4. Stage Three – Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal:
“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
The above quote explains a lot about Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was the great experimenter and we were the guinea pigs. Hell, his tyranny through progressive policy was so broad that we are still little lab rats getting their balls shocked by the mad scientist and his disfigured sidekick. The architect of the New Deal brought forth a plague of entitlements and created a nation starving for a government that would take care of every facet of their sad lives. FDR kicked freedom in the dick and the people just took it. Why? Because they didn’t care. They were getting free shit and a helping hand. They no longer had to be self-reliant. Hell, they didn’t even have to make decisions anymore. The state would now take care of everything. Too bad people’s perception is vastly different from reality. When challenged, the weak pride-less masses just point the finger of blame at all the people trying to take the handouts away, not realizing that it is the myth of the “free lunch” that has got us where we are today. If anyone is really responsible for perpetuating the “free lunch myth” it is Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Being a relative of progressive icon Theodore Roosevelt, FDR wanted nothing more than to fill the massive shoes worn by his blood-related hero. Being a disciple of Woodrow Wilson during his presidency, also added to the progressive disease coursing through FDR’s veins. He was born to privilege, had the connections and was driven enough to make his mark on the world. Interestingly, the Delano family fortune was born out of the Chinese opium trade. Well, at least the dirty blood money helped fund his political ambitions. Too bad for us he didn’t realize that he was a fucking hack when it came to economics. Maybe if he knew he wasn’t an economic genius, we could be in a very different place in this country. Maybe he would’ve found advisors who could’ve seen reality much more clearly.
FDR’s economic vision and understanding of finance was so awful that his good friend and Woodrow Wilson’s Secretary of the Interior Franklin Lane concluded, “Roosevelt knows nothing about finance, but he doesn’t know he doesn’t know.” FDR’s own VP Henry Wallace stated, “I reached the conclusion that I would under no circumstances, ever have any business dealings with him.” About his education, career and work ethic, one of his college professors Jackson Reynolds said, “Franklin Roosevelt was not much of a student and nothing of a lawyer afterwards. He didn’t appear to have any aptitude for law, and made no effort to overcome that handicap by hard work. He was not a worker and he flunked.” The senior partner of the law firm FDR worked at referred to him as “utterly worthless”. Shit man, FDR was an economic idiot and a worthless mess, yet everyone worships this guy and his policies as genius! Well, let’s look at just how genius this nut-nugget was.
Frankie D started his presidency off with a fucking bang! His first hundred days is famously called “The First Hundred Days”. It was the kick-off to his New Deal policies and a major victory for securing the future of progressive tyranny and idiocy. Due to the economic peril the country faced in the midst of the Great Depression, the people demanded immediate action form their new POTUS with his big promises. FDR met with Congress for 100 straight days, where he proposed many new programs and Congress did little-to-nothing to stop any of theses great experiments from being implemented into American society.
The moronic view of the day, which is still the view in modern times, is that a good president must come to the table with a plethora of new programs to reign in the “change”. FDR started this with “The First Hundred Days”. He became the new standard that all future presidents would be compared to. Because of this, meddling with capitalism and liberty was deemed successful while letting the free market run it’s course, was the policy of lazy tyrants trying to maintain the evil status quo of the ruling class.
To start, the first thing FDR focused on was the banking reforms. FDR blamed the banks for causing the depression and did everything he could to dethrone them and strip them of their power. FDR closed every single bank in America and forced them to remain closed until he could pass new legislation! That legislation was known as the Emergency Banking Act or EBA. Essentially, it allowed the Federal Reserve the power to supply unlimited currency to the reopened banks: creating de facto 100 percent deposit insurance. So what are the pros? There are none. What are the cons? Well, the main one is that this law allowed the bureaucrats to take direct control over our banking system. True and honest capitalism was delivered a serious black eye.
The FDIC was created, albeit against Roosevelt’s wishes. However, without FDR’s progressive meddling of the banking system, Congress probably wouldn’t have been able to pass this special piece of banking reform. Although, money invested into a bank is protected by the FDIC, this law gave more tyrannical power to the government over the banking system. For instance, depositors no longer needed to have any reservations about investing with a bad bank, as their losses are protected. Secondly, the cost of doing business with a bank is more expensive with the FDIC in place. Also, the law forces banks to comply with a new government regulated standard for doing business: eliminating the free market. Also, the banks are the ones who fund the FDIC, therefore they are forced to pay for this insurance plan. Switch wealth for health and it’s like Obamacare for banks.
