Tag: FDR

Democracy: Perpetually at Odds with Unmolested Capitalism

Tu Lee | United States

America was birthed not just as a reaction to expensive tea, but as part of a more bedrock fight to preserve unfettered capitalism. As such, it should be expected that any notion to undermine this with socialist ideals would deeply offend even the most flimsily rooted patriots. As to not offend these types, welfare was initially pitched as “the opportunity to live in decency and dignity” by LBJ or even adherent to a more adequate “second Bill of Rights” by FDR. As a stale Democratic Party struggles to maintain their hold on an American public which increasingly views Revolutionary era capitalism as a decorative fantasy we are merely obligated to include in high school history textbooks, these niceties have been quickly abandoned. Just recently Democratic Senator Kamala Harris introduced $6,000 lump-sum checks to the poor and Democratic Senator Cory Booker flashed plumper $50,000 cash prizes to those who elect to prop up him and his regime. Our political discourse has reached a tipping point; politicians have ditched the previous sensitivity to blatantly bribe the remaining non-voting poor on the taxpayer’s dime. The politicians offer these bribes out in the open with their backs turned to those still expecting better acting on the American Playhouse stage. Disappointed as we may be as spectators, this new jump from our politicians erodes away a crucial truth about the relationship between Democracy and Capitalism.

Seemingly out of a Bernie Sanders daydream, the Pareto principle describes a widely present phenomenon where a small section of a population controls a vast majority of a resource. More commonly this is called the 80/20 rule, and it can apply to anything from wealth to consumption of healthcare resources. Essentially, most people are more or less mediocre producers, and those who happen to be good producers are exponentially amazing producers (think the Bill Gates or Trumps of the world). Interestingly, this general distribution occurs in wealth-generating economies regardless of historical or geographical context. If Democracy is equally representative, the Pareto principle tells us it will advocate for the worst 80% of contributors to the economy in disregard to the exceptionally great top 20% of contributors. While the advocation for the lazy majority could be peaceful, it’s often too effective for politicians to resist energizing the lower class against the upper class to maximize voter turnout. Jealously is stirred up and the democratic mass easily swallows the narrative of a rigged playing field or even the scapegoating of unrelated everyday problems. So long as historically inevitable Pareto distributions continue to exist in society, then Democracy, if truly representative of the masses, will fundamentally serve to throttle the economy’s greatest producers and therefore the fuel of the economy itself.

Why should the genius working day and night for the bettering of the society, his only roadblocks the laws vomited out of his country’s legislative belly have no recourse against the bum and his mindless kin? What is usually pitched as a loophole in our Democracy is actually one of it’s greatest unintended features. It makes sense that someone intelligent enough to sit on the peak of a Pareto distribution would be smart enough to tweak the governmental game when unfairly pressed. Whether it be through Super PACs, lobbying, or revolving doors, the nudging is not boundless and must happen within a degree reasonable enough to stay under the public radar. The natural tendency of those at the top to weasel into power over politics is a healthy restraint of Democracy, even if this assertion occurs in largely unsavory ways. Regardless of this, in Democracy’s immutable quest to serve the unconstrained will of the masses there will always be inherent toxicity, economic asphyxiation, and demonization of those who serve the country most by the very same masses who are simultaneously surrendering their own wealth voluntarily to those demonized.

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The Myth of the Big Southern Republican Party Switch

By Benjamin Olsen | United States

The big switch is a long debated topic on whether or not the Republican party espoused racist ideas and ‘switched’ their party’s ideals in order to gain the southern vote. The idea that the South switched from Democrat to Republican overnight in order to oppose the Civil Rights Act is absurd. In fact, it shows a complete lack of understanding of history and economics.

The Republican party has its roots in the tumultuous time preceding the American Civil War, and the party was founded on the main principle of abolishing slavery. Its goal was to oppose the Democratic party in all dealings and to ensure that all new states or territories would enter the union as free-soil, where no man could suffer under the yoke of another man. After the war, the Republican party had accomplished most of its initial goals.

In the following years, they adopted the economic ideas of a free market. After all, the only way to get the South back on its feet was to allow the market to operate freely. This provided unprecedented growth in the United States. The problem with the free market after the Civil War, however, is that the South did not have the infrastructure to sustain the type of markets needed. Their fields had been salted and their raw exports they benefited from before the war had dried up.

