Down With the Ship

Another Titanic cartoon. Hey, we only get the centennial of the sinking once. The Ryan budget, now the official budget of the Republican Party and Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, is certainly bold. It’s also radical. Over time, it would essentially limit the federal government’s spending to defense, Medicare and Social Security, and it would drastically ┬ácut the latter two. It would further reduce tax rates, especially for the wealthy (big surprise), paying for the loss of revenue with the social safety net. The wingnuts who now dominate the Republican Party long for a fictional past where American flourished with the citizenry fending for themselves without government help, businesses and Wall Street enriched us all without any pesky regulation, and all was right with the world. The only problem with this scenario is that this country became a stable economic power only when government stepped in during the Great Depression and put in place the social safety net, regulated the financial sector and promoted a progressive tax code. After the Depression, the income inequality that created so many economic imbalances declined, the middle class grew, and ┬áthe nation boomed. Now we are back to pre-depression levels of income disparity, the deregulated banks that almost destroyed the economy are still at it, and the middle class has suffered an unprecedented loss of wealth. None of these facts, however, matters to the economic quacks of the Right, who persist in peddling the same prescription that almost killed us.

4 thoughts on “Down With the Ship”

  1. It’s obvious that the writer of this Titanic editorial did not devote any time to research of what happened during the “great depression” or he would know that the laws enacted under FDR did not pull the USA out of the depression. As for being back to “pre-depression levels of income disparity” you might want to check on who was in charge of both of houses of congress at the time and who voted against the administration’s attempt to bring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under congressional oversight, including our current occupant of the White House.

  2. Ed, as usual, I disagree with you. I remember well the Great Depression, it lasted from 1930 through 1941 and ended with us being attacked and being thrust into WW2. Roosevelt’s programs did nothing to revive or improve our economy, I respect him for establishing the W.P.A. and the C.C.C. (Civilian Conservation Corps.. It provided an income sufficient to provide food and shelter for the workers and their families plus they built highways and bridges (plus many other things) that are still in use today. My father was involved in the W.P.A. and C.C.C. Camps, drilling water wells.

    In 1941, after 11 years, unemployment remained high and what ended the Great Depression was our country being thrust into WW2.

    I admire Roosevelt for his handling of WW2 and I greatly admire Harry Truman for ending that war.

  3. I read an artical not to long ago that said the Depression did not really end until the mid 50’s. As a result of the end of the War and the rapid birth rate after the war, created many more jobs to replace the war plant jobs. This took time.. Wages did not start increasing until the mid to late 50’s. Before that they just crept up.
    Remember the minium wage was .65 cents per hour until the 60’s.
    Soo , government did not really have the answer. In fact the Supreme Court struck down a lot of what Roosevelt wanted to do and did. He did give the people hope and that was important and that he should get credit for in history.

    1. Yes, at the end of the war, the minimum wage was forty cents so you can see it took at least fifteen years to reach sixty five cents. I don’t remember a shortage of jobs immediately following the end of the war. There was such a pent up demand for almost everything that the conversion from manufacturing by defense plants to peace time production seemed very smooth. It took four years to catch up on the demand for automobiles. The same applied for housing and affiliated items and almost anything you want to mention.

      It was a great time, the war was over, Americans felt a sense of pride and everyone seemed to have much to look forward to. Unfortunately, that feeling only lasted five years and then we had Korea.

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