The myth of Gatsby's suffering middle class

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  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    June 4, 2013 9:20 a.m.

    The Jazz Age was a phrase Fitzgerald coined that became a popular label for the 1920s. But back then, ‘the lost generation’ was a quite different phrase being used to describe the disillusionment that set in following the Great War. I don’t know which phrase was most in vogue back then but you couldn’t ask for a starker contrast.

  • KDave Moab, UT
    June 4, 2013 9:06 a.m.

    There is evidence that technoligical advancements created a larger and wealthier middle class. A backhoe operator digs a ditch more efficiently than a man with a shovel, and is worth more money. Ironically, Unions have and still do fight these improvements. They would rather have 20 men with shovels paying union dues than 1 backhoe operator.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    June 3, 2013 8:08 p.m.

    Technically I am in the middle class. I am much worse off than I was 10, 15 or 20 years ago. I drive lousier cars, my buying power is worse, my savings is negligible. My wages have been stagnant and job benefits lessened. I don't think I'm alone. I'm hopeful things will get better...

  • the old switcharoo mesa, AZ
    June 3, 2013 7:56 p.m.

    The Great Gatsby is a work of fiction. You may as well tear apart the historical accuracy of Batman.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    June 3, 2013 7:40 p.m.

    Tyler, anyone who has studied history knows that virtually ALL those gains came about as a result of unionization of workers.

    Which is exactly why the Koch Brothers, ALEC, and other conservative front groups are doing their best to kill unions today. They are drooling at the chance to return to the days of Gatsby.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    June 3, 2013 4:58 p.m.

    Interesting article, although a question kept nagging me throughout – did worker benefits like safe conditions and even Saturday’s off all come about because of productivity gains or did union pressure have something to do with it?