Tag Archives: FDR
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!
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].
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.
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…