Laissez Faire

A Businessman Knows How To Run A Government Successfully? The Case Of Herbert Hoover As A Rejoinder To Donald Trump!

Donald Trump loves to say that his business experience qualifies him to be President. But his business experience has mostly been failures and bankruptcies, and he inherited money from his father, which gave him an unfair advantage, compared to 99 percent of Americans, and he set out to take advantage of every legal trick and method of manipulation to enrich himself at the expense of others, including often not paying his bills.

We have had only one businessman, Herbert Hoover, as President, and he became a total disaster after he was elected in 1928. But he was not born to wealth, was orphaned before age 10,and accomplished his great business career with his own efforts and intellect, and became a multimillionaire in the mining industry by age 40, and then devoted himself to public service.

But the difference between Trump and Hoover is that Hoover served many years in government, working for Democrat Woodrow Wilson, and Republicans Warren G. Harding and Herbert Hoover, before he ran for President.

He had never been elected to anything, but he had been an extremely successful and outstanding figure in the First World War effort, and served eight significant years as Secretary of Commerce. Hoover stands out as one of the small group of really exceptional cabinet officers, which usually includes other agencies, such as the State Department, the Treasury Department, the Justice Department, and the Defense Department as the major areas where notable cabinet members serve a President.

Unfortunately, he had no ability to overcome the Great Depression that began in October 1929, as he was tied to a laissez faire political philosophy, and did not know how to gain backing in Congress. He was also a poor communicator, who was unable to inspire the American people with his public speeches and radio addresses. Hoover’s personality was very introverted, and he did not inspire confidence. So his business background failed him when it mattered, as President of the United States.

One can be sure that if Hoover was alive today, he would be shocked and stunned at a con artist, Donald Trump, who has had four bankruptcies, and has no understanding of government or world affairs, would have the gall to think he was qualified to lead America in the 21st century.

The Coming GOP Battle Between Ted Cruz And Rand Paul: Neither Good For The Republican Party!

It is now clear, after the CPAC convention, that the battle for the soul of the Republican Party is, most likely, to be between Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

Cruz represents the aggressive, in your face, bombastic image of the Tea Party, while Paul represents the libertarian, isolationist view of the same Tea Party.

Both hate the national government, and both want to cut domestic social spending, and have no desire to deal with the problems of the working class and the poor.

Both want to undermine the GOP establishment, and work against the idea of working with President Obama, and accepting that part of politics is negotiation and compromise.

Both men have very little ability to win a national election, as both are seen as extreme, and unable to take “Blue” states away from the Democrats.

Both appeal to those who want to put America back in the age of laissez faire of the Gilded Age, and want to assist the one percent who have become more wealthy and powerful at the expense of the middle class.

Cruz has a demagogic manner about him, reminding many of Joseph McCarthy in appearance and style, but he is seen as dangerous because despite his egotism, he is clearly very smart. However, he is willing to throw other Republicans “under the bus”, with his working against fellow Texas Senator John Cornyn, and also resisting Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, as well as attacking past Republican Presidential nominees Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney. Cruz has no ethics when it comes to pursuing his own ambitions, and he is extremely vain and arrogant. Imagining him dealing with foreign leaders is an absolute horror!

Paul, on the other hand, supports the idea that businesses should be able to reject customers based on race, being critical of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He is a libertarian like his dad, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, and believes that philosophy is realistic in the 21st century. He would love to cut defense spending enough so that we would withdraw from many of our bases around the world , an appealing idea, but not a realistic one. He comes across as more a visionary than Cruz, more pleasant than Cruz, willing to give respect to the elder statesmen of the party, and work with Establishment Republicans in the Senate, while disagreeing with them. He seems, overall, not as bright and ambitious as Cruz is.

Both are horrible choices for President, and both would lose, but the feeling is that Cruz is more of a threat, although the belief is that he would crash and burn, once the election campaign was in full swing. It seems likely that Paul would do better in electoral votes, and would be more liked personally, but still could not win a national election.

