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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Doing the Impossible: Removing the "hazards and vicissitudes" of Life

My roommate subscribes to Time magazine, and why I let that magazine distract me, I don't know.

Distraction #1 - an article on FDR:
It's old news that F.D.R.'s New Deal did not end the Depression. On that score, there was little difference between Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover.
Ok, maybe the White House needs a copy of this week's Time magazine. I don't think it's old news since nationalization of banking and the car industry, bailouts, Cap & Trade, and National Health Care will be our generation's "New Deal" and is being sold as THE solution to our problems. That's why we needed to pass these solutions right away--even before anyone reads them. (And why isn't there a name for it yet? Maybe, "Our Turn, Our Deal"...)
But unlike Hoover, F.D.R. seized the occasion to shape a legacy of durable reforms. For that accomplishment — along with winning World War II — historians routinely rank him among the greatest Presidents.
Ah ha, so today's bailouts are not about reviving our dead economy, but about "durable" reforms. They why all the hype to pass this urgent legislation?
...F.D.R.'s greatest achievements came later. Their essence can be summed up in a single word: security.
But how safe did FDR make us? Our economy tanked again--this isn't the first time--and there are still citizens are still that qualify as being in poverty. Social security is nothing more than a ponzi scheme.
All the major New Deal reforms that endured had a common purpose: not simply to end the immediate crisis of the Depression but also to make America in the future a less risky place, to temper for generations thereafter what F.D.R. called the "hazards and vicissitudes" of life.
The only value of this article is makes FDR's political philosophy crystal clear: the federal government should play all-provident God.

That is, it is impossible to remove the "hazards and vicissitudes" of life unless you're God.

In an inaugural address in Jan. 20, 1937, he said:
Such symptoms of prosperity may become portents of disaster! I see one-third of a nation ill housed, ill clad, ill nourished.
Time's interpretation:
The address in its entirety makes it clear that when he spoke of that "one-third of a nation," F.D.R. was not referring primarily to the victims of the Great Depression, which he thought was ending. He was speaking, rather, about the accumulated social and human deficits spawned by more than a century of buccaneering, laissez-faire American capitalism — deficits that he considered not yet fully redeemed in 1937.
Free markets--deciding who you want to sell to, how much you want to produce and what to charge--leads to freedom, not disaster. Disaster comes through regulated markets, which is why there are was a crash in 1929--the government mandated how much farmers could produce and how much to charges for their products, as well as enacting other types of regulation.

Why don't we hold hearings to review why the Federal government has not kept us safe from the "hazards and vicissitudes" of life? For that matter, shouldn't we be able to sue the Federal government for any and every loss? Wouldn't this be the end conclusion of FDR's line of reasoning?

But this is all old news.