July 4–Needed– A New New Deal!

The United States of America is celebrating its 232nd anniversary as a nation, but it is also celebrating the 75th year since the New Deal was born in this country. The New Deal was an important event in our history since it represents the last time the voice of average Americans was heard by those governing this nation. Today, Libertarians and Ron Paul supporters attempt to undo the dramatic changes which ushered in the New Deal and return America to the 19th century era of big business control and exploitation of those who work in our factories and toil on our farms. The forces which advocate abandoning the role of government in creating a just society are strong, and their distortion of what has happened in our nation’s history confuses those lacking knowledge as to the meaning of the New Deal.

It is very common for Libertarians and Ron Paul to portray vigorous action to defend the rights and needs of Americans as “the government” vs “the people” even though just about every progressive piece of legislation came from “the people” and not the government. For example, Ron Paul never ceases in his charge “the government” imposed income taxes on “the people.” The idea for an income tax emanated from the Populist movement which represented a powerful expression by average Americans as to their desires for government. Populism arose in the 1890s as farmers grew disgusted by a government controlled by the rich and powerful and demanded action by the government to redress their grievances. Populism was not created by any elite, but reflected average Americans. The 1892 platform of the Populist party spoke thus: “Resolved: That the revenue derived from a graduated income tax should be applied to the reduction of the burden of taxation now levied upon the domestic industries of this country.” Populists also wanted the government to assume ownership of the railroads, telephone, and telegraph industries. They felt only such actions would PROTECT free enterprise.

Libertarians and Mr. Paul believe government action interferes with freedom. In the nineteenth century lack of government legislation meant workers struggled to organize themselves through means of unions, it meant children worked in coal mines, it meant workers toiled in unsafe working conditions, it meant banks collapsed with resulting loss of savings, it meant railroads charged high rates to farmers, it meant workers had to rely on charity when unemployed or in their old age, it meant the burden of taxation was on the average person and millionaires paid little. That is the world Ron Paul argues is needed in modern America.

The New Deal gave birth to ideas desired by average Americans. The government provided for public works(an item in the Populist Platform) which resulted in building roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, vast projects to reforest the nation, and working men obtained unemployment insurance so they would not have to rely on charity. People wanted banks regulated by the government to protect their savings. Social security protected the elderly, and during the height of the Depression writers were paid to write, artists to use their talents and the theater bloomed with new experimental efforts. All the result of government action. It was the vast government program to fight World War II which finally restored the nation’s economic health.

Franklin Roosevelt believed Americans could not be free unless they were free from economic fears. He advocated a continuation of the original Bill of Rights by creating an economic bill of rights which would guarantee work, good pay, and protection in the work place for every American. He wanted children to be assured they had food, clothing and shelter and regarded government action as the best means to ensure this happened. FDR’s revolutionary G.I. Bill of Rights which provided for free education and living expenses for the 14 million who fought in WWII, allowed poor people to gain access to college education and thus dramatically changed the nature of American society. It was “the government” which made certain Americans could get a college education or obtain training for jobs requiring skills. Despite the fact every economic study proves the G.I. Bill returned money to the government tenfold for every dollar spent, people like Ron Paul decry government efforts to aid Americans.

We need a New New Deal to confront the 21st century. Corporate wealth is increasing and the gap between those who run corporations and those who work in them has reached levels never previously seen in this nation. We need legislation which ensures those working in the corporate world an equitable share of profits, we need legislation that ends discrimination in the work place against women and minorities, we need legislation which guarantees every American access to free medical care, we need to overhaul our infrastructure and once again make America a nation which has an effective communication system, and we need to guarantee every child at birth technological materials and access to higher education. We also need an America in which vigorous government action prevents emergence of corporate monopolies that seek to control the media, its time to return to the trust busting ideas originally advocated by Republican President Theodore Roosevelt.