The ultimate question is why the Republican Party seems incapable of finding a truly great Presidential candidate, although in the long run, that does not matter as the Electoral College math dooms them in 2016, as long as they continue to alienate many major voting groups.

So the decline of the GOP, by a massive electoral defeat in 2016, seems more likely as the clock ticks toward the election year!

War Against The Elderly: The Most Vulnerable In Society!

So now not only has Michigan decided that retired employees in Detroit, who devoted their lives and safety to their work, shall see their pensions cut, but the state of Illinois, governed by Democrats, has enacted legislation to the same effect!

Normally, the power of legal agreements prevents such action as to cast the elderly, on a fixed income, out to the wolves! But no more by the power of courts and legislatures and governors to defy the law and get away with it!

As one retired employee in Detroit said yesterday, he has to decide between eating and his medication come next year.

This is unconscionable, and shows the lack of respect for the elderly, and for life itself!

Already, there has been an attack on poor children, taking food out of their mouths, through cuts in food stamps. But the thought that maybe poor women should have access to birth control and abortion, so that they and future children might avoid poverty and deprivation, never crosses the minds of those who insist all life in the womb, from conception, should be born, but then to hell with what happens after birth!

If Michigan and Illinois can destroy public pensions for the elderly, what will stop many other states from doing so, rather than facing the facts that the wealthy have been ripping America off with the help of conservatives and Republicans, who have no problem subsidizing the wealthy and corporations, but do not give a damn for the poor, the sick, the young, the elderly, women, and workers?

With all of the progress of the progressive movement, the New Deal, and Great Society, we are now witnessing a return to a true Gilded Age, a return to a century and a half ago, effectively wiping out the 20th century movement toward humane, compassionate government!

Now it is back to laissez faire, Social Darwinism, dog eat dog, no concern for those less fortunate, and Democrats are starting to act like Republicans, all so that the wealthy do not have to pay taxes in a fair, honest way!

How can one have any optimism about the future of the “great experiment” known as American democracy?

And imagine with all of the reality described, how much tougher it is if one is African American, Hispanic, Native American, or disabled?

What has happened to our souls, our ethics, our morals, as we honor the almighty dollar, and fight over “things” on Black Friday and even Black Thanksgiving?

The middle class is being ground down to the level of poverty, as a small elite takes all of the wealth of America, and now wants to privatize EVERYTHING, including our national parks, in the almighty quest for profit and MORE MONEY, never enough, a level of materialism enough to make one want to vomit!

The Rehabilitation Of President Calvin Coolidge: Is It Legitimate?

In an age of conservative talk radio and Fox News Channel, and the constant conservative attempt to transform our law, our science, our history, our politics, our economics, our educational system, the charge is on to rehabilitate a hero of conservatives, including Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Michael Savage, and many others.

That “hero” is our 30th President, Calvin Coolidge, who served five and a half years in the White House, from August 1923 to March 1929, succeeding President Warren G. Harding, and winning an easy victory over Democratic nominee John W. Davis and Progressive Party nominee Robert La Follette, Sr. in the 1924 Presidential Election.

Calvin Coolidge can be given credit for several things:

His administration paid off the national debt by the time he left office, a debt built up by our involvement in the First World War.

His Presidency was a clean one, and the corruption of the Harding Administration, the greatest since Ulysses S. Grant, was fully prosecuted, leading to convictions and prison terms for some of the Harding personnel.

Coolidge picked a distinguished Vice President, Charles G. Dawes, who would have made an outstanding President.

Coolidge selected Harlan Fiske Stone as his Attorney General, and then appointed him to the Supreme Court, and Stone was later elevated to Chief Justice in 1941 by Franklin D. Roosevelt, turning out to be one of the all time, outstanding Supreme Court Justices in American history.

