Comment of the Week

More Reasons the 2020s Are Not the 1920s

A Marker reader argues it’s not all about the economy

Photo: Adam Solomon/Unsplash

Earlier this week, Medium editor at large Steve LeVine wrote about the growing cohort of economists, journalists, and investors who believe we’re on the brink of a new period of economic expansion that harkens back to the Roaring ’20s. “No economists appear to expect anything except that Americans as a group will emerge from Covid-19 and gorge in restaurants, drink like fish, and travel with abandon,” he wrote. LeVine examined several factors that contributed to the 1920s boom, including some large technological leaps such as the commercialization of electricity and the automobile that may not be repeatable in the 2020s.

But as Marker reader Astoria Bob noted, there is another big distinction between the 1920s and 2020s. “I wish you would spend less time talking about growth, and more about the health of the planet,” he wrote. “The biggest difference between the 1920s and the 2020s is the condition of the Earth and its inhabitants. It is well past time to be growing as a species, economically or in numbers. We’re in deep need of maintenance mode.”