Decade of Corporate Greed

Ascended in the 1980’s he reinvented Republican policies that favored deregulation and the growth of business in America. These Ideas markedly opposed the views of the governmental interventionist policies of the 1960’s and 70’s with these ideas Reagan hoped to decrease government Involvement and heavy taxes.

With these tax cuts Reagan’s thinking was that many new businesses would spawn and that it would have a trickledown effect by not only empowering businesses to grow and hire more people which in the end would benefit all from those on top in the corporate world all the way down to the lowest person in the company in which everyone benefits.

This was welcome news not only to the Republicans but also the “lunch bucket democrats” who were working class democrats who predecessor Jimmy Carter of whom they thought they were ignored by.

As a result of this many government services were slashed and created ideas of the government being the problem. With this many republicans encouraged individuals to do good for themselves for the government would not do this for them.

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With this encouragement of business growth and economic prosperity for as many people as possible individualism became a way of life in the 1980’s.

The acquisition of wealth and indicators of it really helped to drive this decade in the 1980’s where it seemed most important to acquire as much “material” goods as possible. These ideas were also shown in the pop culture world as the artist Madonna made a hit song in the 80’s called “material girl” a song of the times basically about greed and gaining as material things as you possibly could with no shame of this greed.

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Also Gordon Gekko the fictional business tycoon in the film “Wall Street” stands up at board meeting to stress and states “Greed is good……Greed will not only fix this malfunctioning corporation called Teldar paper, but also the other malfunctioning corporation called the U. S. of A. ” There were even excesses being taken in sports, as Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds had greed of singles, doubles and stolen bases, also greed in gambling cost him his spot in Major League Baseball.

It was also in this decade baseball experienced “free agency” destroying loyalties and players selling themselves to the highest bidder as player contracts doubled from just the decade before. Once these Republican policies had trickled down to popular culture it almost seemed to validate this style of politics, it seemed as if the Republicans ascendance to power had spawned this culture and decade of greed that was so actively embraced by the American public.

With this these politicians simply stated that they were just acting in accordance to what the public’s wishes were. With this success that Reagan had in the 80’s America had once again began to reassert itself on the world stage after a challenging decade of struggling in the 1970’s. Reagan is thought to be responsible also for the victory in the cold war that had lasted for decades before his term. The new thinking in the 80’s was not that this was greed but more of what the Republicans called prosperity and success.

Some of the negatives of these changes were Reagan deregulated everything which in effect destroyed competition and this created oligopolies. Some examples of these are in the airline industry he deregulated the industry causing every airline in the country, except 2 to become bankrupt, as the deregulation in the broadcast industry resulted in just a few major players like Disney and Clear Channel dominating the playing field.

As for under the Reagan administration money in politics became more strong then ever and that still holds true today in the world of politics for it seems like we no longer have elections, we more like have auctions for where it seems the candidate who has the most money to spend on getting their name out is usually the one who wins in these political battles, especially for the Presidency.

What this does now and back then in the 80’s where it started is a corporation who might want certain laws or tax breaks passed to better help their needs funds that candidate to get elected and then in turn expects them favors to be returned when that candidate is elected. This new concentration of wealth created a whole new class of millionaires, however on the downside for every millionaire there were several hundred homeless people. With this came more negativity that came with the corporate greed of the 80’s.

For these people who became homeless and poor due to these millionaires greed were blamed for dragging down the economy by Republican politicians and their mouthpieces in the media, while the truth we found out later is that indeed it was these rich people who were ripping us off and actually were responsible for dragging down the economy. Going as far to blaming the poor the city of Los Angeles installed a fingerprint system to guard against welfare fraud that cost the city and hardworking tax payers 30 million dollars, and for all of this it caught one cheater.

While at the same time “White collar” crime was rising and costing us more than street crime cost, also doing more damage and arguably causing more deaths. Reagan also had a deregulation of the savings and loans industry which was a total debacle and ended up costing Americans 500 billion dollars which is part of the still current banking problem that is going on today. Unfortunately Reagan also began the practice of sending American manufacturing jobs overseas, another move that made the rich even more rich and greedy and made the poor have even less than they did before.

Despite all these negatives it can be argued that Ronald Reagan was the most important and influential President of the last 60 years, loved by the Republicans and loathed by the liberals. Reagan turned half a century of political and economic orthodoxy and turned it on its head. It can be argued that he turned those who were Roosevelt democrats. So whether you loved or hated Reagan there is no doubt that administration and the greed of 80’s is still alive today.

My though would be if your rich, you like the corporate greed and excessiveness that took place in the 80’s, however if you are poor you are wondering why this turned out like it did.

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Decade of Corporate Greed. (2018, Sep 27). Retrieved from

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