In addition to the previous forms of economic tyranny, FDR suspended the gold standard. Executive Order 6102 forced American citizens to turn their gold over to the government! Americans owning gold, whether they liked it or not, had to exchange it for the existing fixed price in U.S. dollars. Also, FDR’s progressive administration would no longer allow gold to be considered valid legal tender. The United States government would no longer pay gold on demand for the dollar. FDR destroyed the gold standard and made paper money worthless. Granted the gold standard was later reinstated, it was eventually destroyed once and for all by Richard Nixon in 1971. Just keep in mind that it was FDR that first attempted to kill the dollar. In his defense, he had the best of intentions.
Probably the biggest part of “The First Hundred Days” was all the farm and rural programs established by FDR. The biggest of these programs was the Agricultural Adjustment Act which created the Agricultural Adjustment Agency or the AAA. This law restricted agricultural production, giving the government supreme power over the land and everything that grows out of it. There they go pissing on capitalism again!
Anyway, they did this by paying subsidies to farmers to prevent them from using parts of their land and to entice them to kill off excess livestock. The government was trying to forcibly raise the value of crops by eliminating the crop surplus. Therefore, large portions of farmland remained barren. Farmers who did not comply to these new government regulations were thrown off of their land and sent into the downward spiral of unemployment during the Great Depression. There was a massive eviction of tenants from cotton plantations, who were forced to try and stay afloat on a sinking ship.
The AAA was created mainly due to the effects created by the post-World War I farm crisis. Many economists believe that much of the fault of that crisis was due to the progressive legislation of the Wilsonian era. Also, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff created countless retaliatory tariffs that forced Europeans to turn their backs on American farm exports. This is why tariffs are fucking stupid.
FDR during “The First Hundred Days” also established the Reforestation Relief Act. This law established the Civilian Conservation Corps or CCC. FDR must’ve loved alliteration, not mention initialism. The CCC provided immediate work for 250,000 young men in reforestation, road construction and the development of national parks. Of course, this was all paid for by tax dollars: tax dollars during the Great Depression. Just like today, the lefties loved spending lots of money that wasn’t theirs during hard times.
After that, Frankie D created the Federal Emergency Relief Act or FERA. This piece of progressive legislation was responsible for the horrible gory deaths of a large group of our nation’s veterans. Over 400 veterans were a part of the CCC and FERA programs were sent to the Florida Keys to build bridges and roads to help connect Key West and the rest of the Keys to Miami. Unfortunately, these heroes were sent there during hurricane season. Their conditions were also so bad, that they were living in tents on the Key West coastline with little food to eat and barely any supplies. Also, there was no plan of escape set in place, in case the veterans ran into trouble. Even though the leader of the camp sent letters to Washington, requesting places for refuge to be built as well as an escape plan via railroad to be established, his letters went unanswered.
In August of that year, a hurricane hit the veterans’ camp full force! There was nowhere to run and nowhere to go. Large waves destroyed the camp and the debris from the raging hours-long storm dismembered and killed 256 men! One survivor said, “I saw bodies with tree stumps smashed through their chests – heads blown off – twisted arms and legs torn off by flying timber that cut like big knives.” TIME Magazine referred to the incident as a “slaughter worse than war.”
Next up is the creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority or TVA, which was created to construct dams and hydroelectric power plants along the Tennessee Valley in an effort to bring electricity to people who previously didn’t have it. It allowed these people to receive electricity cheaply as well as fertilizer. Sounds great, but it was a massive project that only benefitted 2 percent of the U.S. population. It was the other 98 percent that paid the biggest price in the development of the TVA.
In addition to that, the long-term effects of the dam has been incredibly negative. Sure, it was great for a little while but the area that benefits from the existence of the TVA has fallen significantly behind the rest of the country economically. William Chandler in his book “The Myth of TVA” states, “Among the nine states of the southeastern United States, there has been essentially an inverse relationship between income per capita and the extent to which the state was served by TVA.” You see, subsidized power made the people in that region dependent. They had no incentive to venture out into the cities and make a better living. There was a lot of industrial development in the non-TVA states that created new businesses and new opportunities and eventually, due to a lack of governmental meddling, cheaper electricity for those areas. In the end, who benefitted? The region controlled by the government’s good intentions or the region the government left alone?
FDR then created the Federal Securities Act, which was the first law to give government control over stocks and bonds. This law stripped the states of their power in regards to regulating the offer and sale of securities. Many deemed this extension of the federal government’s control to be unconstitutional. Then again, isn’t most of the New Deal?
On the last day of FDR’s “The First Hundred Days” he established the Public Works Administration or PWA and the National Recovery Administration or NRA.
The PWA was created with the intention of reviving industry in America through large scale construction projects of dams, bridges and other public works. It was also created to give jobs to hundreds of thousands of people and to stabilize purchasing power. While seemingly looking good on paper, the PWA spent $6 billion in tax dollars in its short existence. Adjusted for inflation, that is precisely $100 billion today.
