After the Civil War Men became less Manly and the Federal Government became more Progressive

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 25th, 2014

History 101

(Originally published February 12th, 2013)

Prior to 1900 the Role of the Federal Government was primarily to Provide for the Common Defense

In 1800 the new federal government didn’t do a lot.  It spent only about $11 million (in nominal dollars).  With 55% going to defense.  About 31% went to pay interest on the war debt.  About 2% went to the postal service.  And about 12% went to other stuff.  Defense spending and interest on the war debt added up to about 86% of all federal outlays (see Government Spending Details).

In 1860, just before the Civil War, spending increased to $78 million (in nominal dollars).  Defense spending fell to 37%.  Interest spending fell to 4%.  And postal service spending rose to 19%.  While spending on other stuff rose to 40%.  Just over 60 years from the founding the federal government had changed.  It was less limited than the Founding Fathers designed it to be.

In 1900 spending increased to $628.6 million (in nominal dollars).  With defense spending coming in at 53%.  The postal service at 17%.  Interest went up to 6.4%.  And other spending fell to 24%.  Again, defense spending consumed over half of all federal spending.  For the role of the federal government was still primarily providing for the common defense.  Running the postal service.  Treating with other nations.  And trading with them.  As well as collecting duties and tariffs at our ports which paid for the federal government.  There was a lot of graft and patronage.  And long lines for government jobs.  Primarily because government was still somewhat limited.  With a limited number of government jobs to reward campaign contributors.  But that was about to change.

The Progressives expanded the Role of the Federal Government in our Lives and made it more Motherly

The American Civil War killed about 625,000 men.  With an 1860 population of 31,443,321 those deaths amounted to about 2% of the prewar population.  To put that into perspective if 2% of the U.S. population died in a war today that would be approximately 6.2 million people.  And to put that into perspective the total population of the state of Missouri is about 6 million people.  So the American Civil War claimed a very large percentage of the population.  Leaving a lot of children to grow up without a father.  Which had a profound impact on the size of the federal government.

Prior to this generation American men were some of the manliest men in the world.  Tough and rugged.  Who could live off of the land.  Completely self-sufficient.  These are the men that made America.  Men who fought and won our independence.  Who explored and settled the frontier.  Farmers who worked all day in the field.  Men who dug canals by hand.  And built our railroads.  Men who endured hardships and never complained.  Then came the Civil War generation.  Sons who lost their fathers.  And wives who lost their husbands, brothers, fathers and uncles.  Who lost all the men in their lives in that horrible war.  These women hated that war.  And manly displays of aggression.  For it was manly displays of aggression that led to fighting.  And war.  Having lost so much already they didn’t want to lose the only men they had left.  Their sons.  So they protected and nurtured them.  Taught them to shun violence.  To be kinder and softer.  To be not so tough or rugged.  To be less manly.  And when these men grew up they went into politics and started the progressive movement.

The federal government was no longer just to provide for the common defense.  To run the postal service.  To treat with other nations.  To trade with other nations.  Run our custom houses.  No.  Now the federal government grew to be kinder, softer and more motherly.  The progressives expanded the role of the federal government in our lives.  Woodrow Wilson wanted to turn the country into a quasi monarchy.  With a very strong executive branch that could rule against the wishes of Congress.  The Federal Reserve (America’s central bank) came into existence during Wilson’s presidency.  Which was going to end recessions forever.  Then came the Great Depression.  A crisis so good that FDR did not let it go to waste.  FDR expanded the size of the federal government.  Putting it on a path of permanent growth.  And it’s been growing ever since.

They decreased Defense Spending and increased Borrowings to increase Non-Defense Spending

The federal government grew beyond its Constitutional limits.  And the intent of the Founding Fathers.  Just as Thomas Jefferson feared.  It consolidated power just as all monarchies did.  And that was Jefferson’s fear.  Consolidation.  Seeing the states absorbed by a leviathan federal government.  Becoming the very thing the American colonists fought for independence from.  So that’s where the federal government changed.  In the early 20th Century.  Before that it spent money mostly for defense and a postal service.  Now it spends money for every social program under the sun.  There is great debate now in Washington about reducing the deficit.  With the Democrats blaming the deficit problems on too much defense spending.  And too little taxation on the rich.  But if you look at the history of federal spending since 1940 the numbers say otherwise (see Table 3.1—OUTLAYS BY SUPERFUNCTION AND FUNCTION: 1940–2017 and A History of Debt In The United States).

