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nickshepDEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-24-05 10:33 PM
Original message
Need help debunking some FDR attacks...
"FDR attempted to pack the Supreme Court, illegally held U.S. citizens in internment camps, destructed crops while many were starving, and started an economic policy which worsened the Great Depression?"

Help?
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silverweb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-24-05 10:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. Challenge the attacker.
Assertions are easy to make. Demand evidence.
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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-24-05 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #1
12. The first three are
completely true.

The fourth one is arguable.
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Frances Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-24-05 10:45 PM
Response to Original message
2. I am no expert
but I do think that FDR wanted to change the Supreme Court so that it would stop blocking his programs.

Also, much to our shame, the U.S. government did intern Japanese Americans in camps after the Japanese government bombed Pearl Harbor, and, of course, FDR was president then. The overwhelming majority of Americans approved of this action, unfortunately.

I expect the accusation of destructing the crops is a distortion of one of FDR's programs.

Bush is attempting to undo FDR's economic programs now so you will be able to see for yourself whether they are worthwhile or not. For example, social security was started under FDR. It has been a great benefit to my mother and my husband. I think it is a good program, but Republicans have always been against it. Now Bush hopes to end it, although he says he wants to "reform" it.

FDR also started the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) which was responsible for lots of work in the national parks. You can walk on trails they made today. My uncle was in the CCC and I think it was a good program--he earned money and the country was better for it. Today Bush wants to "privatize" the national parks, which means that his cronies will get rich off concessions and then make huge donations to him and his party.
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nickshepDEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-24-05 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I think the crop destroying arguement is related to
the Farm subsidies portion of the New Deal.
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #2
63. Throw back the Japanese internment back in their face...
Did the Republicans attempt to stop the internments? Did they speak up against it?


What have some current Republicans say about the internment like Howard Coble?
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dflprincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #63
92. If I recall correctly
Edited on Sun Sep-25-05 07:37 PM by dflprincess
wasn't Earl Warren, then the REPUBLICAN attorney general of California, the one who asked for internment?

And, to it's eternal shame, the Supreme Court upheld the internment as Constitutional - even William O. Douglas concurred in that opinion.

As for FDR "illegally" trying to pack the court; he did try to pack it, but I believe he wanted or needed a Constitutional Amendment to do so. While his effort to pack the court was ill advised, there was nothing illegal about the way he went about trying to do it.
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #92
93. He didn't need an amendment...
Congress has the authority to determine the number of members for the courts including the SC.

I posted a little history timeline in this thread about it.
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AX10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #2
86. FDR was right to pack the court with liberals.
The right wing of the court was attacking him non stop.

The conservative court threatened America's well being.
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KBlagburn Donating Member (409 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-24-05 10:54 PM
Response to Original message
4. It's sad but it is true.
He did attempt to pack the supreme court. He did hold japanese americans in camps. and WW2 is what saved the economy. BTW there is also hard evidence to suggest he knew pearl harbor was coming but needed an excuse to get into the war. but despite all this, I still believe he was one of our greatest.
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Frances Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-24-05 11:01 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I don't agree that there is hard evidence that he knew
Pearl Harbor specifically was coming, but he did know that we would probably get drawn into the war. FDR did what he could to prepare the U.S. for war, but the overwhelming majority of people in the U.S. at that time were isolationists. They said things like, "George Washington warned us not to get involved in foreign entanglements" and "We went over there and fought in World War I and the Europeans never paid us back what they owed us."
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1932 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-24-05 11:59 PM
Response to Reply #5
17. The US lost something like 90% of its Pacific fleet and FDR believed
that if the Japanese had pressed on to the US, they would have reached the Mississippi before the US could mount an effective defense. That's what he talked about with his advisers on December 7th. It makes no sense that that was a plan of his.

Furthermore, he spent the 9 previous years of his administration focused on alleviating the misery of Americans. He wasn't about to let half the country be occupied by imperial japan.

Furthermore, there is absolutely no evidence that he knew. It's just a fantasy of right wingers that is totally unsupported by even the slightest of evidence.
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 06:21 PM
Response to Reply #17
94. 90% of our Pacific Fleet????
While Japan did knock out most of our Battleships, most of the destroyers and Cruisers were still operating as were ALL FOUR OF OUR CARRIERS (Except the Saratoga, in Seattle in Dry-dock undergoing repairs, the situation was so bad it stayed in Dry-dock till the repairs were finished).

As to the Battleships, while most were sunk, since this was done in a harbor all but two (The Arizona and Utah) were raised and were ready to fight again by the time of the Invasion of Midway six months later.

Pearl Harbor while a major defeat for the US never came close to being a complete defeat. Now if the Japanese had hit the oil tanks on the canceled third wave of attacks that would have caused some serious problems, but the sinking of the battleships in a shadow harbor did not.
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-05 05:32 PM
Response to Reply #94
102. Don't forget the sub fleet. (nt)
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:16 AM
Response to Reply #102
107. Yes, and the Atlantic Fleet.
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 01:08 AM by happyslug
And lets not forget the number of Cruisers sunk during Pearl (NONE), and Destroyers (None out of 30 present) and Submarines (None out of four present). Thus the main loss was four of the eight battleships present. While a loss that gave the Japanese clear Naval Superiority after 7DEC41, it was NOT destruction of 90% of the US Fleet (please note prior to Pearl the Japanese outnumbered the US Pacific Fleet in Carriers and planes the US was only close when it came to Battleships and Pearl ended that challenge till additional Battleships could join the Fleet. While the Carriers had by 1941 emerged as the primary naval weapon, Carrier planes could not operate at night till late in the war, and even than it was only some planes, thus the Battleship was almost as important till most Naval Planes obtained Radar starting in the late 1950s).

List of ships at Pearl on 7DEC41:
http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq66-2.htm

Admiral Yamamoto plan for Pearl Harbor was just t0 give the Japanese three months of total Naval Superiority, after that Admiral Yamamoto knew he had to deal with the US Fleet.

Pearl was (and is) a shadow harbor, thus any ship sunk in the harbor can be raised relatively easily. For example the main turrets of the Arizona and the 14 inch guns in those turrets were removed within weeks of December 7th (And used as shore emplacements by the US Army, through not fully sit up during WWII). Most of the other ships were raised and either repaired at Pearl OR patched up enough and shipped to Puget Sound, San Diego, Seattle, San Francisco and even East Coast ports like Norfolk for repairs.

If these Battleships had been sunk on the high seas the US Navy could NOT have raised them and thus the ships would NOT have been available for use later on it the war. For example at the Battle of Surigao Strait (October 24-25, 1944) five of the Six American Battleships had been at Pearl Harbor (Two, the West Virginia and California had been Sunk at Pearl). The Ships "lost" at Pearl continued to provide service for the US Navy till the end of WWII (With some staying in the Reserve fleet till the Late 1950s).
http://www.combinedfleet.com/btl_sur.htm
http://www.angelfire.com/fm/odyssey/LEYTE_Seventh_Fleet...

