GOP Congressman: FDR Caused The Great Depression

Via Yglesias:

U.S. Rep. Steve Austria [R] told The Dispatch editorial board that . . . “When (President Franklin) Roosevelt did this, he put our country into a Great Depression[.] . . . “He tried to borrow and spend, he tried to use the Keynesian approach, and our country ended up in a Great Depression. That’s just history.”

This snark comment in the thread cracked me up, and actually made as much sense as the doofus GOP congressman - "Actually, FDR caused the Great Depression by pumping into circulation millions of dimes with his face on them."

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    Herbert Hoover calling (5.00 / 7) (#2)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 12:58:38 PM EST
    He'd like his Depression back.

    No, they were Rooseveltvilles (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Dadler on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:01:14 PM EST
    Don't you remember?

    FDR Caused the Depression! (none / 0) (#103)
    by Cugel on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 12:44:27 PM EST
    It was his fault that the economy started to tank after his election in 1928!

    Is there any negotiating... (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Salo on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:00:10 PM EST
    ...possible with this sort of opinion?  He must have heard this crap while sitting on Louis Rukkheiser's  knee while he stared at a portrait of Herb Hoover over teh mantle piece...

    "an Opa, tell me again how Roosevelt lose the world war by invading Germany with his new fangled  D-day?"

    "Well Stevie The Austria family fortune was destroyed  when Roosevelt declared war on that nice Mr A..."

    Ah, Those Were The Days (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by gtesta on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:07:04 PM EST
    Boy, the way Glenn Miller played. Songs that made the Hit Parade.

    Guys like us, we had it made. Those were the days.

    Didn't need no welfare state. Everybody pulled his weight.

    Gee, our old LaSalle ran great. Those were the days.

    And you know who you were then. Girls were girls and men were men.

    Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again.

    People seemed to be content. Fifty dollars paid the rent.

    Freaks were in a circus tent. Those were the days.

    Take a little Sunday spin, go to watch the Dodgers win.

    Have yourself a dandy day that cost you under a fin.

    Hair was short and skirts were long. Kate Smith really sold a song.

    I don't know just what went wrong. Those Were The Days.

    Isn't that the RNC fight song? (5.00 / 0) (#13)
    by byteb on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:26:57 PM EST
    I posted the (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by NJDem on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:58:58 PM EST
    youtube of this exchange a few weeks ago and no one responded--I thought no one got my reference.  Thanks for affirming that I'm not totally out of touch!  

    And for the record, AITF is just as relevant today as it ever was (and what I would do to get Archie's take on the past year--though I guess I could just ask Normal Lear :))


    Somethings remain the same, (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by KeysDan on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:57:10 PM EST
    although just as lame,
    spreading mush,
    radio had Father Coughlin
    and now we have Rush.

    Stifle! (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by oldpro on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:36:30 PM EST
    here it is (none / 0) (#39)
    by Dadler on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:03:45 PM EST
    All in the Family - Union Archie (none / 0) (#44)
    by Dadler on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:19:28 PM EST
    When he says "The Great Depression" (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:13:34 PM EST
    He's talking about the Republican Great Depression -- the one that occurs every time Republicans think about what a hero FDR was....

    Pleeease make a note of it!

    Where in (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by cal1942 on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:24:11 PM EST
    hell do we get these people?

    And how do they ever explain why Roosevelt was re-elected three times.

    That would be a fun question to ask after they've exposed their stupidity for all the world to hear.

    I'd be tempted to pay just to hear the answer.

    that's easy (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:33:54 PM EST
    people were tricked by the liberal media!

    Logical Fallacy (none / 0) (#50)
    by Samuel on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:31:19 PM EST
    Roosevelt getting re-elected does not prove/disprove anything.

    Present or link to your theory as to why the recession turned into a record length depression.


    Wrong. Argument is stated (none / 0) (#57)
    by Cream City on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:51:31 PM EST
    not that FDR was reelected a record three times -- but why.