Federal Spending and Debt

As defense spending (including Veterans Benefits and Services) rose during World War II non-defense spending (Education, Training, Employment, Social Services, Health, Income Security, Social Security, Energy, Natural Resources, Environment, Commerce, Housing Credit, Transportation, Community and Regional Development, International Affairs, General Science, Space, Technology, Agriculture, Administration of Justice and General Government) fell as a percentage of total federal outlays.  And the federal debt rose (federal debt is in constant 2012 dollars).  After the war defense spending fell to 50% while the percentage of non-defense spending rose.  And the federal debt dropped slightly and remained relatively constant for about 30 years.

This tug of war between defense spending and non-defense spending is also called the guns vs. butter debate.  Where those in favor of spending money on guns at the federal level are more constructionists.  They want to follow the Constitution as the Founding Fathers wrote it.  While those who favor spending money on butter at the federal level want to want to buy more votes by giving away free stuff.

Defense spending ramped back up for the Korean War and the Cold War during the Fifties.  After the armistice ended hostilities in Korea defense spending began a long decline back to about 50% of all federal outlays.  Where it flattened out and rose slightly for the Vietnam War.  After America exited the Vietnam War defense spending entered a long decline where it dropped below 30% of all federal outlays.  Reagan’s defense spending raised defense spending back up to 30%.  After Reagan won the Cold War Clinton enjoyed the peace dividend and cut defense spending down to just below 20%.  After 9/11 Bush increased defense spending just above 20% of all federal outlays where it remains today.

During this time non-defense spending was basically the mirror of defense spending.  Showing that they decreased defense spending over time to increase non-defense spending.  But there wasn’t enough defense spending to cut so borrowing took off during the Reagan administration.  It leveled off during the Clinton administration as he enjoyed the peace dividend after the defeat of the Soviet Union in the Cold War.  Non-defense spending soared over 70% of all federal outlays during the Bush administration.  Requiring additional borrowings.  Then President Obama increased non-defense spending so great it resulted in record deficits.  Taking the federal debt to record highs.

So is defense spending the cause of our deficits?  No.  Defense spending as a percentage of all federal outlays is near a historical low.  While non-defense spending has soared to a record high.  As did our federal debt.  Clearly showing that the driving force behind our deficits and debt is non-defense spending.  Not defense spending.  Nor is it because we’re not taxing people enough.  We’re just spending too much.  In about 50 years non-defense spending rose from around 22% of all federal outlays to 74%.  An increase of 223%.  While defense spending fell from 76% to 22%.  A decline of 245%.  While the federal debt rose 619%.  And interest on the debt soared 24,904%.  The cost of favoring butter in the guns vs. butter debate.  The federal government has been gutting the main responsibility of the federal government, defense, to pay for something that didn’t enter the federal government until the 20th Century.  All that non-defense spending.  Which doesn’t even include the postal service today.

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Democrats won’t Negotiate because they want to make the Republicans their Bitch

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 6th, 2013

Week in Review

The Democrats don’t like sharing power.  Or bipartisanship.  They miss the good old days when they controlled everything.  Both houses of Congress.  And the White House.  As well as the three networks.  Before there was Rush Limbaugh and talk radio.  And cable television.  Which let other voices be heard.  Something they hate.  Why?  Because they have a liberal agenda in a country that is only about 21% liberal.  So they don’t like debate.  Because they are trying to sell what the masses don’t want.  Which is why they cloak their intentions in misleading words.  More government control over our lives is called investment.  Raising tax rates is leveling the playing field.  Making everyone pay their fair share.  And opposition voices are extremists.  Hate peddlers.  Who should be censored.  Etc.

