New Deal

FDR, The New Deal, and The Expansion of Federal Power

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During his first presidential press conference, Barack Obama defended federal economic intervention, stating "there are several who have suggested that FDR was wrong to intervene back in the New Deal.  They are fighting battles that I thought were resolved a pretty long time ago."  "We were just amazed to hear him say that," says historian Anita Folsom. While this "idea is taught in colleges all over the country, we have to come to the realization that these big government ideas do not lead to prosperity."

In his 2008 book, New Deal or Raw Deal: How FDR's Economic Legacy Has Damaged America, historian Burton Folsom took on the idea that the New Deal "worked." Now he's collaborated on a new book with his wife Anita, FDR Goes to War: How Expanded Executive Power, Spiraling National Debt, and Restricted Civil Liberties Shaped Wartime America, which tackles the idea that Roosevelt was a great wartime leader. During the war, the book argues, the Roosevelt Administration stomped on civil liberties, fixed prices throughout the economy, ballooned the national debt, and brought the top income tax rate up to 94%.

The Folsoms see Roosevelt's big government approach as instrumental in shaping the modern world. From ObamaCare to the Community Reinvestment Act, they draw a direct line from FDR's actions to the worst public policies of today, along with the general view that "government programs are the solution to economic and political problems."

Bert and Anita Folsom sat down with Reason.tv's Nick Gillespie to discuss their new book and the enduring myths of FDR's presidency.

About 9:30 minutes. Shot by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, and Joshua Swain and edited by Bragg.

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  1. I remember in middle school we had a big presentation about the New Deal during history class and they played that broadway song about the New Deal (I can’t find the author/reference for it)

    We’re getting a New Deal! A New Deal!
    Everyone is ___ about the new deal!
    Hitch your wagon to a star, ’cause FDR
    is giving us all a brand new deal!

    In retrospect I now realize what a load of propagandist garbage this was to teach to 7th graders.

    Thanks public schools!

  2. “…we saw an interview with President Obama when he was first in office, and he said, ‘Well, everyone knows that the New Deal worked’…”

    The authors were amazed hearing that at the time, but we now know two things about Barack Obama. Generally, anything he “knows” to be true, everyone knows. And specifically, he very much likes the policies of FDR and would resurrect the most ruinous of them if he could.

    1. “…we saw an interview with President Obama when he was first in office, and he said, ‘Well, everyone knows that the New Deal worked’…”
      Well you better get ready for it, because the sack of shit with big ears, may well get reelected.

  3. “During the war, the book argues, Roosevelt Administration stomped on civil liberties, fixed prices throughout the economy, ballooned the national debt, and brought the top income tax rate up to 94%.”

    Yet there was all that ensuing massive prosperity. Even with punitively high tax rates on the rich and corporations.

    Not quite as much prosperity as that time a hands-off federal government did nothing and the economy prospered wildly all on its own–I believe it was in the era known as “never.”

    1. Even assuming that WWII ended the depression (it didn’t), if it takes 70+ million people to die for your economic policy to work, I think it’s time to find a new one.

      1. What ended the depression? Low taxes and smaller government?

        Ideally we could do a stimulus program that doesn’t involve massive economic and human waste. Even the large nonwar works programs of the era weren’t enough to turn the economy around completely–something to think about when you’re trashing more recent attempts at stimulus.

        1. We just need to start WWIII and everything will be gravy.

        2. What ended the Depression?

          FDR died.

          1. Bingo, and a host of his totalitarian programs and initiatives along with him.

        3. You can’t seriously think it was taxes and the government that brought us out of the depression.

          1. The consensus among historians is that the advent of WWII ended the Great Depression–it indisputably lowered unemployment.

            1. Lowered unemployment because it marked reduced the population eligible to work (i.e., conscription).

            2. Well, yes, when millions of men are forced into killing and dying that will lower unemployment.

            3. Might I suggest you volunteer for the military? You job will have to go to someone else while you’re gone. Boom! Lower unemployment.

              1. People in the military are also employed. They do pay us.

                Come to think of it, that’s even better – it’s like the economy gets two jobs!

            4. The consensus among historians is that FDR’s New Deal saved us from the ravages of capitalism.

              I think you can guess as to how many fucks we give, collectively, about the consensus among historians.

              If there’s a huge fucking ZERO materializing in the back of your mind somewhere, maybe there’s hope for your soul yet.

              1. You can hardly blame someone for accepting what the vast majority of experts on a topic agree about. That makes the burden squarely on you, and so far I’ve not read a convincing argument from a libertarian historian how laissez-faire economics and low taxes caused the postwar boom.

                1. As a Historian, let me add this caveat: Historians are not Economists.

            5. Oh, and I forgot to mention that an entire ethnic group, Japanese-Americans, was taken out of the workforce on account of being thrown in prison camps without due process. Maybe we can do that with Arab-Americans. You would support that, right?

              1. prison camps are too expensive. if only there were some sort of solution that was cheaper than penning people up, but still removed them from the workforce.

                1. Finally!

                2. Hmm… maybe … a “final” solution?

            6. “The consensus among historians”

              Maybe in the land of, “If I Say It It’s True”.

            7. An excellent argument for more war.

            8. Do NOT elect Ron Paul if you don’t want lowered unemployment (in the Security State and defense industries). There are terrorists everywhere — check under your bed and you’ll find a couple.

              When NeoProg met NeoCon. War Love.

        4. In 1913, the FED was created. 16 years later the entire world had the worst financial crisis ever (yes, it did follow WW 1 as well).

          Hoover started a bunch of big gov’t policies and the Smoot-Hawley tariffs which decimated world trade. (Hoover-FDR is quite similar to Bush-Obama in many respects).