Pearl Harbor Survivors
(US Pacific Fleet only had 9 Battleships TOTAL on 7DEC41):

USS Maryland, USS Tennessee and USS Pennsylvania:
Damaged on 7DEC41 all repaired and ready for Duty by 25Feb42 (No Serious Damage could have been used 8DEC41 but a decision was made to do the repairs rather than use the Ships in Combat. The US War plan of 1941 was to fall back on Pearl in the first place thus the Battleships would not be needed till Midway was threaten and than only of Midway was successfully taken by the Japanese, thus the Battleship line was withdrawn to the Pacific Coast as per the plan of combat for 1941).
http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/ships/battleships/t...
http://www.ussmaryland.org/historyspecs.htm

USS Nevada
Sunk 7DEC41, Re-floated 12FEB42, back in Service by 18MAY42 for Midway.
http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/ships/battleships/n...

USS California, Sunk 7DEC41, raised 26MAR42, Sailed on its own power to Puget Sound 7JUN42, back in service, 31JAN44
http://www.militarymuseum.org/usscalif.html

USS West Virginia, Sunk 7DEC41, hit by Seven Torpedoes, Back on Duty September 1944.
http://www.usswestvirginia.org/uss_west_virginia_histor...
v.html

Pacific Fleet Battleships NOT at Pearl 7DEC41:

USS Colorado was under going Repairs on 7DEC41 in Puget Sound, joined USS Maryland, USS Tennessee and USS Pennsylvania in Feb 1942 as the truncated battleship line of the US Pacific Fleet.
http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-usn/usnsh-c/bb45....

Ships sunk at Pearl: (See http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq66-1.htm For more details on Losses)

USS Arizona, USS Oklahoma Sunk Never re-floated, Efforts were made on raising the Oklahoma in 1943, but only removing the undamaged main turrets were done to the USS Arizona. The USS Oklahoma was re-floated in 1946 but sunk on the way to the Scape Yard.
http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-usn/usnsh-o/bb37....

USS Utah Sunk, but had been since 1931 a "Target Tug" i.e. used to tow targets Battleships would shoot (The Utah was also used as a target for US Navy Planes and even Submarines). The attacking Japanese Pilots had orders to Ignore the Utah but attacked it anyway and sunk it.
http://www.ussutah.org/attack.html
http://www.ussutah.org /
http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/ships/battleships/u...

USS Oglala (CM-4) A Mine-layer heavy damaged when a Torpedo hit the USS Helena which the Oglala was docked next to in Pearl.
http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-usn/usnsh-o/cm4.h...

Ships Damaged but NOT Lost at Pearl
Light Cruisers (Three out of Six Present, no damage to the two Heavy Cruisers Present):
USS Helena
USS Honolulu
USS Raleigh

Destroyers (Four out of 30 Present):
USS Cassin
USS Downes
USS Helm
USS Shaw

Seaplane Tender USS Curtiss

Repair Ship USS Vestal

Tug USS Sotoyomo

Floating Drydock Number Two.



Some other cites on Battleships:
http://geocities.com/batdev /

US Navy Official site on Pearl Harbor
http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/events/wwii-pac/pear...
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 02:04 AM
Response to Reply #107
108. US Fleet DEC 1941
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 02:20 AM by happyslug
Pacific Fleet:
USS Pennsylvania
USS Maryland

By January 1941
USS Tennessee
USS Colorado

Joined in January by (Transferred from Atlantic Fleet):
USS New Mexico
USS Mississippi
USS Idaho

Joined in Feb 1942:
USS Nevada

Thus by February 1942 the US Pacific Fleet was back up to the 9 Battleships it had on December 7, 1941.

In the Atlantic After Pearl you had the following (lost of the three Battleships sent to the Pacific):
USS Wyoming
USS Arkansas
USS New York
USS Texas

These were joined by the following ships (The First New Battleships built by the US since the early 1920s do to the Washington Treaty of 1921 Limitations, joining the Fleet 2-3 months after their were Commissioned):

USS Washington (Sent to England March 1942)
USS South Dakota (Commissioned March 1942)
USS Massachusetts Commissioned May 1942)
USS Alabama (Commissioned August 1942)

Starting in June 1942 the following ships were sent to the Pacific:
USS Indiana (Commissioned 30Apr42)
USS North Carolina

Starting in 1943 the USS Iowa Class would join the Fleet but only join the Pacific Fleet in early 1944 (The Iowa was kept in the Atlantic is case the German Battleship Tirpitz would break out and than to transport FDR to the Casablanca Conference, the Iowa's three sister ships would be sent to Directly to the Pacific after commissioning).

My point here is the Pacific was NOT in that bad a situation in Early 1942. The US was actually more worried about the War in the Atlantic than in the Pacific thus the US kept its most modern Battleships in the ATLANTIC even after Pearl Harbor (and kept sending most of the new Battleships to the Atlantic till the Battle of the Atlantic was won in the Summer of 1943).

While 1/2 of the Battleships in the Pacific Fleet was sunk on 7DEC1941, those losses had been replaced by February 1941. The four ships sunk on 7DEC1941, was out of 16 Battleships the US had on 7DEC1941 (and four new battleships would join the fleet within 9 months of 7Dec1941, total Battleships by August 1942 would back to 16). By 1944 the Number of battleships would increase by six, four new Iowa Class and two re-floated battleships sunk on 7DEC1941). Thus by June 1944 before the Battle of Leyte Gulf the US had 22 Battleships. THAT IS HOW LITTLE OF THE US FLEET WAS DESTROYED ON 7DEC1941. Lets not belittle the damage done by the Japanese but lets also do not make it worse that what it was. (For comparison purposes the US had 73 Carriers by 1945, but most of these were "Light Carriers" or "Escort Carriers" the later were nothing but converted freighters to carry a handful of planes for escort duties and the light Carriers had terrible armor protection compared to the Battleships and the Fleet Carriers).
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WoodrowFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:23 AM
Response to Reply #5
110. most historians say he didn't know
briefly put..

much of the information that the US intercepted about the attack wasn't decoded and translated until 1942.

much of the "evidence" used to prove FDR and Churchill "knew" comes from long-debunked faked documents put together by Holocaust-deniers, specifically transcripts supposedly taken of the questioning after the war of a German intelligence officer. As fake as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

FDR wanted to help the UK versus GERMANY and he clearly feared that a war with Japan would distract the US from Europe thus allowing a German victory. Only Berlin's blunder in declaring war on the US first prevented this.

The "FDR knew" story started on the far right and it is still a staple of that crowd's mythology. It's rejected by the overwhelming majority of professional historians as tinfoil crap not supported by the evidence.
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1932 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-24-05 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. There is no evidence he knew Pearl Harbor was coming.
No serious historian has ever substantiated that argument, and there is much evidence to the contrary.
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bobbieinok Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #8
96. during 40s+50s RW said 24/7 FDR knew abt PearlHarbor and wanted
it to happen
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Toots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #4
60. How exactly did WW II save the economy?
I believe it was the GI Bill and Government work programs that turned America around not war...War is a sinkhole drain to the economy, granted a few Bush* related companies do make money off death and destruction but society as a whole always loses. It cost money to blow things up. Wars are a tremendous drain on the treasury and most other employment except war related was shut down. Remember most things were rationed during that period especially gasoline..
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #60
68. It's fallacious to compare the economic effects of Iraq War to WW2
First off, FDR pretty much harnessed the entire industrial capacity of the US towards the making of war. This was never true of Bush, Jr. Almost everybody was asked to do something, to make certain sacrifices. Not true under Bush. The government under FDR did borrow heavily to pay for the war, but the money spent in the economy was enough to actually kick the economy itself out of the Great Depression.

