We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Wednesday, February 20. 2008
It was politically brilliant of FDR's speech writers to use the language of "rights" (which until that time in American liberty-oriented, revolutionary language had referred to rights granted by God to individual humans in opposition to government power) to the "right," or even the duty, of government to take the fruits of our efforts and that of our parents, without any apparent limit.
With a devilishly clever twisting of "freedom" language, leveraged with the timely intervention of the Great Depression, FDR decided to turn a charitable US with Christian values into a welfare state with a strong dose of secular socialist values. He had plenty of other choices.
I recently ran into an essay by Cass Sunstein in The American Prospect on FDR's "Second Bill of Rights."
Sunstein approves of FDR's revolution. Read the whole thing.
Comment from The Barrister: We cannot rest until one insecure family is made secure? What does that mean? My life would be instantly insecure if I decided to quit work today, grab a six-pack and go fishin.'
Comment from Bird Dog: To imagine that FDR and his pals were indifferent to the laws of incentive and of unintended consequences would be to underestimate them. Since I do not believe that it is possilble to be charitable with other people's money, I assume that they were simply very crafty politicians. The Dems have never wavered from that same strategy: the more people you put on the dole and the fewer folks you have paying all of the taxes, the more votes you get. It's not complicated. Hence the moves for socialized medicine...and then what next, after that?
Comment from Dr. Bliss: As an aristocrat in a family with a strong sense of noblesse oblige, FDR never had to worry about freedom. Freedom never entered into his administration's equations, and the Progressives back then had as little interest in struggling with the conflicts between individual freedom and autonomy vs. material social well-being, as they do today.
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"ill-housed?" - I had to live in an apartment until I saved enough to buy a house - surely that wasn't fair.
"ill-fed" - My diet really stinks, somebody should step in.
I truly believe FDR was our worst President of the 20th Century. He used government intervention to turn a sharp recession into the Great Depression and his legacy will hang around my children's necks like a financial millstone.
Ill-fed, they'll feed you of course it may be tofu and veggies because meat and cheese and butter is bad for you.
FDR ... so much can be said and as time goes by less and less of it is good. The nation at that time thought him God like and he approved their approbation by breaking Geo. Washington's very well grounded belief that two terms were enough for any President. Lifetime dictator was what FDR was aiming for but time an chance stopped his swift skills and "wise" intelligence.
And then of course there is his and Eleanor's enchantment with Stalin and the absolute, now irrefutable fact that FDR's administration was run basically by Stalin's NKVD.
If we want to move toward his "economic miracle" we need look no further than the fact that the corner had already been turned on the Wall Street collapse and that the FDR's policies actually prolonged the Depression, which of course greatly benefited FDR.
All in all he was a manipulative swine.
those who are hungry and jobless "are the stuff out of which dictatorships are made."
Not all dictatorships are built on poverty and despair. There is also the tyranny of well-meaning concern. Am I free to smoke? To not wear a seatbelt? To enjoy the fruits of my labor and do with my land and property as I see fit? To be left alone?
Sigh.. IMHO much of the blame for this can be blamed on Christians. Not the faith. I agree with and follow the faith. It is what has been left undone rather than what has been done which I consider the problem.
For over one hundred years the church has been becoming more and more of a social club, rather than a gathering of active believers. This is not across the board, of course, but pervasive nonetheless.
Christians have forgotten to feed the hungry, visit the sick, clothe the naked etc... They have handed that responsibility off to the government. The government does a poor job and is not personally involved. The people who should be doing these things do not grow in the doing.
Christians have forgotten to engage with folks and argue effectively for the moral system which they now demand the government enforce to make the world be as they see it.
I agree with the moral stance the Christian Right ("Evangelicals") appears to take. I don't agree with the means towards that end.
My wife and I (NOT wealthy by any measure) have for decades been engaged with a home for unwed mothers and putting our money where our pro-life mouth is. We have given various people financial assitance to the extent we are able.
If the Christians in this country would DO rather than demand of others, that which they are called to do in response the grace they are given, this slide toward more and more nanny statism could be stopped and reversed, because better providers of care, love and wisdom would be available.
Cass R. Sunstein, a tenured professor at the University of Chicago Law School, will head a new program at Harvard on risk regulation. The program will study how law and policy deal with 21st-century hazards such as terrorism, climate change, and occupational safety.
