November 8, 2012 at 5:58 pm #15883ksrugisMember
Hi all! I thought I would post a snippet from a “friend of a friend’s” facebook page. I joined this site before reading it, but it just reminded me of why this site exists. There is so much wrong in what you are about to read:
“”People need to chill. Those of you that put W in office twice, despite his reckless deficit creation, putting two wars on the collective credit card after lying about the reasons to wage war, and reducing the ability of the US government to collect resources to pay for the spending spree, have to take a close look in the mirror. Your chickens have come home to roost. I know its easier to blame the “Kenyan” than accept responsibility for your own party’s failures, and I realize that you feel the advantages of being born on third base are slipping away from you. Obstructionism has slowed down recovery far more than Keynesian economic policy (which has actually helped spawn infrastructure job creation). We face some hellish problems going forward, and need to work with each other as Americans to get back on track. History is cyclical, and yes FDR did lead us to a brighter future through focusing on the disenfranchised and middle class. We will be successful only when the middle class is strong enough again, to behave as the capitalistic spending machine it needs to be, in order to support the efforts of business for profit. Its time to move forward and work our asses off, not bitch and whine and keep throwing roadblocks to policy in the House of Representatives. The Tea Party was given a chance last election cycle, and the voters decided that they have had enough. Time to rethink, regroup, make changes, and present a better argument. Those at the very top need to realize that the only way to safeguard that position is to put endless greed in check, spread the wealth enough to fuel the american dream for the middle class, while realizing it is in their best interest to do so. Time to part with a little profit in order to put their interests, and America’s interests at the top. Keep meaningful jobs in country, improve healthcare and education to create the next wave of american talent, and invest in our future.” -says a facebook friend
To bother to write up a response or not…I think this guy just lives in his own world and would ignore historical facts. But can anyone think of the most powerful fact that is easy to understand and not controversial that might turn the dimmer on that light bulb in his head?November 8, 2012 at 7:19 pm #15884derosa8Member
I like the Bob Murphy presuppositional question, “What would it have to look like for you to say FDR did NOT lead us out of the depression?” Best presented alongside the awful unemployment numbers for over a decade following the stock market crash in 1929.November 8, 2012 at 7:58 pm #15885porphyrogenitusMember
Also, it’s a myth that FDR “focused on the forgotten middle class.” Woods’s lectures on the New Deal illustrate; FDR focused his programs on his own well-being, putting money where it would do him and Democrats political good, not on the abstract well-being of the “middle class” as a whole.
FDR came into office saying a third of the country was ill-fed, then destroyed foodstocks and implemented other policies aimed at keeping prices high.
What gets people to think that he “focused on the well-being of the middle class” is the fact that he did what he could to screw business. . .but it was often one set of businesses that were being screwed, on behalf of the business interests who were FDR’s friends & supporters, and who wrote the regulations by which their competitors were screwed.
Further, there are tons of books and articles that could be recommended that show that using government to “spread the wealth around” does not improve the lot of the worst off, but actually (especially over time), harms them – but, again, entrenches interests who do benefit from the programs (and no, those interests are not “the poor”). One starting point for that would be Tom Woods’s own book, “The Church and the Market,” which examines in some detail whether these programs, ostensibly aimed at helping the “disenfranchized” actually help them. I mean, other than making them feel better because they’re screwing over people who think are doing better than them.
To that end, remind your “facebook friend” of Obama’s great moral exhortation to his supporters, that “voting is the best revenge.” His call to revenge, that’s the “positive, optimistic vision” that Progressives offer. Perpetual revenge-based politics through a perpetual patron-client relationship between the Progressive leadership and their supporters.November 8, 2012 at 8:15 pm #15886porphyrogenitusMember
“which has actually helped spawn infrastructure job creation”
Does he have any numbers to back that up? Can he tell you whether they were efficiently allocated, and did not just displace other potential investment?
Bob Murphy’s “propositional question” applies to the last four years. In lots of places on the web, there is a chart comparing the current “recovery” with past recoveries. What would things have to look like for him to accept that these policies have retarded recovery, rather than helped it?
Likewise in lots of places on the web there is the famous unemployment chart, showing what they said unemployment would be without their Keynsean policies, what it would be with them, and what the actual unemployment was. If he objects to this, claiming “well, they didn’t know how bad things were at the time” – point out that this objection fails, because the entire premise of Keynsian-based macro-economics is that they understand the economy well enough to predict what will follow from a given set of policies. If they couldn’t even understand what *already* *happened* well enough, then they certainly can’t claim the technical expertise to manage the economy – which they do all the time.
Here’s a pretty good Murphy Youtube video on the management of the present crisis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmYtyl8s05w
Here’s a shorter one where he is responding to Robert Reich on “rich people gutted the social safety net for the middle class and the poor, and that produced the crisis”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXm4j2ORYcg
Especially rebuts the bogus claim that “there have been sharp cuts in spending” or even “there have been sharp cuts in social benefit spending” – these claims are false to the point of being. . .dare I say it? Lies.
And here he is on contrasting views of the Great Depression:
Edit, Added: I just noticed the little “edit” button. I also just stumbled uncontrollably across this review of Burton Folsom’s book, by the great Robert Higgs. Interesting paragraph:
“Folsom presents a valuable discussion of the great extent to which taxes were increased during the 1930s, especially excise taxes–on alcoholic beverages, gasoline, cigarettes, radios, movie tickets, and many other goods–that bore relatively heavily on lower-income people. From 1933 through 1936, federal excise taxes exceeded federal individual and corporate income taxes combined, and during the following four years excises always brought in at least 40 percent of federal revenue. After 1935 Social Security payroll taxes diminished poor people’s wages disproportionately.“November 9, 2012 at 12:42 pm #15887ksrugisMember
very good! Thanks for the info =)
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