WIDER ROAD TO PERDITION
By Lt. Col. Joe Kress
August 9, 2014
President Hoover's inaugural address was full of aspirations and hope for his country's marvelous future, but seven months later the stock market crash of October 1929 turned his dream into a nightmare.
No one especially Hoover had any notion of how bad the GREAT DEPRESSION was to be. He had cabinet officers who were very competent and in the process o made changes to correct the oversights and serious errors of prior presidents, going back to President Wilson. Wilson's Administration designed the map for the nation to follow on the road to perdition. He bore responsibility for The Federal Reserve Act, the Income Tax and close ties with foreign interests that were in the stages preparatory for WW I. Wilson then declared along with congress the war to end all wars Hoover supported Prohibition and that was a major issue the Democrats made for its repeal, claiming it was a law that did not work. Hoover, on the other hand, called it "a great social and economic experiment, noble in motive and far reaching in purpose."
This attests to a serious political naivety. Hoover's belief in mankind born to be noble trustworthy and of clean spirit; a flaw in not fully understanding that if left to the masses and their politicians, there was simply no way stopping the flow of alcohol on the wider road; the easy road is much preferred. He also displayed naivety not to see the madness of greed overtaking investors to a point that the "Yellow-sheets" or penny stocks listings of unheard IPOS sold on the open street opposite the Wall Street and Chicago stock exchanges were really worthless, yet millions of suckers would gamble away their life savings in the hope to become wealthy, the same goal as those within the exchanges who lost their borrowed millions in the frenzy. Many former Titans of industry used Brooklyn Bridge as an escape from life.
The peak of the great depression in 1931 -32 was yet to be reached, but the public was aware of a problem more serious than any experienced heretofore.
The fact, that unemployment was rampant; food lines and soup kitchens lengthening; a growing number of hoboes were traveling in and on railroad boxcars...men who left their families to find a job, any job... going to the backdoors of homes to receive a sandwich in exchange for yard work was common-place. These were honorable, and many were educated men who believed in paying for whatever they received from a sympathetic housewife. It is extremely doubtful that our modern, more progressives on welfare rolls today, would be so sanguine. They may be more inclined towards rioting and thievery, given the circumstances. It was obvious that Herbert Hoover was a one term president and by 1933, the can of worms became explosive and Baby Face Nelson, Machinegun Kelly, Scar Face Al Capone, Maw Barker, her sons and John Dillinger... all killer gangsters were in the public's eye not revolting human scum, but revolutionaries against poverty, government corruption, mismanagement and the banks.
Franklyn Delano Roosevelt 1933-45
He was the only son of a wealthy railroad executive; born on the family's estate in Hyde Park, New York. He never attended a standard public school as he was growing up. He received an early education from a governess and tutors. But his education was a broad one. His mother Sarah, was 26 years younger than his father and from his birth, Roosevelt adored the woman. She dominated much in his future, including his marriage. Every year, the Roosevelt's traveled throughout Europe while Franklyn was in his early years. At 14, he enrolled in Groton, a private preparatory school. Like his cousin, Theodore, he attended Harvard University and majored in history and received a degree in three years. While at Harvard he became engaged to his distant cousin Eleanor Roosevelt and they married Mar 17, 1905.
Meanwhile, he attended law classes at Columbia University but found it as dull as Theodore did and never graduated. In August 1939, while vacationing at his family's home on Campobello Island in Canada he contacted polio and lost use of his legs.
In 1924, at the Democrat National Convention, Roosevelt rose from his wheelchair and on crutches gave the nomination speech for Al Smith, the Democrat candidate for President. In October, the New York State Convention nominated Roosevelt for Governor and although Al Smith lost, Roosevelt won in his race for governor by a small margin.
He, of course, in the presidential race won handedly. One of the first things the public became aware during his campaign to become president was that as governor of New York, he provided $20 million dollars in relief to the unemployed--the first unemployment aid by any state governor. He won the contest by a huge margin!
Roosevelt's fireside chats on Sunday radio assured the public that America would never go to war or be involved in Europe's woes, knowing that so soon after the conclusion of WW I, the nation was in no mood to enter another disastrous war. The recent one caused the deaths, serious maiming... loss of limbs and all those who survived from phosgene and mustard gas became life- long invalids. Over a million American soldiers and their families were affected. Roosevelt's smooth, articulation kenoting a definite, hereditary upper class, educated delivery in his speeches that belied the incubation plan for a major, inevitable, future conflict against Nazi Germany and the Axes powers.
There was a person who anticipated the crash of 1929 and shorted millions of dollars in stock portfolio. When the crash came, he made hundreds of millions and became one of the richest men in America. His name was Henry Morgenthau, Jr. and in 1934 became Roosevelt's cabinet Secretary of the Treasury.
Roosevelt did however, have an implacable adversary in the person of Fr. Charles Coughlin who gave radio broadcasts every Sunday afternoon from his parish located in Detroit, MI. He was the herald in the desert warning the public of surreptitious plans within the Roosevelt Administration that hid the intrigues festering in Europe that ultimately would embroil the American public in a world-wide conflagration. He also berated Roosevelt for implanting rudimentary, Marxism that tempted or bends society to communism's and national socialism's solutions.
