In March 2020, I wrote about what Americans had to go through to make it to the Roaring 1920s.
Here’s the summary in chart form:
The pandemic we’ve lived through has been less than fun but it was nothing in comparison to what people in the early-20th century had to live through.
Not only were they forced to endure the first world war, but also the Spanish Flu without the comforts of Zoom, Slack, DoorDash, Amazon, Netflix, Robinhood or an iPhone to see them through it.
Yet coming out of that awful period, America experienced an unprecedented boom time the likes of which this country had never seen before.
Here’s what I wrote in the original piece:
The 1920s ushered in the automobile, the airplane, the radio, the assembly line, the refrigerator, electric razor, washing machine, jukebox, television and more.There was a massive stock market boom and explosion of spending by consumers the likes of which were unrivaled at the time. After the immense pressure of the Great War, many people simply wanted to have fun and spend money.
Now, things were far from perfect back then, but the Roaring 20s were one of the most innovative, prosperous periods in U.S. history.
Things are far from perfect now (and they always will be) but you could make the case that our version of the roaring 20s is already here.
Gallup’s American Life Ratings are now at an all-time high:
It may not seem like it if all you do is watch cable news or traffic social media, but the mood of the country is pretty good right now.
I’m sure this has something to do with the fact that the country has experienced a tumultuous couple of years with Covid-19, a contentious election and riots across the country.
The current level of satisfaction is a relative thing.But that’s why people in the 1920s were so joyous — they went to hell and back before the boom times.
Frederick Lewis Allen once wrote, “Prosperity is more than an economic condition: it is a state of mind.” Yet the current boom isn’t just a happiness survey. The numbers back me up here.
Photo credit: Laura Pratt on Unsplash