    I stand corrected. (none / 0) (#59)
    by Samuel on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:53:28 PM EST
    Objection: Leading witness to logical fallacy.

    There's no fallacy in asking (none / 0) (#69)
    by ThatOneVoter on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:34:28 PM EST
    a question. I guess public schools aren't worth much anymore.

    I know a lot of people who went to private schools (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by BernieO on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:47:14 PM EST
    and they don't know a lot about these things either. Luckily my kids did learn about it - in public schools. But with our testing craze being so focused on math and reading it is no wonder that history and government get short shrift. Our schools used to be seen as places to prepare kids to be citizens. More and more they are seen simply as places to prepare for the work world.

    Ok. (none / 0) (#71)
    by Samuel on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:45:16 PM EST
    I'm waiting for Mika B (5.00 / 0) (#31)
    by BernieO on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:49:35 PM EST
    to repeat this spin on Morning Joe. She has alreadly repeated the lie that the New Deal created no jobs, so claiming FDR caused the Great Depression shouldn't be a stretch for her. Stay tuned.

    By the way, does anyone have a link to the Congressman who came up the the dime story or know the guy's name?

    I fell asleep with the TV on last night. (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by lobary on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:01:56 PM EST
    I awoke to a nightmare in real life. Mika and Joe were yammering something similarly idiotic. They make about as much sense as the  callers on the wingnut line to CSpan's Washington Journal, except Mika and Joe are less entertaining.

    Oops (none / 0) (#38)
    by BernieO on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:03:13 PM EST
    Just realized that the dime comment was a commenter.

    At what longterm costs? (none / 0) (#56)
    by Samuel on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:51:29 PM EST
    Rather than argue the numbers - can you explain how the debt and resulting perpetual inflation are accounted for in your analysis?

    Also, what would unemployment levels have been if the government had done nothing?  Are you gaging this against other Western powers during the Great Depression and their recoveries?


    The debt returned to reasonable levels (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by BernieO on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:19:57 PM EST
    soon after WWII - after the massive spending on not only the New Deal and the war, but also the Marshall Plan, the GI Bill and the interstate highway system.

    By the way anyone who wants to argue that all debt is bad should not have ever had a mortgage, student loan, or car loan. Not all debt is excessive or bad, particularly debt that invests in things like education, R&D or infrastructure.


    And the inflation? (none / 0) (#66)
    by Samuel on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:26:15 PM EST
     didn't say all debt was bad.  I didn't straw-man you...

    Also, people don't go into debt to maintain price levels.


    The Great Depression was a period of deflation (none / 0) (#74)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:54:00 PM EST
    not inflation.

    Yes. (none / 0) (#75)
    by Samuel on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:55:45 PM EST
    But we grew the monetary supply constantly ever since, the effects of which we are feeling now.  In other words, what about the resulting inflationary monetary policies which have known upper limits as seen in Germany, Argentina and Zimbabwe.  Can we really say it solved anything if the solution has been to grow the supply ever since?

    At best your complaint is one problem (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 04:05:16 PM EST
    was replaced by another. Your answer is to throw up your hands on the orignal problem and say nothing can be done.  That is not a solution.

    Ok. (none / 0) (#81)
    by Samuel on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 04:13:42 PM EST
    I just don't see overwhelming evidence in favor of the New Deal.  

    Not that that is a comment on anything you yourself have said.


    I am sure you don't. (none / 0) (#92)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 06:30:02 PM EST
    Ok. (none / 0) (#97)
    by Samuel on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 08:32:34 AM EST
    Actually wait... (none / 0) (#82)
    by Samuel on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 04:14:33 PM EST
    You don't understand how monetary expansion / debt / and longterm economic growth are all intertwined?

    I did not replace the problem whatsoever.


    U.S. Govt Spending Rose from $12b to $16b (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by gtesta on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:31:35 PM EST
    during the time period. http://tinyurl.com/dcvjsd compared to approx. $120b/yr during the war. FDR's programs were actually relatively modest in terms of dollar cost, but highly effective in terms of reducing the unemployment rate. What would have been the result of doing nothing?Riots in the streets, fascism, socialism... Also, hard to argue opportunity costs when no one had any money except the federal government.