Just wonder what this new program will find considering Sunstein's views. Do you think he is a liberal? lol
'Tax and tax, spend and spend, elect and elect'. It's all about power. Sick.
Before tax and tax, spend and spend (and BTW where and what civilization never did those two things?) it's ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT POWER.
The writer assumes freedom to be a luxury or consumable, like so much gasoline. Without an automobile, driver, destination it has no value.
By God, it does have value - a free man can choose to throw it on socialists and strike a match. That is real freedom.
Tax and tax, spend and spend, elect and elect, regulate and regulate, litigate and litigate, patronize and patronize.
Meanwhile, elsewhere, in other places, eyes begin to glow in slow fury. By the time it starts, it's too late to stop.
If you really want to understand how FDR screwed things up, there's an awesome biography called "The Forgotten Man" that covers it pretty thoroughly. Highly recommended.
yeh -- that's that Amity Shlaes book -- the 'forgotten man' of the title is the taxpayer who paid for the New Deal.
Habu- No doubt it's about power. That's where the consitution comes in. FDR tried to destroy the constitution and the 'people' went along. The document is still there, however, and the rule of fundamental law will return. The constitution was looked upon as an old, worn out, theoretical construction of classically liberal ideas by the 'progressives' and the ivory tower, half-assed 'intellectuals' in the press and then the courts went along. It's now the 'progressives' turn to be dismissed as quaint old boobs whose time has passed. The social engineering ideas of the early 20th century are passe. They don't have a leg to stand on. Progressivism is a mass delusion and the current standard bearers will be shown to be as empty as their rhetoric. Only a minority of American adults are susceptible to their cultish nonsense.
The greatest amount of money donated to charity is done in the US, even with the federal government trying to take that over. The lesson of the Indonesia Tsunami is that the largest donations came from the American People via donations first and the federal government in the form of a CV battle group *second*. No one else comes close... those who wish to pass the spirit of charity to government forget it is not made to be charitable.
FDR is also the one who came up with this utterance opening up the TVA:
"Never shall the federal government part with its sovereignty or with its control of its power resources while I'm president of the United States."
Nice to know that he saw it all belonging to the government to control. It is telling that 8 of the 11 major government agencies to be removed from the federal government are directly related to FDR's time in office... and only three of those directly related to WWII. Of the other three, one was done before FDR and was related to Wilson and WWI and the of the other two, one was ancient in terms of the government (Board of Tea Appeals) and the other (USIA ending new program production) related to the Cold War. That puts FDR at the head of the class for most parts of government that had to be removed that he started.
His every family uplifted idea still resounds in John Edwards' 'Two America's' with the girl with no coat, George W. Bush's NCLB, to Barack Obama's feel-goodism that has a nearly $1 trillion price tag attached to it and Hillary Clinton's 'if I tried to get all of my ideas going, we couldn't pay for them all'. The idea that government can do 'good' is not only corrosive to the spirit of charity, but puts responsibility for enacting at into the hands of those with the least accountability.
And if I remember correctly, it wasn't the landed gentry that, by-and-large, died in great numbers during the Revolutionary War - it was the small farmers and shopkeepers, and their sons. Yes, a few high-minded thinkers and a whole bunch of folks that rallied under a banner of 'no taxation without representation'.
Wouldn't surprise me to see that banner come back in the near future, either... and I doubt those under it would be the rich...
Do you have a source for the conclution that "If we want to move toward his "economic miracle" we need look no further than the fact that the corner had already been turned on the Wall Street collapse and that the FDR's policies actually prolonged the Depression, which of course greatly benefited FDR."
In 1931GNP fell by over 8 percent and unemployment was over 15 percent in 1932 GNP fell another 13 percent and unemployment was up to over 23 percent. FDR isn't in office untill 1933, in march of that year there was another bank panic which led to FDR declaring the bank holiday. In 1933 GNp only fell 2%. In 1934 and 1935 GNP grew over 7% and in 1936 grew over 14%. Not until 1937 when FDR, worried about deficit spending cut government spending and the US hit another recession. IF your argument is to be believed your telling me that the economic recovery was driven by "Wall Street" and was despite FDR's programs. Thats a stretch, help me understand would you pal?