by Dr. Woods. One is about Coolidge and Harding and the other about the 1920s. They should answer your questions.


    I’ve seen them. Their great overviews of the 1920’s, but it focus on the domestic and foreign issues of the nation at the time. Which is the point of Mr. Woods vids mind you!, But, I was more looking for an answer on how the common individual lived at the time. He mentions that wages went up, hours of work lowered, and technology usually reserve for the wealthy slowly, started to tinkered down to the common folk. That answers some, but what I’m asking is even with all that would they still be considered poor by those days standards? They would today of course, but for that time was life was far better for the majority of Americans than it had been even thirty years before? Am I making sense? I hope I’m not sounding picky. I’m just curious is all! 🙂


    By today’s standards many of them would indeed be considered poor. But by their standards they were enjoying amenities that no one a generation earlier could even have imagined, much less possessed. That’s what I would keep in mind. To them, this was a level of prosperity few could ever have dreamed of being enjoyed by the common man.


    I am a teacher, and I do not use the supplied textbook. The text is perverted history in which many interest groups, including the government, have warped history to further their agenda.

    Public sector unions are a major interest group that has shaped history through the creation of mandatory teaching standards. Often they will whine that the text it too anti-union. Here is an example:

    This being said, there is this belief that unions created the middle class are to thank for all of our prosperity, and the fall of the union is the end of the middle class.

    In reality, mass production brought down costs and prices. Purchasing power increased. Ford’s employees saw some of the greatest wage increases, shorter work days and two day weekend largely in his attempt to avoid unionization.

    You’re right, the wealth of the common man is relative. By toady’s standards, poorer, compared to the farmers and miners of the late 19th century, richer. Today our standard of comfortable living is high, think of our monthly bills and staple luxuries:

    Phone (with internet)
    College tuition
    Large mortgages
    Car payments
    Gym membership
    Cottages, lake house, hunting cabins
    Eating out
    Medical Insurance
    Car Insurance
    Government services
    and most of all… online learning classrooms : )

    It is difficult to secure the finances of the modern middle class lifestyle.

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