Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Wisdom from the Great Depression

Here are words from Mariner Eccles, appointed Chairman of the Federal Reserve by FDR. His words then are applicable today:
It is utterly impossible, as this country has demonstrated again and again, for the rich to save as much as they have been trying to save, and save anything that is worth saving. They can save idle factories and useless railroad coaches; they can save empty office buildings and closed banks; they can save paper evidences of foreign loans; but as a class they can not save anything that is worth saving, above and beyond the amount that is made profitable by the increase of consumer buying. It is for the interests of the well to do – to protect them from the results of their own folly – that we should take from them a sufficient amount of their surplus to enable consumers to consume and business to operate at a profit. This is not “soaking the rich”; it is saving the rich. Incidentally, it is the only way to assure them the serenity and security which they do not have at the present moment.
The right wing Republican nuts of today are as hidebound and foolish as the right wing Republican nuts of the 1930s. In both cases they scream bloody murder about "class war" and want to protect the excessive incomes of the rich. But the rich have squeeze society to the point where the spending of the bottom 90% can't keep the economy afloat. Mariner Eccles made that point 80 years ago and it needs to be made again today.

Here is the wisdom that must be re-learned:
Before effective action can be taken to stop the devastating effects of the depression, it must be recognised that the breakdown of our present economic system is due to the failure of our political and financial leadership to intelligently deal with the money problem. In the real world there is no cause nor reason for the unemployment with its resultant dsestitution and suffering of fully one-third of our entire population. We have all and more of the material wealth which we had at the peak of our prosperity in the year 1929. Our people need and want everything which our abundant facilities and resources are able to provide for them. The problem of production has been solved, and we need no further capital accumulation for the present, which could only be utilised in further increasing our productive facilities or extending further foreign credits. We have a complete economic plant able to supply a superabundance of not only all the necessities of our people, but the comforts and luxuries as well. Our problem, then, becomes one purely of distribution. This can only be brought about by providing purchasing power sufficiently adequate to enable the people to obtain the consumption goods which we, as a nation, are able to produce. The economic system can serve no other purpose and expect to survive.
Obama has in power for nearly 3 years and still hasn't learned this lesson. Throw out Obama! The Democrats need a new leader. Somebody who understands that the purpose of government is to help people have hope ("change you can believe in") and a better, more prosperous future. Obama has failed to deliver. A new guy needs to be put forward in the hopes that they have the guts, the courage, the cojones, the intelligence, and the leadership to make the changes needed to bring about a better tomorrow.

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