Slavery made the South more like an Old World Aristocracy than a New World Meritocracy
Democrats don’t like people of color. Never have. The Democrat Party’s lineage goes back to Thomas Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican Party. Thomas Jefferson was one of our Founding Fathers who, as the Democrats love to remind us, owned slaves. In fact, the Democratic-Republican Party was the party of the planter elite. And of slavery. While the opposition party, the Federalists, whose members included George Washington, John Adams and Alexander Hamilton, preferred manufacturing and commerce for the future of the United States. Not just plantations and slavery.
It was these southern planters who made the Three-Fifths Compromise necessary. Slaves couldn’t vote. So the North didn’t want to count them in determining the number of representatives a state had in the House of Representatives. The planter elite did not like this. As the anti-slave North had more free people and would end up controlling the government. Possibly passing anti-slave legislation. Well, without the southern states there would be no United States. So they compromised and counted some of their slaves. Giving the planter elite greater power in the new federal government than their population would otherwise have allowed. And to seal the deal they agreed not to discuss the issue of slavery again for 20 years.
The minority power in the South, the planter elite, who were Democratic-Republicans, brought a lot of slaves to the United States during that 20 year moratorium on the slavery issue. Swelling the slave population in the South. But once the 20 years were up Congress banned the slave trade. So from that point forward all slaves would have to be born on U.S. soil. But the minority power in the South had built their little fiefdoms by then. Owning large estates. With their lands worked by their large slaveholdings. Making the South more like an Old World aristocracy than a New World meritocracy. And the planter elite liked having so much power vested in so few of their hands. From having their few numbers control the federal government. To their absolute control of so many human lives on their plantations. They were an elite few. A superior people. And they liked it.
The South used the Power of the Federal Government to Suppress States’ Rights in the North with the Fugitive Slave Act
Over time as the north pursued the dreams of Washington, Adams and Hamilton immigration began to swell the population in the industrial North. Leading to the South losing their control over the House of Representatives. And threatening their elitism. By then the Democratic-Republican Party had become the Democrat Party. Which pushed to protect the institution of slavery. To protect their southern aristocracy. And their elevated status as a superior people. They used the power of the federal government where they could. Such as passing the Fugitive Slave Act to force free states against their will to return free blacks in their states to slavery. Then they argued that their states’ rights were at risk with all of the North’s abolition talk. Where the North might one day do what the South did to them. Use the federal government to force a state to do something against their will. Such as they did with the Fugitive Slave Act.
Their fight for the Senate led to further compromises to keep the union together while accommodating the planter elite. The Missouri Compromise (1820) had prohibited slavery in the new territory in the Louisiana Territory above approximately the southern border of Missouri (but permitted it within the borders of Missouri). Each state gets two senators. So with the House lost the Democrats needed more of the new states from the Louisiana Territory entered into the Union as slave states. Even those above the southern border of Missouri. Which they did with the Kansas–Nebraska Act. Which repealed the Missouri Compromise and replaced it with popular sovereignty. Where the people would chose whether they wanted to be a slave state or a free state. Setting off a mad rush by both sides to get to these territories so they could vote the slave status of these new states their way. Leading to a bloody civil war in Kansas.
Then another blow fell to the southern aristocracy. Abraham Lincoln. With the election of Republican Abraham Lincoln the southern aristocracy lost not only the House of Representatives but the presidency as well. Worse, the Republicans were an anti-slavery party. So even if they were somehow able to hold onto the Senate the Republicans in power would challenge the planter elite’s supremacy. Break up their fiefdoms. And challenge their power. Something this elite few were willing to fight to prevent. Well, they were willing to have others fight for them. To maintain the social order in the South. Leading to cries about states’ rights. And an over-powerful federal government. Despite their having used the power of the federal government to suppress states’ rights in the North with the Fugitive Slave Act.
Democrats see Benefits for Blacks as a Necessary Evil to keep them in Power
Most southerners were poor farmers. Who owned no slaves. Yet they rose to fight for states’ rights. And to protect the South from northern aggression. At least, that was what the planter elite had them believe. Who sent many of these poor farmers to their deaths in the American Civil War. When it was over approximately 8.6% of the South’s population was dead. By comparison World War II killed approximately 405,399 Americans. However, if we had suffered the same death rate as the South did in the American Civil War our World War II dead would have totaled over 12 million. This is what the southern aristocracy was willing to—and did—sacrifice to maintain their power and privilege. Their supremacy over other people. Especially over their black slaves.
