I also wonder how much of the post-war prosperity boom was due to American hegemony. With Europe in shambles and Asian manufacturing not yet competing with the USA, American union members were working in sectors that flourished. It’s not clear that this can ever happen again. Nor is it clear that progressives, who generally frown on American hegemony and imperialism, should want it to.
Like a lot of white progressives, she points to the post World War II era as a kind of golden age when income inequality flattened and opportunity spread, the result of progressive action by government… But the golden age wasn’t golden for people who weren’t white. Yes, African American incomes rose and unemployment declined in those years. But black people were locked out of many of the wealth-generating opportunities of the era: blocked from suburbs with restricted covenants and redlined into neighborhoods where banks wouldn’t lend; left out by the GI Bill, which didn’t prevent racial discrimination; neglected by labor unions, which discriminated against or outright blocked black members. [link]