However, Coolidge also was responsible for:

The promotion, by his tax policies under Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, an earlier version of “Reaganomics” and “Bushonomics”.

The raising of protective tariffs to their all time high, leading to the revival of monopoly capitalism in America, harming small business, labor and consumers alike.

The refusal to regulate big business in any form, by his appointments to the Federal Trade Commission and the Interstate Commerce Commission, and his decision NOT to use the Clayton Anti Trust Act and Sherman Anti Trust Act in lawsuits against corporations.

His refusal to help depression ridden farmers, by his veto of the McNary Haugen plan, which was desired by farm state Republicans.

His criticism of organized labor set back the labor movement until the time of FDR.

A new book by Amity Shlaes, is the most detailed and strong defense of Calvin Coolidge, but it fails to recognize that the Great Crash of the stock market, eight months after Coolidge left the Presidency, and Herbert Hoover became President, is not due only to Hoover, but much more to Coolidge and his policies in office.

Herbert Hoover has taken too much blame for the Great Depression. He can be blamed for his slow reaction to the collapse of the economy, but it is clear that Coolidge, with his doctrinal belief in “Laizzez Faire”, would not have been willing to take even the belated actions that Hoover took in 1931-1932, for which conservatives condemn him, by saying Hoover was the forerunner of the New Deal of FDR!

Just because Amity Shlaes, who is connected to the George W. Bush Institute, loves Calvin Coolidge does not make Coolidge, suddenly, a great or near great President. And neither does the fact that Ronald Reagan displayed his portrait, in place of Thomas Jefferson, add to Coolidge’s appropriate rating as, at the best, a below average, or even, a mediocre President.

In fact, to put Herbert Hoover lower really is a miscarriage of justice, as Hoover became the victim of the short sighted Coolidge policies!

Conservatives, Republicans, And Basic Knowledge: Science, Mathematics, History, Economics, Spelling And Grammar, World Diplomacy

Many Republicans and conservatives, whether in Congress, the news media, think tanks, or just ordinary citizens, have a real and fundamental problem with basic knowledge. It makes one wonder where they were when they were young, and supposedly being educated, and the indications that they have learned nothing new as adults.

Consider the field of Science, with many of the Republicans and conservatives believing in creationism, the BIble theory of creation, that claims the earth is maybe 10,000 years old at the most, and that dinosaurs walked with man, with a Creationist Museum open to the public in Kentucky, near the border with Cincinnati, Ohio. There is complete denial of Charles Darwin, to the point of total craziness.

Also, there is the failure of these people to accept that there is global warming and climate change, despite so much evidence that there is a problem, and refusal to plan for the future on the basis that we are facing a long range threat, with Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma being the political leader of the “deniers”.

But also, many Republicans and conservatives seem to have their own version of the process of pregnancy and what is a rape, as for instance, defeated Senate nominees Todd Akin and Richard Mouroick.

But let’s move on from Science to Mathematics, and we are talking here about basic math, arithmetic, not geometry, trigonometry, or calculus. Many members of the GOP, including Paul Ryan, claim a magical system of numbers to come up with their budget plans, but as Joe Biden said to Paul Ryan in the Vice Presidential debate, it does not add up!

Then we move on to history, and the image that America is the greatest nation in history, and has never made a mistake, never needs to apologize, has no faults or shortcomings that anyone needs to learn about. And our exceptionalism is enough to wave in the faces of all nations around the world. Why should we teach or learn about slavery, mass murder of native Americans, discrimination against Jews and Catholics and other immigrants, the exploitation of labor by corporations, the destruction of our environment, the corruption of many politicians over our history, the war crimes committed by our troops in many wars, and so on? NO, that is unpatriotic, and instead we must sanitize all historical learning!

And the field of economics is another area of believing that the best system is NO regulation, and the promotion of Adam Smith’s Laissez Faire economics, expressed in the Wealth Of Nations, and if there is poverty or other human suffering, that is the way it was intended by God, so the promotion of Social Darwinism, the one time Darwin is utilized by these KNOW NOTHINGS!

