Monday, July 09, 2007

The New Forgotten Man

George Will had a review of The Forgotten Man in his column yesterday (Hat tip: Tomcal):

Republicans had long practiced limited interest-group politics on behalf of business with tariffs, gifts of land to railroads and other corporate welfare. Roosevelt, however, made interest-group politics systematic and routine. New Deal policies were calculated to create many constituencies -- labor, retirees, farmers, union members -- to be dependent on government.

Before the 1930s, the adjective "liberal" denoted policies of individualism and individual rights; since Roosevelt, it has primarily pertained to the politics of group interests. So writes Shlaes, a columnist for Bloomberg News, in " The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression." She says Roosevelt's wager was that, by furiously using legislation and regulations to multiply federally favored groups, and by rhetorically pitting those favored by government against the unfavored, he could create a permanent majority coalition.

In the process, says Shlaes, Roosevelt refined his definition of the "forgotten man." This man had been thought of as a general personality, compatible with the assumption that Americans were all in it together. "Now, by defining his forgotten man as the specific groups he would help, the president was in effect forgetting the rest -- creating a new forgotten man. The country was splitting into those who were Roosevelt's favorites and everyone else."

Not much has changed since the New Deal; special interest politics still rule and dependence on the government continues to increase. Today's forgotten man is now any group who is not politically correct enough to warrant any government goodies.


Blogger Don Surber said...

I cannot think of a single group that would be. As the late LT Anderson said, tax money is like Holy water -- everybody takes a little

1:49 PM, July 09, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

Government has grown? And all those people dining on our tax dollars! Have you ever looked at what gets spent where? The war your husband so lavishly loves is dripping in dollars, maybe start there in your big complaints on foolish government spending and work your way back to the ambiguous "others" who steal money from hard workers like yourself.

It's always a bit disgusting when these hindsight ridden cloaked attacks on ideologically opposed entities from the past give the revisionist treatment to a subject followed closely by foolish people who start coalescing around it in an attempt to use it as weaponry against their current foes.

Stick to Grisham.

4:05 PM, July 09, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So elaborate a little, James.

Revisionist treatment abounds. Read your kids' history books and see if you remember things that way when you were in school.

4:49 PM, July 09, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm gonna form a special interest group [of one] and promise to vote 8,000,000 times for the properly appreciative Party. I have carefully calculated that number is sufficient to acquire a significant government handout. Where do I apply?

12:34 AM, July 10, 2007  
Blogger Serket said...

I have wondered before why the father of American Socialism is considered one of our greatest Presidents. That thought is interesting about possibly extending the Great Depression. I don't remember the details, but in a college economics class it was mentioned that economists learned some lessons from it that could possibly prevent or lessen any future Depressions.

My uncle who is quite liberal on social issues wonders about people who did fine before Social Security. My guess is that lifespan and desires for luxuries are major factors.

12:40 PM, July 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My concept of the forgotten man (based on several viewings of "My Man Godfrey") was that he stood for all the average working Joes who lost their jobs due to the depression. They wanted to work instead of living under a bridge, but there were no jobs to be found. Eventually, though, the rich people married dippy heiresses and built nightclubs where the unemployed Joes were hired as waiters and doormen. Then WWII started and everybody was suddenly wealthy again.

That's my theory,anyway.

3:04 PM, July 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may wish to read up on what went down on Jekyll Island, GA (the birthplace of the Federal Reserve)during the days of the depression. Follow the links, especially about the Federal Reserve.

The more you follow links around the net, and the more you read, the more your hair will curl.

6:47 PM, July 10, 2007  
Blogger tomcal said...

Come to think of it, Dr. Helen's hair looks a lot curlier in that picture of her readin on the beach.

12:09 AM, July 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Men have it so hard. Gosh, Dr. Helen is beautiful.

1:33 AM, July 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 1:33 AM

Yes. Correct on both counts.

You didn't expect some other sort of reply, did you?

6:27 AM, July 11, 2007  
Blogger Serket said...

br549, I read about the influential bankers holding a secret meeting on this island and libertarians are philosophically opposed to it. Wouldn't interest rates fluctuate between extremes without it? As people joined on the bandwagon to whoever was considered the leading expert at the moment.

1:23 PM, July 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really, read up on it. The Federal Reserve is a privately held company, and not a part of the Federal Gov't.
Somewhere around ten U.S. banks, the Rothchild dynasty. And you and I cannot buy stock. Lots of power. Supreme power. JFK tried to dismantle it.

10:10 PM, July 14, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't be naive. It's obvious the Rosicrucians are behind all this.

Well, them and their reptilian overlords...

12:43 PM, July 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, I forgot all about them. I got so wrapped up in Dianetics, everything else slipped away. However, I do expect to star in a Hollywood blockbuster soon.

4:47 AM, July 18, 2007  
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