Unsanctioned Voice; U.S. Steel; Cinder Buggy; Where the Money Grows; Bernard Baruch; Federal Reserve gold notes; Henry Ford; World War I; Japan predictions
Click these links for discussions of the Writer's Note , Chapters 1 and 2 and Chapter 3 of Bruce Ramsey's Unsanctioned Voice.
Chapter 4 continues the narrative of Garrett's early career, including his move to Washington and then to New York in 1900, where he worked for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and other newspapers.
On page 21, (footnote 2) Ramsey cites to the unpublished manuscript of Garet Garrett's Journal by Richard Cornuelle. This Journal is another piece that I hope will one day be published. My only knowledge of it comes from the citations in Unsanctioned Voice. [Cornuelle is the only person that Ramsey found (50 years after Garrett's death) that knew Garrett well.] (p. x).
Ramsey speculates (p. 21) that the discussion in Chapter XLI of Cinder Buggy reflects Garrett's presence during the initial public discussions of the creation of U.S. Steel Corporation shortly after the turn of the century. Garrett wrote of these events prior to Cinder Buggy in two published articles. p. 26, n. 5. (I had been vague earlier in this blog about the facts of Chapter XLI so as to avoid plot spoilers.)
Ramsey refers (p. 22) to articles Garrett wrote in this era, including "fly on the wall" pieces. One such article related a fictional conversation between a banker and his speechwriter. It is my hope that these articles are eventually republished in book form, as I would enjoy overhearing any conversation where one talks candidly to his speechwriter - especially given the conduct of modern politicians.
Ramsey provides the background for the articles that comprised Garrett's Where the Money Grows (pp. 23-24).
Chapter 4 concludes with a discussion of Garrett's friendship and association with Bernard Baruch. Ramsey provides detail and sources more numerous than what I cited last month in this and other posts.
Chapter 5 contains many references to Garrett's columns and articles in the years 1909 - 1913. Ramsey makes the following comment about a Garrett piece on the income tax (which had been passed in 1913):
This statement reflects Garrett's increased focus in the wake of the New Deal. I wrote about this greater focus in relation to Cinder Buggy:Years later his verdict on the income tax was that it had allowed government to grow into a giant. In 1913 his concern was narrower.p. 31
I also wrote about the same thing with regard to Blue Wound (this post also quotes Jeffrey Tucker sounding a similar theme).The story will seem less focused than we might expect, as the New Deal was still a decade away at the time Garrett wrote Cinder Buggy. The New Deal drew the battle lines that define the eight decades (and beyond) that have since elapsed. From 1933 onward, economics and politics have been little more than a battle between those who favor greater government control over the economy and those who oppose such control. The battle takes many forms and is fought in many arenas, but the goals of the opposing sides remain the same (even though the opponents of gevernment control have substantially watered down their message as the decades have dragged on). A decade before the New Deal brought this battle to Washington D.C. (and beyond) in a permanent way, writers like Garrett wrote more generally and without the urgency and focus that we would expect of one who was trying to stop a government takeover.
1913 was also the year of the passage of the Federal Reserve Act. Ramsey reports (p. 31) that Garrett's concerns were pacified when the final bill provided that Federal Reserve Notes would be backed 40% by gold and would be redeemable.
Chapter 6 begins (p. 35) with a discussion of a 1914 Garrett article about Henry Ford. The article was based on an interview, part of which was ultimately included in Garrett's 1952 biography of Henry Ford - The Wild Wheel.
Page 37 summarizes another 1914 article in which Ramsey writes, "Garrett explained that money is not wealth, but a claim on wealth, and that you do not add to wealth by creating more claims to it."
Upon the outbreak of war later that year, Garrett wrote, "War is a sudden and imperious customer in the world's markets, and will not wait its turn." Garrett went on to make accurate predictions about the economic effects of the war. [p. 37].
Garrett would make additional war predictions. In a 1915 article for Everybody's he wrote following:
Garrett made additional predictions regarding Japan in 1921 in Blue Wound.. . . if the Unied States should seem to Japan to be thwarting her economic and political ambitions in Asia she would quickly fight us, not in sorrow for having to do it, but joyful of the opportunity. Then she would seize the Phillipines and then might California be afraid.(as quoted by Ramsey on p. 39.)
Pages 39-40 contain quotes of Garrett's inconclusive thoughts on war and Christianity. I mention it here because Garrett seldom discussed religion.
Click here for a discussion of Chapters 7-10.