Understanding economics helps you see history better. American workers, although only lightly unionized, were more productive than others. All high standards of living are due to free markets. Governments destroy this.
The time required to work in order to earn enough to buy various goods and services has significantly declined through history. That is due to capitalism's increased productivity . There is a different story to robber barons than the false bad news. The Wild West was not. Chief Seattle's environmental speech was phony. Property rights were assigned to care for resources through incentives.
Presented by Thomas E. Woods, Jr. at the "Economics for High School Students" seminar. Recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama; 20 November 2009. Sponsored by Jeremy S. Davis.