Keynes was right on the point. In order to get an economy out of a recession or a depression, the best thing to do is attempt to increase aggregate demand, and that usually means investments in the people, usually in the form of social programs or tax relief for the poor and the middle class.

FDR's social programs did follow what Keynes said; however, Keynes never quantified how much spending would be required to end any particular recession/depression. FDR was correct with what he did with the social programs, but it simply wasn't enough to reverse the Great Depression. It required far more spending to increase aggregate demand, and WW2 brought about that kind of immense spending. Outside Reagan and Bush Jr., FDR is one of the largest deficit spenders.
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Frances Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #68
79. Good explanation
I was born in 1941 6 months before Pearl Harbor. When I was a little girl, people would say that FDR talked about "priming the pump." Back then most people knew that if you got some water from somewhere other than the pump and then put it in the reservoir of the pump, you could get the pump to pump water out of the ground. FDR explained that if the U.S. borrowed some money and then paid it to people to do government work, the people would buy things with the money. The factories would then hire people to produce the things they wanted to buy.
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knight_of_the_star Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #68
97. FDR's Deficit was for good reason though
Bush Jr. got us into a war of choice and Raygun blew his wad on Star Wars. FDR's deficit was to keep this country intact.
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Jeff In Milwaukee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #60
95. Two Things....
Full employment and wartime rationing. Because of the war, nearly every able-bodied American (men and women) were able to find jobs between 1941 and 1945. And because of rationing, they were earning a decent wage and spending very little of it. IIRC, there was no domestic automobile production for two years during the war, and very little civilian construction. At the wars end, there was four years worth of pent-up demand and a good deal of disposable income.
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AX10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #4
87. NO! That is right wing BULL to smear FDR with.
By repeating it, you are helping the right wing spin machine along.

FDR knew nothing about the Pearl Harbor attack ahead of time.
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SaveElmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #4
91. That Pearl Harbor accusation is simply not true...
And has been debunked numerous times. FDR did not...repeat not...have advance warning of the Pearl Harbor attack. You are repeating a right wing tin-foil talking point.
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davepc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-24-05 11:05 PM
Response to Original message
6. well some of it is true
In February 1937 FDR tried get legislation introduced in congress that would overhaul the federal judiciary. It was a complex bill, but the ultimate outcome of it, if it was passed, would been to add one justice for every judge over the age of 70. It would of swelled the supreme court to 15 justices, 6 of whom would of been appointed by Roosevelt.

And people have a problem with bush's attempts to undermine the court today by appointing people like Roberts...

Interment camps existed on US soil throughout world war II, holding Japanese Americans almost exclusively. Italian and German POW transported to the USA in some instances had more freedom then American citizens of Japanese Ancestry who were held in the camps.

The Agriculture Adjustment Act of 1933 began a massive federal subsidy and agriculture management program intended to stabilize prices. Because the law became effective after the growing season had already began, large amounts of already growing crops were destroyed to bring the agriculture output in line with what was specified by the act.
So, of the consequences of the program was that excess crops were destroyed rather then released to the open market (a infusion of crops would of disrupted the attempts to artificially manage the price of agriculture).

Roosevelt came into power in 1932, but in 1937 and 1938 the Great Depression was almost as bad as it was in the early 1930's. FDR's opponents point to this fact as proof that the New Deal was less then effective at dealing with the depression as popularly thought.
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1932 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-24-05 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. '37-38 were bad years b/c they ran a balanced budget --Morgenthau's idea
Every year up to then, the economy grew and conditions improved for working people. And it wasn't worse in '38 then it was in '32, IIRC. I think they only lost two years of growth in '38.

'38 also encouraged them to fully embrace Keynesian economics, which worked so well that FDR had a hard time convincing corporate America to gear up for the war. There was so much consumer demand, corporate America wanted to sell to the public and not the government.

There were two interesting consequences of that:

(1) After Ford (IIRC) finally promised FDR they'd start making military equipment after months of cajoling, they still waited another 2 months before they stopped making passenger cars. FDR was so pissed, he confiscated that entire 200,000 car run and turned them over to various federal departments.

(2) FDR had to give corporate America cost-plus contracts to bribe them into helping him fight the war (they weren't very patriotic). Before that, government contractors had to get their projects in under budget in order to make a profit. FDR guaranteed them a profit. It would have been nice if we stopped doing that after WW2, but we didn't, and it's a big reason defense contractors now run America.
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dorktv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 12:02 AM
Response to Reply #6
18. But you can point out that the reduction of government spending
that occured during 1936-7 caused the second recession. FDR was to interested in balancing the budget.
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1932 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #18
21. It wasn't so much that FDR wanted the balanced budget.
The problem was that he was still relatively neutral on Keynes and Morgenthau -- a Wall Streeter -- convinced him to run a balanced budget.

The down side was that it cost Democrats seats in the next Congress (and with the Southern Democrats siding with Republicans, it was tough for FDR). The upside was that it convinced everyone that Keynes worked.
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dorktv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 08:13 AM
Response to Reply #21
54. Well I can be wrong.
Balanced budgets are good for most years but not always.
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1932 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #54
56. Going into debt in order to make investments in things that produce
high returns in the future is good. During the Depression, there was tremendous waste in the form of human lives being wasted and their capabilities and industrious not getting the opportunity to contribute to the nation.

It was right to defecit spend in order to realize those capabilities and talents and industriousness.
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dorktv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #56
82. And it had the positive effect of creating the
structure that allowed for the massive economic boom that took place starting in 1939-40.
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1932 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-24-05 11:17 PM
Response to Original message
7. He did all those things in an effort to help working people
Edited on Sat Sep-24-05 11:51 PM by 1932
...except for the last claim about worsening the depression -- that's just a total misrepresentation of the facts.

From '32 to '37, FDR's policies grew the economy and improved wages for working people every year. However, FDR wasn't yet an avowed Keynesian. In '37, his Secretary of the Treasury Robert (?) Morgenthau (a Wall Streeter) talked him into running a balanced budget. Things got worse (it was called The Mini-Depression of '37). That convinced FDR to fully embrace Keynesian economics. In '38, the Republicans gained seats in Congress because of the Morgenthau plan, so it became harder for FDR to get his policies through. But what he did do (which was Keynesian) again improved the economy. FDR won four elections (three of them before there was a war). Obviously people thought he was making things better (and he was).

Regarding those other claims: during the depression, half of the US economy (or was it half of all employment? -- I can't remember) was related to agriculture. Because of bad agriculture policy, prices farmers got were depressed during the Depression (but retail prices weren't). FDR's strategy was to get farmers and farm workers more income (which apparently came out of the profit that retailers got). That's the essence of Keynes: get the money down to the first person in the chain (usually a working class person), rather than the last (usually a large corporation). To reduce the oversupply of farm products, paying people not to produce was one of the strategies. It worked. There's no doubt about that. It got farmers and workers more money and didn't cause retail price inflation.

Internment camps -- that was fucked up. I'm not going to try to defend that, or the show trial of the fifth columnists (is that what they were called?).

The Supreme Court: I can defend that enthusiastically. That court was stacked with nine pro-corporate anti-democratic stooges with life tenure who were an anchor to a past, and that wasn't working for America. You got to be proud of FDR for trying to do right by the people by getting decent patriots who cared about the working men and women on that court.

