*This article is broken into five parts with each being released a few days apart. This is due to the size of the article. PART I can be found here.
3. Stage Two – Woodrow Wilson and the Rise of Wilsonian Tyranny:
“You are not here merely to prepare to make a living. You are here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget this errand.” – Woodrow Wilson
After Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson is probably the worst president in history. Although FDR is pretty close. What makes Wilson so bad? Well, he was instrumental in creating the Federal Reserve and the Federal Trade Commission. He also kick-started the income tax system that we have today. Additionally, Wilson intervened in the first World War, which had absolutely nothing to do with the United States. His actions in that war created the snowball effect that eventually became World War II. Sure, Hitler was a sick and twisted fucksack but there is a huge chance that he would’ve never gained power in Germany if it weren’t for the heinous actions of Woodrow Wilson. Shit, the fact that Wilson could have inadvertently caused the Holocaust probably makes him worse than Lincoln.
Wilson’s first order of business was the creation of the Federal Reserve. Contrary to popular belief, the Federal Reserve is not a government entity. The Fed is a private central bank that has the power to print money. Instead of having currency with actual value, Woodrow Wilson birthed a non-governmental establishment that has the power to control, regulate and print paper money! This was a way for the government to control and meddle with the flow of currency. Instead of letting the free market and free trade dictate the cost of goods and the value of money, Wilson thought it best to have supreme control over the monetary system. Many historians, the world over, credit the Federal Reserve and it’s meddling with the American economy as being a major catalyst for the Great Depression as well as our nation’s current economic peril, inflation and the devaluation of the dollar. John Maynard Keynes didn’t see it this way and the progressives of Wilson’s era all the way up to today, still trust in Keynesian economic theory.
Looking past the issue of the Federal Reserve, which is a monstrous issue, I want to put some emphasis on Wilson’s lesser-known progressive follies. The next thing on the docket is the Underwood Tariff Act, also known as the Revenue Act of 1913. What this act did was it lowered basic tariff rates from 40% down to 25%. That may seem positive but tariffs in general are just bad economic policy. Read some Mises, Rothbard, Hayek or Friedman if you don’t believe me.
Apart from the reduction of tariffs, the Underwood Tariff Act created something much worse. In order to off set the loss of revenue from the decreased tariffs, the federal income tax was reinstated. What was once created to pay for the Civil War, was brought back fifty years later to help create a pot of money for the growing progressive agenda. The income tax was previously deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1894 but that obstacle was overcome by the creation of the 16th Amendment, which made a federal income tax constitutional. Wilson used the Underwood Tariff Act as a tool to justify the creation of the federal income tax, which was now within the government’s power to legally implement.
The next piece of shitty progressive legislation to look at is the Clayton Antitrust Act. In a nutshell, an antitrust law is a law that attempts to prohibit monopolies from forming while trying to eliminate unfair business practices. Just like everything pimped by progressives, it sounds like a good idea based off of good intentions but it is counterproductive to what it is trying to accomplish and it essentially creates that in which it is trying to regulate or destroy. It helps the federal government pick winners and losers and thus, kills true capitalism only to replace it with a crony clone wearing the same title.
The Clayton Antitrust Act was created to double up on the control of rogue capitalists that started with the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. These acts created a style of legislation that is still be used today. For whatever reason, lefties on the Hill can’t seem to wrap their heads around the fact that these practices hurt the economy. Maybe I am being unfair here, as the righties have adopted these practices as well. Because of that, we’re all fucked.
Anyway, the Clayton Antitrust Act was setup to restrict mergers between companies as well as controlling price competition. To restrict mergers is incredibly foolish and borderline chaotic. This punishes the end consumer because the product or service he would receive, may not be as good because of these restrictions. See, two companies merge when they feel that by combining their efforts they will improve their ability to create superior results with whatever good or service they offer. When companies see a greater value in merging, it is the end consumer that really reaps the benefits of that extra value. Often times, mergers happen because the company that is committing the “hostile takeover” of its competitor believes that the smaller company could be more efficient if better run. They believe that they can run it better and if they can, this benefits everyone involved. Well, except for maybe the shitty employees. Should we reward them with jobs in the new company for running the old company into the ground? Often times these “hostile takeovers” are an alternative to bankruptcy.