    Great site! (none / 0) (#73)
    by Samuel on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:53:30 PM EST
    Thank you very much.  

    I understand what you're saying - I would ask that your assertions are accompanied by a theory.  The burden of proof is on those claiming an active approach to dealing with recessions.  

    There weren't too many riots in the streets in the post-WWI recessions when the gov did not step into the economy - what was different this time?

    Not that I know, but your answer fails to prove anything about the New Deal as it still does not take into consideration the longterm effects of monetary policy.

    Please explain the opportunity cost statement.


    Very Well Said (none / 0) (#98)
    by gtesta on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 08:42:43 AM EST
    Very much what I would have liked to write if I had the time!
    I would also mention that Samuel's point of comparing FDR's actions to the other Western Democracy's is difficult and not very instructive.  I think the situation in the U.S. was far worse.
    In England, there was already unemployment insurance, "social security" and other aid.
    In France, the economy was far less industrialized than the U.S., and unemployment was lower (mainly due to how many young men had been killed in WWI).
    Germany may be most similiar to the U.S. at the time.

    I'm just (none / 0) (#100)
    by Samuel on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 08:54:40 AM EST
    offering a way to frame the analysis.  It seems everybody is assuming total chaos if we did not have a New Deal.  I just don't see how the reasoning for this follows?  

    This isn't the same as me saying "the New Deal was bad" - more "can I get any analysis explaining business cycles, what if anything about the New Deal accelerated the recovery and how do we account for continued money supply expansion and the loosening of gold reserve requirements.

    Yes those countries are different - and the US in 1920 was different - but it seems like an awful lot of people are just assuming the New Deal made things better.  Even when things get better during the New Deal that isn't evidence that they would not have been even better if the government had stayed out.  I'm not walking around saying I have fact - I'm offering an explanation that I find to be much more thorough than the standard civics lesson.


    Franklin (none / 0) (#99)
    by Samuel on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 08:47:16 AM EST
    paid farmers to destroy crops as part of his radical price control scheme.  Why are you complaining about food shortages when the policy was meant to cause them to prevent deflation?  Shouldn't you be attacking that policy?

    Grapes of Wrath?  That's a primary source?  Treat your own arguments with the same scrutiny you treat mine.

    I'm not a member or a past voter of the GOP - you call my analysis 2-dimensional but if I disagree with you I'm automatically part of a group of people that are all wrong all the time?

    Thanks for the census info at the beginning - how does this compare to the post WWI recession and it's faster recovery with no intervention?  


    The supreme court (none / 0) (#101)
    by Samuel on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 09:09:43 AM EST
    ruled the NRA unconstitutional by unanimous vote in 1936. The ruling came after a committee had referred to the oppressive/fascistic policies of the NRA as "harmful, monopolistic, oppressive, grotesque,
    invasive, fictitious, ghastly, anomalous, preposterous, irresponsible,
    savage, wolfish...".  The NRA used force to maintain price and wage controls and violated anti-trust laws.

    I actually emailed that info (none / 0) (#77)
    by BernieO on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:57:52 PM EST
    to the show along with the fact that the numbers this claim is based on deliberately omit the jobs created directly by New Deal programs like the WPA, CCC, etc. It comes from the writings of Amity Shlaes, a conservative with a degree in English, not economics.

    Mika has repeated this idiocy since then.


    I think a person ought to (5.00 / 6) (#34)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:51:04 PM EST
    have to pass some sort of "entrance" exam in order to hold elective office - history, government, the Constitution, basic economic principles, maybe even basic math; I'm thinking some of these guys (Lynn Westmoreland comes to mind, as well) wouldn't even be able to get a high school diploma.

    What economic principles (none / 0) (#48)
    by Samuel on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:28:52 PM EST
    were violated by his statement as shown in this post?

    Your comment reminds me (5.00 / 3) (#51)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:39:51 PM EST
    that I left one out: reading comprehension.