          During WW 1 (Wilson) and WW 2 and during the depression (FDR), the presidents were able to enact all kinds of authoritarian legislation interfering in people’s rights to live and trade as they wished. Telling small farmers how many acres of this or that they could plant, cessation of civil liberties, internment camps, wage-price controls. FDR said no one could give raises to any employees during one stretch. Similar to the way 9-11 was used to enact and expand the Patriot Act. Sorry, I know I’m rambling but I’m just venting before I go to work in a bit.

          The depression lasted a very long time and was not really over until near the end of the war. No evidence that all the random tinkering FDR did anything to shorten the depression. They probably lengthened it. But who can know for sure since we can’t look at alternate futures. Same argument as today with TARP.

    2. So now Tony thinks there was ‘massive prosperity’ during the FDR administration. DERP!

      1. Everything about the postwar period belies everything you guys believe in–it’s why you have no choice but to rewrite history and hope nobody thinks about it too hard.

        1. my projectometer just exploded.

        2. I believe that if we lay waste to every other industrial nation on the planet, we will prosper again.

          1. That’s your argument for a less activist government being the solution?

            1. Consider the possibility of what might have happened had the fed gov not intervened.

          2. We bombed out their factories, then became the manufacturing capital of the world.
            Then they rebuilt with better modern machines, and our century old textile mills closed.

        3. It’s economic ignoramouses like you who revise history. The economy grew IN SPITE OF all those taxes and progroms and stuff because we didn’t have any economic competitors worth a damn. It’s pretty easy to bounce back when you have a captive world audience.

        4. Except that most of those policies were in place for nearly 10 years before any ‘recovery’ happened.

        5. Tony, you realize that the post-war period was after FDR, right?

          And that the Dems lost the first election after the war, right?

          And that many of the “New Deal” programs were long gone, right? And that we specifically weren’ deficit spending post-war, yes?

          So that post-war prosperity happened after FDR died, after his Congress was turned out, and after the bulk of his Keynesian-spending programs were completely reversed so that we were actually paying off our debt.

          So tell me again how he gets the credit for post-war prosperity.

          1. Not libertarianism or laissez-faire economics, that much is certain.

            1. “Dean utterly eviscerated my pandemic piece of shit excuse for an argument. I’ll just yell LIBERTARDS FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU to make up for the damage!”

            2. You didn’t answer the question. Color me shocked.

            3. Not libertarianism or laissez-faire economics, that much is certain.

              Of course “ideal” libertarianism or laissez faire was not established, but one can look at the context and see if it occured under greater or lesser government intervention.

          2. In Tony’s universe, malignant despots are heroes if they’re all about THE LITTLE GUY in the State of the Union address.

          3. Nailed.

        6. After the war there was pent up demand since few were allowed/able to buy new cars, appliances since few were made.

          After the war we got RID of wage-price controls and much of the war-time planning. Tax rates I have not looked at but we had the largest reduction in military expenditures ever.

    3. I like how Tony completely glosses over the “stomped on civil liberties” bit like it’s not at all important.

  4. When the complete history of the United States is written, FDR will be identified as the architect of our downfall. Amazing that one man could do so much damage.

    1. For long-term damage, he was by far the worst President in history.

      1. Give Bush the Lesser about 10 more years.

        1. Not even close. James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Wilson, and Hoover round out the bottom five. Obama still has time.

          1. No LBJ? Medicare alone should put him at #2 behind FDR.

          2. Baby Bush has already snagged 61% for worst (followed by Buchanan).

            http://hnn.us/articles/48916.html

            1. Baby Bush has already snagged 61% for worst (followed by Buchanan).

              As bad as Dubya was, that’s due more to the confirmation bias of academics than it is a sober comparison of his predecessors.

              Kennedy, for example, is the most overrated President in American history. If it wasn’t for the Schlesinger-led cult of personality that sprung up around him, the baby boomers and their offspring wouldn’t have spent the ensuing 50+ years trying to elect people that represented him in proxy.

              1. “Kennedy, for example, is the most overrated President in American history. If it wasn’t for the Schlesinger-led cult of personality that sprung up around him, the baby boomers and their offspring wouldn’t have spent the ensuing 50+ years trying to elect people that represented him in proxy.”

                Problem is they cant find any “rum” runner families that are snobish enough to look ligit any more

            2. That article makes me embarrassed to be a history buff.

            3. Three years is hardly enough perspective. People used to talk about Clinton as the worst ever too. In a century, they will both be in the middle with Chester Arthur.

        2. Bush was pretty bad, but he was just following FDR’s footsteps that massive war spending is what got us out of the Depression. (That’s not what did it, but they are just as retarded as the let’s tax and regulate our way to prosperity Dems.)

  5. Community Reinvestment Act

    What a dog-whistle to wingnuts! Funny.

    A law that only prevented redlining is hauled out amid all the horrid legislation of the past 50 years.

    Of course, in WingNut Land the CRA has been blamed for every ill in society.

    1. A law that only prevented redlining giving loans to people who had no means to pay the money back, then putting the taxpayer on the hook, is hauled out amid all the horrid legislation of the past 50 years.

      ftfy

      1. Bullshit. No bank was ever forced to make a loan. That is an AM redneck radio lie.

        The top Republican regulator of the Bush Administration calls that a lie:

        http://money.usnews.com/money/…..stment-act

  6. As young non-political History Major, I took an entire semester on FDR and the New Deal. About half-way through my High School brainwashing finally wore off.

    The biggest lie – “We are trying everything” – they never tried low taxes and deregulation.

    1. Lower taxes during a war? That didn’t become anything but crazy talk until actual crazy people starting infesting government. Bush tried lowering taxes (during war!), and where did that get us but a massive budget deficit?

      1. Tony, quit yapping about things you know nothing about.

        Just stay mute for the rest of your life.

      2. Tony, when did the great depression start? When did WWII start?

        Dumb-ass!