There is probably no other president who both cared about how Americans ACTUALLY LIVED THEIR LIVES and then DID WHAT WAS NECESSARY TO MAKE THEIR LIVES BETTER no matter how much resistance he got from the powerful.

For more information about FDR's economic programs, I recommend the 100-150 pages that cover the FDR years in Richard Parker's biography of John Kenneth Galbraith.
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nickshepDEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-24-05 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. Thank you. Very insightful post.
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1932 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-24-05 11:49 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. I aim to please.
Actually, I aim to inform.

You're lucky. I just read that stuff about three weeks ago. Another week and I probably would have forgotten half of the details.

You know, there are so many good, informative books about progressive politics and progressive ideas. Anything you're interested in, you should just go to the library and take out a book about it.
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nickshepDEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-24-05 11:59 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Heh, I should know. I work at a library.
What book did you pull of that information from?
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1932 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 12:02 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. Richard Parker's Galbraith biography.
It's a really exciting book to read. It is packed with great reasons to be a Democrat and it really gives a great historical overview of what has been happening to America since the Roosevelt administration.
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nickshepDEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 12:03 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. Thanks. Ill check it out on monday.
:)
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1932 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. Sweet.
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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 12:29 AM
Response to Reply #7
27. Excellent post ...

Once again I wish I could nominate individual posts.

I was about to reply to this, but your response said it better than I would have.

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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 01:29 AM
Response to Reply #7
36. I bet no one would defend Bush if he named
six new justices to the Supreme Court tomorrow. No where in the Constitution does it say there should be nine. It's just agreed tradition.

I guess this is one of those issues where it just depends whose ox is being gored whether you agree with it or not.
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #36
64. Not tradition
Under the Judiciary Act of 1789 the members was set at 6.

In 1807 the number was 7

In 1837 it was increased to 9

In 1863 it was 10

Judicial Circuits Act of 1866
1866 - 9
1867 - 8
Circuit Judges Act of 1869
1869 - 9
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Traveling_Home Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-24-05 11:29 PM
Response to Original message
9. More
Edited on Sat Sep-24-05 11:30 PM by Traveling_Home
Wasn't there something posted recently about FDR going to the Supreme Court about the WPA against having to follow some fair wage standard of Labor Unions.

Something similar to what B* did for wages against the Union Standard Requirements for jobs under a Federal Contract.
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1932 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-24-05 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. I have a hard time believing that's true since the point of the WPA
was to get money to working people.

Was there even a minimum wage then?

I'm sure even if this is true on the surface, there's a complicated truth that contradicts the appearance.
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Traveling_Home Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 12:39 AM
Response to Reply #11
28. Davis-Bacon Act
I found the basics.

He suspended the Davis-Bacon Act (like B* with FEMA recently) in order not to have to pay union wages on Federal Contracts to get the WPA going. Unions didn't like it cause it undercut their pay scales. Went to SCOTUS.

Being another polio survivor, he's one of my heroes.
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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 01:00 AM
Response to Reply #28
32. Ah, okay ...
The circumstances in this were a bit different and not "like Bush" with reconstruction contracts.

Shrub is over-riding Davis-Bacon in order to further enrich companies seeking business opportunities in the devastated region. (It's the neo-con "pure capitalism" philosophy at work.) Or, as he puts it, he's trying to make sure those companies (it's about the companies) that go in and do the reconstruction can do so at as low a cost as possible.

FDR was trying to put people work who had no work and couldn't get work at a time when the recently set minimum wage could actually support an individual and a small family. His battle with unions in this area was actually about getting more people employed with a living wage rather than a few people employed at well above a living wage with countless others unable to find work at all.

One could argue the merits of this. My only point would be that the focus of the Presidents in each individual case was different. FDR was focused on employing as many workers as possible. Bush is focused on corporate profits.
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1932 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 01:22 AM
Original message
FDR significantly increased the Fed Gov's economic activity.
It went from something like 5% to 40% of all construction/building activity in America.

It's very possible that Davis-Bacon set a very high wage level that was then used as pork for well-connected people, and when FDR wanted to vastly expand the number of people working on federal projects, they needed to lower that wage to something realistic. I'm totally guessing here.

Anyway, I suspect that your analysis is right on target.
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Traveling_Home Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 04:05 AM
Response to Original message
53. Uhh OK
My point was simply that FDR had found it necessary to suspend the Bacon-Davis Act in the face of Union Opposition and (I believe won at the Supreme Court level). This had implications related both to his attempts to "pack" the court (supposedly because they were always striking down his New Deal programs to which this would be an exception) and to his support for Labor. The whys I'll leave to others to better historians.

The other two Presidents that suspended the Act were Nix*('71?) and B*.

None of the above statements imply that since FDR did it, it was ok for N* and/or B* to have done so or vice versa.

FDR's suspension of the Act was simply a fact to include on the original list that the thread creator put together of oddities of FDR administration.

I personally like Hugh Gallagher's "Splendid Deception" for some deep insights into FDR character and struggle with his disability in the political world of that time.
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1932 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 08:24 AM
Response to Reply #53
57. Yeah. And my point is that sometimes black and white facts don't
give you the full story, and when you hear the truth it betrays the impressions created by the black and white facts, which I think is the case with some of the other "oddities" in that last. Ie, they aren't so odd when you year them in context.
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Traveling_Home Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 10:52 AM
Response to Reply #57
65. Black and White or White and Black
Edited on Sun Sep-25-05 10:55 AM by Traveling_Home
You said

"give you the full story, and when you hear the truth it betrays the impressions created by the black and white facts, which I think is the case with some of the other "oddities" in that last. Ie, they aren't so odd when you year them in context."
-------------------------------------

But I figure a good place to start is by hunting first for the "black and white facts" - then if people want they can go out and find more detailed information and decide the context for themselves. To give folk simply an editorial comment with out the "black and white facts" doesn't provide any tools for folks to decide for themselves what are "oddities" in what context.

Originally there were denials of the basic facts about FDR and suspending the Davis-Bacon Act. Not a good place to start for "the truth"

Regarding the context, there are shadings of interpretations made I agree with - I think that while the Labor Unions today might accept the analysis of B*'s reason to start suspend the act, I sincerely doubt that the Labor Unions in FDR's time would accept that his actions were for the good of all workers. For the Unions to agree with that analysis would mean that they were the bad guys for trying to stop him from suspending Davis-Bacon Either Labor was right (as they maintained) or FDR was right (as he maintained) . Both thought they were right and that the other was wrong. Black and white fact.


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1932 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #65
66. So what was the actual context?
I and others have provided the context for some of those claims in the OP (and remember, these are responses to a conservative trying to use out of context claims in order to misrepresent reality). I that context paints a very different picture of those claims, I believe.

That last paragraph of yours in the previous post is still just an opinion. It's not context.

What was the actual context?
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Traveling_Home Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #66
69. Context
Fiirst my original post was to ask for help in remembering the detail and the name of the act that both FDR and B* had suspended i the face of Labor opposition. Thats all. If I couldn't remember the name, I'm hardly the one to look to for more then basic facts. Better knowledgable folk here (you included) and better historians elsewhere.

I'm much better at trying to find simple facts and much less confident in my interpretations. With that warning so that you understand I make no claims to expertise and little claim to the knowledge of facts of the suit that ended up at SCOTUS, since you asked....

