According to Robert Reich, the Age of Supercapitalism was preceded in the United States by ‘The Not Quite Golden Age’, which began after the Second World War and lasted to about 1980. This was a period in which a few big firms dominated their markets, and trade union membership in the private sector was close to 40 per cent. The big firms and the big unions got on with one another; the result was a period in which consumers did not have a great deal of choice, but slowly increasing productivity ensured rising real wages, a growing willingness on the part of the private sector to provide health care, and a good deal of certainty about the future. The Government acted as a benign regulator.