      3. We weren’t in the Spanish Civil War.

      4. Tony, are you spoofing comments or do you really believe what your saying? To tell the truth I just don’t understand the mindset that ‘government knows best for me’. When it comes down to it everything that government does it does through violence. I bet you are somewhat small in stature and out of shape and so enjoy the thought of inflicting violence as a way to get back at all those jocks that got the girls. Good luck with that.

        1. First of all, I’m in great shape and don’t like girls.

          Second, I don’t know what you believe exactly, but it’s pretty universal among libertarians that among the only things they think the state should do is shoot people in the face. You all get indignant over the state’s power being backed up by physical force, which you claim makes raising taxes a couple percentage points immoral–but unless you’re anarchists you still believe the state should fight wars and shoot trespassers. You want a state that does nothing but SHOOT PEOPLE IN THE FACE.

          1. Spoof. Nobody is this retarded.

          2. We want a state that shoots aggressors in the face. You want a state that will shoot people in the face for not purchasing health insurance.

            1. I can safely say I don’t want that.

              1. So if I refuse to purchase health insurance and refuse to pay the fine after the individual mandate takes effect, you agree I should suffer no consequences?

                1. I said people shouldn’t be shot in the face for failing to pay a tax penalty. If you want no punishment for breaking the law, fine, go be an anarchist.

                  I just think it’s funny when libertarians bitch about government force when they’re talking about taxes, when the only things they want government to do involve shooting people.

                  1. Nice dodge. And what happens when I resist whatever punishment you think is acceptable for failing to pay a penalty?

                  2. Tony – I’m sure you know this already, but this incessant crap about “Libertarians’ is really tired. I consider myself a libertarian but don’t at any given time agree with what everyone else here believes (b/c there’s seldom such thing as what everyone else here believes)

                    In the most literal sense, I guess it’s true that all that Libertarians like myself want is for the govt to shoot people (well let’s be accurate, shoot people and drop bombs) but that’s pure sophistry. I want less war, I want no drug war, I want no capital punishment and much stricter rules of engagement for cops and the public. So yah, I guess b/c I cut out so much else, that leaves things that ultimately could involve people getting shot. At the same time, the number of people for the govt to shoot goes WAYYY down under my scenario, so implying that’s all that I want them to do is intellectually dishonest. To that extent, I think my position here, where the # of things the govt does which involves people getting killed goes way down, is the rule rather than the exception.

                    You’re free to surf wherever you’d like and I’m not telling you to go away, (not my place to even if I felt that way) but I really don’t get you. Every single thing I read from you is antagonistic to the beliefs of the majority here, and you’re certainly not trying to enlighten yourself or convince anyone else – it looks like really lame trolling with a touch of persecution complex. If we’re all such a bunch of hypocritical stupid asshats, what’s the purpose of posting all this? Hell I’m about as avid of a reader as we have here and i only post very occasionally. Why torment yourself? And if you have some purpose, why not engage people without all the hostility and childishness?

                    Again, just to be clear, i’m not saying leave in any authoritative sense, I’m just saying it to the extent you clearly don’t like what we believe, so why waste your time? You really don’t think you’re changing minds and winning people over to the statist/socialist POV so what gives?

                  3. I just think it’s funny when libertarians bitch about government force when they’re talking about taxes, when the only things they want government to do involve shooting people

                    No I just want them out of the way , out of my wallet, and out of my bedroom. If the state becomes the agressor then they will get shot and that is a fact. See you and your “Larger Government” dick sucking pukes just want a mommy, so you feel safe and warm at night.

                    Grow a set set and get out on your own pussy.

              2. I can safely say I don’t want that.

                Yeah guys, c’mon, not complying with the mandate is only a shoot-in-the-leg offence. Face shooting is reserved for more serious crimes against the state.

                1. (actually, it’s not even a leg shooting offense, it’s probably just a federal prison rape offense.)

                  1. I would say it is probaly more of a tazered resisting Federal authorities offense.

          3. “First of all, I’m in great shape and don’t like girls.”

            I guess now we know one of your favorite activities is to shoot in the face. Or maybe take it in the face.

      5. Lower taxes during a war? That didn’t become anything but crazy talk until actual crazy people starting infesting government.

        Right, because the Great Depression didn’t start until WWII was in full swing. Good point, man.

  7. Oh look, there is Tony. Yaaay.
    You never let me know Tonster….if all of the policies you advocate are put into place we would be indistinguishable from the Soviet Union. Is this a plus to you or do you just not get that?

    1. I advocate maybe 2 or 3 federal programs more than you do, and a more, not less, democratic version of government. It’s not my problem that you can’t tell the difference between a modern democratic state and the Soviet Union, though among the (rather limited) things I’d change is to seriously increase education funding and standards–though you’re probably too old to benefit at this point. Sorry about that.

      1. People voting has nothing to do with liberty.

        1. Really, comrade?

          1. Yes, comrade–just ask Socrates.

          2. Stalin, Saddam Hussein, Mao – they loved holding elections.

          3. Really Tony. Liberty is about Freedom and Freedom of choice.

            But you hate that, unless your at a dick buffet in mens room at the rest stop.

        2. The President of Dumbfuckistan here is asserting that he and we are alike, that democracy constitutes liberty, and that FEDERALE SHOULD BE THE FUNDIN’ THE EDUCATIONS ESSE.

          Go fuck yourself, Tony.

      2. I advocate maybe 2 or 3 federal programs more than you do,

        Yes, the Department of Total Control of the Economy, the Department of Total Control of Political Speech, and, there’s probably a third in there somewhere, oh, here it is, the Department of Total Control of Your Health.

        Just 2 or 3, is all.

      3. So you’re for mob rule then? You think it perfectly legitimate for the top 51% to vote to take the property of the bottom 49%?