    I didn't accuse the Congressman of violating any economic principles; I just think that those who hold elective office and make decisions that affect the economy ought to have some basic knowledge about economics.

    The knowledge thing is kind of a package deal for me.


    Ok. (none / 0) (#54)
    by Samuel on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:47:54 PM EST
    I thought your comment pertained to something in the discussion.  That is a good point, one that I fully endorse.

    Or pass a remedial course (none / 0) (#65)
    by BernieO on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:21:03 PM EST
    if they fail the exam.

    I also think they should all be audited on a regular basis.


    It should be part of the "application" (none / 0) (#83)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 04:21:10 PM EST
    process. We all have to fill in a variety of historical and skills answers, as well as have to prove some skills through testing, when we go for a new job. These positions should be no different, and the results should be public record so we can see who does better at what.

    Wow (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:52:23 PM EST
    This is already on Wikipedia and he's already retracted the statement:

    In a one-page e-mail, the Beavercreek Republican wrote: "I did not mean to imply in any way that President Roosevelt was responsible for putting us into the Depression, but rather was trying to make the point that Roosevelt's attempt to use significant spending to get us out of the Depression did not have the desired effect. Roosevelt did not put us into the Depression, but rather his policies could not pull the nation out of the recession."

    What a tool.

    Wait a tick... (none / 0) (#46)
    by Samuel on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:22:05 PM EST
    What I believe the gentleman is saying is as follows:

    X cause a recession.
    Hoover's response Y lengthened the recovery period turning it into a depression.
    FDR's policies Z prevented recovery until after WWII ended.

    Now I can't speak as to his specific claims on X, Y, Z but this basic claim has a lot of supporting evidence, namely in the Austrian theory of the business cycle.  Neo-classical and Keynesian theory have no explanation for what has been dubbed "the cluster of error".  More explicitly, the theories offer no explanation as to why huge swaths of entrepreneurs make crucial investment mistakes simultaneously.  

    Austrian's account for this by examining monetary policy and have explained why recessions in the modern "boom - bust" cycle of economics are always characterized by drops in capital goods demanded before consumer goods.  The basic gist is that easy money leads to longterm mal-investment as artificial interest rates alter cost-benefit analysis to make otherwise unprofitable ventures seem profitable.  

    To glaze over much of the explanation, the basis for the laizze-faire remedy is as follows: since artificial interest rates led to terrible investment, the only path to recovery is to allow deflation and the liquidation of these poor investment.

    Now as I see it, we are labeling the New Deal as a success because it gave some long-lasting goods like highways and put people to work.  At the same time it has left us with perpetual inflation and large debts.

    The closest comparison to the Great Depression happened immediately following WWI and was the result of money supply expansion to fund the war.  The government did not intervene in the economy whatsoever and a recovery occurred within 2 years (immediately followed by another monetary fueled boom cycle which led to the recession that turned into the Great Depression).

    Now I don't claim to know it all but wouldn't one have to admit that the evidence presented - if approached scientifically - is just not cut and dry enough to say with confidence that the New Deal did not prolong the depression?  How do we even begin to examine this considering that the inflationary baggage the New Deal carried lasted for generations?


    long as we are talking about evidence (none / 0) (#78)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 04:02:02 PM EST
    why is inflation per se bad? - why would inflation be bad during a period of deflation?

    What proof, if any at all, do you have that the New Deal caused inflation for generations?

    More explicitly, the theories offer no explanation as to why huge swaths of entrepreneurs make crucial investment mistakes simultaneously.  
    Herd mentality. Do we need an economic theory to explain that?

    the only path to recovery is to allow deflation and the liquidation of these poor investment.
    says you and Andrew Mellon.

    My best to answer. (none / 0) (#85)
    by Samuel on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 04:30:08 PM EST
    Inflationary policies are bad during a period of deflation because the deflation is both the symptom and the cure to mal-investment caused when the Fed lowers interest rates and floods the money supply.  Investors calculate longterm investment profitability on the new interest numbers which cannot be sustained.  In order for economic growth to recover, projects undertaken under false pretenses must be liquidated - "reinflation" encourages business to maintain these mal-investments.  This is evidenced in comparing capital demand numbers to consumer demand numbers at the beginning of any money-supply induced (non natural disasters basically) recession.

