Patterico's Pontifications


An Evening in the Patterico Household

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:14 pm

So last night, the family sits down to watch “Seabiscuit.” I decline, since I am extraordinarily finicky about watching movies and it didn’t sound great to me. So I — entirely coincidentally — sit down at the computer to read Burton Folsom’s book New Deal or Raw Deal?: How FDR’s Economic Legacy Has Damaged America. It’s a book that was recommended by Tom Woods in one of his Liberty Classroom lectures on the New Deal, and I’m about 1/3 of the way through. As I’m reading about the atrocities of FDR’s bungling, and all the damage it caused, I hear from the other room:

They called it “relief,” but it was a lot more than that. It had dozens of names; N.R.A., W.P.A., the C.C.C. But it really came down to just one thing: For the first time in a long time, someone cared. For the first time in a long time, you were no longer alone.

Oh, Good Lord.

I went storming into the next room, asked for the movie to be paused, and told the kids that these programs made Americans miserable, raised the prices of the goods and food they needed, and put them out of work.

I waited for the movie to be over to launch into the real lectures: millions of pigs slaughtered and discarded in graves, and millions of bushels of wheat destroyed, while the nation starved; fields of cotton plowed under while people were unable to buy new clothes; businessmen jailed for providing goods and services at low prices; and on and on and on.

You cannot read Folsom’s account of the lying, incompetent clown FDR’s policies, and not fly into a rage — especially when Hollywood is trying to propagandize your children with patent nonsense.

Better to let them watch it and provide the corrective lectures, though, than to prohibit it. They’ll be battling this propaganda all their lives.

45 Responses to “An Evening in the Patterico Household”

  1. Good book, though. And that Liberty Classroom is a great deal. Don’t know if they’re still offering it for $50, but if they are, grab it. I have listened to almost 50 lectures in 12 different classes and have learned a lot.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. my F-i-L went to his grave last year still swearing that FDR was the best president ever… and he always voted a straight D ticket.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  3. Amity Schlaes’ “The Forgotten Man” is indispensable reading in order to better grasp the truth about the 1930s.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  4. For more FDR administration malfeasance, read Thomas Fleming’s “New Dealers War” to see how they oppressed the American people during the war, and how they incompetently managed the war effort to further political benefit.

    SPQR (80a5cc)

  5. We should all admit that we would have supported FDR’s policies if FDR had been a white man.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  6. There is great similarity between FDR and Obama. FDR was a complete incompetent as an executive, gave conflicting instructions to subordinates when he bothered to give any at all, allowed subordinates to pursue conflicting policies and was fundamentally a dishonest, two-faced person who led people to believe what they wished about his thoughts/policies/intentions etc. And that’s how he treated his friends and allies …

    There was only one reason that the US was largely successful in WWII. George C. Marshall was a very competent person. That competence was largely able to overcome FDR’s incompetence and malevolent character.

    SPQR (80a5cc)

  7. “I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help you.

    It used to be funny.

    htom (412a17)

  8. SPQR : Marshall was not a very competent man. He just got a good press. Most of his picks for important milirary posts were later removed for incompetence. His original choice for Supreme Commander, Europe, was not Eisenhower. Eisenhower was sent over to prepare the way for the new SC. Why? Because the new SC hated Eisenhower’s guts and Marshall wanted Eisenhower back in Washington -usually overseas commanders had a habit of keeping Marshall’s people rather than allowing them to return to Washington. Marshall wanted Patton to either retire or run a training command in California.

    Michael M. Keohane (2a320f)

  9. Dude, what does it mattttterrrrr?!!!!!!!!! That was so more than two years ago.

    Ed from SFV (3400a5)

  10. Be prepared for a Sammylanche Wall O’ Text!

    Seriously, Patterico, it’s all about narrative, not fact. Feelings.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  11. And this new approach needs to be factored in:

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  12. PP, you forgot all the milk that was poured down sewers to keep the price up, and the cows that were slaughtered to keep milk production down.

    Good Times.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  13. Economist Gary Becker has died.

    in July 2004, he wrote: “Along with many others of my generation, I was a socialist when I started my university studies. But my first few economics courses taught me the power of competition, markets, and incentives, and I quickly became a classical liberal. That means someone who believes in the power of individual responsibility, a market economy, and a crucial but limited role of government.”

    elissa (34c8e6)

  14. Ah, yes, the National Industrial Recovery Act.

    We Do Our Part

    “When every American housewife understands that the Blue Eagle on everything that she permits into her home is a symbol of [the United States’] restoration to security, may God have mercy on the man or group of men who attempt to trifle with this bird.”