The desolation of the South led to the inevitable meddling of government through tax-breaks, cronyism, and nepotism. The South was unable to partake in the free market that flourished under U. S. Grant’s presidency. The following presidents continued to meddle in the market. The result? The free market collapsed, giving way to defective cronyism.

Cronyism is a corrupt market economy where special interests control the government. This is achieved slowly and surely through political insider trading, campaign donations, and returned favors. The familiar images of the late 1800s are indicative of cronyism. The South’s voting bloc started to favor those who could revive the dying economy in the South. This means that even as soon as 50 years after the Civil War, votes in the South were going to Republican candidates. In 1868 alone, Tennessee, Alabama, North and South Carolina, Florida and Arkansas voted for U. S. Grant. On the other hand, New York, a Republican state, lit up blue for the first time. The South was more worried about getting back on its feet instead of preserving an institution that anyone could see was dead.

Fast forward to the progressive era. The new wave of socialism and fascism left many in both mainstream parties feeling disenfranchised. The parties seemed to gravitate towards the extremes and left many moderates scrambling for a party to call home. The South, throughout the progressive era, shifted and voted for the Democratic party, which favored populist ideologies. Populism sought to look after ordinary people and this idea was attractive to many ordinary people in the South. This is often because they thought they did not have the wealth and power of the North.

Enter the Great Depression. With the Republicans in charge when the market collapsed, many people looked to the populist ideas of the Democrats to save them. The people subsequently elected FDR to 4 terms. His New Deal policies put people to work, but unbeknownst to them, his policies, including a trade war, may have been responsible for the Depression’s decade and a half length.

FDR’s agricultural regulations led to the destruction of the once profitable business of farming. Farmers left their fields and fled to the city, effectively killing the industry until technology was able to bring it back from the dead. However, with the victory over the Axis powers in World War II, the US economy boomed. Most Americans, no matter their region, voted Democrat, electing Harry Truman. After Truman’s presidency, Eisenhower won in a landslide, reflecting his popularity after WWII. The map lit up blue once again when the South voted for JFK.

Most believers of the ‘Switch’ point to the election of 1964 as proof of the idea that Republicans were harping on racist ideas to win votes. The mastermind behind this plan that they point to is Barry Goldwater. Goldwater was a senator from Arizona who opposed two sections of the Civil Rights Act. The two articles regulated private businesses and forced them to cater to everyone. He saw this as unconstitutional and difficult to enforce. Therefore, he voted against the act.

However, he is not a racist for doing so. He did, though, accurately predict that the sections would lead to racial quotas. It is worth noting that Goldwater was a big supporter of the 24th Amendment, which made poll taxes illegal. He also strongly favored movements to pass civil rights legislation in 1957 and 1960. Goldwater ran in ‘64 for president and many in the Deep South voted for him, perhaps misunderstanding his opposition to the Civil Rights Act or instead favoring his campaign promises of cutting back welfare programs and freeing the markets.

In 1968 the South voted for 3rd party candidate George Wallace, whose campaign was founded on complete segregation. ‘72 saw a landslide for Republican candidate Richard Nixon who promised to end the Vietnam war and restore law and order. In ‘76 the South chose to switch back to Democrat to elect Jimmy Carter. In ‘80, with another crippled economy, the South voted for a Republican again, electing Ronald Reagan. With continued economic growth and a full boom in effect, the South voted red again. And in ‘92, the South voted for Bill Clinton, going back to Democrat. But with the economy suffering under Clinton, the South decided to switch once more and voted for Republican George Bush.

After presenting the voting pattern of the South, it is hard to draw a line where the switch took place. The possible conclusion is that there was not a switch and rather the South does not vote as one racist bloc, but after their own interests, such as a good economy. The South has been voting for Republicans since immediately after the Civil War. There have been racist Republicans that have preyed on the racist tendencies of the deep South. There have been racist Democrats that have done likewise. However, race is not the only issue in an election, and economics has always played a larger role. Racial issues are important, but are not always most prevalent.

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America: Closer to Mussolini than the Founders’ Goal

By Jack Parkos | United States

In 1776, the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, breaking away from tyrannical British rule. Thirteen years later, they ratified the Constitution after years of fighting and many deaths. The Founders differed on many issues, but agreed on the ideas of self governance and limited government. They also believed in the idea of inalienable rights that government could not take. They were heavily influenced by “The Wealth Of Nations” by Adam Smith, which was published in the same year America declared independence. This book created the idea of Laissez-Faire Economics. The Founding Fathers wanted a capitalist nation with a limited government. This government system, of course, would be a Constitutional Republic.