    The Fed Reserve continued to grow the money supply during and after the depression.  The assertion should be corrected to clearly state that I do not mean the New Deal caused the Fed policies - that is the choice of the Board of Governors - I am saying that benefits or failures of the New Deal are not apparent as the act of growing the money supply contributed to another illusory "boom" cycle.

    Heard Mentality.  Economics relies on the behavior of human beings.  When you say "heard mentality" that is part of your own economic theory explaining the situation.  Can you explain what you mean by this statement?  I'm asserting that something beyond the entrepreneurs themselves caused the massive failure - if all the fish in a fish tank die do you call it heard mentality or check the water?  Not that this proves the Austrian theory, just to illustrate the approach.

    Andrew Mellon: Zing!


    why break a perfectly good 2 x4? (5.00 / 3) (#40)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:04:55 PM EST
    use a golf club. He's a republican, ain't he?

    Latest Golf Magazine has (none / 0) (#58)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:52:56 PM EST
    pics of Obama lipping out a putt in HI. Dude is way skinnier looking in shorts than in a business suit...

    really, what else do the republicans (5.00 / 4) (#42)
    by cpinva on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:11:05 PM EST
    have? every republican administration since nixon has seen an expansion of government, and an increase in the national debt, every.single.one.

    republican/conservative fiscal orthodoxies have consistently proven disasterous for this country: reduce taxes to increase revenues; increase defense spending to balance the budget; give money to the rich, so it will "trickle" down to everyone else.

    none of it makes sense, but you're dealing with people wholly lacking in a sense of shame, or a connection with reality, so that makes absolutely no difference to them. point out the fallacies inherent in their policies, and they just repeat them, liked a scratched record on a phonagraph.

    when you realize this, their completely, obviously ridiculous attempts at revising history becomes a perfectly logical event.

    Don't conflate these things... (none / 0) (#52)
    by Samuel on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:41:25 PM EST
    If the Republicans claim to be fiscally conservative - then increase spending while cutting taxes - the Republicans are liars.  It does not comment on the tenets of fiscal conservatism.

    But neocons told me (none / 0) (#5)
    by Cream City on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:06:46 PM EST
    that it was Eleanor, that Commie, to blame.

    I guess it's good that they're being gender-balanced now in their blame game.

    I remember Bush's grandfather (none / 0) (#7)
    by ThatOneVoter on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:07:41 PM EST
    plotting a coup against Roosevelt in 1933, and supporting Hitler after WWII began. That happens to be true, unlike what the (R) says.

    Is that true? (none / 0) (#9)
    by samtaylor2 on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:15:57 PM EST
    The plot? Yes. (none / 0) (#10)
    by ThatOneVoter on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:21:31 PM EST
    Business plot

    I thought I had read that Prescott Bush was part of it, but the wiki link didn't have his name.
    The part about supporting  Hitler is well known.


    He was a banker (none / 0) (#14)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:29:34 PM EST
    I thought he assisted in the funding of Hitler's army. Is that the kind of "supporting" you were talking about?

    Money is the most significant (none / 0) (#17)
    by ThatOneVoter on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:30:58 PM EST
    kind of support, don't you agree?

    The Sinews of War (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Salo on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:37:09 PM EST
    according to Tacitus.

    Easily Josh's best line. (none / 0) (#22)
    by ThatOneVoter on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:38:51 PM EST
    Ah. The Salo we know and love. (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:39:10 PM EST
    It was Cicero. (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Salo on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:41:08 PM EST
    my bag.

    I know Josh T. could never (none / 0) (#28)
    by ThatOneVoter on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:46:22 PM EST
    come up with a line that good :P

    No, I don't agree (none / 0) (#30)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:48:57 PM EST
    I don't defend any of the Bush's for anything, but this information should be accurate. Not saying this article is the complete truth, but it does justify questioning the accusatory statement that P Bush was a Hitler supporter.