Like a typical progressive “Trustbuster”, Wilson didn’t just stop with the Clayton Antitrust Act. He also created the Federal Trade Commission or FTC. Today, the FTC is the “National Nanny”. For decades it has overseen and meddled with our economy. Now it is defining the rules and regulations of the Internet. The only truly free thing left in the world is being tyrannized by this archaic progressive institution that has done nothing apart from stifling the free market.
The next piece of legislation to come across Woodrow Wilson’s desk was the Smith-Lever Act of 1914. This act created subsidies for agricultural education and research. Is that a waste of tax dollars? I’ll let you decide.
Following that was another pro-agricultural law, the Federal Farm Loan Act. This established a system that would provide an increase in credit to rural, family farmers. This was achieved by the creation of a federal farm loan board, as well as twelve regional farm loan banks. Essentially, cooperative farm loan associations were able to get long-term loans at very low interest rates (under subsidized terms of course). This was to help smaller farmers “survive” against the harsh competition of larger farmers (or better farmers, depending upon your reality). Farmers were able to borrow up to 50% of the value of their land and 20% of the value of any improvements. This evolved into today’s monstrous Farm Credit System, which received a $4 billion bailout in 1987 that created a new arm for the beast, the Farm Credit System Financial Assistance Corp.
Wilson then attacked child labor with the Keating-Owen Act of 1916. I know that the vast majority of the lefties and righties are all for child labor laws but in reality, they have very negative consequences. Luckily, at the time, the Supreme Court recognized this and deemed the Keating-Owen Act unconstitutional. Because of the child labor laws that did eventually pass, it is technically illegal for you to give a minor $20 for fixing your computer. However, the government decided that we had to save the children from a Charles Dickens nightmare. Never mind that many of the children of the 19th and early 20th centuries worked to help provide for their poor families. As time progressed, parents made more money and they were able to send their kids to school. The free market was working towards destroying child labor before the progressives created laws to completely eliminate it in all its forms.
In 1916, Woodrow Wilson was faced with a serious dilemma from the railroad unions. The railroad brotherhoods threatened to shut down the railroads. Wilson attempted to get the angry unions and the “evil exploitive” management to work together to find a solution to the labor issues. No compromise was made, so our progressive hero created the Adamson Act which forced railroad management to limit the work day to 8 hours and to pay overtime if the maximum hours were exceeded. Because of this, a strike was avoided but the railroad companies now had a gun to their head. There was no negotiation. The federal government, led by Woodrow Wilson, forced management to comply with these demands.
Wilson initially tried to keep us out of the first World War. However, his know-it-all meddling progressive attitude couldn’t be tamed. Because of that, he tried to mediate the conflict, just like he tried to do but failed with railroad unions and railroad management. The result here was no different and Mr. Fix-it had egg on his face again. That snotty yolk must have left a bad taste in his mouth because Wilson showed that he wasn’t really an objective party when it came to the War. In fact, he demanded the Germans quit their bullshit. As far as the British went, he slapped them on the hand and they called his bluff, continuing to do what they were doing because they knew Wilson didn’t really mean it.
With his first term coming to a close, Woodrow Wilson ran for reelection with the slogan “He kept us out of war.” Funny, because it wasn’t long before his anti-war message was replaced with a pro-war attitude. Kind of reminds me of what Barack Obama is doing now. Damn progressives.
After narrowly winning reelection against Republican Charles Evans Hughes, it wasn’t long before Woodrow Wilson brought us into a war that we had no business whatsoever being in. He built a massive military through conscription. What that means is that young men were forced to fight because Woodrow Wilson said so. The war was bloody and hard-fought. At one point, the life expectancy of a soldier on the front lines was 21 days! These men, just like the soldiers during Vietnam, were practically being shipped overseas with a death sentence. All it took was a gun to the head to force a gun in the palm.