Spelling and grammar do not matter, as many Tea Party radicals who hold rallies show their total ignorance of all subject matter, and cannot express themselves appropriately, and in a respectable manner! They march with signs that are misspelled, as with the Secession signs now being brandished by many of these characters, who are upset with the Obama victory last week!

World Diplomacy, the whole idea of trying to relate to other countries in a respectful manner, is also insignificant to many, who believe the answer is to BOMB everyone you do not agree with, throw our weight around, and not give a damn about how the world perceives us!

This ignorance and stupidity is totally unacceptable, and the Republican Party and the conservative movement needs to purge itself, or go into the dustbin of history!

Back To The Gilded Age: The Gospel Of Wealth And Social Darwinism

In the Gilded Age of the late 19th century in America, there were prevailing philosophies that influenced the growth of economic concentration and social conservatism and justified them.

The first was the “Gospel of Wealth”, published by steel industrialist Andrew Carnegie, that argued that America should honor and respect the great capitalists, despite the reality that the growth of monopoly capitalism was curbing small business opportunities, promoting the exploitation of working people, and providing lack of competition in pricing of products for consumers. Instead, the great capitalists should be applauded and respected for their “great” contributions to America!

Social Darwinism, based on a distortion of the ideas of Charles Darwin and Adam Smith, was a philosophy based on the writings of British writer Herbert Spencer and American sociologist William Graham Sumner, justifying the “laissez faire” viewpoint of Adam Smith on economics, and applying it to society regarding the struggle for survival and survival of the fittest of Charles Darwin in his evolutionary theory. So therefore, government should NOT intervene to give aid and support to the poor, the sick, the disadvantaged, and instead let nature take its course, as that would advance society, eliminating the weak in society through natural causes.

What Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan offer is a return to the Gospel of Wealth and Social Darwinism.

The question is whether we are ready to reverse 140 years of history and revert to the 19th century in the 21st century, and leave tens of millions of Americans behind as we surge forward on the growth of monopoly capitalism and concentration of wealth to a level not even seen in the Gilded Age!

The 130th Anniversary Of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Birth: The Sustained Republican Attack On The New Deal’s Survival!

Today marks the 130th anniversary of the birth of our second greatest President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who served 12 years and 39 days in the Presidency, and took America through the Great Depression and most of World War II.

Rated the greatest President in most polls of scholars and experts after Abraham Lincoln, FDR personified the growth of big national government, including the recognition that the federal government was needed to deal with the crisis presented by the depression, the worst economic downturn in American history.

Now in 2012, we are being told by the opposition Republicans that the answer is to revert to the philosophy of Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover, and keep the federal government out of the economy as much as possible. Mitt Romney can be seen as the new Herbert Hoover, aloof, imperial in nature, unable to relate to ordinary people’s problems and daily struggles, extremely rich, and believing that the private capitalistic system without government interference is the best for America’s future.

Even Herbert Hoover started to abandon that belief in laissez faire, and is called, therefore, the “forgotten progressive” by Joan Hoff and others. And maybe Mitt Romney, due to his past reputation of being a moderate to liberal as Governor of Massachusetts, might back away from his present promotion of a conservative image.

But the Republican Party, whether Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul or anyone else as the nominee, has fundamentally declared war on the New Deal!

The GOP wants to privatize Social Security and Medicare, and gut as many government departments and agencies as possible, along with destroying labor unions and showing lack of concern for the environment, all major tenets of the New Deal. When Republicans can claim that the New Deal was “socialism”, as some of them do, they are being ridiculous and setting out to end the laws and programs that have advanced America and helped to create the middle class!

Conservative scholars and propagandists have been advocating negatives about the New Deal as part of their aim to destroy the good programs that Barack Obama has achieved, and to go back to the mentality of the 1920s era and the Gilded Age of the late 19th century.