Such a feeling of superiority allows you to do some pretty horrible things. Just review the history of Nazi Germany to see some of the atrocities a ‘master race’ can do. In the post-war South the Democrats did not lose with grace. They resented the martial law in the South after the war. And they hated Republican rule. Protecting their former slaves. Even allowing them to run for government office. It was all too much for the fallen southern aristocracy. To remind people of the proper order of southern society they formed the KKK. And unleashed a terror across the South. Killing their former slaves. And Republicans. To codify their white supremacy the Democrats turned to the legislature. And passed laws to segregate the ‘inferior blacks’ from their superior selves. Jim Crowe Laws. Separate but equal. With the emphasis on ‘separate’. In time pressure grew against the southern Democrats. But they held strong in Congress. Fighting against any civil rights legislation. Including the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Where Democrat Senator Robert Byrd (and former Exalted Cyclops of the KKK) filibustered against the Civil Rights Act for 14 hours and 13 minutes. To keep the blacks segregated from their superior selves.
Things are a lot better these days. But Democrat feelings of superiority die hard. Even though they would have us believe they like blacks today. Despite their past hatred of blacks. And their seething anger of having lost them from their plantations. But they found a way to ‘get them back on the plantation’. By making them dependent on government. In exchange for their vote. Which keeps them in power. Back where they believe they belong. And are entitled to be. Because they are a superior people. So benefits for blacks are a necessary evil to Democrats. For they still don’t like them. As evidenced by where they live. Where some of the richest Democrats (such as Nancy Pelosi) live in the whitest of neighborhoods. And their apparent racial purification of society. Through the guise of women’s rights. The most important thing to women, according to Democrats, is abortion. And they do their best to make abortion readily available. Especially to women of color. Like in New York City. And Mississippi. Where black women are having far more abortions than white women. Making America whiter. More like the neighborhood where Nancy Pelosi lives. And more like the color Democrats have fought to keep America since the Three-Fifths Compromise. The Fugitive Slave Act. Popular Sovereignty. The KKK. And Jim Crowe Laws.
Tags: abolition, abortion, Abraham Lincoln, American Civil War, aristocracy, blacks, civil rights, Democrat Party, Democratic-Republican Party, Democrats, elite, elite few, federal government, fiefdoms, Fugitive Slave Act, House of Representatives, Jim Crowe laws, Kansas, Kansas-Nebraska Act, KKK, Louisiana Territory, Missouri, Missouri Compromise, Nancy Pelosi, New World, North, Old World, plantation, planter elite, popular sovereignty, power, privilege, Republican, Senate, slavery, slaves, South, southern aristocracy, Southern Democrats, states' rights, superior, superiority, supremacy, Three-Fifths Compromise, white supremacy
Colorado has allowed Recreational Use of Marijuana even though Federal Law prohibits its Sale and Use
Everyone on the left is saying it. Those in the mainstream media are saying it. Even some on the right are saying it. Obamacare is the law of the land. And it isn’t going away. As no law ever goes away. So get used to it. And quit your bitching, conservatives. Especially you radical Tea Party extremists. With all of your Constitutional this and Constitutional that. If you’re all about the rule of law then follow the rule of law. And quit trying to repeal Obamacare.
Marijuana is a class one narcotic. Federal law prohibits its sales and use. Yet those on the left have tried long and hard to decriminalize it. Comparing it to alcohol. Which is not a class one narcotic. For the left does not like the law criminalizing the sale and use of marijuana. And have bitched so much about it that at first states have allowed medical marijuana. And now Colorado has allowed recreational use of marijuana. Washington, too. Even though federal law prohibits the sale and use of this class one narcotic.
There are millions of illegal aliens in the United States. Who are in the country illegally. But those on the left want to change our laws so they aren’t here illegally. They want to grant them amnesty. Forgive their law-breaking. And give them citizenship. Because they are sure that if they do they will then thank those on the left (i.e., the Democrat Party) by voting Democrat. Especially when they’re telling them that the only reason why they are illegal is that Republicans hate Hispanics.
