History May Be Repeating the U.S. Panic of 1893

The following are some excerpts from my college textbook, “American History,” describing the conditions that led to the Panic of 1893:

“The nation’s banks and financial institutions were neither strong enough nor efficient enough to meet adequately the new demands for their services. The . . . stock market was riddled with corruption. The market for goods was not growing as rapidly as the supply. . . . New industries were not passing on enough of their profits to their workers to create an adequate market for the goods they were producing.

“This growing disparity in the distribution of wealth was producing not only an imbalance between supply and demand but a deep popular resentment. American government during much of this period was ill equipped to deal with the new challenges confronting it. In the face of unprecedented dilemmas, it responded with apparent passivity and confusion. Its leaders . . . seemed political mediocrities.”

Sound familiar?