Unfortunately, many young people today are not familiar with working conditions in the 19th century that Ron Paul would like to restore. He wants an America in which corporate interests have unlimited power because working people would be deprived of the right to bargain. Workers could not organize to protect themselves and had no protection against bosses. A single worker is powerless, a union provides strength and equity in bargaining. The New Deal restored to “the people” their rights to live a dignified life. Government in a democracy like the United States functions best when “the people” can express their desires.

Barack Obama has the potential to exert leadership in creation of a New New Deal. Franklin Roosevelt originally campaigned on the promise of reducing government expenses, but when confronted by the reality of massive unemployment, he changed. The greatest strength of Barack Obama is his ability to listen, learn, to change and to accept new ideas. This nation desperately needs such leadership. It is less important what Obama seeks at the beginning of his term in office, it is critical what he is advocating at the conclusion of his term in office. It required years of experimentation before the New Deal took shape. It will require years of experimentation before a New New Deal can emerge that confronts challenges of a global world. We need leadership, not for the 19th century, but for the 21st.

  • ernie

    So if a new new deal is such a great thing why dont the ones who advocate pay for it? Show me where I can opt out, I dont want any of your so called benefits and will not pay for them.

    But wait here comes the government with guns and says, no you cant not give your consent to be governed.

    So where is life liberty and property in this instance , the only reason the ‘enlightenment’ gives as a reason to have government is to protect rights.

    What you propose is to take more from everybody. What has theft to do with liberty?
    It is nothing but the use of naked force the gun, this is anti-liberty. So you abandon the enlightenment.

    I will work to educate more and more people out of your state schooled propaganda.

    As Samuel Adams said it only takes a determined minority to combat tyranny.

    You want to use the tyranny of the majority to make the 49 per cent of the people stay in your stinking socialist game.

    Libertas

  • http://www.theimpudentobserver.com Fred Stopsky

    As FDR repeatedly noted, the New Deal stifled the growth of socialism.
    I have no idea what you are discussing. I gather you believe establishing programs which allow people to pay for future retirement is somehow creating a tyranny. I suspect the only tyranny you grasp is the tyranny of your mind.

  • ernie

    You didnt address the gun, why cant I opt out if I know that Social Security as per your example is a scam.

    You want to use the governments force , the gun, to make me stay in the game when I reject the whole idea of wealth transfer as some how producing something out of nothing.

    So tell me how is the gun promoting liberty?

  • http://www.theimpudentobserver.com Fred Stopsky

    1. Let’s make this simple. Individuals pay into social security and their employer matches the amount. Work off the books and you will not have to pay social security.
    2. The men and women who fought WWII and the Korean war were rewarded for their bravery by the government provided free college and living expenses. Are you saying we should not have been given this money? Yes, we received money, but then again, were people like you fighting for your country? By the way, for each dollar we received we repaid the dollar with $50 in additional taxes paid.

  • ernie

    Still non responsive.

    All these programs have no authority from Article 1 section 8.

    You still havent addressed my right to withdraw my consent to be governed.
    Of course there is the practical consequence of government violence against me.

    That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —–That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…

  • scott

    looks like ernie put the “stopsky” on ol Fredsky.

  • scott

    I wonder if Fred is behind his big govt bailing out wallstreet or home borrowers who lied about their incomes to buy exspensive houses.

  • http://www.theimpudentobserver.com Fred Stopsky

    The last time some Americans decided to withdraw and refuse to obey the laws of this nation, we had a Civil War. If each individual has the right to disobey laws he doesn’t like, we inhabit a world of anarchy. In this nation we adhere to constitutional principles and elections. Those elected can not violate the Constitution. I do not know of any Supreme Court decision in the past hundred years which prevents government bodies from taxing and spending.
    Mr. Scott infers there is something “communist” about my ideas. As Franklin Roosevelt often put it, the New Deal PREVENTED COMMUNISM. You have no idea as to how angry Americans were in the thirties. In Germany, people opted for Hitler, in Italy for Fascism. By showing concern for all members of American society, FDR PREVENTED THE RISE OF RADICALISM.