The Rise of Mussolini

However, the 19th and 20th Centuries saw the rise of extreme ideologies, most notably Marxism and reactionary movements. One such movement was fascism. Nowadays, fascism gets thrown around commonly as a buzzword without a full understanding of its meaning. Fascism is a highly nationalist ideology, consisting of a mixed economy, militarism, and an authoritarian government. Fascism rose in between the world wars. One of the most famous fascists was Benito Mussolini.

Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because its the merger of state and corporate power.

Mussolini’s quote explains a lot about fascism, which partners the state and corporations over the people. Mussolini promoted heavy elitism and bureaucracy, which resulted in his totalitarian state.

Economically, corporatism supports private ownership of the means of production. The state very tightly controls production of goods. But once produced, distribution is generally controlled less.

Now we look at modern America: where are we on this spectrum? Are we the limited government the Founders wanted, or are we under a totalitarian state? Of course, we are not one hundred percent either. But we are now closer to Mussolini’s ideology than the Founders’. We do differ from Mussolini in ways, yes. We still have elections, political freedom, and some civil liberties. But our socio-economic system is a near replica of Mussolini. This is not an attack on one party or one politician. Both parties are guilty of corruption. Let us first examine the economics.

American Corporatist Economics

What economic system is America? Most people think we are capitalist. However, we are only capitalist in name. Modern American economics is closer to cronyism and corporatism (though it often may be called “mixed economics”) than capitalism. We truly haven’t had true capitalism in long time. People associate capitalism with corporate rule and bailouts for the rich as this is what our government does. But this isn’t capitalism at all!

Capitalism promotes a free market with voluntary transactions.  Members of Bernie Sanders’ movement often call out the merger of big corporation and our government. And they are right, this is a problem! But they are wrong in calling it capitalism. Mussolini called for state and corporate merging. Mussolini was not a capitalist. Capitalist philosophers like Adam Smith (who influenced the Founders), Ayn Rand, or Milton Friedman would simply never promote cooperate and state merger.

America’s history of corporatism and cronyism really starts with the New Deal, when President FDR started getting the government involved in the affairs of businesses. People who support this say that government and business merging would help untie the classes of the people. That has not worked out. It is true that the rich are getting richer. However, this isn’t the result of capitalism. This is the result of the government imposing heavy taxes on the people, but then allowing corporations to be exempt with loopholes. Your average big corporation can buy a politician in congress and manipulate the economy. The state and business can do whatever they please to “benefit society”. A small business owner or middle class family does not have this power.

This Isn’t What the Founders Wanted

Does this sound like what the Founders wanted? The men influenced by Adam Smith, the men who fought for freedom? Of corse not. There are examples of them speaking against this. One example of this is Thomas Jefferson. He actually stated:

The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed corporations.

But Mussolini would have liked this. Through the way the corporations and state may have differed, Mussolini would have loved the result. Having the power to control the economy. Remember him saying his ideology (fascism) is the merger of corporation and state? Is that not modern America? America may not have an autocratic leader, but do we truly have the republic our Founders gave to us? Perhaps not.

Mussolini, of course, wanted a strong, authoritarian, and imperialist government. This is not at all what the Founders wanted. Now the elephant in the room, the federalists. They wanted a “strong” government yes, but not even close in comparison to Mussolini’s government or even modern America’s government.

Just How Far Down the Road are We?

Is America the complete totalitarian state Mussolini dreamed up? No. But we are closer to that than we are the Founders. The Supreme Court, the branch that was supposed to block the government from growing and taking away liberties, allowed it. The Founders believed in God giving unalienable rights and that the sole purpose of the government as to protect those rights. Now, the view has shifted to “Government given rights”. Such a belief entails the notion that the government decides what rights we do and don’t have.

There are also similarities in foreign policy. The Founders wanted peaceful relations for nations. Mussolini, on the other hand, was very aggressive on foreign policy. Fascist Italy was very militaristic. Mussolini wanted to “recreate” the Roman Empire. What about modern America? We are essentially the world police, which The Founders never wanted. Of course, no fascist ever reached this status. But becoming the world police is closer to creating another Roman Empire than it is to peaceful relations.

Thus, the early and modern American governments are not remotely similar. It is truly sad that we have drifted closer to fascism, rather than maintaining the beautiful country so many fought and died for. Today, the patriots need to take a stand and work to go back to those days when freedom rang.