So liberals lie and deceive to pass a liberal agenda the people don’t want.  And they really get upset when they can’t get their way.  For liberals are not manly men.  They weren’t athletic enough to play sports.  Tough or brave enough to go into the military.  On Saturday Night Live a character impersonating an Arnold Schwarzenegger bodybuilder type called these men girly men.  Men like Alan Alda who ate quiche (at the time there was a saying that real men did not eat quiche).  Going further back to the days of Charles Atlas liberals were the skinny guy getting sand kicked into his face.  That is, liberals were the victims of bullying.  Who weren’t manly enough to stand up against a bully.  So when they grew up they went into politics.  To wield a different kind of power.  The power of the state.  So the bullied could become the bully.

We could see this in Breaking Bad.  Walter White was a nice guy that finished last in life.  Where people walked all over him and gave him no respect.  And if that wasn’t bad enough this loser then gets cancer.  But then things change.  And Walter White goes through a transformation and mans up.  Going from bullied to bully.  While destroying lives all around him (see Die Like a Man: The Toxic Masculinity of Breaking Bad by Laura Hudson posted 10/5/2013 on Wired).

Masculinity in Breaking Bad is a brittle thing, one so terrified of weakness that any display of vulnerability must be punished, and any slight against another man’s power answered with violence – or else perceived as a weakness. We see it in the hyper-masculine culture of both the neo-Nazis and the drug cartel, where the air is always dripping with machismo and vengeance is considered an almost sacred duty.

This model of manhood also requires control not only over your own life, but over the lives of others. Think about all of the most iconic moments of the show, the badass lines that made us want to pump our fists: “Say my name.” “I am the danger.” “I am the one who knocks.” “I won.” Every single time, it’s about dominance – not just about having power, but about taking power away from someone else…

In short, calling a man a “bitch” is designed to diminish his power by comparing him to a woman. It implies that women are weaker and less powerful, and also that they are to be used and dominated. “Bitch” is linked to exploitation, to submission; if you make someone your bitch, you force them to submit to your will, in one way or another.

If we learned anything from the kind, brilliant Gale, it’s that the Walter White who dies at the end of the show would have had no problem shooting the Walter White of the first episode in the head if he got in his way. When the nerd who was bullied becomes the bully, should we really feel a sense of satisfaction? Or should we take a deep, soul-searching look at the sort of system that makes underdogs like Walt feel like the only way they can be men is by destroying and dominating everyone around them?

Liberals have a lot in common with Walter White.  Who will not be satisfied until they make the Republicans their bitch.  These girly men (i.e., liberal Democrats) who have for the most part accomplished nothing in their lives other than buy elections have no intentions of giving the Republicans anything.  When the Republicans meet with the Democrats to negotiate the Democrats simply refuse to negotiate.  Even President Obama said he will not negotiate.  Saying the Republicans must first submit to his will.  Give him everything he wants first then he will negotiate with them.  After which, of course, there will be nothing left to negotiate.

The liberals are not saying it but you can hear them say it.  “Say my name, bitch.”  “I am the danger, bitch.”  “I am the one who knocks, bitch.”  And “I will win, bitch.”  For liberals are not going to be that bullied kid in high school anymore.  They’re the bully now.  They have the power.  And they want to emasculate the opposition.  The jocks and the military types.  Who tormented them in high school.  But not anymore.  For it’s payback time, bitch.

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Real Men don’t Eat Quiche or Vote for Liberal Democrats

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 19th, 2013

Week in Review

In 1982 Bruce Feirstein published a book called Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche.  Since then the expression has made fun of men that are more like women than men.  Sensitive girly-men who’d rather go to the ballet than watch the Super Bowl.  These girly-men became liberals.  Weak and whiny guys that were pushed around by bullies in high school.  Who entered government to become bullies themselves.  To get back at all those macho men that made their lives a living hell.  By taxing and regulating their lives.  And using the power of their office to make them suffer.  While real men got real jobs, played sports, joined the military and wooed the ladies.  Because when it comes down to it the ladies like the bad boys and cowboys.  Manly men.  Not sensitive girly quiche eaters.  For if a woman wants to be sensitive and go out for a quiche brunch she’ll just hang with her gal pals.  And do girly things with those who actually have vaginas.