I'm not sure it's opinion to say FDR thought he was right and that Labor was wrong. In trying to stop FDR from suspending Davis-Bacon, I also think it's pretty safe to say Labor thought they were right and that FDR was wrong. I can accept it though if that is the basis for your statement that my last paragraph in my previous post was just interpretation and analysis and not the "facts".

Here's my very simplistic analysis.

As most others (you too I think) have said it was FDR's job to look at the overall national picture; in doing so he believed that Davis-Bacon would hinder his plan to use the WPA to help the country out of the deppression.

The job of the Labor Unions was to protect the interest of their membership in maintaining a wage base. They believed that this would in the long run benefit the nation's workers more. Both thought they were right and the other wrong. Labor tried to get SCOTUS to determine that FDR couldn't suspend Davis-Bacon. SCOTUS said he could.

I tend to think FDR was correct but find no fault with Labors protecting their interests.

That's the best I can do for my simplistic opinion. I'm sure there was lot more behind Labor vs FDR, but that's about the limit of my interest and knowledge.

Again, my original point was simply to try and recall the name and action taking by FDR which I thought an oddity worthy of the list spouted by the original poster. Prior to B* suspending Davis-Bacon also, I had not heard of FDR's action when he also suspended Davis-Bacon. I presumed many others also hadn't heard of it.

I don't think we disagree, except maybe on my limited knowledge of the context. I am only a bare amateur at history of the Depression.
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1932 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #69
72. google can be an amature historian's friend:
I don't think labor objected to FDR strengthening Davis-Bacon (or having to suspend the act for two weeks in the process of clarifying a vague law).


April 30, 1935: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Davis-Bacon Act applying prevailing wages to Federal projects.

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/byday/fhbd0430.htm

At the national level, the Davis-Bacon Act, passed in 1931, required payment of
prevailing wages on federally financed construction projects. However, the original
language of the law was vague, and prevailing wages generally were not determined
before the acceptance of bids. In 1935, President Roosevelt signed clarifying
amendments to the act, which became the basis of the current Davis-Bacon Act.

http://www.smacna.org/prevailing_wage_laws.pdf


" For the record, Mr. Roosevelt suspended it for two weeks in 1934, to make time to clear up contradictions between it and another law. ".

http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/09/1766332.php

A Shameful Proclamation - New York Times
Without the law, called the Davis-Bacon Act, contractors will be able to pay less, ... For the record, Mr. Roosevelt suspended it for two weeks in 1934, ...
www.nytimes.com/2005/09/10/ opinion/10sat2.html?incamp=article_popular

President Roosevelt suspended the Act in 1934 in order to deal with administrative adjustments with regards to the New Deal, for example.

http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:v6_JqaccKisJ:www.tal...

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Traveling_Home Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #72
74. Google, could ya
You're right about google. In fact I googled to find out the name of Davis-Bacon to begin with when I couldn;t remember the Act.

None of the cases shown would have ended up in a suit by Labor against the FDR administration that ended up in the Supreme Court.

It was to that in particular that I was thinking of in our discussion of FDR and Labor. If you have time (and still have the interest), could you see if you can find a reference XXXX v. XXXX. The situation I was remembering was not a temporary situation but rather an action by FDR that Labor tried to have overturned. I'll have time later today, but by then I'm sure today's news, if not the NFL, well have overwhelmed most peoples interest (probably incl yours and mine) in FDR and Labor.

Just like the police, where's a good labor lawyer when ya need 'em? Could probably do a Lexis in no time ;-)
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1932 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #74
76. Nope. Can't find any SCt cases from Roosevelt Era
challenging Davis Bacon Act, or its suspension.

http://neuro.law.cornell.edu/supct/search/search.html

Since FDR suspended a week version only for administrative reasons for two weeks, it's unlikely that it would have generated much litigation by labor.
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Traveling_Home Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #76
77. Another one ......
Not only did B*, Nix*, and FDR suspend Davis-Bacon but so did B* the first.

So 4 presidents seem to have suspended Davis-Bacon, Google gets particular sometimes with how ya ask things - this time they found another Pres.

"The provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act were suspended by President Bush in South Florida, coastal Louisiana, and Hawaii in October, 1992, following Hurricanes Andrew and Iniki. These emergency waivers were granted in order to expedite the clean up efforts in those areas. Bush's policy of suspending Davis-Bacon in the hurricane-damaged areas was reversed by President Clinton upon entering office."

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1932 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #77
80. And Clinton reversed Bush I as soon as he was elected.
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Traveling_Home Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #80
81. Like I said - Right?
"Bush's policy of suspending Davis-Bacon in the hurricane-damaged areas was reversed by President Clinton upon entering office."

Ya must have missed that part of my last post.

Now what was the context? I wasn't aware of that B* had even suspended it prior to my that last google. Do you know what B* said when suspending or what Pres. Clinton said as his reason for lifting the suspension. I can presume based on my prejudices in both cases but what did they say versus what I would opine?
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AlGore-08.com Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 02:58 AM
Response to Reply #11
109. FDR's NRA is responsible for the national minimum wage
The National Recovery Act of 1933 set the first minimum wage, but the SCOTUS declared the NRA unconstitutional in 1935. (In response, FDR proposed increasing the size of the SCOTUS.) The minimum wage was re-established under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 12:42 AM
Response to Reply #9
30. Uh, no?
Edited on Sun Sep-25-05 12:44 AM by RoyGBiv
Perhaps "something" was posted about it, but I'd need to see the details to know whether it made any sense or not.

The "some fair wage standard" was The Fair Labor Standards Act, which was put into place a year before the WPA and established a minimum wage and maximum hours policy. Those employed by the WPA were so employed using standards that conformed to the FLSA as far as I know.

FDR's main battle involving the WPA was whether the federal government had the authority to do this. It was wrapped up in the anti-socialism, pro-corporate position of the right-wingers of the day. The TVA, WPA, etc. were all attacked not on the merits of the program, but whether they were too "commie" in nature to be allowed in a "free society." And this further extended the debate over the nature of the role of the federal government in the economic affairs of the nation.

I have seen some commentary suggesting that the WPA and FSLA actually lowered the standard of living and destroyed our freedoms, but only in modern right-wing literature.

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Kukesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 09:30 AM
Response to Reply #30
61. Well put, Roy, well put. n/t
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Traveling_Home Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #61
67. But wrong
My fault. Nice write up but the issue at hand was the Davis-Bacon Act that he suspending, as B* also has done, though for VERY different reasons at VERY different times. Nix* also suspended Davis-Bacon for VERY different reasons at a VERY different time. These were the only three Presidents that have done so to the best of my limited research. Sorry I wasn't sure of the name of the Act and context of FDR's action in my original post leading to your analysis of a different issue.

Knowing FDR suspended Davis-Bacon in the face of serious opposition from Labor shows his strength of character and willingness to fight for what he saw as best for this country. Agreeing on the facts can then let people argue over whether he was right or labor was right. Their disagreement diminishes NEITHER.
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1932 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #67
73. What serious opposition by labor?
He suspended the '31 act (which was vaguely written) in order to transition to pro-labor New Deal programs, and then he passed a strengthened version in '35.

