Do not take this blog seriously, and don't drive and read!

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Good Ol' Days?

            If we concentrate really hard and focus on the future without acknowledging the past; then maybe we will be fateful enough to repeat the mistakes of “Yester-Year…” “Times of Yore…” “The Good Old Days!” Hang with me now and let’s see if we can make some semblance of order out of the chaos that transpired long ago. In other words, let’s see if it makes sense in our present world affairs.
            We’ll try to make it simple.
            Once upon a time, there was this President named Herbert Hoover.  Hoover declared his superiority in business knowledge and even claimed the country was headed for an end to poverty.
            Unfortunately his mistake was running the country between 1928 and 1932.  The first year looked pretty great! The stock market was what they call a “Bull Market.”  That’s great for those buying stock. It means everything is rosy! Without going into great detail, the “rosy” part was “sort of” in the form of little “roses…drawn on worthless paper.”       You’ve probably heard about the “Great Crash” that led to the “Great Depression.” October through November of 1929 is when that event “sort of” happened.
This is what’s really freaky and sounds so familiar to folks paying attention to news events happening today! What happened back then seems eerily recognizable.
            America’s buying power was increased between 1928 and 1929. This had been a work in progress for more than a decade. The “cause/effect” results were an overproduction of goods and services. Modern machines from what they called “the industrial revolution” had finally kicked in.  The “roaring twenties” were actually roaring in the form of the mass production of cars (thank you Henry Ford-assembly lines); as well as other things like artificial price levels for various stock market commodities.
            Simplified, it works like this. Since we had all this mechanized equipment (large corporations) to make “stuff.” These machines also helped folks grow coffee in Brazil, sugar in Cuba, wheat in Canada, cotton in the States, etc… The world had more “food products” than it needed. The labor numbers decreased because machines were now doing what used to take ten or twenty workers. But the prices stayed the same.
            The “stabilized” or “set pricing” of commodities by a small group of ultra rich investors resulted in the prices plummeting once the demand began to fall. Why was there less demand? The depression had started and people couldn’t afford food at prices that had already been set by investors. Many products were placed in what was called “pools.” These “pools” were designed to keep prices at a stable rate.
            The problem:  people’s houses were being foreclosed, loans were being called in and soup lines were beginning to form—all the while the word from the White House was the same—“a rapid recovery is expected.” The Federal Reserve told the public it “appears to be” a slight business depression. Wall Street was not taking note of factories
closing on
Main Street
and the White House apparently didn’t read the news about “bread lines”-
stretching down
Main Street
            From the “stuff” that makes other “stuff” to the “stuff” that helps grow lots more “stuff” all the stock prices became out of proportion to consumption.
            Silver also took a hit worldwide due in part to a few of the richer nations who were busy hoarding as much gold as possible. The U.S. and France were the main culprits. WE stocked up on gold, and this shift of gold quantities to a few select countries caused calamities worldwide--in foreign lands (east-to-west). It would eventually give rise to dictators like Mussolini in Italy and Hitler (Germany) whose Nazi party took power in January of 1933. In fact, Hitler was witness to all these events as they transpired throughout the 1920’s.  The Nazi Party (NSDAP) was formed February 24, 1920.
            This new age “government sanctioned gold rush” also affected the Orient. We had over-expanded while over-inflating our credit. Our own economy could not support itself. And other countries could not buy our goods and services because they were experiencing their own financial pitfalls.  Buyers vanished and profits evaporated.
            We were on the gold standard while the rest of the world was struggling with having any kind of purchasing power.  This not only gave rise to revolutions in Europe but it also allowed for promises of the rebirth of “once great kingdoms” from Asia to the Orient.  The island nation of Japan was one of those countries “we became acquainted with” in about a decade after our financial fall.
            When jobs are scarce and folks have no buying power, it gives rise to revolutions. It also means that factories are unprofitable; not because they are non-productive, but because they are too productive.
            There was this little thing Woodrow Wilson tried to start after World War I called the League of Nations, but a Republican controlled Congress nixed that idea.
            The people seemed to agree with this new "Republican Way of Thinking."  After Wilson’s second term, Republicans held the office of the Presidency throughout the roaring twenties.
            Capitalism was king! Even poor coal miners were called traitors and socialists. Miners wanted to start a national United Mine Workers union in 1919. Per capita of mine workers, the death rate was appalling.
            The average American was tired of war (WWI), and wanted things to be “normal.” So Warren G. Harding had no problem getting elected in 1921 when he told the American people it was time for a return to “normalcy.”  Make up a word, become President.  When he took over his new post, he began hosting weekly poker games at his new residence. Warren G. Harding gambled all the china in the White House on one hand of cards.  HE LOST!
            Looking back, I guess you might call that a foreshadowing of coming events.

Hope you enjoyed the read--- Monday is Presidents' Day
It's Presidents' Day--- Plural for all of them... Except for Ulysses S. Grant- Historians rated his Administration as the worst ever due to his tolerance of CORRUPTION-
HOWEVER, As a student (a poor one at that) of history, I view Grant as a trendsetter...
He set a precedent that has lasted for a 134 years
The Corruption Accord of 1877--- Agreed upon by both Houses and the President.

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