Now there’s been a study that explains these effete quiche eaters.  Why they are such sensitive girly-men.  And it turns out that they are liberals because they are skinny weaklings (see Men with big biceps more likely to be right wing, study claims by Ben Rossington posted 5/17/2013 on the Mirror).

Physically strong men are most likely to be right wing, a study claims.

But weaker males have less self-interest and tend to support the welfare state.

So there you have it.  Real men are conservatives.  And pantywaist ‘men’ are liberals.  Makes sense.  John Wayne, Charlton Heston, Ronald Reagan, Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone—all manly men.  And conservative.  We won’t name any liberals.  Don’t want to embarrass them by pointing out their girliness.  But you know who they are.  Just think of the most outspoken liberal men and note their manliness.  Or lack thereof.  It may not be a rule carved into stone.  But there is no doubt a correlation between liberals and nancy boys.  Metro sexuals.  Poncey dandies.  Straight guys that take a keen interest in the same hair care and beauty aids the ladies use.  These men tend to be liberal.  And weak.  According to this study, that is.

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After the Civil War Men became less Manly and the Federal Government became more Progressive

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 12th, 2013

History 101

Prior to 1900 the Role of the Federal Government was primarily to Provide for the Common Defense

In 1800 the new federal government didn’t do a lot.  It spent only about $11 million (in nominal dollars).  With 55% going to defense.  About 31% went to pay interest on the war debt.  About 2% went to the postal service.  And about 12% went to other stuff.  Defense spending and interest on the war debt added up to about 86% of all federal outlays (see Government Spending Details).

In 1860, just before the Civil War, spending increased to $78 million (in nominal dollars).  Defense spending fell to 37%.  Interest spending fell to 4%.  And postal service spending rose to 19%.  While spending on other stuff rose to 40%.  Just over 60 years from the founding the federal government had changed.  It was less limited than the Founding Fathers designed it to be.

In 1900 spending increased to $628.6 million (in nominal dollars).  With defense spending coming in at 53%.  The postal service at 17%.  Interest went up to 6.4%.  And other spending fell to 24%.  Again, defense spending consumed over half of all federal spending.  For the role of the federal government was still primarily providing for the common defense.  Running the postal service.  Treating with other nations.  And trading with them.  As well as collecting duties and tariffs at our ports which paid for the federal government.  There was a lot of graft and patronage.  And long lines for government jobs.  Primarily because government was still somewhat limited.  With a limited number of government jobs to reward campaign contributors.  But that was about to change.

The Progressives expanded the Role of the Federal Government in our Lives and made it more Motherly

The American Civil War killed about 625,000 men.  With an 1860 population of 31,443,321 those deaths amounted to about 2% of the prewar population.  To put that into perspective if 2% of the U.S. population died in a war today that would be approximately 6.2 million people.  And to put that into perspective the total population of the state of Missouri is about 6 million people.  So the American Civil War claimed a very large percentage of the population.  Leaving a lot of children to grow up without a father.  Which had a profound impact on the size of the federal government.

Prior to this generation American men were some of the manliest men in the world.  Tough and rugged.  Who could live off of the land.  Completely self-sufficient.  These are the men that made America.  Men who fought and won our independence.  Who explored and settled the frontier.  Farmers who worked all day in the field.  Men who dug canals by hand.  And built our railroads.  Men who endured hardships and never complained.  Then came the Civil War generation.  Sons who lost their fathers.  And wives who lost their husbands, brothers, fathers and uncles.  Who lost all the men in their lives in that horrible war.  These women hated that war.  And manly displays of aggression.  For it was manly displays of aggression that led to fighting.  And war.  Having lost so much already they didn’t want to lose the only men they had left.  Their sons.  So they protected and nurtured them.  Taught them to shun violence.  To be kinder and softer.  To be not so tough or rugged.  To be less manly.  And when these men grew up they went into politics and started the progressive movement.