The social security plan, where only a small contribution was deducted from wages, was a first step that contained a lack of mathematic extrapolation that ultimately would have predicted the plan as unsupportable. When more people are added, the small contributions can no longer support the demand, which means wage deductions must increase. All that was needed in the future years under the Johnson Administration was the Great Society where contributions were to be stored in a social security lock box from which politicians could borrow to support their favorable charities and make the entire program insolvent unless funds were created out of thin air. In fact, citizens were added to the social security rolls who never contributed or who never reached the authorized 62 years for qualification. The progress toward socialism inextricably proceeded along the wider road as the years pass.
Roosevelt and his cabinet were yet to consider the Fed as a solution, by printing promissory notes, the Ponzi scheme used to inflict degrees of perfidy at that time was yet to be considered for implementation. Debt was still considered legitimate based on the legality and redeemable Treasury Bonds in solidly backed currency. Eventually, the nation's debt depended on tariffs, and repayable foreign loans by our war-time allies (a pipe dream) that soon became apparent as wishful thinking.
The public, during the depression of the 30s, were savers of what little they had and honored a long held value of a solid dollar. Most homes were paid for with cash. Mortgage home loans were yet to be universally acceptable. That public at the time would have been mortified by the present total disregard for repayment obligations and unbalanced budgets of their government.
This is our 2014 society without government budgets that grew out of demands for free unearned largess; more government, less morality, less religion, less Constitutional rights; freebies for certain sections based on debt to be redeemed by other sections of the economy. Free cell phones, food stamps that can be traded as money and Medicate and Medicare funded through creation of unlimited government debt. Even contraceptives and abortion pills, available over the counter at affordable prices, are made part of the creature called Obama care and its flakey insurance policies destined to raise the un-repayable dept in 2020 to more than $40 trillion dollars. Then there is the resurrection of a new class of robber barons developed, mainly within corporations and banking interests as additional sections of government funded to cover failed mega-manufacturing and corrupt bankers that sell un-backed mortgages to gullible foreign investors.
CREATING 1933 WELFARE EMPLOYMENT, etc
The Civilian Conservation Corps Camps (CCC) to cut lumber, repair roads and replant forests by using young men under military supervision in addition to o the WPA workers were by trade skilled laborers and craftsmen who built, for example, the Empire State Building and Hoover Dam in record time and insignificant cost that 81 years later, are models of competence and ingenuity. These were major accomplishments among other construction projects by men who otherwise may have been unemployed hobos. Yet, the WPA in the eyes of the public referred to the "W.P.A. as "We Poke Along."
The National Recovery Act (NRA) was instituted as a bank holiday to stem the outward flow of deposits. That action permanently closed hundreds of small banks and caused the loss of millions of dollars deposited in savings accounts by the public, yet left the Federal Reserve's Central Banks even more prosperous, since these major members of the Federal Reserve System were rewarded by less competition from the bankrupted banks that traditionally were more forgiving of loans and easier with lending credit. Thus, the federal government's NRA facilitated higher central Bank's interest rates. Their profits and balance sheets rose significantly. Yet, those mega banks still maintained clamps on all but the most secure loans and viable borrowers until 1939. Farmers were victims losing their land to what became a monopoly of greed.
With the exception of the Works Project Administration (WPA), thousands were hired at below market wages and permitted more workers than were actually needed. Thus, was the above mentioned WPA label .
Confiscation of private gold was really government theft by edict. Failure to turn in gold resulted in extremely harsh penalties of ten years in prison and a $10,000 fine. At the time, a good salary was less than $15 to $20 per week and a movie no more than a quarter dollar, a hamburger, 10 cents.
The linking of policies to support Joe Stalin and lend lease to the communist's regime, and to "allies" like France and Great Britain, increased debt unimaginable even at that time. With all his resolutions and involvement, it wasn't 'til hope emerged in the fall of 1938 when jobs opened in plants connected with the war industry, a real vision that the end of this economic hell was ending. The farmers suffered the most because of a seven year draught in addition to losing farms due to debt, In the mid-western states Oklahoma's "Oakies" migrated in their broken down vehicles and in horse drawn carts in their trek to California. (THE GRAPES OF WRATH BY STEINBECK)
The economy was no longer on a precipice in 1939 and by 1940 there were fewer jobs wanting. It took deep debt to prepare for WWII, beginning with lend lease in the form of aircraft, ships submarines, ammunition, clothing, vital materials and food stuffs to war torn Europe and the Soviet Union. Whole industries were dedicated to making the machines of war. The draft was initiated and women volunteers were recruited to fill industrial jobs to replace men 18 years and older being trained for the battles they would face in 1941. "Rosy the Riveter" were on advertising placards.
There were victory gardens, ration stamps for shoes and stamps for tires and stamps for fuel from which an enigmatic black market emerged to exchange stamps for money and for the highest priced scarce meat, except SPAM, a non descript greasy product consumed as a meat substitute. Stamps for fuel and rare tires, silk stockings for women were the material parachutes were made and were scarce as hen's teeth. It was one of the most valued black market items.
There remained but one thing for the president to do. It had to be horrific to entice the public to make the jump into a full scale conflict. Another sinking of a warship like that of the USS Maine, even the sinking of another Lusitania wasn't enough, it had to be an open attack by one of the axis powers.
Next in Part 5,: A PLAN FOR WAR
To be continued....
� 2014 Joe Kress - All Rights