        1. What is wrong with you people? I am in favor of democratic government. That doesn’t mean I think every single thing should be up to simple majority vote. Some things, like civil rights, should have higher hurdles.

          What alternative do you propose that’s allegedly freer?

          1. I’m kinda partial to a Republic.

          2. That IS democracy Tony.

            I propose we return to being a Constitutional Republic since, you know, that’s what the fucking constitution set us up as.

            1. It’s a version of democracy. Who gives a shit? What you really want is tyranny of YOU with a piece of paper as your legitimizing excuse. Even though the constitution clearly does not necessarily entail the type of society you want.

              1. Yep tyranny of Nathan is exactly what I’m angling for when I say that 51% of the population telling 49% of the population what to do is wrong. That clearly makes me an autocrat.

                1. what’s really odd is a gay dude wanting pure democracy.

                  1. I think he’s very confident that all of those slack jawed yokels wouldn’t dream of voting to make being gay punishable by stoning.

                    Which is funny since shrike likes to insist that Christians, especially in the South, are just the American Taliban.

                    1. How many times do I have to repeat that because I favor letting people choose their own type of society (instead of having a libertarian shithole imposed on them) doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the value of having supermajoritarian barriers on civil rights?

                    2. No matter how many times you repeat it Tony, me telling you that you are responsible for your own life is NOT me imposing shit on you.

                    3. No matter how many times you repeat it Tony, me telling you that you are responsible for your own life is NOT me imposing shit on you.

                      But he has no problem making us pay for HIS parents healthcare……wonder why we dont like it?

                      Grow up and get a clue Tony your in this world on your own. The Government is not here to save you from your own stupidity.

                    4. appreciate the value of having supermajoritarian barriers on civil rights

                      So 90% of the people voting to imprison or kill the remaining 10% (teh gays) would be OK, right? Cuz 90% is a supermajority. Awesome.

                    5. OK? No. But what can you do about it? If the people can’t alter everything, and I mean every single thing, about their own government, then they live under a tyranny. A tyranny of a piece of paper is still tyranny.

                    6. Yeah yeah we know: Freedom is Slavery.

                    7. A tyranny of a piece of paper is still tyranny.

                      No it just means you got to make your life what you want it to be.

                      Since you dont want to on your own that does not mean the rest of “us” get to pay for your usless ass to hang out in truck stops looking for action.

                    8. “choosing their own type of society”

                      Unless it’s the responsibility for yourself kind, then it’s ok to impose whatever make up is deemed acceptable.

                      This choosing their own type of society thing only goes so far right

        2. It’s funny when you hear people saying “our country is a democracy, fellow citizens! It’s time to vote out the racist Republican homophobes!”

          It’s not a democracy, shitstain — it’s a constitutional republic.

          But I usually have the self-control to keep myself from exploding like that. It’s hard, b

      4. It amazes me (it really shouldn’t) that you think 50% + 1 should be able to decide what the rest of us do, think, eat, drive, live, whatever.

        And you seriously think spending even MORE money on education is the problem? I feel sorry for whatever rich dude you end up marrying, you’re gonna bleed him dry.

        1. 50%+1 is better than Fuhrer DesigNate deciding. I know, the radically different society that by definition makes most people poorer and less economically mobile doesn’t require an imposition, because you say so. And uh freedom.

          1. You know what asshole, I’ve been choking back calling you names in an effort to be civil and then you have to go all “Fuhrer DesigNate” on me. Fuck you very much.

            1. The only alternative to democracy that I’m aware of is dictatorship.

              Since libertarians would never, ever get their preferred society from a willing democratic populace, I presume that means you think you should be allowed to be an autocrat, at least for a while.

              1. The only alternative to democracy that I’m aware of is dictatorship.

                Fail.

              2. Do lobotomies hurt?

                1. Otto: Lobotomy? Isn’t that for loonies?
                  Parnell: Not at all. Friend of mine had one. Designer of the neutron bomb. You ever hear of the neutron bomb? Destroys people – leaves buildings standing. Fits in a suitcase. It’s so small, no one knows it’s there until – BLAMMO. Eyes melt, skin explodes, everybody dead. So immoral, working on the thing can drive you mad. That’s what happened to this friend of mine. So he had a lobotomy. Now he’s well again.

              3. So, you’ve never heard of a Constitutional Republic?

                Another glowing tribute to our public education system.

                1. Constitutional republicanism? Are you kidding me? President Fuckhead probably couldn’t name the 56 states, let alone define constitutional republicanism.

              4. Since libertarians would never, ever get their preferred society from a willing democratic populace

                The only reason we wont is because the “populace” has been “educated” in your Government run schools Fucktard.

            2. DesigNate, you have been holding back? What for? Kicking Tony is half the fun of being here. I started out the same way until I figured out what an absolute moronic piece of shit he is.

              1. I have been attempting to take the high road since name calling generally means you’ve given up all pretenses of defending your position. I don’t know if Tony is real or just a sockpuppet as some suggest, but damn if explaining something for the thousandth time doesn’t wear on ones nerves.

                Now where are my damn starving orphans? I’ve been waiting on my rare fox slippers and ruby encrusted monocle for far too long.

          2. Is there even any air in your skull, or is it just a vacuum?

          3. Oh, and me saying you are responsible for yourself and your own life and I am responsible for me and my own life is not imposing anything on anybody. Unless you believe that my saying you are responsible for your own actions is an imposition.

            1. Unless you believe that my saying you are responsible for your own actions is an imposition.

              Ooohhh, but isn’t it?

              From the perspective of an irresponsible, childish, fucktarded piece of shit, I mean.

              1. I lol’d

      5. “I advocate maybe 2 or 3 federal programs more than you do, and a more, not less, democratic version of government. ”

        Unless, of course, the democratic majority doesn’t agree with the 2 or 3 programs you advocate, at which point in time it becomes necessary to impose it via some “greater good” rhetoric, right?

