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Th1onein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:14 AM
Original message
This sounds eerily familiar!
Hoover easily won the 1928 Republican nomination for President. His platform rejected farm subsidies, supported prohibition, and pledged lower taxes and more of the same prosperity Americans had been enjoying in the Coolidge years. Opposing him was Democrat Al Smith of New York, a Catholic who was against Prohibition and whose career had been molded by the Tammany Hall political machine in New York. Smith never had a chance. Protestant preachers in rural America warned their congregations that a vote for "Al-coholic" Smith was a vote for the devil. Smith failed to carry his own state of New York, and Hoover swept the election.

In keeping with the pro-business philosophy of the era, Hoover's cabinet looked like a corporate gentlemen's club and included six millionaires. In Hoover's view, the marriage of private enterprise with science and technology would end poverty and usher in a new humane social order. Government programs, in Hoover's opinion, were obstacles to this goal; therefore, he vigorously strove to reduce taxes on corporations in order to stimulate growth and free the economy from government influence....


While Republicans and Democrats alike began to plead with Hoover for federal relief, his newly formed Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) was secretly channeling millions of dollars a day as handouts to business. He vetoed one relief bill after the next, waiting for his "corporate welfare" program to work. In the public eye he seemed uncaring, unwilling to admit that people were starving and that his ideas were failing. In the summer of 1932, he lost significant public support when he called in General Douglas MacArthur to drive out the frightened, angry, and desperate protesters who were camped on the capital lawns. MacArthur was brutal, using cavalry, tanks, and bayonet-bearing soldiers. In the riot that followed, U.S. soldiers clubbed women and children, tear-gassed the marchers, burned their shacks, and forcibly drove them across the Potomac.

Hoover's foreign policy decisions worsened the crisis. Against the advice of economists, Hoover passed the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act, which furthered the Great Depression by undermining the ability of foreign nations to earn American dollars by the sale of their products in the U.S. Suddenly, countries such as Germany could not afford to buy American products or pay their World War I debts. Trade walls sprang up blocking the entry of American products into Europe and Japan. In 1931, when Japan attacked Manchuria, the northernmost province of China, the U.S. could do little but issue an angry statement, since no resources were available to back up threats of war.

Though Hoover ran again in 1932, anxious to prove that his policies could work, Americans rallied around Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt and the "New Deal" he offered, a "call to arms" in a "crusade to restore America to its own people." Hoover left the White House in disgrace, suffering the public's wrath for having caused the Great Depression....A man of great vision who tried to do what he thought was right, Hoover's unbending commitment to "trickle down" economics, rather than activist government intervention in the economy, held firm at the worst possible time and doomed his presidency and the fortunes of millions. He is remembered as a tragic failure.

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laura888 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:18 AM
Response to Original message
1. great post!
funny how history repeats itself.

I also remember reading how during Hoover's reign, unemployed WWI vets camped out en masse in washington DC, trying to bring attention to their plight.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:22 AM
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2. Deja vu! (n/t)
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AwakeAtLast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:35 AM
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3. I get it!
* is cheating by using someone else's plans. I knew he couldn't be this lousy purely on his own. Couldn't he have stolen better ideas? <sigh>
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Th1onein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 12:50 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. He's not "cheating." He is not learning from history, though, and neither
are many Americans, apparently. If they had learned from history, they wouldn't be supporting him, still.
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AwakeAtLast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 01:21 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Yep, this is what makes us beat our heads against walls.
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