The Supreme Court made Law the People or Congress would not by Decriminalizing Abortion
The Second Amendment to the Constitution grants the people the right to keep and bear arms. The left doesn’t like guns. And they especially don’t like people owning guns. So the left hates the Second Amendment. Have long campaigned to curb gun ownership. And have used every opportunity to advance new gun control legislation. Whenever a mentally troubled individual goes on a shooting spree they blame the gun and not the mentally troubled individual. Adam Lanza, James Holmes, Jared Loughner and Seung-Hui Cho were all mentally troubled people. Yet the discussion is always about taking guns away from law-abiding gun owners. Not identifying these mentally troubled people before they hurt someone. Which they could still do even if you take other people’s guns away.
Abortion was illegal everywhere in the United States. The left did not like this. So they campaigned long and hard to decriminalize abortion. Which they could not do. At least, in Congress. Because the majority of the people opposed decriminalizing abortion. And they never had the votes in Congress to pass a law allowing abortion. Which is why there has never been an abortion debate in Congress. Not liking their odds in Congress they turned to the courts. On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court made law the people or Congress would not. And decriminalized abortion.
The progressives in the early 20th century saw the people were just not smart enough to know what was best for them. And drinking was not. Husbands drank away their paychecks, came home drunk and beat their wives and gave them (and their unborn children) the syphilis they caught from prostitutes hanging out in saloons. So the progressives got a new amendment added to the Constitution to prohibit the sale and transportation of alcohol. The Eighteenth Amendment. A law the people didn’t like. And they repealed the Eighteenth Amendment with the Twenty-first Amendment. The only Constitutional amendment to be repealed.
The Left tries to Change or Go Around via the Courts Laws they Don’t Like
During the 1950s and 1960s Jim Crowe laws kept America segregated. Separate but equal went the mantra. The Southern Democrats made it difficult for blacks to vote. And treated them as second class citizens. Giving us race riots in the Sixties. And a civil rights movement. From the Montgomery Bus Boycott to Martin Luther King’s I have a Dream speech in Washington the movement grew in intensity. Leading to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Overturning the Jim Crowe laws and desegregating America. Thanks to a united Republican Party that was able to overcome Democrat opposition in Congress to pass the bill.
The Southern Democrats did not lose the American Civil War well. They did not like the Fifteenth Amendment allowing their former slaves to vote. And they did not like the Thirteenth Amendment freeing their slaves. So the planter elite and their fellow Southern Democrats created the KKK. And began passing Jim Crowe laws to keep the defeated South racially segregated. The way it was written into the U.S. Constitution. The way it had to be written into the Constitution to get the Deep South to join the new United States of America. As the planter elite made clear. If there was no slavery there would be no United States.
We’ve had a lot of bad law in this country. Laws that we’ve repealed. Sometimes even over Democrat opposition. In fact the Southern Democrats pulled the southern states out of the union and into civil war with the northern states to defend the planter elite’s right to own slaves. Just as the planter elite forced those who wrote the Constitution to leave slavery alone if they expected their states to join the new union. And we’ve had laws the left just doesn’t like. Laws they’ve worked long and hard to change. Such as criminalizing gun ownership and decriminalizing marijuana. Or to get around them via the courts. Such as abortion. So the argument to just accept Obamacare because it’s the law of the land is a pretty weak argument. And chastising Republicans for not accepting laws they don’t like is hypocritical to say the least. We should be able to get rid of bad law. And Obamacare is a bad law. As it is doing the opposite of what it was supposed to do. So why not repeal it? I mean, if we were able to get rid of Jim Crowe Laws we should be able to get rid of another bad law like Obamacare.
Tags: abortion, civil rights, class one narcotic, Colorado, Congress, Constitutional, Democrat, Eighteenth Amendment, gun control, gun ownership, illegal aliens, Jim Crowe, Jim Crowe laws, law of the land, marijuana, Obamacare, planter elite, Progressives, repeal Obamacare, Republican, Second Amendment, slavery, Southern Democrats, Supreme Court
The Way to Great Wealth in the South was King Cotton
At the recent 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech most if not all of the speakers were liberal Democrats. As if the Republicans were not welcomed there. Funny. As it was the Republicans who battled the Democrats to end slavery, Jim Crowe Laws and discrimination.
America’s original sin, slavery, was a part of the Old World southern planters did not want to give up. It was very similar to the manorial system of Europe. Where peasants were tied to the land. On a manor. Unable to leave. Land that a rich landowner owned. The lord of the manor. Property and status were hereditary. And the peasants at the bottom of the ladder had neither.