      6. So it is fair to ask you what those are? You can certainly forgive us for thinking that we’re world’s apart. If we’re only 2-3 programs off, we’re practically of the same mindset, it seems hard to understand how YOU seem to differ with everyone here, even though most of us differ wildly on a lot of issues.

  8. This usurper is on our fucking dime coins, guys. Fuck.

    1. what’s this “dime” of which you speak?

      1. Change!

  9. “Even the large nonwar works programs of the era weren’t enough to turn the economy around completely–something to think about when you’re trashing more recent attempts at stimulus.”

    Let us translate – “Stimulus didnt work the first time, stimulus didnt work the second time so obviously we have to stimulate harder”

    1. Stimulus did work–the large government spending program known as WWII.

      1. Holy shit, now murdering people in mass is considered stimulus? You must have really thought that one through eh?

        1. Worked for me.

          1. Aggregate demand, bitchez!!

          2. Did it?

      2. “large nonwar works programs’ are not WWII.

        My great uncle was in one…he planted redbuds all over columbia, la and bossier city. He would sneer every time he told about it. What a fucking waste of effort that was.

      3. My parents lived through WW2. They didn’t remember it all that fondly. They remembered it as a time of hardship, something they didn’t want their children to experience.

        Of course, they didn’t have you to “correct” their memories for them.

        1. My grandfather survived from Stalingrad to Berlin watching everybody die and everything fall to pieces. Wars are totally awesome. They stimulate the economy, and Tony’s sandy vagina. Fucking Keynesians.

          1. HehHehHeh. My great grandmother had a habit of naming after presidents. All of my great uncles were named after them. She also had a hog that she named after FDR.

            The hog became very large, aggressive, and stong willed. When my uncle (woodrow wilson) came back from WWII ( he was actually in the Bataan death march ) he decided to kill the hog for her. He drank a bit…..took his webley .455 to the hog pen, hopped in and shot the thing. If anyone here knows anything about the .455 then they already know how this story ends.

            1. If anyone here knows anything about the .455 then they already know how this story ends.

              Let’s assume we don’t. Go on…

              1. It is a pissant cartridge and hogs are tougher than hell.
                My grandfather ended the story with ” That hawg got him down on the ground before he could get up a tree and wrastled him around a bit. He spent six weeks in traction.”

            2. I’m assuming it has one of two endings: Either they ate pork for quite a while or that boss pig royally fucked up your uncle.

              1. Royally fucked up….yeah…something like that. Broke one arm and one leg and lost an eye.

                His brother ( John Jay – admittedly not a president) shot it with a garand. If he had not I am sure Woodrow would have been killed.

                1. +1, would read again.

                2. That’s the best story about pigs since “Snatch.”

        2. I don’t think you’re following the point. As far as economic demand is concerned, spending is spending. Yeah it would be much better if we could do the necessary spending without any accompanying mass carnage. But as humans we tend to only have political will for that kind of spending when we’re doing the least amount of good with it.

          1. I’m following it just fine. The “stimulus” didn’t help ordinary people like my parents. They had to carry the burdens.

            The prosperity you speak occurred after the war was over, after FDR was dead, after demobilization, and after the government quit spending massive amounts of money on war material.

            1. That’s generally the order of things. First spending, then self-sustained prosperity.

              1. Right, and the prosperity has no relationship to the fact that we were the only industrial power in the world for a good 30 years afterwards.

                1. Perhaps. But again, what it has absolutely nothing to do with are low taxes and a hands-off federal government.

              2. Oh, I get it. Spend spend spend for 16 years and then we get self sustained prosperity. Cool.

                Let’s see…we implemented TARP in 2008 so…we should be completely self sustaining and prosperous by 2024. I can’t wait!!!

          2. …spending is spending….
            I am smacking my head on the floor.

          3. And as far as supply is concerned, if every other nation’s industry is smoldering craters, we have a monopoly and can appear to succeed no matter how much we fuck around.

      4. An economy defined by widescale rationing and conscription is not a healthy economy.

  10. Didn’t the war start for us in 1941? Hadn’t the depression been going on for about 10 years before that? Isn’t the previous decade the relevant time frame to discuss whether the tax rates, government’s economic intervention and attempts at central planning froze capital, stifled the natural recovery and turned what should have been a normal recession into a 10 year depression? Isn’t that exactly what is happening now?

    1. ^THIS^

    2. Shhhh. Don’t confuse shit for brains with things like facts.

    3. When did our wartime buildup start? I know Lend/Lease was going on for a few years prior to our entry into the war. The “WWII saved the economy” crowd would count the buildup also.

  11. It’s no surprise that progressives like FDR. He was the closest this country ever had to a dictator, confiscated massive amounts of wealth from Americans, imprisoned American citizens with no due process and sold their businesses and assets without their consent. I have no idea why people fall all over themselves fawning over FDR.

    1. The man was a fucking abomination, but our predecessors elected him four times. What the fuck was wrong with them, seriously?

      1. See presidential race 2008

      2. What the fuck was wrong with them, seriously?

        I’m gonna blame cheap bathtub liquor. I know, I know, liquor was legal again at that point, but who could afford to buy retail booze?

      3. You’re an idiot. I am no fan of FDR but he got handed the Great Depression and the World’s Worst War ever and the country loved him for what he did (good or bad).

        When you fuck up a wet dream and high-tech boom (Bush the Stupid) then you deserve national hatred.

        1. How would Bush have stopped the dotcom bubble from popping?

          1. How would Bush have stopped the dotcom bubble from popping?

            Well, he could have instituted stupid new mandates for healthcare information management.

            Obamalosi To The Rescue!!!

          2. Duhhhh!!!! Bailouts or something. Geez!

        2. I wouldn’t recommend this to a woman, since she’d have just a normal vagina and it would probably be uncomfortable, but YOU should try a vacuum cleaner for your mutant vagina. Clear it of sand, and you’ll feel loads better. I promise.