The federal government was no longer just to provide for the common defense.  To run the postal service.  To treat with other nations.  To trade with other nations.  Run our custom houses.  No.  Now the federal government grew to be kinder, softer and more motherly.  The progressives expanded the role of the federal government in our lives.  Woodrow Wilson wanted to turn the country into a quasi monarchy.  With a very strong executive branch that could rule against the wishes of Congress.  The Federal Reserve (America’s central bank) came into existence during Wilson’s presidency.  Which was going to end recessions forever.  Then came the Great Depression.  A crisis so good that FDR did not let it go to waste.  FDR expanded the size of the federal government.  Putting it on a path of permanent growth.  And it’s been growing ever since.

They decreased Defense Spending and increased Borrowings to increase Non-Defense Spending

The federal government grew beyond its Constitutional limits.  And the intent of the Founding Fathers.  Just as Thomas Jefferson feared.  It consolidated power just as all monarchies did.  And that was Jefferson’s fear.  Consolidation.  Seeing the states absorbed by a leviathan federal government.  Becoming the very thing the American colonists fought for independence from.  So that’s when the federal government changed.  In the early 20th Century.  Before that it spent money mostly for defense and a postal service.  Now it spends money for every social program under the sun.  There is great debate now in Washington about reducing the deficit.  With the Democrats blaming the deficit problems on too much defense spending.  And too little taxation on the rich.  But if you look at the history of federal spending since 1940 the numbers say otherwise (see Table 3.1—OUTLAYS BY SUPERFUNCTION AND FUNCTION: 1940–2017 and A History of Debt In The United States).

Federal Spending and Debt

As defense spending (including Veterans Benefits and Services) rose during World War II non-defense spending (Education, Training, Employment, Social Services, Health, Income Security, Social Security, Energy, Natural Resources, Environment, Commerce, Housing Credit, Transportation, Community and Regional Development, International Affairs, General Science, Space, Technology, Agriculture, Administration of Justice and General Government) fell as a percentage of total federal outlays.  And the federal debt rose (federal debt is in constant 2012 dollars).  After the war defense spending fell to 50% while the percentage of non-defense spending rose.  And the federal debt dropped slightly and remained relatively constant for about 30 years.

This tug of war between defense spending and non-defense spending is also called the guns vs. butter debate.  Where those in favor of spending money on guns at the federal level are more constructionists.  They want to follow the Constitution as the Founding Fathers wrote it.  While those who favor spending money on butter at the federal level want to buy more votes by giving away free stuff.

Defense spending ramped back up for the Korean War and the Cold War during the Fifties.  After the armistice ended hostilities in Korea defense spending began a long decline back to about 50% of all federal outlays.  Where it flattened out and rose slightly for the Vietnam War.  After America exited the Vietnam War defense spending entered a long decline where it dropped below 30% of all federal outlays.  Reagan’s defense spending raised defense spending back up to 30%.  After Reagan won the Cold War Clinton enjoyed the peace dividend and cut defense spending down to just below 20%.  After 9/11 Bush increased defense spending just above 20% of all federal outlays where it remains today.

During this time non-defense spending was basically the mirror of defense spending.  Showing that they decreased defense spending over time to increase non-defense spending.  But there wasn’t enough defense spending to cut so borrowing took off during the Reagan administration.  It leveled off during the Clinton administration as he enjoyed the peace dividend after the defeat of the Soviet Union in the Cold War.  Non-defense spending soared over 70% of all federal outlays during the Bush administration.  Requiring additional borrowings.  Then President Obama increased non-defense spending so great it resulted in record deficits.  Taking the federal debt to record highs.

So is defense spending the cause of our deficits?  No.  Defense spending as a percentage of all federal outlays is near a historical low.  While non-defense spending has soared to a record high.  As has our federal debt.  Clearly showing that the driving force behind our deficits and debt is non-defense spending.  Not defense spending.  Nor is it because we’re not taxing people enough.  We’re just spending too much.  In about 50 years non-defense spending rose from around 22% of all federal outlays to 74%.  An increase of 223%.  While defense spending fell from 76% to 22%.  A decline of 245%.  While the federal debt rose 619%.  And interest on the debt soared 24,904%.  The cost of favoring butter in the guns vs. butter debate.  The federal government has been gutting the main responsibility of the federal government, defense, to pay for something that didn’t enter the federal government until the 20th Century.  All that non-defense spending.  Which doesn’t even include the postal service today.

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