The lords belonged to the aristocracy. The nobility. They lived in glorious mansions. Gave magnificent parties. And enjoyed the best of everything. Courtesy of owning land. The peasants worked the land. And produced the greatest wealth in the kingdom for their lord. Food. In the American South this soon became cotton. King Cotton. The way to great wealth in the South was growing cotton. And the more slaves you had the more noble your life was.
The Founding Fathers wanted to Eradicate Slavery at the Time of the Founding
Things were different in the North. Years of growing tobacco had depleted the land. So they diversified. Grew different crops. And rotated the crops around. This required a more specialized workforce as things changed from year to year. And few farms grew one large cash crop anymore. So they turned to paid-labor. Which was more efficient. So while the South held on to the Old World the North became more egalitarian.
The Founding Fathers knew that a nation based on all men being equal could not include the institution of slavery. They wanted to eradicate it at the time of the drafting of the Constitution. But that created a problem with the South. At the time of the Founding their economy was dependent on slavery. And because it was they had more slaves than the North. So freeing the slaves would not only destroy their economy it would force the South to live in a biracial society that was unheard of at that time. Nowhere in the world were there biracial societies. Not to mention the fact that the freed blacks would outnumber the whites. The very same whites that once brutally oppressed the blacks.
To form a more perfect union they needed the southern states. Which they had to take as-is. With the institution of slavery. It was a bitter pill to swallow. As some of these Founding Fathers, especially the ones that didn’t own slaves, were conscious of the history books that would one day be written. As well as being truly opposed to slavery. But the choice was a new nation with slavery. Or no new nation. And continued sectional disputes. Even hostilities. Making them ripe for European intrigue. Especially from the Old World Empires who wanted to expand their empires into North America.
The Republicans Freed the Slaves, Fought against Jim Crowe Laws and Desegregated the South
So the Founding Fathers tabled the subject of slavery for 20 years. Sure that in 20 years time the South would adopt paid labor as they did in the North. Sadly, a great invention changed all that. The cotton gin. Which could process cotton faster than slaves could pick it. King Cotton promised more wealth than ever before. All you needed was a lot of slaves. Dashing the hopes of the Founding Fathers.
Wealth. Nobility. Life was good for the privileged few in the South. The planter elite. The southern Democrats. Who used the power of the federal government to return fugitive slaves. Then bitched about the federal government after they lost control of it. The planter elite brought the nation to civil war. To preserve the institution of slavery. To keep the Old World in the South. To keep the nobility in the South. With them sitting at the top of the aristocracy. But then came the Republicans. And Abraham Lincoln. Who issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Freeing the slaves in the states in open rebellion. Then Ulysses S. Grant won the American Civil War. The Republicans pushed for and ratified the Thirteenth Amendment. Abolishing slavery and involuntary servitude. Then Republican President Grant sent federal troops into the South to protect the freed blacks. As the racist southern Democrats resisted integrating the freed blacks into the South. Eventually passing Jim Crowe Laws. Making the freed blacks a permanent underclass with the Democrats’ separate but equal status of the freed blacks.
Democrat Storm Thurmond has the record for the longest filibuster in U.S. history. He talked for 24 hours and 18 minutes in his opposition of the Civil Rights Act of 1957. For he wanted to keep blacks separate but equal. The southern Democrats opposition to civil rights was so strong that it prevailed through JFK’s administration. Who did nothing for civil rights lest he go against the powerful southern Democrats. Despite all the Republicans did the Democrats kept the black man down in the South. Dr. King fought against segregation in Albany, Georgia, in 1962. And suffered brutal police oppression in Birmingham, Alabama, that same year. Things were so bad during JFK’s administration that Dr. King helped organized the 1963 March on Washington. Where he gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. But real change would have to wait until Republican Richard Nixon became president. Who implemented the first large-scale desegregation of public schools in the Democrat-controlled South. And Nixon implemented the first affirmative action plan. The Philadelphia plan.
Yet despite all of this the Democrats claim the title of champion of civil rights. And dominated the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Even though it was the Republicans who freed the slaves, fought against Jim Crowe Laws and desegregated the South. While the Democrats fought them every step of the way. Yet the Democrats are civil rights champions. While Republicans are racists. What’s wrong with this picture?
