Tojo Tread by Public Domain
George Orwell wrote in his ground breaking novel "1984"that, "He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past." Orwell had a good grasp on the politics of Fascism and was only amiss in his time table. It is however, sometimes overlooked, that if he or she knows the past they can also predict the future. That all of these events, the stolen 2000 election, 9-11, the Iraq War and even Barack Obama's election are milestones along a dark highway. They are ominous forebodings, yet now, the ruse is exposed.
We are living in the dawn of a great awakening. We the people; are taking to the streets in numbers not seen since the Vietnam War and our numbers are growing and will continue to grow in unstoppable numbers. We have seen reactionary forces respond with violence against the peaceful and unarmed, same as it ever was. We have seen the media lie and generate false stories, same as it ever was. In 1932, 400 hungry farmers outside Lawrence Kansas came into town to demand relief supplies. The farmers pleaded with the Red Cross that their children hadn't had anything to eat in three days.
An attorney in town who was acting as an agent for the Red Cross promised to contact Kansas City to get authorization to release the relief supplies. The farmers warned that they would wait until five o'clock, but after five, they would take the supplies with or without authorization. This event was reported in the Hearst newspapers as, "Farmers Riot" There was no riot, there was unity, but no violence, the people had stood together and made promises which threatened to overthrow the bureaucracy.
War spending had forced government expenditures to exceed three times tax revenues, and the government responded by calling for austerity and cutting the Federal budget which in turn prompted a major economic recession. Was this in 2007, or is this our current economy? No, this was in 1920. The war economy had fostered and expanded industrial manufacturing and spurred a 43 percent growth in worker productivity. By 1929, the top one percent of wage earners controlled 40 percent of the nation's wealth while the bottom 93 percent saw a 4 percent decline in real disposable income.
By the time the decade ends the bottom eighty percent of wage earners will disappear from the tax roles while at the same time tax rates for the wealthy fall to just 25 percent. The number of people with incomes over $500,000 jumps from 156 in 1920 to 1,489 by 1930.
Citizens United? As Eugene Debs once advised nearly a century before, "Who appoints our federal judges? The people? In all the history of the country, the working class have never named a federal judge. There are 121 of these judges and every solitary one holds his position, his tenure, through the influence and power of corporate capital. The corporations and trusts dictate their appointment. And when they go to the bench, they go, not to serve, the people, but to serve the interests that place them and keep them where they are."
1922 -- The Supreme Court strikes down laws against child labor.
1923 -- The Supreme Court strikes down the minimum wage for women in Washington D.C.
1924 -- Wall Street stocks begin to climb astronomically without any correlation to the economy as a whole. Wall Street speculators pay financial writers under the table to place positive news stories about specific companies in major newspapers. From May of 1928 until September of 1929 stock prices rise 40 percent.
Throughout the decade of the 1920's the number of unionized workers falls dramatically, the United Mine Workers lose over 80 percent of their membership and the American Federation of Labor loses more than 40 percent of its members so that by 1929 more than half of all Americans are living below subsistence levels, and so it was in this climate, Herbert Hoover was elected President,
"The outlook of the world today is for the greatest era of commercial expansion in history. The rest of the world will become better customers." July 27,1928
"Any lack of confidence in the economic future or the basic strength of business in the United States is foolish." November, 1929
In 1929, business inventories rose to three times the level of the previous year. By August, the economy is in recession as industrial production drops by 20 percent. Wholesale prices fall by 7.5 percent and personal income drops by 5%. October 24th the Stock Market crashes with the famous headline in Variety, "Wall Street Lays an Egg." Total stock market loses for the month equal $16 billion or more than half a trillion in current dollars.
In February, the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates from 6 to 4 percent. Federal Reserve chairman Andrew Mellon states categorically, "the Fed will stand by as the market works itself out: 'Liquidate labor, liquidate real estate... values will be adjusted, and enterprising people will pick up the wreck from less-competent people'.
"Definite signs that business and industry have turned the corner from the temporary period of emergency that followed deflation of the speculative market were seen today by President Hoover. The President said the reports to the Cabinet showed that the tide of employment had changed in the right direction." News Dispatch (January 21, 1930)
The GNP falls 9.4 percent for the year as unemployment climbs to 8.7 percent. In 1931, the GNP falls another 8.5 percent as unemployment climbs to 15.9 percent. The President proposes no major legislation to address the crisis as Congress follows suit with no proposals of their own to address the growing crisis either. As 1932 begins, GDP drops at an astounding 13.4 percent as unemployment balloons to 23.6 percent. The stock market has lost 80 percent of its value in 24 months.
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