We can be sure that if FDR was alive today, that he would be on the attack against the Republican Party and their aims of destroying his New Deal, and it is therefore the job of Barack Obama to go out and assault, rhetorically, those who wish to destroy not only the New Deal of FDR, but also the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson, and the other progressive, human oriented programs of Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton.

This is the time to defend big government and FDR, not shrink from the challenge!

The Multiple Problems Of Rick Santorum: Why He Would Be A Nightmare For America!

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum comes across as handsome, personable, a good speaker, and willing to look people directly in the eye when he meets them.

But these strengths are outweighed by his many shortcomings, as witness:

Rick Santorum was extremely unpopular among his Republican colleagues in the US House of Representatives and US Senate, from John McCain to Jim DeMint, a wide range within a narrow based party.

Rick Santorum became the biggest promoter of “pork”, known as “earmarks”, and made all the right connections with business people so that he has enriched himself since his defeat in the Senate reelection contest of 2006, where he lost by the massive margin of 17 points, despite his 12 years of Senate seniority.

Rick Santorum has a confrontational, take no prisoners approach to his “enemies”, and has absolutist views on many issues, which means he would not unite the American people, and would cause a bigger rift, a bigger chasm, a bigger division, than has existed under Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. He does not have the personality or nature to compromise, or to promote unity. The political atmosphere would be far worse, much more poisonous in a Santorum Presidency, and antagonistic to his “enemies”, more anti media than anyone since Richard Nixon!

Rick Santorum believes in a muscular foreign policy, and would engage America in more overseas military adventures without any pause, which makes him very dangerous.

Rick Santorum has no concern for the poor or the struggling middle class, as he has demonstrated so often, since he believes that no one is responsible to pay more taxes to help the sick, the poor, the disadvantaged, and that we have no social responsibility to each other. He would be the most right wing candidate since Barry Goldwater, but worse than Goldwater, who was a libertarian in many ways, and would not approve of Santorum’s invocation of “Jesus”, and Santorum’s narrow view of Christianity. Santorum would have no problem going back to a theory of Social Darwinism, prevalent in the Gilded Age of the late 19th century.

Rick Santorum believes there is no right to privacy including his opposition to abortion in all circumstances; his extreme condemnation of gay rights in all of its forms; his opposition even to contraception; and his desire to have divorce made more difficult, forcing unhappy couples to stay together as long as they have children under the age of 18. He also believes that consenting adults do not have the right to consensual sex in their own homes!

Rick Santorum claims to speak for the working class, because of his own blue collar family background, including his grandfather, who migrated from Italy and worked in the coal mines, but really he is personally quite wealthy, and only really has shown political concern for WHITE working class, which he is appealing to, and not concern for African Americans or Hispanics, with his statements and actions attacking any assistance or support of the advancements of these minority groups, which have been left behind.

Rick Santorum showed he was not a “compassionate” conservative as President George W. Bush claimed to be, when he said that “pre-existing” conditions involving health care should be given higher premium rates because their “habits” led to the pre-existing conditions, even when a mother saying her child had developed health issues and could not get insurance, questioned him this week at a campaign rally in New Hampshire. Santorum has no compassion or concern for anyone not wealthy, and this is supposed to be a “good Christian”? This is the true hypocrisy of Rick Santorum, promoting selfishness and greed, not what Jesus Christ promoted! And yet, Santorum claims he is the “JESUS” candidate! What an outrage!

Rick Santorum is dangerous to America, as he would promote a repeal of the New Deal and Great Society; would advocate military interventions overseas; would destroy the safety net that exists for those less fortunate and less healthy; and would promote government intrusion in the private lives of Americans, including their sexual behavior.

This is a prescription for a totalitarian government socially, but laissez faire economically, all in the name of JESUS! Just what the Founding Fathers worked so strongly against! We are NOT a theocracy, and the thought of it is enough to make one terrified!