Hitting the Debt Ceiling
The book chronicles how incredibly high up on the hog the so-called "upper clases" were living in those years, as compared to the privations being endured by the ordinary working people, and the efforts of groups like the Liberals, the anarchists, the Socialists, and Labor to combat this situation.
Today, in the bitter fight between the Democrats and the Republicans, with a crucial deadline at hand, we can see that same story being played out yet again. The Republicans, the party of the Haves, are using this fight as an excuse to cut any spending, such as for the Medicare and Social Security safety nets, that would have helped the Have-Nots. To that end they absolutely refuse to consider obtaining any additional revenue by means of raising taxes and closing tax loopholes that would make those cuts unnecessary.
But this fight has an additional aspect that is carefully kept unexpressed, and but for that an agreement would have long since been reached to raise the debt ceiling yet again, as Congress already has done a number of times in recent years. That additional poison factor is the burning desire of the Party of the Haves to discredit the current President as much as possible, not only to right the wrong that the Haves saw in the mere election of a President who was, disgracefully, as much as half "black" in his genetics, but also to make things so uncomfortable for him that none other of his persuasion will ever again aspire to serving in that office.
So everything the Party of the Haves does in this conflict has to be looked at more in terms of that skin color aspect than in the financial, especially because the leaders of that party are ignorant of the fine points of money matters. Scurrility and brawling are easy to understand, whereas financial instruments are beyond them.
Something more important than "mere" dollars and cents are at stake in this one.