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    Re: Why study history
    Because human beings keep making the same mistakes

    On 10/25/10, Cathy wrote:
    > I teach 7th/8th grade history. I would like to teach a
    > quick one week unit on why we study history. I have a few
    > ideas, but wondering if anyone has a great lesson they do
    > for this. Thanks.

    over and over again, and if we study them, hopefully we can
    prevent making the same ones ourselves.

    There are a LOT of great comparisons right now to be drawn
    between the Great Depression and our current economic
    mess...from banks being to huge and powerful, to the stock
    market being a joke, to the Enron scandal, to home
    foreclosures, to the concentration of wealth among the top one
    or two percent of Americans, to nutsos yelling about Socialism.

    Here's a rather lengthy but revealing chart that your students
    might find interesting. You could have them review the wide
    range of federal income tax rates for the wealthiest Americans
    over the last century. In 1921, the wealthiest Americans were
    in the 73% tax bracket. By 1925, their tax rate had dropped to
    25% and remained there until, guess what? AFTER the Great
    Depression, when Congress passed the Tax Act of 1932, raising
    that top bracket to 63%. In 1936 the top bracket was raised to
    79%, and by 1944 it had risen to 94%.

    The top tax bracket remained above 90% throughout the postwar
    "Boom Years" of the 1950's (back when ordinary Americans could
    afford houses, cars, and feeding their children), and was
    lowered to 77% in 1964.

    That top bracket remained at 70% or above until the "Reagan
    Revolution" of the 1980's, and our nation's wealth has been
    trickling UPWARD ever since. By the time Reagan left office,
    the wealthiest Americans were paying only 28%.

    That top bracket has never again risen past 39-something
    percent, and it's currently at 35%. Meanwhile, there are
    educated people who've worked hard all their lives going
    homeless, and some of the wealthiest taxpayers are screaming
    "Socialism" because they're furious they have to pay even that


    U.S. Federal Individual Income Tax Rates History, 1913-2010