He suspended it for administrative reasons, and I can't find any indication that labor opposed the decision.
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Traveling_Home Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #73
75. Post to ya in our other line
A case of FDR versus Labor ending up at Scotus is the case I was referring to. That would certainly be strong Labor opposition. See our other discussion line for my help request.

Thanks
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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #75
84. Cite the case ...

This has all gone round and round a bit based on a rather too-kindly attempt by some of us to guess at what you were suggesting without asking for your own evidence.

I've got my books handy now and have been browsing through the various SC cases that relevant to various FDR policies. I cannot find one that relates to Davis-Bacon at all directly, much less one suggesting organized labor had instituted the case *against* the FDR administration. I can, however, find a number of cases related to New Deal policies that were friendly to, if not outright copies of, demands organized labor had been pushing for years. In those cases, organized labor was siding with the administration.

So, if this case exists, what is it? I might not be looking in the right place, and my knowledge of this era sometimes requires a little push for the memory cells to wake up.

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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #67
85. Not exactly wrong ...

I simply wasn't able to guess what, precisely, your reference was. I still don't know exactly, just that you weren't referring to the FLSA.

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TheVirginian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-24-05 11:38 PM
Response to Original message
13. Well...
The first two are undeniable. The third is an unintended consequence. The fourth is a matter of economic opinion, and quickly turns into an ideological debate on the merits of FDR's policies.

I would hope if this man was your hero, you would have a cursory knowledge of his presidency.
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Hidden Stillness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 12:10 AM
Response to Original message
23. Roosevelt Saved This Country--A Few Answers
The Supreme Court had already been packed by Republicans (which they never mention), and Roosevelt was trying to fight off the dismantling of the New Deal by putting good people on the Court before the legal challenges that were coming by then, 1937, etc. It was stopped and sure enough, much of the best legislation of the New Deal, such as the National Recovery Administration, was killed. Roosevelt trying to negate the earlier Republican Court-packing was a good thing; I don't know why people on this website pretend otherwise.

Farmers, then as now, were underpaid by distributors for their crops, and then as now, overproduced to try to make money. Of course, this only kept prices down, as there was a glut on the market. To solve this, Roosevelt paid them to let part of their fields go, and not plant commercial crops, thus regulating prices. It worked, and was a lifesaving subsidy for farm families until Republicans recently killed it on behalf of agribusiness. Contrast this with the European way of helping their farmers make a profit, which was to grow crops, then dump them cheaply onto Third World markets, where THEIR farmers then could not sell their crops, making an increasing problem. FDR's way worked better; it was the least problematic.

The holding of Japanese-Americans in internment camps, I will only answer this way: Japan also held Americans and Canadians in not only internment camps, but death camps just like the Nazis; the Japanese army was one of the most brutal of modern times, kidnapped women and held them as raped slaves (no restitution, no matter how many times the cases are filed, unlike the U.S., which paid restitution for the internment camps), and even wiped an entire country right off the map, Manchuria, committing genocide. The internment camps here were terrible, but this was terrible too, yet no one ever mentions it.
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T Town Jake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #23
25. "I don't know why people on this website pretend otherwise"
Answer: because we can READ.
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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 01:25 AM
Response to Reply #23
35. I don't understand you
comparing the Japanese holding Americans in camps (Empire of the Sun) with us holding American citizens of Japanese ancestry in camps?

What do the two things have to do with the other?

For instance, US guards tortured Iraqi prisoners, but Insurgents sawed the heads off of their prisoners.

Is this supposed to make us feel any better about the torture that went on? I don't see any connection at all. What they did to their hostages shouldn't have influenced how we treated our prisoners, should it have?

Same thing in WWII. Whatever the Japapnese did to their prisoners should not have influenced how we treated our own citizens, should it?
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Andromeda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 02:21 AM
Response to Reply #23
49. In my opinion, FDR held the Japanese in...
internment camps during WWII not only for security reasons but for their own protection. That didn't make it right, but this was over 60 years ago and we had a different kind of society then. The U.S. was isolationist at that time and all foreigners were viewed with suspicion (things haven't changed too much, I guess.)

What you say is true about the Japanese death camps. Unit 731 in Manchuria was opened as a "research" center where Japanese scientists did human experiments on Chinese citizens. American POWs, Canadians and citizens from other countries were also brought to this chamber of horrors to test the effects of bubonic plague, typhoid and other diseases much like the Nazis did.

The man who was responsible for the death camp was a wealthy Japanese military man who had no regard for the human suffering he inflicted on the Chinese. To this day Japan has never acknowledged what they did, nor have they ever apologized to the Chinese.

I'm doing this off the top of my head right now so I'm going to have to look up this guy's name.

This genocide was possibly as bad as the Holocaust but has been covered up BY OUR OWN GOVERNMENT when our scientists got detailed records on the human experiments the Japanese scientists did in exchange for not prosecuting them for war crimes.

The U.S. also took a hit from one of the air balloons full of plague germs the Japanese scientists released over the Pacific Ocean (during WWII) when one landed during a church picnic at Bly, Oregon, killing several adults and children. Most of the other balloons released exploded before they got to the U.S.




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dorktv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #23
55. The National Recovery Agency was godawful.
Most economic analysists I have seen point out that it hindered rather then helped.
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Hidden Stillness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 09:20 AM
Response to Reply #55
59. The National Recovery Administration, However, Was Great
If you are reading "economic analysts" who are calling the NRA the National Recovery "Agency," then you need to get yourself some new "analysts." The National Recovery Administration was the first attempt to regulate wages, hours worked, and price freezes for emergencies (I am old enough to remember Richard Nixon freezing prices on eggs and dairy products twice during the early '70s, and so that measure was still used that late). Because it was a code drawn up by industries and trade associations, it was the first time ever that unions were present in many workplaces--a huge achievment all on its own--and the right of collective bargaining was started here. The whole idea was to regulate fair competition and treatment of workers. There were later lawsuits against it (but always, oddly enough, by big business), and it was eventually killed (1937 if I remember correctly) by a packed Republican Supreme Court, on the grounds that it violated states' rights, basically. It was a tragedy that it was destroyed; capitalism needs to be regulated like a straightjacket.
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dorktv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #59
83. More like I am half asleep because I stayed up all night.
As for regulation, it should be done but periodically reviewed to make sure it is not being wasteful.
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-05 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #23
104. Republican court packing?
With the exception of Woodrow Wilson, the GOP had the presidency for 12 years before FDR and another 16 before that. It's not exactly shocking that the Court had a conservative bent. In FDR's years he was able to appoint 8 justices to the SCOTUS. I would hardly call that packing the Court as it implies some extra-legal manuveuring.

And the Court wasn't all conservatives, it had 2 moderates and 3 liberals. There were 3 strikedowns of New Deal legislation which were unaminous but alot of decisions were 5-4 deals(including later ones upholding the Court).

The thing that was so surprising about all of this was that the Court had hardly ever struck down legislation before.

What ended up happening is FDR's bill stalled and the Court gave his New Deal programs a little more leeway (including a switch of sides in many New Deal cases by one of the consevrative justices).

One interesting aspect is this was the attack on the "old men" running the Court(most of which was 70+). I found it a bit odd that some like FDR who did everything he could to prove his vitality even with polio would attack someone based on their age. But that's the thing about people, they are much more complex than their caricatures.

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T Town Jake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 12:19 AM
Response to Original message
24. The last charge is false...
...the first three, alas, are all too true.