    Huh? That article supports my claim. (none / 0) (#55)
    by ThatOneVoter on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:49:41 PM EST
    Their shirts may've been (none / 0) (#79)
    by jondee on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 04:04:59 PM EST
    brown, but their money was green.

    Of oourse, at the time it was probobly the "sound, fiscally conservative" thing to do.


    Not exactly. (none / 0) (#26)
    by scribe on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:41:09 PM EST
    He was a an I-banker and did support Hitler's rise to power and rearmament.  And he lost scads of property under the Trading With The Enemy Act.

    But he also supported the Businessman's Plot.  That plot was an attempt to take over the US government through a coup, but it was thwarted before it got too far.  In 1934.


    I had forgotten about this (none / 0) (#67)
    by BernieO on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:29:00 PM EST
    Read up on it - the committee corroborated the allegations, but the media and historians played it down, portions of transcripts were deleted, full transcripts have never been released, etc.

    People really need to know about things like this. Americans are so complacent and think things like this could never happen here - making it more likely that they will.


    Bush's Nazi connections ... (none / 0) (#12)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:25:47 PM EST
    are greatly debated.

    But, during his rise to power, in the know people in Texas often referred to George Sr. as "that Nazi."


    Really?? Is there debate that he (none / 0) (#15)
    by ThatOneVoter on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:30:17 PM EST
    was doing business with the Nazis after WWII started?

    Heck if the Republicans can (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by BernieO on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:46:28 PM EST
    claim that FDR caused the Great Depression, they can surely dispute anything they want.

    Whenever the MSM ... (none / 0) (#32)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:49:39 PM EST
    has looked into this story they downplay the connections and what they mean.

    Make of that what you will.


    From what I've read... (none / 0) (#47)
    by Samuel on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:26:19 PM EST
    GWB's grandfather owned an intercontinental boat service.  During the lead up to WWII they offered free transit to America for any German willing to come over and proselytize for the Nazi cause.

    You've seen the Nazi party convention at Madison Square Garden a few years before WWII yes?  Look it up.


    How are these (none / 0) (#16)
    by Jjc2008 on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:30:30 PM EST
    GOP dufuses getting away with their Orwellian spin?  I understand that most of the people who lived through the depression are gone but their children are not.  FDR was worshipped by my parents....and my republican friends parents.

    Why aren't hisotrians speaking out against the spin.

    Why aren't the Dems. in (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:35:41 PM EST
    Congress and the White House.  Stunning silence.  This same type of pap was being spewed on the Senate floor yesterday.  

    Many democrtats swallow the... (none / 0) (#24)
    by Salo on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:39:58 PM EST
    ...idea that Roosevelt was a failure. Clinton rhetorically said the era of big government was over...Obama said the New Deal is a crumbling decay (this is in his book).

    This sort of mentality, of course, explains many things that have happened in the last 30 years.


    We all know public schools don't (none / 0) (#27)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:42:58 PM EST
    teach history now.  But Oxford, Yale, Harvard, Columbia?

    Well... (none / 0) (#33)
    by Salo on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:49:51 PM EST
    ...if the economic orthodoxy that reigns today is anything to go by I'd say that these opinions about the New Deal emanated from Yale and Harvard:

    1)So long as the graduate mafia from those two colleges run everything--there's no problem.

    2)Don't rock that Yacht.

    There were real Communists in Oxford and Cambridge.


    Public School (none / 0) (#53)
    by Samuel on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:43:29 PM EST
    Taught me that the New Deal was great for the economy.



    But when were you in public school? (none / 0) (#60)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:56:28 PM EST
    I'm 24. (none / 0) (#63)
    by Samuel on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:03:04 PM EST
    I think the common civics lesson is that the new deal was a fantastic thing.  A more in depth look reveals that this is highly debatable as the metrics for success typically are GDP and Unemployment and do not reflect longterm debt/inflationary impact.  There also seems to be no comparison to other recessions in which different approaches were taken - or even other Western economies that went through the crash with the US.