          1. You can’t read, you stupid tampon.

            FDR inherited the worst conditions possible and persevered despite some bad policy.

            Bush 43 was handed a pristine country with no rivals and fucked up a goddamn winning lay-up with two minutes on the clock.

            1. Bush 43 was handed a pristine country with no rivals and fucked up a goddamn winning lay-up with two minutes on the clock.

              The dotcom bubble had already popped and al-Qaeda was gearing up for 9/11 (if you recall, Clinton had some problems with them during his time in office). So he was going to be dealing with a recession and terrorist incident regardless of any other screwups he had.

              Just because Bush clanked the layup doesn’t mean it was going to be the winning shot.

              1. “Just because Bush clanked the layup doesn’t mean it was going to be the winning shot.”

                +1 Bacon wrapped innertubes.

            2. “handed a pristine country”

              What a fuckin’ laugh.

    2. Because we are taught all the “good” things he did throughout the course of our public education. Plus as Tony demonstrated earlier, he like totally ended the Depression and stimulated the economy and stuff.

      1. Bread lines? What bread lines?

        1. surely you aren’t referring to the Community Bread Ball And Promenade?

          1. What’s that, some capitalist anti-homosexual, racist, gun-loving redneck ranch????

            /Tony

            1. I was going for a Soviet-style relabeling of breadlines that invokes the community spirit/mingling angle.

              But your spoof-tony suggestion sounds way more fun.

              1. Relabeling breadlines to invoke community spirit is COMPROMISE. We DO NOT COMPROMISE for the sake of the capitalists and their KKK enforcers.

                Da zdravstvuyet CCCP! Ura! Ura! Ura!

                /Tony’s parents.

                1. *sigh* Put it in the tube, and I’ll rewrite it tomorrow morning.

      2. Or the fact that the majority of the “employed” were dependent on government jobs doesn’t really bode well for the idea that the New Deal was in anyway sustainable.

        And as someone said above, if it takes a World War to solve your Depression, chances are you didn’t do a good job.

      3. I will readily admit that through high school I thought he was the greatest president ever. It wasn’t until I started actually learning about economics and what really went on back then that I changed my mind.

    3. They also like that fucktard relative of his… Teddy Roosevelt.

      Both their shrines deserve a good pissin’-on.

  12. Simple explanation,then as now most people fail to distinguish the difference between what politicians CLAIM they are trying to accomplish and what the actual RESULTS of the policies are.

  13. “The Folsoms see Roosevelt’s big government approach as instrumental in shaping the modern world.”

    A world in which, as Reason as so often so eloquently argued, we live lives of comfort and luxury unimaginable to generations past.

    1. Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

    2. BTW, I’m writing a book about the adventures of a 19th century boy from Missouri and his runaway slave friend’s adventures floating on a raft down the Mississippi.

    3. Just as somebody with a credit card with no limit may live a life of comfort and luxury.

      Until the bill comes due.

      Fun fact: the increases in GDP since about 1970 or so are just about equal to increases in debt.

      Much of this prosperity you speak of is no different at all than living off of credit cards.

  14. “FDR, The New Deal, and The Expansion of Federal Power.”
    New Deal???? When did this happen? And who the hell is FDR??? How come I have never heard of this? Was it in the newspapers?
    The guy in the picture looks like the Penguin in the Batman series.
    Thank God you guys keep us updated!

  15. 1. Rationalism and pretextual theory
    “Sexual identity is a legal fiction,” says Debord. But the characteristic theme of Long’s[1] critique of the cultural paradigm of discourse is a mythopoetical totality.

    If one examines neomaterial narrative, one is faced with a choice: either reject rationalism or conclude that reality is used to entrench hierarchy, but only if the cultural paradigm of discourse is valid; if that is not the case, narrative is a product of communication. The premise of rationalism states that sexuality is intrinsically responsible for capitalism, given that reality is distinct from truth. Thus, Sontag promotes the use of the cultural paradigm of discourse to modify culture.

    The subject is contextualised into a pretextual theory that includes truth as a whole. It could be said that any number of constructions concerning rationalism may be found.

    The subject is interpolated into a cultural paradigm of discourse that includes reality as a totality. But Foucault suggests the use of rationalism to deconstruct sexism.

    The primary theme of the works of Rushdie is the difference between society and narrativity. It could be said that in The Ground Beneath Her Feet, Rushdie affirms pretextual theory; in The Moor’s Last Sigh, although, he analyses rationalism.

    An abundance of narratives concerning the role of the observer as artist exist. In a sense, the characteristic theme of McElwaine’s[2] analysis of postsemioticist constructive theory is a self-referential paradox.

    2. Rushdie and the cultural paradigm of discourse
    “Society is meaningless,” says Debord. Baudrillard promotes the use of pretextual theory to read and analyse class. It could be said that Buxton[3] suggests that the works of Rushdie are empowering.

    “Art is fundamentally a legal fiction,” says Lyotard; however, according to Porter[4] , it is not so much art that is fundamentally a legal fiction, but rather the failure of art. The main theme of the works of Eco is the futility, and eventually the stasis, of neocapitalist class. Therefore, the cultural paradigm of discourse holds that the collective is capable of intent.

    In the works of Eco, a predominant concept is the concept of textual culture. Many discourses concerning pretextual theory may be revealed. In a sense, the subject is contextualised into a rationalism that includes reality as a totality.

    “Sexual identity is impossible,” says Debord. Sartre’s model of the cultural paradigm of discourse suggests that art has significance. Thus, the characteristic theme of Hamburger’s[5] essay on rationalism is the bridge between class and narrativity.