The NRA was established to eliminate cut-throat competition. To do so, it worked to bring industry, labor and government together to create codes of fair practices. It also tried to reach its goals by setting “fair” prices. This was a slap to capitalism’s face! The NRA set minimum wage rates as well as the maximum hours an employee could work. Because of all this insanity, the Supreme Court deemed the NRA as unconstitutional. However, the NRA lived on as parts of it were in the National Labor Relations Act that passed later in 1935. Even with the Supreme Court’s ruling however, the damage had already been done in just a short time, as there was a massive surge in the growth and power of unions.
The NRA and National Labor Relations Act created a lot of problems apart from just the union issue. They created a system where the majority in an industry had government approval to force their entire industry, even those who didn’t want to comply, to not be able to sell there prices below a set price. It also allowed the majority to set the wage rates, the hours worked and how much a factory could expand. In the middle of the Great Depression, companies could prevent their competition from exploding with economic growth! This was insanity! The NRA was supposed to eliminate cut-throat competition and in reality, it was eliminating the growth of each and every industry as a whole. When the winners and losers are hand-picked, everyone loses.
One story of the NRA I found in Burton Folsom, Jr.’s book “New Deal or Raw Deal?” talks about a man named Jacob Maged. Jacob had been pressing suits for his customers for over twenty years. He remained competitive with larger tailors due to his ability to offer low prices and quality work. The NRA demanded that the price to press suits must not be lower than 40 cents. Even though he was warned several times, Maged refused to charge his customer more than 35 cents. Jacob Maged was thrown into jail and slapped with a $100 fine! There were more than 500 NRA codes that people had to comply with or be faced with similar penalties.
That was a lot of tyranny to cover and that was just “The First Hundred Days” in FDR’s reign! That’s less than a third of a year in a four year term. He was elected to four terms! Everything I covered here just covers roughly 1/48th of his entire presidency! That’s like 2 percent! I can’t go through everything with a fine toothed comb but there are other major progressive programs that I want to shine a light on.
He did close out his first year with a positive, FDR repealed prohibition. I do have to thank him somewhat, otherwise I’d be risking jail time for every single drop of bourbon I throw down my gullet.
Also, to close out his last year, he established the National Labor Board which was legally able to enforce the right of collective bargaining. He created the Civil Works Administration or CWA. The CWA’s purpose was to employ four million people. The CWA failed and closed down in 4 months. He then marched into Congress just after New Year’s and asked for $10.5 billion to help support recovery programs. They gave it to him.
In his second year, he brought us the Gold Reserve Act, the Farm Mortgage Refinancing Act, the Civil Works Emergency Relief Federation, the Crop Loan Act, the Jones-Connally Farm Relief Act, the Cotton Control Act, the Jones-Costigan Act, the Securities Exchange Act, the Corporate Bankruptcy Act, the Farm Mortgage Foreclosure Act, the Silver Purchase Act, the National Labor Relations Board, the National Housing Act, the Federal Housing Administration or FHA, the Taylor Grazing Act, the Tobacco Control Act and the Federal Farm Bankruptcy Act. Are you starting to see who the Godfather of big government is yet?
Kicking off 1935, Roosevelt introduced us to the Second New Deal. He pledged to deliver aid to the aged, the ill, the unemployed and pretty much everyone else. He promised better housing. He promised tax reform. He promised the world.
The first big creation to come out of 1935 was the Works Progress Administration or WPA. The WPA was considered to be the largest and most ambitious agency created under the New Deal. It’s purpose was to employ millions. It’s focus was on public works projects as well as the arts. It also created programs within itself to do community work, such as building local parks, feeding starving children among various other things. This all sounds fine and dandy but the cost of this agency was immense! It also came with a plethora of unintended consequences.
One major consequence that federal relief created, was that those who had trouble finding employment, no longer bothered to try. Big Brother was taking care of them and living off of the State was much easier than fighting thousands of others for one job. The Founding Fathers, most notably James Madison, warned about this. Madison once said, “No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity. What are the different classes of legislators but advocates and parties to the causes which they determine?”
One thing the WPA did, was it created a sense of being taken care of by the Democrats. Local officials in the WPA circus were all part of the Democratic Party. The Republicans of the day accused FDR of using WPA jobs as political patronage. By offering jobs and assistance through the progressive WPA, the Democrats would receive the political support of those benefitting from the programs. Whether it was designed for this is debatable, but no one can deny the fact that those benefitting from progressive policies would make sure that when the time came, they’d do everything within their power to keep those policies in place.
Roosevelt then went on to start the Resettlement Administration or RA, which gave money to families wanting to relocate and start a “better” life elsewhere. He also created the Rural Electrification Administration, the National Labor Relations Act which was a reconfigured version of the diabolical NRA, the Banking Act of 1935, the Public Utilities Act and the Revenue Act. Nothing was as big and monstrous though, as the Social Security Act: the crown jewel of the New Deal.
