So, the Gilded Age, may be educative—especially since many people believe that we have been living in something like our own "gilded age" in recent decades. Over the past 30 years, national wealth has grown exponentially, as has the opportunity for successful entrepreneurs to achieve stratospheric wealth. That very real opportunity to strike it rich has driven a stunning amount of technological and cultural innovation, transforming the way all of us—rich and poor alike—live our lives.


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