You might start with: "Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom," by Conrad Black.
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Hidden Stillness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 12:27 AM
Response to Reply #24
26. Unbelievable...
Conrad Black is the Canadian capitalist who just bought (even though you aren't supposed to) a title as a British "Lord," renouncing Canadian citizenship to pursue this vain act, and is also under indictment for embezzling millions of dollars from Black's publishing etc. corporation. That is your source??
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T Town Jake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 12:41 AM
Response to Reply #26
29. Funny how that works: a question is asked, and answers are given...
...I don't know anything much regarding your dribbling hysterics about "capitalist" Conrad Black, or any of that - and wouldn't care if I did. One can be a knave, and still compose excellent historical tomes.

I do know that the Conrad Black in question wrote a damn good biography of FDR; one I recommend to ALL historical illiterates about the Great Depression/World War Two, such as your self-confessed self, I run across as an opening primer.

Get back to me after you've figured out you're so smart you know longer need to come onto the forum and ask questions such as the one you promulgated in your OP.

Thanks.
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Hidden Stillness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #29
31. Relax
Conrad Black is a near-fascist who publishes the "National Post" in Canada, about whom I've been hearing for years on Canadian media, is an embezzler under indictment, and like so many archconservative rich capitalists, hates the Roosevelts, and Kennedys, as "traitors to their class." The book you love, I recall getting panned by critics. I knew you would only get hysterical and attack me personally when your source was exposed, and you did. Good-bye.
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T Town Jake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 01:07 AM
Response to Reply #31
33. And the laughs keep right on rolling off of your keyboard...
...and onto my computer screen.

Must have an alternate universe thingy going on: the Conrad Black that wrote the FDR biography I'm talking about had little but critical praise, and in the sincerest sense, for President Roosevelt. Lemme guess...you never read it? Right?

Ah-ha...

"Good-bye," indeed. The willfully ignorant never interest intelligent folks much, I'm sorry to report...
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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 01:22 AM
Response to Reply #31
34. Small point ...
I know vaguely of Black's personal problems, but not enough to comment. Regardless, his book on FDR is a separate issue.

Conrad Black does not hate FDR, or if he does, you could not tell it from his book. His biography of him has a few issues, making much too much of various personal anecdotes from secondary sources that supposedly support such things as a "tendency" to conceal weaknesses, but overall the conclusion of this bio is that FDR was, in fact, a "champion of freedom" who quite probably helped save the entire world from utter destruction, saved "capitalism from the capitalists," and that FDR belongs in a class of US Presidents otherwise populated only by Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. Hard to get "hate" out of that.

That said, it's not really a good biography from an analytical point of view. It's a pop history synthesis of a vast amount of historical scholarship and as such certainly has value. But, from a critical perspective, historians would "pan" it simply because it is nothing new.

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T Town Jake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 01:36 AM
Response to Reply #34
37. Thank you. I agree entirely. That is why I suggested it as an...
..."opening primer" in the post above, as opposed to a definitive work.

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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 01:55 AM
Response to Reply #37
46. It's certainly that ...

I'd definitely recommend it. It's actually a very good synthesis, and that is often very hard to accomplish well when so many varied modern opinions exist on the subject. Some critics don't like that he offers personal opinion. I thought that was a bonus. I'm rather bored with the so-called disinterested researcher. The disinterested historian doesn't exist and never has.

I got curious about this and looked for some criticism because I hadn't read anything heavily critical of Black's book except from historians who, as noted, criticized the book for not offering anything new. I found it interesting to note that some of the harshest criticism comes from the British, who seem to believe Black has comitted some sort of offense by apparently concluding that FDR was a better leader than Churchill. One I ran accross actually accused Black of being a traitor to his title by offering such a suggestion, which I found ironic given the context of this sub-thread. In contrast, one critic made a point of noting that Black argued FDR was a better "statesman" than Churchill but that the latter was probably a better "person." Being a good statesman, in this cricitique, involved having an ability to lie well in support of a good cause.

Anyway ...

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T Town Jake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 02:23 AM
Response to Reply #46
50. "The disinterested historian doesn't exist and never has"...
...that statement should be chiseled in marble above the entrance of every college of history on the campus of every University in the Western World - and beyond.

It is precisely right.

If I knew your bartender, I'd tell him to set you up with a round of drinks on me. As it is, you'll have to settle for this:

:beer: :beer: :beer: :beer: :beer: :beer: :beer: :beer: :beer:

:toast:

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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 02:44 AM
Response to Reply #50
52. I'll take it!
Edited on Sun Sep-25-05 02:52 AM by RoyGBiv
:toast:

But, I should say I owe that to the head of my department in college. (He was friends with Bill Moyers, a fact of which I was always envious.) IIRC, what he said one day was something like "Any historian who tells you he or she doesn't care about or have an opinion on the subject is either lying or incompetent."

Another of my favorites was, "I'm tired of people being stupid in front of me," referring to a congressional subcommittee for which he testified that took all his comments out of context and recommended a course of action completely opposed to what he had actually recommended.

He was a self described cantankerous old fart who was full of good comments like these. Only had one class with him, but learned more from talking to him in the halls and at other odd times about being a historian than in all my other classes combined.

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sadiesworld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 01:43 AM
Response to Reply #34
38. The neo-cons have been attempting to co-opt and distort
FDR's legacy for some now. It seems insane to think that *'s oily adventures could ever be compared to WWII, but that is the hope.
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T Town Jake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 02:05 AM
Response to Reply #38
47. Well now, it's fascinating you said that...
Edited on Sun Sep-25-05 02:12 AM by T Town Jake
because if you study history, and I mean in the critical sense, long enough you find out that there's no new political arguments under the Sun, if I may paraphrase the OT writer.

FDR came in for a shitstorm of criticism for what his (then) GOP critics claimed were his ruinous economic policies at home and global adventures abroad. That they were wrong in that time and that place with those global circumstances is no bar to us saying that the current occupant of FDR's former digs is right in any sense: it simply is what it is. Which is to say: horseshit, in my estimation.

And that, at the end of the day, is the true value of considered, scholarly history: it tends to resolve such matters to a general consensus years removed from the passions and clamors of the time.

For instance, I happen to believe that we have a Hoover + Nixon in the making with the current administration - and vote and speak accordingly in my time.

But HISTORY, that beautiful goddess of such currents, will be the final arbiter. And, convinced as I am of my beliefs, I nevertheless say: that's as it should be.

On edit: spelled the word "adventures" right.
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-05 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #24
106. Have you ever read "Roosevelt's Secret War"?
Its a very interesting take on the beginnings of US intelligence and how little formal apparatus we had prior to WW2.

It leaves the "Did FDR know" question partially unsettled (the author thinks not)but has a lot of info dealing with what the US did and did not know prior to Pearl Harbor.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/037576126...
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Andromeda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 01:48 AM
Response to Original message
39. FDR probably did attempt to pack the court...
but no more so than other presidents. He did put Japanese citizens in internment camps.

Some historians speculate that he knew Pearl Harbor was going to happen but it's never been proven.
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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 02:16 AM
Response to Reply #39
48. No more so than other presidents?
He didn't replace retiring or dead justices. He just added six more to the court. What other presidents did that?
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Andromeda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 02:36 AM
Response to Reply #48
51. You misunderstood what I meant...
Edited on Sun Sep-25-05 02:45 AM by Andromeda
I know he added more Justices and whether they didn't die or retire before he did that is beside the point.