All one has to do to see the long-term negative effects of the Social Security Act is look around. It is one of the most discussed issues in politics today, over 75 years later! The problem with this huge and vital part of the New Deal just can’t be summed up in a few sentences. This piece of legislation is practically the heart of the progressive beast. The worst thing about it though, has to be the fact that it has created a huge sense of entitlement and reliance on the State.
People seem to have developed the misconception that they no longer need to prepare for the future and plan their own retirement. Many people believe that Social Security is there to protect them and provide for them when they reach the age of retirement. Fact is, Social Security was originally established as a way to supplement one’s own retirement, not to be the sole source of income.
Social Security has also spawned the concept that the federal government can and will take care of us no matter what happens. Those with this helpless and idiotic mentality don’t seem to understand that it is tax dollars that pay for this program. Even if they get that, they seemingly believe that tax dollars are unlimited and if things start to get tight, the rich should pay more to support them. Essentially, those who do not plan and manage their finances correctly, expect those that do to take care of them. That’s like if Student Alpha gets nothing but “A’s” on their report card and Student Beta gets mostly “C’s” and “D’s”, then Student Alpha should give some of his good grades to Student Beta. Maybe Student Beta should just stop partying so hard and take their future a bit more seriously. I’m not ignoring the fact that there are those in impoverished situations, but if there is a will there is a way. It’s the progressive state that has stripped this self-reliance away from the masses.
The Social Security Trust Fund has created a horrible sense of entitlement for bureaucrats even. The temptation for this “free” money is so great that the Beltway Suits find ways to borrow and borrow from it in an effort to fund their pork-laced projects. This leaves behind an unlimited number of I.O.U.’s which have all sucked liberty’s wallet dry and left us with worthless legislation.
The biggest issue with Social Security, is that it is now paid for by those who will never get the chance to benefit from it. I am in my early 30′s as I write this and I pay a huge amount into Social Security. Problem is, I will never see it. The Social Security program is so fucked, that our great grandparents have created a system of borrowing and spending that stuck us with the bill before we were even born. This trend has not stopped there however, it continues every time Congress is in session with every new law they pass that costs money. This progressive mentality has become the way things are done in Washington. We can all thank FDR for starting this caravan of thievery.
We now live in a country where people spend more than they have, don’t take into account the x-factors of life and don’t have the ability to handle their own business when shit eventually hits the fan. People are just like the federal government. They want it all but no one wants to pay for it. Fact is, we ALL pay for it!
If people tried not to pay their share, FDR had a tool to use against them, that tool was the IRS. He did not create the agency but he used it in a tyrannical way, to collect more money for his programs and to threaten the enemies and critics of his policies. The first victim was Louisiana Governor Huey Long. Long continually criticized the New Deal for its “socialist programs”. FDR tried many ways of demonizing and eliminating Long as a threat but none of his methods worked until he turned to the IRS. The IRS indicted Long and many of the people in his administration. Granted Long had some serious skeletons in his closet and was guilty, but the actions of the president were tyrannical nonetheless. With his successful dissection of Huey Long, FDR marveled at how well the IRS could work as a weapon against those who did not fall in line behind him.
Now everything I’ve discussed here is all from Frankie D’s first term. He had three more terms! The majority of the New Deal was done during the first term but it doesn’t mean that he didn’t continue with progressive programs and special projects that have added to our financial crisis today. Truth is, FDR created so much damage that it is almost impossible to go through each piece of legislation and analyze it. Frankly, that would take up at least a few books. One could probably write about it for the rest of their life.
FDR’s legacy is regarded as a great one in American history. As you can see, that is far from the truth. The harsh reality is that he destroyed everything our Founding Fathers fought for and believed in. He was an enemy of liberty and a champion of tyranny. He created a state of children needing their nanny to make all their decisions for them. Long gone was the great American ideal, that we didn’t need anyone to make us great, we could rely on ourselves and persevere against all odds. We were a nation that rose to the top of the food chain within a century or so. FDR traded that all in though because the smug progressive attitude is that they know what we need better than we do. I say “fuck that.” If they were so smart, they wouldn’t have dug this goddamned hole we’re in now.
At least Woodrow Wilson felt a sense of remorse for some of his tyrannical and idiotic ways. FDR on the other hand, died a proud man with a proud legacy that in retrospect, has done more to dismantle freedom than most other presidents. However, FDR was not the last, there were others after him who took his lead and ran with a strong progressive agenda. The next one to look at is Lyndon Baines Johnson.
“I am concerned about the whole man. I am concerned about what the people, using their government as an instrument and a tool, can do toward building the whole man, which will mean a better society and a better world.” – Lyndon Baines Johnson
This article is continued in PART IV