Herbert Clark Hoover Returns?; Reruns Of The Great Depression

 

So. I’ve been thinking deep in the back of my flea-bitten brain, desperately trying to remember the economic policies of Presidents Herbert C. Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt when each was in charge of getting our America back on track from the Great Depression.

The reason for this brain research is that I have had these nagging memories and senses that there are some quite strong comparisons between those two Presidents and the two Presidential candidates in today’s America. While I will readily admit that I have an extreme personal bias regarding my choice in November, I have done some research that links that bias to the President whose policies brought a successful resolution of the Depression.

Further research likewise links the failed economic policies of the Depression President to the guy I really fucking don’t want to be my President.

The Great DEpression—like the current Great REcession—was sparked by Wall Street. In 1929, Wall Street was a mostly unregulated monetary casino where $Millions could be made, or lost, in a single day. Promoters could organize and market companies both with legitimate business interests and those that were simply scams.

People were allowed to purchase stock with little or no cash and when the Stock Market heated up after 1925, Americans were literally “betting the house” to purchase their stock picks—mortgaging their homes to by share certificates. Speculation was rampant and millions of Americans invested too heavily in stocks.

Since investment in a stock is, eventually, a value-based investment, a day of reckoning will come and a stock’s true value will be determined. In October of 1929, years of Roaring ’20’s speculative and quite high stock prices came crashing down with the reality that those prices were not backed by value.

Crash, bang and BOOM!

Today’s Recession was caused, basically, by a deregulated Wall Street speculating by promoting mortgage-backed securities that, again and quite literally, had average Americans “betting the house” on an investment. The main difference is that instead of gambling on stock purchases they couldn’t afford and that had no value to back the stock’s price, average Americans were gambling on home purchases with financing they didn’t qualify for on houses that were priced far above market realities.

OK, stop right here, Mooner. Nobody really gives a shit about all this economics. Folks who read here either already understand these comparisons or they don’t. If they don’t, they are either too young to vote or they don’t give a shit. So I’ll attempt to get to my point.

My memories of FDR are quite clear and abundant. He is one of my heroes. Like President Obama, FDR wanted to stabilize the support systems for the vast working class majority of our citizens and worked hard to create programs that generated jobs and social safety nets. Again, not to bore, but FDR created: The WPA, FERA, CWA, Tennessee Valley Authority, and the US Housing Authority—all of which created infrastructure directly and created jobs directly and indirectly.

By the way. Since corporations are now people, should we use the word “who” rather than “which”?

FDR created Social Security to better all Americans’ elder years and the Securities and Exchange Commission to try to prevent future Wall Street collapses. He created the Wagner Act to help promote and strengthen workers’ rights through trade and labor unions, and he worked hard to keep America out of World War II. FDR didn’t see war as the solution to America’s economic woes, and before our entry into that terrible conflict our economy was in a strong recovery.

President Obama’s plans are quite closely akin to those of FDR, and again I’ll not bore with details because it’s the other guys’ comparisons I’d like to demonstrate. To do so, please allow me to pluck a paragraph from Ask.com when I Google searched “President Herbert Clark Hoover’s economic policies”. Here’s the quote from Ask,com:

“Hoover, a trained engineer, believed strongly in the Efficiency Movement, which held that the government and the economy were riddled with inefficiency and waste, and could be improved by experts who could identify the problems and solve them. He also believed in the importance of volunteerism and the role of individuals in playing a role in American society and the economy. Hoover, who had made a small fortune in mining, was the first of two Presidents to redistribute their salary (President was the other; he donated all his paychecks to charity).”

As you can see, Hoover and Mitt Romney made money in mining—Hoover mined natural resources and Romney mines other peoples’ assets—and each feels that America’s government’s are very wasteful. If you click over to the linkster for the Efficiency Movement, you’ll get a taste of what swollen-brained rich people thought of governments and the working classes one hundred years ago. You’ll see that Hoover thought government wasteful and the working classes to be “inefficient”. Further digging will show that the Efficiency Movement felt that most workers are lazy and require stringent overseering, er, I mean oversighting to gain ultimate efficiencies in the workplace.

