Andrew Mellon served as secretary of the treasury. In that

position, he crafted policies that sharply reduced taxes

overall, but mainly for the rich.

These good times, however, had limits. Not every

American could indulge in the technological inven-

tions, with the electric iron being the one appliance

owned by a majority of people. At least 50 percent of

all farm and non-farm workers barely earned a subsis-

tence income, while the top 5 percent of Americans

received about 33 percent of the nation’s personal

income, revealing a disturbing disparity between the

haves and the have-nots. Unemployment remained

high throughout the 1920s, hovering between 7 and

12 percent of all non-farm workers.