Tags: aristocracy, civil rights, cotton, Democrats, discrimination, Dr. King, Dr. Martin Luther King, Founding Fathers, Grant, I Have a Dream, JFK, Jim Crowe laws, King Cotton, Martin Luther King's, Nixon, nobility, Old World, paid-labor, planter elite, Republicans, separate but equal, slavery, South, Southern Democrats
The Institution of Slavery was Dying Out in the U.S. before Eli Whitney and his Cotton Gin
Discrimination is wrong. And it doesn’t belong in a meritocracy. Which is what the United States is. Here it doesn’t matter who your father is. There is no nobility. No aristocracy. Here everyone is equal. It’s why people came here with pennies in their pocket. So they could work hard and live the American dream. Having the liberty to do whatever they wanted to do. Which many did. Starting out sweeping floors for a boss. And going on to be boss in their own business.
The Founding Fathers weren’t perfect. But they were as close to perfect as you can get. Selfless. Disinterested. Principled. And, yes, some were slave owners. But they didn’t invent slavery. Or bring it to the New World. It was part of the times they lived in. And already well entrenched in the colonies before they entered into the history books. The southern economy was already dependent on slave-labor during the writing of the Declaration of Independence. And the U.S. Constitution. Some of the Founding Fathers wanted to get rid of the institution. But to form a new nation they needed the southern states. And they wouldn’t join without their slaves. So they tabled the subject for 20 years. Trusting that it would resolve itself by then. But then Eli Whitney gave us the cotton gin. And, well, the rest is history.
The institution of slavery was slowly dying out before the cotton gin. George Washington wanted to replace his slaves with paid-laborers. For he wanted to change up his crops. Grow many different crops instead of one large cash crop. Something paid-labor was ideally suited for. As he could hire people with a particular crops’ skill-set and they could hit the ground running. But when you had slaves working the same large cash crop year after year such as tobacco change didn’t come easy. For you had to retrain your slaves. And with training there is a learning curve. It was just so much easier to hire well-skilled paid-laborers. And the fact that they wanted to work for you helped, too. For when forcing people to work for you against their will all you’ll get from them is the bare minimum that lets them escape brutal punishment. Which does not bring out a person’s latent talents. It just prevents these talents from ever seeing the light of day. No. Slave-labor as an economic model was a horrible one. As well as being immoral.
Abraham Lincoln and the new Republican Party ended Slavery in the United States
Slavery in the United States was concentrated in the South. On the plantations. Where they had a single, large cash crop. And thanks to Eli Whitney that crop was cotton. Because the cotton gin could so quickly comb the cotton fiber to remove the seeds and stems the sky was the limit. The only thing holding back your profits was the amount of land you put in production. And the only limit on that was the number of slaves you had to make land productive. Which is why the institution of slavery didn’t die out in 20 years time. Which really wasn’t overly optimistic. Because in the grand scheme of things there weren’t that many slaves in the United States to begin with.
Of all the slaves brought to the New World only about 6.5% ended up in British North America (according to Wikipedia). Another 18% went to other British colonies. Another 18% went to Spanish colonies. About 14% went to French colonies. While the vast majority of those slaves went to Portuguese colonies in the Americas. Approximately 39% of all African slaves. Most landing in Brazil. Which is why the Portuguese language is one of the top ten most spoken languages in the world today. Because Brazil is a very large country. Thanks to all of those slaves the Portuguese brought there.
Slavery was wrong. And it is America’s original sin. But it wasn’t what made America great. Or rich. Contrary to what our public schools are teaching our kids. If it was the South would have won the American Civil War. But they didn’t. The industrial North did. With her factories filled with paid-laborers. This was the New World. The South that lost the Civil War was the last remnants of the Old World in the New World. Where it mattered who your father was. Abraham Lincoln and the new Republican Party ended slavery in the United States. And the Republican Party would eventually put an end to Jim Crowe laws in the south. And passed the Civil Rights act (a larger percentage of Republicans voted for it than Democrats).
The Racial Divide has never been Greater despite electing a Black President Twice
So the Republicans have done more to end discrimination in the United States than the Democrats have. Who have actually spent more time opposing civil rights. But you wouldn’t know that. Not with all the disinformation the left puts out. Today the left claims they are the party that fights discrimination. When in actuality they instigate and exacerbate discrimination. Because it gives them power. For trying to end discriminations is very lucrative. Some have made careers and have grown quite wealthy trying to end discrimination. You know who they are so there’s no point in naming them here. But these people never end discrimination. For while there’s money in fighting discrimination there’s no money in ending it.
