The Populist movement represented a viable plan for the future, which although failed as a third-party movement, it made thousands aware of the needs for reform. The abuses of monopolistic capitalism were spreading across the US leaving behind a trail of poverty. The call for an unlimited coinage of silver and gold at a ratio of 16 to 1 would enable farmers to pay their debts more easily as well as put an end to deflation. Furthermore,
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that 1 percent of the United Sates population – the corporate magnates and their families – owned seven-eighths of the country's wealth" (96). A graduated income tax, therefore, would help achieve a more equitable distribution of the costs of government. For those who earned a greater income than the mean, "such rates tore no holes in the pockets of the rich" (Norton 651).
The Omaha Platform of the Populist Party (1892)