Bush is trying to pack, or stack the court with conservative judges just as Reagan did. What I don't know is how many he could legally put on the SCOTUS.

That's the context I was using the word "pack" in.
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TheVirginian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 09:06 AM
Response to Reply #51
58. That's not "packing", that's "appointing".
Like it or not, appointing Justices to the SCOTUS is a perk of winning elections. FDR didn't wait for vacancies to come up to appoint people to the Court, he wanted to increase the number of justices for the sole purpose of nominating judges who would give him a majority on the Court.
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-05 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #51
105. Packing gives of a negative connotation though....
...FDR wanted to increase the size of the Court so he could appoint Justices more to his liking. That is packing the Court. It was not illegal but was not received warmly.

FDR's legislation for increasing the Court size died, I don't even think it was voted on the floor.

He also ended up appointing 8 Justices during his terms in office.

This did change the makeup of the Court but it could hardly be called "packing" more like going through with one's Constitutional duties.

Bush is not packing the Court. He is changing the balance through Constitutional means. We may not like his appointments but he's not "packing" the Court.
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #39
71. Pearl Harbor ended being a blessing in disguise.
Let's say we had stopped the Japanese somehow and destroyed their fleet before it could attack Pearl Harbor. What would have happened is that we would have appeared much stronger than everyone thought and Germany would not have declared war on us, meaning that we would have been stuck fighting Japan. There was a great fear as it was that we would not get a chance to fight the Nazis immediately after Pearl Harbor, but luckily Hitler was a lunatic and declared war on us anyway. However, if he saw the Americans thwart the Japanese from the get go, he would have been very hesitant to declare war on the US leaving the US in a position where it could not help Britain and Russia against Germany.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 01:49 AM
Response to Original message
40. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Contrary1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 01:51 AM
Response to Reply #40
41. "Semms" to me you should enlist.
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VolcanoJen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 01:52 AM
Response to Reply #40
42. Behold the Mighty Racist behooven to the Power of the Clenis!!
You're busy tonight, aren't you?

:popcorn:
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Contrary1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 01:53 AM
Response to Reply #42
43. It's typing as fast as it can.
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Crazy Guggenheim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 01:54 AM
Response to Reply #42
45. He's busy when he should be in Iraq!
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Crazy Guggenheim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 01:53 AM
Response to Reply #40
44. Hey Freeper. Go get some Oxycontin!
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Lone_Wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 10:00 AM
Response to Original message
62. You can't win playing defense...
Focus on why Bush is trying to dismantle FDR's programs. Bush's social policies are designed for one thing: cheap labor for corporations. Every single one of Bush's domestic policies are designed to make people desperate. The key point is people will work for less if they are desperate and over a barrel.

Dismantle social security will only force people to work longer for less money.
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AX10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #62
88. Right On!
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
70. Unemployment was halved in his first two terms.
Edited on Sun Sep-25-05 11:37 AM by Zynx
It went from 25% in 1933 to a little over 12% in 1940. That's not a worsening of the Depression. Also, got GDP back to its old highs by 1940.

In short, their economic charge is bullshit.
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Zero Division Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 12:59 PM
Response to Original message
78. Some helpful links found here:
(Sources found at the bottom of the Timelines page)

http://home.att.net/~Resurgence/THE_GREAT_DEPRESSION.ht...
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
89. The greatest presidents also did some of the worst things
Lincoln also illegally tried to suspend habeas corpus and some other questionable unconstitutional things.

Raygun was responsible for Iran-Contra

Does that mean that the freeptards don't always tie themselves to these two men?
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-05 12:52 AM
Response to Reply #89
99. Raygun was hardly a "great" president.
An alzheimered old has been actor is more like it.

He was FAR from a great president.

He will be remembered near the bottom of the pack.

Iran-Contra was only the most visible corruption.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-05 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #99
101. Oh I agree completely
But there's a lot of people who idolize him.
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SaveElmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-05 06:21 PM
Response to Original message
90. Yeah these are true...though
The destruction of crops was designed to aid the economy. The Government, for a fairly brief time destroyed surplus crops and livestoack, and paid farmers not to cultivate land. This was done to raise the price of farm goods which were at a dangerously low level. Farmers were losing their farms in droves. Simply giving the food away would have made the situation worse, with more farmers going out of business. Harsh, but not an unreasonable measure at the time.

The great stain on FDR's administration was the internment of Japanese Americans. FDR took bad advice, and there is no excuse for that action.

As to the last charge that is simply not true. FDR's economic policies saved millions of people from starvation, and while they did not bring back prosperity, they did reverse the slide that was taking place, and set the conditions for the recovery of the country.

He did take a stab at packing the court. Stupid politically, but hardly an earth shattering event.

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bobbieinok Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 09:28 PM
Response to Original message
98. sometimes DU is a great place to learn...this thread is a winner with few
disruptors or personal attacks

bookmarking and thanking everyone....and original poster for creating an opportunity for a good discussion and primo learning
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-05 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #98
100. I heartly concurr.
I learned and RE learned alot.
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Dark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-05 05:39 PM
Response to Original message
103. "If you don't like FDR's economic policy, then give your SS checks back."
"Destructed crops"? Tell him to go back to the first grade. And take history while he's there.



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WoodrowFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:44 AM
Response to Original message
111. maybe I can help
I'm a historian with a specialty in 20th Century US political and diplomatic history.

1. FDR tried to pack the Supreme Court. True, he wanted to increase the size of the Court allowing some younger justices. Congress (which was overwhelmingly Democratic) refused and he backed down. He was wrong and he admitted it later (If I remember correctly).

2. internment camps. Well yes, the Japanese from the Western states. It was not illegal, however, and the Republicans certainly were not putting up a fight about it. Clearly a blot on FDR's record. He followed bad advice and screwed up. Given that this is normally recognized as an anwful part of US history, I wonder why so many on the RW now want to repeat it with Muslims? (See, Malkin, Michelle)

3. Actually many farmers were already destroying their crops as a protest to extremely low prices. Farm prices had been falling since 1920 and as part of an effort to bring relief to farmers the government paid farmers to not grow more than X amount. This sometimes meant farmers killed livestock or plowed under some of their crops. People were NOT going hungry because of this but because of unemployment. If you're broke even cheap food is un-affordable.

4. Ugh. I never understood the argument that "the New Deal didn't end the Depression, World War II did." World War II spending was New Deal spending writ large. Both provided employment on the government's budget and both had massive public works projects. The difference were a) one was civilian spending (schools, roads, parks) one was military (tanks, ships, guns,) and b) World War II spent a hell of a lot more! If anything, the fact that World War II ended the Depression shows that FDR was absolutely right but that he didn't go far enough. He should, in fact, have spent MORE to end the Depression from 1933-1939.

FYI, the recession of 1937 was created when FDR tried to scale back spending. The US tried the Republican method from October 1929 to March 1933 and guess what, the Depression got worse every year!


this wa sjust off the top of my head but I hope it helps some. May I reccomend a book? Alonzo Hamby's "For the Survival of Democracy" is wonderful. It's not uncritical of FDR but it will provide all the context you need to counter attacks on FDR and the New Deal.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/068484340...
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