Lives weren’t the only cost of war; the war was incredibly expensive monetarily and this strained the economic stability of America. So, not only were Americans now paying income tax, now those taxes were being raised to fund our idiotic involvement in the war. The progressive-led government also insisted that people eat less, this way more food could be sent to soldiers. The government also tried pimping out war bonds and manufactured a mass amount of pro-war propaganda that pretty much told people that they were traitors and assholes if they didn’t support the war effort. Apparently, you weren’t a patriot unless you were a drone to your progressive masters and their ever-growing collectivist society.
Apart from the war, Wilson had us involved in other foreign affairs. He proposed that U.S. vessels traveling through the Panama Canal would be exempt from paying tolls. This angered the British as well as many others.
Wilson also wanted to avoid trampling on Latin America, as he believed Teddy Roosevelt had done, so he apologized to Columbia for the United States’ role in the Panama Revolution during Teddy’s reign. That must’ve been an inspirational moment for Obama, the Great Apologizer.
Woody then meddled with Latin America, trying to “teach” the Latin American countries on how to “elect good men.” Wilson had troops stationed in Mexico, Nicaragua, Haiti, Cuba and Panama.
Wilson’s soldiers in Nicaragua forced the country to pass the Bryan-Chamorro Treaty after they selected the nation’s president. Haiti was forced to choose the presidential candidate that Wilson hand-picked. They were also forced to adopt a constitution that Wilson wrote! Wilson had our troops go into the Dominican Republic after their president resigned. The American military aligned themselves with wealthy landowners and fought brutally against any resistance they encountered. Wilson’s foreign policy with our closest neighbors was abhorrent!
After World War I, Woodrow Wilson made his famous “Fourteen Points” speech that introduced the world to the idea of a “League of Nations”, his anti-American globalist dream and the precursor to the United Nations. The League of Nations was officially created with the Treaty of Versailles. That treaty also gave birth to the “Stab-in-the-back Legend” that the Nazis latched onto and spread like wildfire, as they rose to power in a Germany crumbled by war. There are many other factors associated with Wilson and his involvement in WWI that inadvertently helped the Nazi cause but that is an article for another day.
After all of this awesome foreign intervention, the Norwegian Nobel Committee showed that they were pranksters of the world when they gave the Nobel Peace Prize to Woodrow Wilson. Funny, that is another parallel to Obama. Maybe I should write an article about all their similarities.
Following the Treaty of Versailles and the formation of the League of Nations, Woodrow Wilson’s presidency was winding down. As soldiers were coming home, they were faced with harsh times due to the effects of Wilsonian policy. There was poor planning, very little money and next to no benefits for the four million soldiers who returned to the States. The economy was in serious trouble and the Wilsonian Era nearly caused a depression in 1920 (I wrote about it and how the problem was resolved in “The Forgotten Depression of 1920“).
Wilson’s wartime progressive politics caused the farmland prices bubble to burst, which left many farmers bankrupt or drowning in serious debt. His meddling with the unions and their bosses caused strikes in the coal, steel and meatpacking industries. Class warfare was at an all-time high as race riots broke out in dozens of cities throughout the U.S., most notably Chicago and Omaha. This was the legacy Woodrow Wilson left behind. Well, in reality. The left has deified him with the other ex-POTUSes in this article and for whatever reason, he is heralded as one of the greatest American leaders of all-time. That’s fucking hogwash!
Woodrow Wilson was shit. I don’t think that it can be any fucking clearer. He took the progressive ball and ran with it, completely disregarding what worked in this country, trading it in for a nation wrapped in chains. Wilson did have some second thoughts on his policies however, but it was too little too late.
He had this to say about the creation of the Federal Reserve, after he realized his mistake:
“I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.”
If only he had listened to Andrew Jackson.
“The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it: If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt
This article is continued in PART III