If there are always examples of discrimination in our society then there is always a need for those who fight it. There’s always a reason for new legislation. To right past wrongs. And make things fair. So the Democrats increased the size of the welfare state. To make the discriminated dependent on the state. To keep them on the plantation. Concentrating them in housing projects. In the inner city. Away from the Democrats’ nice neighborhoods. They broke up their families with AFDC. Replacing fathers with the state. Who failed these kids miserably. They implemented affirmative action. Where some game the system and get a free pass. Because of lower standards. Getting entrance to a college or a job over someone more qualified. Fomenting new racial unrest. As some complain about being passed over despite being more qualified. Which the left jumps on as proof of overt racism. And the need for them to do something more to end it.
But they never end anything. Because ending it would take away their power. Which is why despite everything they’ve done since the Sixties things have never been worse. And more policies and legislation to end discrimination have never been needed more. Because the racial divide has never been greater. Despite this country electing a black president. Twice.
Tags: Abraham Lincoln, black president, Brazil, civil rights, Civil War, cotton, cotton gin, Democrats, discrimination, Eli Whitney, Founding Fathers, institution of slavery, New World, Old World, paid laborers, paid-labor, plantation, Portuguese, racial divide, racism, Republican Party, slave labor, slavery, slaves
Ronald Reagan would follow the Kennedy Example of Cutting Taxes to Grow the Economy
In 1961 West German Chancellor Ludwig Erhard gave John F. Kennedy (JFK) some good advice. During JFK’s visit he told him not to make the same mistake the British had. He told Kennedy NOT to follow their policy of high taxation. Because it killed economic activity. And economic growth. England was suffering from her bad tax policy. He urged the American president not to make the same mistake.
JFK heeded Erhard’s advice. And cut tax rates. This did not please liberals in his Democrat Party. Who were all Keynesians. And believed in large government interventions into the private sector. Funded by large government expenditures. Which in the Keynesian world you got in one of three ways. Tax, borrow or print money. You did not cut tax rates. Which was blasphemous in Keynesian doctrine. You never, ever, cut tax rates. But Kennedy did. Arguing that “an economy hampered by restrictive tax rates will never produce enough revenue to balance the budget—just as it will never produce enough jobs or enough profits.”
A message Ronald Reagan would give time and again some 20 years later. And would follow the Kennedy example of cutting taxes to grow the economy. Generating more tax revenue without having to cut spending. The result of JFK’s ‘trickle-down’ economics were impressive. He cut the top marginal tax rate from 91% to 70%. And cut the 20% rate to 14% at the other end of the scale. What did people do with these tax savings? They saved. And invested. Savings rose from an annual growth rate of 2% to 9%. Business investment from 2% to 8%. New jobs grew at a rate of 100%. And unemployment fell by one third. With GDP rising some 40% in two years. And despite cutting tax rates tax revenue rose. The booming economy generating more tax revenue even at the lower rates. Even more than the Keynesians said Kennedy was going to cost the government with his tax cuts.
The Social Upheavals of the Sixties, the Race Riots and his Unpopular Vietnam War all took their Toll on LBJ
Liberals love JFK. But for none of these reasons. They prefer to wax poetically about his fight to end economic and racial injustice. Which were in reality low on his priority list. Addressing civil rights only after trouble was escalating in the south. But that’s the Left’s cherished memory of him. And of Camelot. The American royal family. They don’t talk about JFK’s trickle-down economics. His Bay of Pigs fiasco (the plan to oust Fidel Castro from Cuba that he withdrew support from after it met difficulty on the beaches). His Cuban missile crisis (near nuclear war with the Soviet Union) which his indecision at the Bay of Pigs may have invited. Or his war in Vietnam. No. They stay silent on the best part of his presidency. As well as the worst parts. And focus instead on the fairy tale that was Camelot. Ignoring completely his excellent economic policies and the strong economy they gave us. And all that tax revenue that poured into the treasury. Yes, they may have liked having that money. But they didn’t have to like how it got there.