    If one examines pretextual theory, one is faced with a choice: either accept rationalism or conclude that truth is capable of significance. An abundance of deappropriations concerning the role of the writer as participant exist. It could be said that Bataille uses the term ‘pretextual theory’ to denote the common ground between class and society.

    “Sexual identity is part of the meaninglessness of consciousness,” says Baudrillard; however, according to Abian[6] , it is not so much sexual identity that is part of the meaninglessness of consciousness, but rather the failure, and subsequent stasis, of sexual identity. Any number of narratives concerning the cultural paradigm of discourse may be discovered. However, the subject is interpolated into a rationalism that includes truth as a paradox.

    If one examines the cultural paradigm of discourse, one is faced with a choice: either reject pretextual theory or conclude that art serves to oppress minorities, given that the cultural paradigm of discourse is invalid. In Chasing Amy, Smith denies pretextual theory; in Clerks he examines textual desemioticism. It could be said that the main theme of the works of Smith is the role of the poet as participant.

    In the works of Smith, a predominant concept is the distinction between feminine and masculine. Many appropriations concerning the paradigm, and some would say the rubicon, of predialectic sexuality exist. In a sense, if rationalism holds, the works of Smith are not postmodern.

    The subject is contextualised into a cultural subtextual theory that includes narrativity as a reality. Therefore, the characteristic theme of Wilson’s[7] model of rationalism is the role of the poet as reader.

    Bataille suggests the use of the cultural paradigm of discourse to attack capitalism. However, in Mallrats, Smith analyses pretextual theory; in Dogma, however, he denies the dialectic paradigm of narrative.

    The main theme of the works of Smith is the stasis of pretextual society. Therefore, Scuglia[8] holds that we have to choose between rationalism and neosemioticist patriarchialism.

    The primary theme of Cameron’s[9] essay on pretextual theory is the difference between culture and class. However, Lyotard promotes the use of the cultural paradigm of discourse to deconstruct society.

    Several deappropriations concerning rationalism may be revealed. Therefore, Lacan suggests the use of pretextual theory to attack colonialist perceptions of sexual identity.

    A number of narratives concerning the role of the poet as participant exist. But the subject is interpolated into a capitalist libertarianism that includes language as a totality.

    Lyotard uses the term ‘the cultural paradigm of discourse’ to denote not discourse, but postdiscourse. In a sense, the subject is contextualised into a subcultural paradigm of reality that includes consciousness as a reality.

    If the cultural paradigm of discourse holds, the works of Smith are reminiscent of Glass. Therefore, Sartre’s analysis of pretextual theory implies that the raison d’etre of the poet is social comment.

    Baudrillard promotes the use of dialectic theory to read and modify sexuality. In a sense, the characteristic theme of the works of Smith is the rubicon, and some would say the dialectic, of prematerial sexual identity.

    3. Pretextual theory and deconstructivist subcultural theory
    If one examines rationalism, one is faced with a choice: either accept deconstructivist subcultural theory or conclude that truth may be used to reinforce hierarchy, but only if sexuality is equal to narrativity; otherwise, Derrida’s model of the cultural paradigm of discourse is one of “dialectic nationalism”, and therefore intrinsically unattainable. The example of deconstructivist subcultural theory which is a central theme of Smith’s Clerks emerges again in Chasing Amy, although in a more mythopoetical sense. Therefore, the premise of rationalism suggests that the law is part of the futility of sexuality.

    An abundance of desemioticisms concerning deconstructivist subcultural theory may be found. However, rationalism states that language is capable of truth.

    Many discourses concerning the role of the artist as participant exist. In a sense, Humphrey[10] suggests that we have to choose between deconstructivist subcultural theory and textual objectivism.

    A number of desublimations concerning rationalism may be revealed. But the subject is interpolated into a deconstructivist subcultural theory that includes truth as a paradox.

    ——————————————————————————–

    1. Long, P. E. T. (1987) Rationalism and the cultural paradigm of discourse. Panic Button Books

    2. McElwaine, Q. ed. (1991) The Consensus of Dialectic: The cultural paradigm of discourse and rationalism. Loompanics

    3. Buxton, W. S. (1988) The cultural paradigm of discourse in the works of Eco. And/Or Press

    4. Porter, G. F. S. ed. (1970) The Economy of Expression: Rationalism, Lacanist obscurity and socialism. Harvard University Press

    5. Hamburger, P. W. (1998) Rationalism and the cultural paradigm of discourse. Yale University Press

    6. Abian, J. P. L. ed. (1971) Reinventing Social realism: Rationalism in the works of Smith. University of Illinois Press

    7. Wilson, I. G. (1982) The cultural paradigm of discourse and rationalism. Schlangekraft

    8. Scuglia, F. O. T. ed. (1979) Deconstructing Foucault: Rationalism and the cultural paradigm of discourse. O’Reilly & Associates

    9. Cameron, I. (1990) The cultural paradigm of discourse in the works of Smith. Panic Button Books

    10. Humphrey, J. O. R. ed. (1974) The Burning Sky: Socialism, postcapitalist situationism and rationalism. And/Or Press

  16. What I’m getting from Tony seems consistent to 2 main points.

    1. He favors pure democracy because well: “I favor letting people choose their own type of society”

    Not bad, right? Except the circular logic comes in his second idea

    2. “among the (rather limited) things I’d change is to seriously increase education funding and standards”

    So, basically, “people should be free to choose the society they want and they’ll be trained to choose what I like.”

    What this means is that Tony’s support of democracy is dishonest since he, like Marx & Engels in the Communist Manifesto, favors using a public school system to eliminate choice in thinking and thus choice in voting becomes superfluous. If a man is conditioned from birth to think that only grass is real food, then it doesn’t matter what’s on the menu, he’ll order only grass.

