Discuss the parallels between the "Roaring '20s" and the "Go-Go 80s."

2 Answers | Add Yours

akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The original question had to be edited down.  I think that the premise that connects both decades is the growth of large amounts of wealth and the unbridled sense of optimism that resulted with both.  In both decades from an economic and social point of view, the acquisition of wealth defined much in way of success.  The optimisic view towards money led to questionable means of ensuring wealth that generated its desire in both decades.  Buying on margin and operating on unsupported means of credit in the 1920s became translated into insider trading, leveraged buy-outs and junk bonds in the 1980s.  In both decades, there is a clear understanding of the importance of wealth, something that constructed reality distinctly in terms of individuals being "insiders" or "outsiders."

I would submit that one way in which the decades fundamentally different resided in the view of government.  While the laissez faire notion of government being in the business of doing business applied to both time frames, the 1980s oversaw an aggressive and decisive front into the Cold War.  The view in the 1980s was that the public had to be mindful of where political exploration regarding the Cold War headed.  In the 1920s, there was an overall apathy towards government, almost feeding the isolation that was a part of the time period.  In the 1980s, people paid close attention to American government, especially in light of America's opposition to the Soviet Union in the Cold War.


We’ve answered 319,815 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question