Saturday, January 17, 2009

Garet Garrett on the first 100 days

The left has attempted to compare Obama's upcoming time in office with Roosevelt's New Deal. In particular, it seems that the new administration is poised to take measures that will impose sweeping changes on the U.S., far beyond those changes that would address the economic situation or any other current issue. In order to understand what the next 100 days might do to this country and how irrevocable such changes might be, we must examine the effects of Roosevelt's first 100 days and how they affect us today.

Here is Garrett's summary of the first 100 days of the New Deal, written only a few weeks after those 100 days had passed (as it appeared in the Saturday Evening Post on August 12, 1933). I have excerpted a few passages:

By this definition, the country is in a state of revolution. It was unpredictable. When Congress assembled on March ninth, under an emergency call, no one knew what it was going to do, nor did it know itself what it was going to do, either at the beginning or day by day thereafter. It went from one step to another, with that kind of uncertain uncertainty peculiar to sleepwalking. It received the demands of the revolution serially in the form of pre-prepared laws, and enacted them with practically no debate and no drama. In the early morning of June sixteenth it adjourned. The entire life on the session had been one hundred days. That was all the time it took to erect a complete temporary dictatorship in the person of the President, standing for the popular will.

. . . . .

The powers transferred to the President were such, among others, as these:

1. To control and administer all business and industry in the public interest;
2. To govern production, prices, profits, competition, wages and the hours of labor;
3. To determine the economic policy of the country; that is to say, whether it shall be national or international;
4. To debase money in behalf of the debtor class;
5. To produce inflation in the interest of certain classes;
6. To reapportion private wealth and income throughout the nation, in his own judgement;
7. The power specifically to reduce the gold value of the dollar one-half - or, that is to say, the power, simply by proclamation, to double the price of everything that is priced in dollars, and to halve the value of every obligation payable in dollars, such as debts, bonds and mortgages, insurance policies, bank deposits.

Read it all.

These powers were never repealed, yet 76 years later we find ourselves in what the MSM/DNC calls a similar crisis. The difference now is that our manufacturing base is largely gone - having disappeared over the past four + decades. The track record of the New Deal (and all that followed) can be found in the headlines of the past four months. But the track record of the next 100 days will be worse.

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