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  15. FDR’s first term is pretty much what Ayn Rand was writing about in Atlas Shrugged.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  16. I see that DeBlasio is continuing to try to ban big gulps. See, he cares about us, too.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  17. social security lol

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  18. “Amity Schlaes’ “The Forgotten Man” is indispensable reading in order to better grasp the truth about the 1930s.”

    Yes and “After the Fall” by Nicole Gelinas should be required reading about 2008. Those two books are an economics course.

    You could even read my biography of Coolidge on ChicagoBoyz/ Amity has a good one too, as I note in my review of it

    Mike K (cd7278)

  19. Oh, please. There was no famine. No population-decimating epidemics — disease control was better than in any previous point in history. The death rate declined and the literacy rate increased. America won a world war on two oceans and two continents. Then proceeded to become the most powerful and most prosperous nation in the history of the world. Complaining about slaughtering cattle, spilling milk, and making land lie fallow is like a homeless heroin addict who has just been brought into the emergency room complaining about the debrding of his gangrenous sores, his methadone, and his enforced bed rest and diet. What FDR did worked.

    nk (dbc370)

  20. *debriding*

    nk (dbc370)

  21. ==Complaining about slaughtering cattle, spilling milk, and making land lie fallow is like a homeless heroin addict who has just been brought into the emergency room …..==

    Intentional waste of food is one of the great sins in the world. There is no excuse for it.

    elissa (b3b783)

  22. There was no famine. Nobody died for lack of food in the Great Depression. We probably waste more food now by overeating.

    nk (dbc370)

  23. Debriding is painful, methadone does not give the same high as heroin, and bad habits are pleasant. I take everything you say about FDR’s methods as true and stick to “It worked”.

    nk (dbc370)

  24. Overeating is not the same kind of “waste” as destroying food before hungry people could consume it or before innocent producers/farmers could redeem their investment in cost and labor. The 90 year old farmers I know from growing up in the midwest still hate FDR with a white hot passion and this is one of the reasons. There was no famine but there were plenty of malnourished unemployed families who oould have used the food.

    elissa (b3b783)

  25. I still say it’s the junkie complaining about being in Stroeger Hospital instead of Hazelden. A spoiled, Generation X* perspective not to say revisionism. “You shall know them by their fruits”, too. I.e., the methods may not have been the most painless, sophisticated, or efficient, but something had to be done, and what was done produced a very good result.

    *Which is kind of my view of today’s Libertarians — kind of whiny babies who are uspset that they cannot have all the candy they want any time they want.

    nk (dbc370)

  26. nk: everything I’ve read points the other way.

    “Grapes of Wrath” is fiction, but it became well known because the problems it described were real.

    “Countryside Magazine and Small Stock Journal” was started by people who lived through the Depression, and there are quite a few accounts in there of people who gardened, or raised rabbits for meat, or ate dandelions that they dug up, because that was the only way they could get enough food on the budget they had.
    The Foxfire books have quite a few stories in the same vein.
    As far as I’ve heard, WWII was the main reason that America recovered.

    Ibidem (debe45)

  27. “What FDR did worked.”

    nk – Worked what? To prolong the Great Depression just as Obama’s have created the worst recovery since the 1930s?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  28. It’s said that Stalin suppressed the Grapes of Wrath because it showed poor people driving cars.

    And “people who gardened, or raised rabbits for meat, or ate dandelions that they dug up, because that was the only way they could get enough food on the budget they had” includes my family and me until almost age eleven. Farmers. 😉

    nk (dbc370)

  29. To prolong the Great Depression

    Compared to which other attempt to end it? The alternative theories are just speculation. I don’t accept the Milton Friedman economic model as gospel.

    nk (dbc370)

  30. “Compared to which other attempt to end it? The alternative theories are just speculation.”

    nk – Other attempts? Gee, I think you got me there. Common sense. I think I have you there.

    Socialist love FDR. Your inner socialist is showing again nk.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  31. World War II ended the Great Depression by forcing FDR to end the stifling regulations that stopped recovery.

    He ended the regulations because they were interfering with the war effort, and he wanted to win the war for America.

    Our current president doesn’t have that problem.

    luagha (1de9ec)

  32. Even Revolutionaries have agreed that governments have a function in “the pursuit of happiness”. And there were three other places at that time which were calling their methods socialist — Germany, Italy, and the USSR. It’s silly to call the New Deal that.

    nk (dbc370)

  33. The New Deal was the brainstorm of a political and economic incompetent desperate because he knew he had been elected to “do something”. He grabbed for fundamentally Socialist programs less because he was a Socialist than because that’s what was in the air. If he had been Caesar he would have put on Circuses. His stupidity and racism, which dovetailed neatly with the racism of the peacetime military, caused the debacle at Pearl Harbor. He didn’t PLAN on that, he just didn’t believe the Japanese could attack Hawaii.