Following JFK’s assassination Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) ascended to the presidency. An old school politician that knew how to make deals to advance legislation. And boy did he. He declared unconditional war on poverty. And unleashed the Great Society to spend America out of poverty. Keynesian to the core. Pure demand-side economics. Give poor people money which they will use to buy consumer goods. That Keynesian consumption that was so crucial to a healthy economy. So Johnson made good use of all that tax revenue JFK created with his tax cuts. And LBJ’s Great Society consumed enormous amounts of that tax revenue. As did JFK’s Vietnam War. Now LBJ’s war. Which LBJ escalated. Government expenditures exploded during the Johnson administration. And the spending obligations he put into place were only going to escalate future expenditures. Oh, and we were also trying to land a man on the moon during this time. All during a time when the world was changing. When a bunch of filthy hippies began to protest anything that didn’t somehow gratify them (their rallying cry was sex, drugs and rock & roll). And racial tensions simmered to the boiling point in our crowded cities.
The social upheavals of the Sixties. The race riots. The unpopular war on our living room televisions. They all took their toll on LBJ. The race riots especially hurt him as he had spent so much money on ending economic and racial injustice. On a televised address he told the nation that he was through being the president. He wasn’t going to run for another term. And he wouldn’t accept a nomination for a second term. He basically thanked an ungrateful nation. And planned for his retirement. Leaving a fiscal mess for the next president. As well as a mess in Vietnam. And the job for cleaning up these messes fell to Richard Milhous Nixon.
When Nixon entered the Presidency all those Spending Obligations of the Great Society were Coming Due
Nixon had a lot of liberal tendencies. He was actually a member of the NAACP since 1950. Long before JFK or LBJ talked of civil rights. He believed in New Deal economics. Of the good government could do. He was also an environmentalist. Giving us the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). And giving us emissions standards for our cars. He gave us the Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA). And a flurry of other regulations. Not what you would expect from a Republican these days. Of course, few probably know this. But they probably do know about Watergate. At least the word ‘Watergate’. Which was pretty tame by today’s standards. Spying on the political opposition. Then lying about it.
When Nixon entered the presidency all those spending obligations of the Great Society were coming due. The cost of LBJ’s Great Society really hit the Nixon administration hard. Enormous amounts of money were flowing out to poor people (so they could spend it and buy consumer goods). To the war in Vietnam. To the Cold War. To the space program. To the enlarged federal government. Government spending was going off the chart. But it wasn’t having the affect on the economy the Keynesians said it would. They were taxing, borrowing and printing money like good little Keynesians. But they were devaluing the dollar in the process. And igniting inflation. Worse, the U.S. dollar was the reserve currency of the world. Foreign nations pegged their currency to the U.S. dollar. The U.S. pegged the dollar to gold. As the Americans devalued the dollar, though, the foreign countries traded their dollars for gold. Gold began to fly out of the country. So Nixon did what any responsible Keynesian would do. Instead of playing by the rules of the game he changed the rules. And decoupled the dollar from gold. The Nixon Shock. Ushering in the era of unfettered Keynesian economics. Deficit spending. Growing debt. High inflation. High unemployment. Stagflation. And malaise.
Jimmy Carter would see the worse of LBJ’s Great Society. As it left his economy in a mess. Despite all of that government spending. And Carter suffered because he, too, was a Keynesian. He believed in that GDP formula where GDP equaled the sum of consumption, investment, government expenditures and net exports (exports – Imports). And the formula clearly states that the way to increase GDP (and increase the number of jobs) was to increase government spending to give money to people so they could buy consumer goods (increasing government spending and consumption in the formula). It was simple arithmetic. But the formula left out about half of all economic activity. The intermediate business spending that takes place before any consumer goods enter our stores. Think of things consumers don’t buy. Like railroad track, blast furnaces, construction front-end loaders, etc. Economic activity that JFK encouraged with his tax cuts. As Ronald Reagan did so, too, some 20 years later. Which is why the JFK and the Reagan economies were far better than any Keynesian administration.
Even after more than a decade of unfettered Keynesian spending consumption was only 34% of all economic activity in 1982. Even though official GDP figures reported it at 65%. Why the discrepancy? Intermediate business spending. The stages of production before consumer goods. Coming in at 54% of real economic activity in 1982. Which is why the tax-cut policies of JFK and Ronald Reagan worked. And the spending policies of JBJ, Nixon and Carter didn’t. Trickle-down works. Because it creates jobs. And those lower tax rates generate higher tax revenues because more people are working and paying taxes. All things a Keynesian wants. But they will reject them because they resulted from the ‘wrong’ policies. Because Keynesians want to tax, borrow and print. Regardless of their effect on the economy.
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