Tag Archives: FDR

Sunday, 11/23/14, Public Square

FDR

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by | November 23, 2014 · 6:00 am

The more ‘things’ change, the more they stay the same

Here’s what Moonshadow has to say —  “I’m attaching the article I spoke of. I’d like someone that has more knowledge of our political/economic history to comment on it. I can see a lot that sounds just like the tea partiers. Saying that, how did things progress then and wouldn’t the same approach garner a similar outcome? Let me know what you think and turn it over to whoever can speak to this.”

Know who I think can speak to this?  YOU!

fnord

24 Comments

Filed under Economics, History, Political Reform

PERCEPTIONS AND REALITY OF A PRESIDENT

I really hated President Bill Clinton, no really I had a hatred for him. I would have believed him capable of any ill and most certainly guilty of every allegation.  That was over a decade ago.  Now he was not that bad, looking back. My perception at the time was not supported by the reality of the time.  But that seems to happen a lot more then I realized, watching a program on the History channel really brought that home.

L.B.J., whenever I thought of him during his administration, he had Vietnam hanging around his neck.  It was the only thing I actually associated him with: the expansion of the war and the bombing.  Perhaps it was because I was coming up on 18 years of age and would face the draft.  It could have been the nightly news of the war and it being fresh in my mind.

But there was far more going on involving Lyndon B. Johnson.  The Civil Rights bill, the Fair Housing bill and the Voting Rights bill, along with Medicare.   Years later after finally realizing all he had done, he [Johnson] was a far greater President than I would have imagined, or realized at the time.  Bad on me, for what he did far and away outweighed his association with a war he had inherited.  It took a toll on him too, as he put it, to “give the South to the Republicans ” which also meant it took a toll on the Democratic Party. But at the time I did not notice it or think about it.

FDR, foresaw the threat of the Nazis to the point he pulled a G. W. Bush or perhaps Bush pulled an FDR. Roosevelt wanted the American Nazis and those expressing either sympathies or anti war ideologies to be wire-tapped. This was at a time when we were not at war and did not look to be going to war against the Nazis.  The Supreme Court refused to allow FDR’s wiretap,  so FDR simply told his A.G. to go ahead and order the wire-tapping on the authority of the Office of the President.

Who does not think of FDR as a great President or knew at the time he willfully violated the orders of the Supreme Court and the Constitution? As it turned out, he was right in his suspicion of the Nazis and otherwise was justified in his actions. But still it is alarming to find out he did not hold up to the law.

As of yet I am not so willing to give G.W. Bush the benefit of the doubt as to his presidency.  But it does give me pause, to wonder what will come out in ten or more years that will give far more insight then I had during his administration?

Perception and reality of a Presidency often are not the same, it would seem.

15 Comments

Filed under George W. Bush, History, memories

The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression

 

This 2008 book (now out in trade paperback) by Amity Shlaes has been  flying off of the shelves of D.C. book sellers.  Allegedly, both sides of aisle are deeply interested in this book.  Conservatives are giving the book high praise, e.g. “The finest history of the Great Depression ever written” – National Review.

I am guessing the contemporary interest in this book stems from the similarity in presidental events – FDR’s inheritance of a economic diaster following the stewardship of three Republican presidencies v. Obama’s inheritance of the economy from the two terms of G. W. Bush oversight [sic].

Amity Shlaes

Shlaes certainly has the conservative bona fides – she served on the Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal, for example.  Her book takes an unmistakeable conservative re-interpretation of the New Deal.

To put it most simply, Shlaes believes that FDR declared war on business and set up New Deal entitlements, not to help the “forgotten man”, but to achieve political advantage.  Shlaes even provides what she claims is the origninal definition of the “forgotten man”.  According to Amity, the forgotten man is the one who pays the taxes conceived by special interest groups, and does so year after year, without complaint.

Suffice it to say that Shlaes has the conservative mantra down: “All taxes and regulations are bad, all business and free-markets are good!”  In fairness, though, Shlaes points out some very curious regulatory excesses practiced by the New Deal agencies.  FDR considered himself an experimenter and I think he would have admitted some of his experiments failed miserably.

I came away from the book, asking the question, “can there not be a balance of encouraging business, but also demanding business responsibility via regulation?”  I believe there can be, and I think President Obama is tryng to achieve this precarious balance.

Iggy Donnelly

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Filed under Book Reviews, Economics, Elections, History, Obama, Political Reform, Populists, Republicans, taxes, The Economy

Shedding Tears about the Burdens on Rich White Men

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1937

In Politico today a main story is about how difficult it is for D.C. bookstores to keep the book The Forgotten Man on their shelves.  The “forgotten man” in this case are the men who  took on the burdens of “weaker” men during the 1930s Depression.  The book is critical of the FDR and the New Deal – one of the very few which takes this unusual approach.

From the article:   ” ‘Republicans are gobbling it up — and so are other lawmakers — because it tells you what they did, what worked and what didn’t.'”

Also:   “It also looks at the Great Depression with particular sympathy upon the plight of those who were burdened with supporting the ‘weak members of society’ during the New Deal and endeavors to give a voice to those ‘forgotten men.'”

Want to talk about a populist winning strategy . . . How can the GOP go wrong with this one? … I’d like to know.

Read more here . . .

Maybe there is a market for my new book, How Average People Really, Really Enjoy Living Under the Oppression of Robber Barons! Shaking my head…

iggydonnelly

13 Comments

Filed under Elections, Populists, Republicans, The Economy