    Harvard and Yale do not ascribe to economics models that explain the boom-bust cycle - rather a series of highly complex static equilibriums.


    Right, because (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by Democratic Cat on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 04:25:13 PM EST
    who cares about people starving - literally starving - in America in the 1930s when there are long-term debt/inflationary consequences to think about?

    The economy has had its ups and downs in the last 80 years, but we are hardly crippled with debt and inflation dating back to the time of the New Deal.


    I'm lost. (none / 0) (#88)
    by Samuel on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 04:45:03 PM EST
    Are you insinuating the New Deal was not an economic success - but saved a few lives?  I'd be willing to accept that argument if I did not think suffering was magnified by extending the recovery period.

    As I said, non-interventionist policies resulted in a very short deflationary period during the Post WWI recession.  Herbert Hoover intervened first and made it into a depression, FDR came along and was even more interventionist.  

    If you can illustrate how my approach would result in more starvation than wage/price controls keeping people out of work - well I'll wait for that.


    About starvation (none / 0) (#91)
    by Samuel on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 05:18:07 PM EST
    In an effort to maintain prices - Roosevelt paid farmers to plow every third row of wheat/corn in their fields.  

    This is what wage/price controls do - they cause suffering.  If you care about people and want to understand my point of view before dismissing it I would be THRILLED beyond anything describable to recommend reading and have discussions.


    FDR's Secretary of Agriculture (none / 0) (#102)
    by Samuel on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 09:14:59 AM EST
    "Curiously enough, while Wallace was paying out hundreds of
    millions to kill millions of hogs, burn oats, plow under cotton, the
    Department of Agriculture issued a bulletin telling the nation that
    the great problem of our time was our failure to produce enough
    food to provide the people with a mere subsistence diet."

    Maybe when you are older (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by Jjc2008 on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 04:30:15 PM EST
    you read first hand accounts from people and learn about their lives and look at more than just numbers.  GDP, unemployment, and all kind of statistics are limited. I am old enough to have had parents that came of age during the depression.  They were poor enough to have had to work in factories as children.  They also remember the bread lines, the hobo camps, all the things associated with the depression.  

    To them FDR restored the country and gave it back TO THE PEOPLE after years of Hoover and others giving all to the robber barons and their friends. I don't care what your numbers say or what you think, you can extrapolate from them.  Reality was with masses of people able to get jobs.  My father and three of his brothers worked in the CCC camps, building roads and bridges.  Their money was sent to their families so their younger siblings could go to school, and eat.  

    Spend time with older citizens (and sadly few are left), and FDR was their hero.  Families believed in his policies. Poor immigrants like my parents were able to work and save money and BUY a house...a huge deal for them.   Not only that, many of them sent their kids to college...people that were unable to even finish high school.

    It was a process.  But those people reminded us as kids what they did, what they were willing to do to get the country back.  They listened to FDR and believed together they could get working people back to having a decent life.  

    Use all the book learning and intellectual spin you want.  REAL people who lived thru it speak of experience of what it was like when only the rich were getting a piece of the American dream to when FDR started the country on the road to democracy instead of the plutocracy of the gilded age.  Same now as then.....


    What is your argument? (none / 0) (#87)
    by Samuel on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 04:39:21 PM EST
    That because older people liked FDR the New Deal was an economic success?  

    The economic theories I utilize are minimalist in regards to empiricism and founded upon logical constructs.  

    If you follow my proposition - that the effects of the New Deal were hidden by monetary expansion - then you would realize that all the accounts for FDR occurred during an artificially created boom cycle.  This would be like saying GWB is great because of 2004's growth in housing.

    I do respect the elderly - and in practice find them much less generic than you propose.

    Sounds like someone is thinking with their "gut".


    What I am proposing (none / 0) (#89)
    by Jjc2008 on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 04:46:38 PM EST
    is that all you intellectual posturing does not tell a real story.  You are young and seriously, you clearly do not get reality yet.  Maybe you will some day.

