On a related matter, just about everybody knows the theme to The Prisoner or"Secret Agent Man" but relatively few have heard the catchy original theme to his show,"Danger Man." Here it is:
And I readily concede I chunked aside some of my free market principles when I was told by chief economic advisers that the situation we were facing could be worse than the Great Depression.
So I've told some of my friends who've said -- you know, who have taken an ideological position on this issue, you know,"Why'd you do what you did?"
Hat Tip: James Ostrowski.
As late as 1938, after almost a decade of governmental"pump priming," almost one out of five workers remained unemployed. Historian Eric Rauchway says this is a lie, a lie spread by conservatives to besmirch the sainted FDR. Nonsense. In 1938 the unemployment rate was 19.1%, i.e. almost one out of five workers was unemployed, this is from the official Bureau of Census/Bureau of Labor Statistics data series for the 1930s. You can find the series in Historical Statistics of the United States here (big PDF) or a graph from Rauchway here. Rauchway knows this but wants to measure unemployment using an alternative series which shows a lower unemployment rate in 1938 (12.5%). Nothing wrong with that but there's no reason to call people who use the official series liars.
widely believed theory (at least among my students) that “wars have been good for the economy” in American history.
Variants of this thesis can be found among across the political spectrum. On the right, neocon Conrad Black argues that World War II “had restored prosperity after the free market had failed.” On the left, Paul Krugman similarly writes: “There's nothing magic about spending on tanks and bombs rather than roads and bridges. The reason World War II worked more effectively than the WPA [in terms of promoting economic growth] as that it was *bigger.*” While Krugman might prefer that this “bigger” spending be on roads and bridges, rather than bombs, this does not change the fact he still accepts the overall premise that spending on wars can be good for the economy. If anyone should have greater reason to call this theory into question, it is antiwar historians.
The guy on the left standing next to Iraqi Prime Minister Al Maliki. Al Maliki just returned from a good will trip to Iran..
Dear Mr. Gross:
I am a professor of history at the University of Alabama. Much of my research and teaching focuses on the Great Depression era in American history.
In an article in Salon on January 2, 2009, David Sirota quoted you as stating,"One would be very hard-pressed to find a serious professional historian who believes that the New Deal prolonged the Depression" (See here).
If the quotation accurately represents your views, it is very mistaken.
Off the top of my head, I can name “several serious professional historians” who would probably argue (and argue strongly) “that the New Deal prolonged the Depression.” In addition to myself, they include Jonathan Bean of Southern Illinois University, Brad Birzer of Hillsdale College, Brad Thompson of Clemson University, Jeffrey Hummel at San Jose State University, Larry Schweikart of the University of Dayton , Michael Allen of the University of Washington at Tacoma, Ralph Raico of Buffalo State College, Burton Folsom of Hillsdale College, David Mayer of Capital University in Columbus, John Moser of Ashland University in Ohio, and Paul Moreno of Hillsdale. All have doctorates in history from top-ranked universities.
This is just off the top of my head. If you want additional names, please feel free to call me at 205-348-1870.
Of course, I would happy to discuss my own views on this topic.
David T. Beito
Department of History
University of Alabama
In his book The Cigar, Barnaby Conrad III writes that before John F. Kennedy signed the trade embargo in 1962 banning Cuban cigars he had his press secretary, Pierre Salinger, get him 1,000 cigars. Once Salinger had secured 1,100, the president said: “Now, that I have enough cigars to last awhile, I can sign this.”
Martha Stewart went to jail for far less than this but it seems that presidents, including those known to preach about “public service” and “sacrifice,” are exempt from the same moral code that applies to the rest of us.
According to Stewart's wife Sarah, when they arrived at the hospital “it was full to bursting. I walked to the front with the letter and told them what the GP had said but I was just told to go to the back of the queue." Representatives of the the National Health Service stated that they were"saddened" by the news but explained that they had particularly long lines this time of year.
Perhaps Mark Brady has an answer. Under the British system does Mr. Fleming's family have any right to sue for malpractice?
One of the great myths in health care is that the uninsured are responsible for driving up private premiums by shifting costs. Uncompensated care certainly shifts some costs to private payers. Yet these costs are actually quite manageable in the aggregate, akin to what retailers lose due to shoplifting. The major cost shift is from government programs -- Medicare and Medicaid -- to private plans. The government pays doctors to treat Medicare and Medicaid patients. But the rates it pays, on average, are less than the cost for providing care to these patients. This is why Medicaid patients, and increasingly Medicare patients, struggle to find doctors. Putting more people on these programs will destabilize the remaining private system and create a coalition for price and wage controls.
Eartha Kitt not only had talent (see, for example, her scene-stealing performance in St. Louis Blues) but fearlessly spoke truth to power.
In 1968, while at a public White House lunch, she properly embarassed Lady Bird Johnson by declaring "You send the best of this country off to be shot and maimed....They rebel in the street. They don't want to go to school because they're going to be snatched off from their mothers to be shot in Vietnam."
Under the terms of the plan, if the companies can't demonstrate financial viability by March 31 the loans will be called and the money must be returned, the statement said.
Thomas G. Del Beccaro has used the apt expression "Mountain Dew Economics,"to describe the theory behind Obama's"stimulus plan” of massive government spending, continuing bailouts, and easy credit.
"We have to reclaim a tradition of public service that is about people and their lives and their hopes and their dreams, and it isn't about what's in it for me."
This comes, of course, from the same guy who hired Rahm Emanuel as his chief gate keeper. Even my liberal friends would never try to claim that Emanuel, already notorious for mailing a dead fish to an opponent, represents such a"tradition." Leaving that aside, what are the details of this historical tradition that Obama is trying to reclaim?