    His big talk and wild plans really set the poor Progressives up. They got to do all the meddling their little hearts could want. They were SOOOO chuffed at war’s end. They were SURE that they were about to usher in a New Era, and then the Working Man turned his back on them and went to Levittown instead.

    FRD was a jerk and a catastrophe. Wilson was a raving bigot and his Attorney General’s record makes Joe McCarthy look like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.

    Since the Civil War there have been two decent Democrat Presidents; Grover Cleveland and Harry Truman. All the rest were absolute swine.

    Which isn’t to say that all the Republicans have been pure as the driven snow…but the consistence of the Democrats is astonishing.

    C. S. P. Schofield (e8b801)

  34. Maybe Pat should have watched “Seabisquit”; it most likely would have been much better for his blood pressure. And it was a fun movie, overall.

    Gramps, the original (944632)

  35. It’s silly to call the New Deal that.

    It’s even more silly to slobber over the New Deal when Roosevelt’s own Secretary of the Treasury commented that, when all was said and done, their efforts didn’t really change the downward slant of the economy.

    Moreover, FDR was sort of the US’s original banana-republic president. He tried to pack the Supreme Court, initiated other end runs around the US Constitution, and used the IRS against his enemies.

    But at least he wasn’t a bigot/racist.

    Uh, strike that last one. Psst, in reality he happily supported quotas to reduce the number of Jews in colleges and government, was cavalier about Hitler’s rabid anti-Jewish ideology, and said the offspring of Asian-white couples were regrettable. He also never congratulated Jesse Owens for winning Gold for the US at the 1936 Olympics, while — believe it or not — apparently even Hitler at least made an effort to do that.

    BTW, nk, I had a hunch you took my slamming the nature of cheap — yep, cheap — compassion for compassion’s sake a bit too personally a few days ago. Now I know why.

    Mark (59e5be)

  36. Keohane – nonsense actually.

    nk – you are just utterly wrong. Most of the world recovered from the great depression in a few years, unemployment stayed high in the US for many more years than in Europe. FDR’s policies failed, his bullshit succeeded.

    SPQR (c4e119)

  37. the roosevelts were hyper-enttitled new england trash not unlike the kennedys

    this is why fdr couldn’t keep it in his pants and had to bang whores

    traditional marriage eff yeah

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  38. nk,

    I’ll send you a free copy of the book linked on the post if you’ll read it.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  39. For now I will say: the fact that FDR passed a lot of crappy programs, and that we eventually got out of the Great Depression, does not mean his crappy programs got us out. His administration was appalling.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  40. I’ll buy it, Patterico. (Actually, I’ll see if I can get it on the daughter’s Kindle first, and her mother has Amazon Prime.) I am not close-minded.

    nk (dbc370)

  41. debridement of a burn was one of the most painful things I have ever experienced… I’d read that people would commit suicide before an appointment date rather than endure that intense pain at the nerve endings, but thought I was stoic about pain… and I was, but ow mfing ow the lidocaine bath seemed to do nothing at all and the area buzzed with pain for 48 hours. I am surprised I didn’t get addicted to oxycontin

    steveg (794291)

  42. I think my argument would be the FDR’s stuff worked… in a fashion… and like my post earlier about pain, addiction and oxycontin, I’d say that my doctor managed my pain, personality and addictive issues very well.
    I’ve been in addiction recovery programs that were littered with the clients of doctors who just wrote scripts

    steveg (794291)

  43. And there were three other places at that time which were calling their methods socialist — Germany, Italy, and the USSR. It’s silly to call the New Deal that.

    Hardly silly, since the New Deal was exactly the same as the methods of those regimes. It was explicitly and consciously based on them. The head of the NRA had a portrait of Mussolini on his wall. Roosevelt admired and emulated Mussolini, and Mussolini admired him back and saw in him a fellow spirit.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  44. Capitalism is a useful creature when domesticated — like horses, cows, sheep, and chickens. It provides us with food, clothing, medicine, airconditioning, cellphones, and Star Wars movies. But it needs to be fenced in, haltered, and yoked to be useful and, very importantly, it cannot be allowed to run wild and overgraze the land, eat the seedlings before they have a chance to grow, and foul the waterholes.

    nk (dbc370)

  45. The nobility lost the battle to the merchant class (I’d say )during the Industrial Revolution, but with the rise of populist democracy, in the same time period, the people still have a chance to be the bosses of the bosses.

    nk (dbc370)

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