    I am saying I know what happened to REAL people.....and they know what happened to them...and they know why.  You clearly don't get it.  Maybe you will some day.

    And while I understand, appreciate and even teach critical think skills, there are no formulas when it comes to real people.  It takes more than just numbers to tell a REAL story.


    What are you saying? (none / 0) (#90)
    by Samuel on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 05:03:14 PM EST
    That because I applied an economic model at all I'm wrong?

    Once again - is your thesis that because the older people you know liked Roosevelt, the economic impact of the New Deal must have been positive?

    If it's posturing then it should be rather easy to indicate my errors.  Where have my assumptions of reality failed me specifically?

    You cite absolutely no evidence rather than the circumstantial and easily manipulated opinion of people that lived through the depression.  I mean, within the subset of this older generation itself - are some people more correct than others - or is everyone just right because they lived it - and all equally right even if opinions differ?

    Apply this approach to other areas and see if it yields correct results.


    How so? (none / 0) (#96)
    by Samuel on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 08:30:31 AM EST
    They get their history lessons (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by lobary on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:57:00 PM EST
    from their email inboxes.

    Stupidity gone viral.


    People Do Speak Out But... (none / 0) (#43)
    by santarita on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:19:18 PM EST
    the media doesn't give them any air time.  Republicans have made an art of the sound bite.  They've been able to propagate misinformation by using the media as a megaphone.  The media blithely allows them to throw around misinformation without correcting them or allowing any one who might know to correct them in the name of journalistic objectivity.  Except for a very few, Democrats have not been an effective counter.

    I disagree (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by BernieO on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:44:13 PM EST
    that Dem leaders speak out. They are notoriously bad at refuting all those carefully crafted, focus-group tested Republican talking points.

    I was listening to a debate between Jim DeMint and Barney Frank, one of the best Dems in terms of arguing liberal positions. Yet even Barney did not refute DeMint when he said we need to cut corporate taxes because we have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. This is the kind of talking point that sticks in people's minds and not refuting it implies it is correct. The truth is that, while our nominal tax rate is high, we allow many deductions for things we want to encourage - employee health insurance, R&D, captital investment, etc. making our rates very competitive with other countries.

    Compare the way that Republicans vigorously defend their presidents and candidates with the way Democrats cowered in the corner when Gore was so viciously attacked in 2000. How often have you heard a Democrat explain that while it is true that tax cuts do usually raise revenues, it is never enough to even come close to making up the revenue that is lost by the tax. Tax cuts always raise the deficit. Republicans have been making this claim for years with little push back. No wonder people believe it.

    Now Republicans are lying about the New Deal not creating jobs, FDR making the Depression worse, etc. Where are the Dem spokespeople debunking these lies? At least Paul Krugman is doing this.


    Watching C-Span yesterday morning (none / 0) (#61)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:57:43 PM EST
    whilsts the Senators spoke for and against the stimulus bill, I didn't heard any refutation of blatant lies.  

    Well it's true. Let me explain. (none / 0) (#41)
    by Radix on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:10:16 PM EST
    Back in 1929, Americans were a much more spiritual people. God spoke to the people in October 1929 and told them that in the next election an Evil socialist would be elected. Upon hearing this news the people lost confidence in the market, which caused it's crash, in turn causing the Great Depression. See, now that you have the facts, it all seems perfectly reasonable, doesn't it? Now don't you feel silly for doubting?

    According to Wikipedia (none / 0) (#93)
    by weltec2 on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 01:55:58 AM EST
    this individual graduated from Marquette. I think they had better do a double check on that.

    ya (none / 0) (#104)
    by connecticut yankee on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 01:00:26 PM EST
    The 70s was a golden age on television for another reason. Conservatives were the joke. Frank Burns and Archie Bunker just had to say conservatives sounding things and they got laughs.

    Sean Hannity couldve appeared on All in the Family and done his show straight and people would have found it a hilarious send-up of non-thinking conservatives.