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Career Politicians Without Term Limits are a Thing of the Past

By Dane Larsen | @therealdanelars | United States of America

“The long experiment with professional politicians and professional government is over, and it failed.”  -Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House.

In 1947, Congress proposed the 22nd amendment to the US Constitution: an act to place term limits on the President. Specifically, it forbid a president from serving more than two full terms, or a maximum of ten years. This came shortly after President Franklin Delano Roosevelt served four consecutive terms in office.The reasoning behind this piece of legislation was to keep the head member of the executive branch of government from becoming corrupt, or sustaining corruption. For, as we escaped from in 1776 with the British Monarchy, if one person stays in power for too long, it gets to their heads.

In an experiment by student Andy Yap of Columbia University, over 100 people were shown pictures of others surveyed. Yap was able to get them to believe the 99 people seen in pictures were shorter than themselves (for the most part). There is in fact a correlation between a taller height and a higher position of power as seen in the Fortune 500 CEO’s, where the average height is 6 ft, 2 in. This figure is 4.5 inches taller than the average US men’s height (5’9½”).  Point is, that there is a trend of people who may actually have power, or perceive that they have power, with a taller height. The fact that the people thought they were taller than the others after being persuaded into a position of power, shows that power corrupts the brain.

Staying in power for too long has proven to change the mindset of the person in question, and will do it again in the future, given the opportunity. Thus, 76% of America, according to a 2013 Gallup poll, is asking an important question. Why have we not implemented legislative term limits? It seems rather foolish to limit the President, but allow Congress to serve endless terms.

This past year, citizens of Michigan’s thirteenth district were surprised when Rep. John Conyers announced his immediate retirement. He was 88 years old, and served for 52 years on Capitol Hill without term limits. To give you a bit of perspective, in 1966, when he took office for his first term, Startrek was just debuting, Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys was released, and the US was one year deep into their mission in Vietnam.

With only a 15% approval rating, our congressmen and congresswomen have proven to do next to nothing with their time in their positions. These people sign themselves into their own salaries, their own day-to-day agendas, and eventually, if the legislation were to make it that far, they’d be voting on limiting their own power. It’s ludicrous to think that these people would restrict how long they could make empty promises to their supporters, and put on a bright, big smile for the cameras.

“It is a popular delusion that the government wastes vast amounts of money through inefficiency and sloth. Enormous effort and elaborate planning are required to waste this much money.”  -PJ O’Rourke, political satirist and journalist, CATO institute.

There are, however, a few lawmakers with our best interests in mind. People like the Florida chapter of the Republican Liberty Caucus, Ben Sasse (R- NE)Thom Tillis (R- NC)David Perdue (R- GA), and many more advocate for term limits. Though they may not get the press that other people in Washington may get, I encourage you to read more up on them, to support them to bringing progress back to Congress.

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The Public School System Is Lying About The New Deal

By Ethan Suquet | UNITED STATES

Last week as a high school student taking a United States History course I was shocked by some of the unabashed partisanship present with regards to the New Deal policies of President Roosevelt.

On two separate occasions, I had to fight the dictates of my conscience to answer the question correctly because I understood the fact that the people who make standardized tests tend to lean to the left.

I worry not just because of a few people within my class are being miseducated on the New Deal but because millions of students all across the nation are, and if they grow up believing in the false notion that government creates jobs, their votes could mean a significant decline in the amount of Reaganite conservatives in Congress and future presidential administrations.

The first occasion in which this happened I was given a list of a few new deal agencies such as the civilian conservation corps and the Tennessee valley authority and asked about what new role these programs gave the federal government. Any rational person could quickly grasp that none of these programs were mentioned in Article 1 Section 8 of the constitution or any amendments and the correct answer is that the government was playing a role outside of the constitution.

This fundamental truth seems to have not crossed paths with the minds of standardized test makers because like millions of U.S. History students just discovered from this test, the government had a new role in creating jobs.

This was not a sole altercation with the test, in fact, something similar happened in another question to get the right answer I had to imply that FDR’s actually policies lowered unemployment, just the thought of that is laughable.

Possibly the most extensive study which was conducted by UCLA professors using economic modeling to determine the effects of FDR’s policies on the economy has concluded that they did quite the opposite. According to the UCLA study, FDR’s policies extended the great depression by seven years and massively increased unemployment.

The idea that he improved the economy runs contrary to reality and it is wrong for bureaucrats to impose their left-wing ideology on high school students. These kids have to lie through their teeth for a good grade.

We’re being taught fraudulent history, and its time for that to change.