Sound familier?

And if you read deeper on Hoover, you’ll see that he was a proponant of civil rights and pushed to get all minorities and poor Americans educated and trained and voting, just like Mitt…

Oopsie.

Maybe I need to get myself a research assistant.

How about this second Great Depression comparison to today’s dealio? Herr Adolph Hitler took control of a Germany that was far worse off than America in that day. Der Fuhrer had a simple plan to get Germany back on its feet: Blame the Jews for all of Germany’s problems to foment hatred in a common enemy (think Muslims); Install Christian-based education systems (“Hello, Texas Board of Education”); Promote finatical nationalism; Create jobs by spending huge amounts af GNP on the military industrial complex; Inflict German system on other countries through military invasions, and, therefore and ipso facto, end Germany’s depression.

Does maybe that shit sound familier? Do the words “Herr Field Marshall Schmidt Rommel” ring any birthday bells?

My brain is going to explode. I think that I have so thoroughly distracted and confused myself that my gray matter has reached critical mass.

Maybe that’s how all of those Brittish people spontaneously combust while sitting in their easy chairs watching reruns of Upstairs, Downstairs. Their minds start to ponder the likenesses between King Henry the Eighth and their current Prime Minister candidates—and, POOF!

Which reminds me. I spoke to Mother last night and talk about your poof. The dementia is taking her memory, like “POOF!” it’s gone. If she was my aunt and not my mom, she’d be my batty old aunt, Mother Johnson. While she still remembers me, she just can’t seem to keep me placed in Santa Fe right now.

She hasn’t seemed to lose any of the right-wing Christian bigotry that is the chasm between us. When I reminded her for the fifth time in as many calls that I’m in Santa Fe, she said to me, she said, “Well just you don’t let any of those homo-sex-u-als talk you into anything, son. You know that they are good salesmen when it comes to selling their lifestyle.”

I’ll be glad when this election is over. Really glad. I’m hopeful that the Republicans won’t get full control of America’s dashboard but I’m actually fearful if they do. OK, maybe I meant America’s control panel.

And maybe my ADHD has fritzed the ever loving shit right out of me. So please allow me to say this: Drink Carta Blanca beer, and come back manana, y’all.

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2 Responses to “Herbert Clark Hoover Returns?; Reruns Of The Great Depression”

  1. Squatlo says:

    Thanks for the brief history (hysterical?) lesson. I, obviously, am too young to remember FDR or Hoover, and the presidents I do remember are recalled through a fog of cannibis that was probably not helpful in the memory department. Which was probably because I was trying to forget the presidents of the time. Vicious circles and all that. Sort of an “I drink to remember, I drink to forget” thing.

    Economics aside, this election is really about whether you think America is worthy as an investment, or worthy as a potential harvest. Do we invest in our kids’ educations, promote sustainable jobs and energy sources, work to clean up our environment, and strive to give everyone an equal opportunity… OR, do we simply revert to a Survival of the Richest kind of financial Darwinism that leaves most of us for roadkill?

    The reason the partisan divide is so stark these days is because neither side is willing to accept a single thought from the other side as reasonable. I can’t think of a single Republican policy point that I’d support. Not fucking one of them. And when you tie their poisonous policies to voter suppression aimed primarily at the elderly, the poor, and minorities, I’m even less inclined to support their way of thinking.

  2. Mooner In Austin says:

    Squat. As Christian and psuedo-Christ followers, those silly shitheads should actually follow their Bible. Shall I quote?

    “Ye shall reapeth as ye fucking soweth!”

    Next time God pays a visit, I’m asking if I can be allowed to design several person’s acomodations down there to Hell. I’ve got some interesting ways for bigots to spend Eternity.

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