    And Tony’s plan (Well Tony meaning all liberals) is working. Notice how quick Tony is to pull out the ole appeal to authority by saying “the consensus among historians is that FDR was great.” The Folsom’s in their interview point out that all the Ivy League colleges teach this idea of FDR’s infallibility and it starts even earlier than that with Tman’s example of FDR worship hymns in 7th grade. Is it any surprise that the historians chose a consensus position that was entirely in line with the lack of possibilities their education gave them?

    1. Plus, he’s been slipping into anger today. Must be frustrating to him… his Team can never get the perpetual one-party rule that would – in his mind – solve all our problems.

      Fuck, that’s a mental picture that requires heavy drinking. Jagermeister to the rescue!

      1. You have grass to eat?? Mail us some!

        1. Michelle would approve of such a diet… excuse me, I have another speech to write, all of a sudden.

    2. I don’t favor pure democracy as I have said a hundred times. I’m fine with constitutional republicanism. I am just curious about why you guys, who purport to believe in freedom, mistrust people’s ability to choose their own form of society.

      As every single policy belief you guys have is a supplicating transfer of power away from the little people and to corporate bosses, I can only assume you think the CEOs, our betters, should rule in a corporatist state. You freedom lovers seem to have no problem with people living most of their days in mini-autocracies, then knee-capping them by taking away every single worker right you can think of. Democratic government is the only institution that is responsive to citizens’ wishes despite their material wealth and the de facto authority that comes with that. In our society where the influence of wealthy interests is by any reasonable estimation far beyond healthy, you just want to give them more power and the little people less. Whatever libertarianism is about, whatever slogans it attaches to itself, that is apparently its main concern: finding as many freedoms as it can to deny to people.

      The freedom of normal people is why I favor socialized basic services like education. Of course you think it’s leftist indoctrination, but that’s because you’re a doctrinaire rightist and you probably didn’t find much use for education.

      No one thinks FDR was a saint, but there is a general consensus about which policies led to American postwar prosperity, and if you can explain how, in the middle of high taxes, strong regulations, strong labor rights, large social and public works programs, a laissez-faire economy broke through and actually was responsible, then be my guest.

      1. Because a society where you tell me how to live my life and what to buy IS NOT FUCKING FREE!

      2. When did this “laissez-faire economy” break out, exactly?

        Your Team is the one always bitching about the evils of laissez-faire, which is why your latest missive is all the more puzzling.

        As is your contention that, you being a liberal, you’re actually in favor of more freedom and a constitutional republic. If your Team had all the power cards, we’d be filling out triplicate paperwork before and after every bowel movement… but at least we’d be free to be gay, which is one of maybe two or three things Team Blue *doesn’t* want to regulate.

        And, of course, you have to slip in the “you hate education” dig, which implies your oft-stated “I’m smarter than you, therefore I am better than you” mentality.

        You’re no fan of people choosing their own form of society, as you want your Team to call all the shots. Replace “the CEOs, our betters” with “politicians, our betters… you just want to give them more power and the little people less”, and one can see where you and your ilk really want to take this country.

        1. Or, what you said, Nate… very succinctly, I may add.

      3. I tried my damnedest to prevent a laissez-faire economy, but one of my boneheaded advisers talked me out of a 100% tax on my fellow wealthy bastards.

      4. “As every single policy belief you guys have is a supplicating transfer of power away from the little people and to corporate bosses, I can only assume you think the CEOs, our betters, should rule in a corporatist state”

        This is exactly the reality that exists now, as its the product of the nanny state. The idea that today’s corporatism is a product of laissez-faire economy is retarded since whatever remained of a free economy died under Saint Franklin’s New Deal.

  17. http://lewrockwell.com/william…..s93.1.html

    I dare Tony, shrike, M, or any other liberal to read this entire Williams piece.

    Bonus points for not calling him a “house nigger” in the process.

    1. Oh, I’d never stoop to that… but Williams IS an Uncle Tom.

  18. “We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. … We have never made good on our promises. … I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started … and an enormous debt to boot!”

    1. Morgenthau, you’re the asshole who talked me out of that one-hundred percent tax.

      If I weren’t roasting in Hell, I’d kick your ass for foiling my plans to be the next Mussolini.

      Why did I have to die before my time?
      And why didn’t that pussy Truman try harder to fuck up capitalism?

      1. Is’a okay, Frankie. You’a tried your best.

        1. I know you admired me, Comrade Franklin. Come, join us by the fire. Someday, from our sulphur-laden prison here, we will see those fools on Earth come to their collective senses and realize our grand dreams of domination.

          Here, shove a pineapple up Hitler’s ass. It makes him happy.

  19. THIS is why I need at least one more term… capitalism is a tough bird to kill, and I’m throwin’ as many stones at it as I can.

    1. I will do Thy bidding, O Lord, though I am an unworthy lump of congealed jism compared to Your Greatness.

      1. ARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARF!!!!!

    2. I will bring You more stones, as soon as I wipe off the remains of blowing you.

      1. I can help you with that, shrike.

        1. Cleanup on Aisle Team Blue!

  20. http://www.merriam-webster.com…..ssez-faire

    1: a doctrine opposing governmental interference in economic affairs beyond the minimum necessary for the maintenance of peace and property rights

    2: a philosophy or practice characterized by a usually deliberate abstention from direction or interference especially with individual freedom of choice and action

    ***

    Now, tell us how we approached anything near the above, after FDR.

  21. …how did we get to this, after FDR?

    1: a doctrine opposing governmental interference in economic affairs beyond the minimum necessary for the maintenance of peace and property rights

    2: a philosophy or practice characterized by a usually deliberate abstention from direction or interference especially with individual freedom of choice and action

  22. Meeser Tonee no here.

    1. Meeser Tonee said no talk to strangeers on internets. And no look at folder named “Living-room decorating ideas”.

  23. “Damn, that FDR was one jaunty mother-fucking Statist!”

  24. I blame the Indians.

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