Examples Of Make-Do Work Provided To Keep The Masses Busy During The Greatest Depression. Boondoggles, above, were devices used to fasten scarves, and the CCC Civilian Conservation workers were paid $16.00 per day in today's money. I'm not thinking Obama will be able spur the economy with these sort of jobs, much less find modern Americans who would pass the time making boondoggles or be employed in real shovel ready jobs like the CCC did years ago.
Herbert Hoover may have prepared the way for the Greatest Depression, but FDR exasperated the problem. Although President Bush expanded government projects and handouts, he should only be contrasted with his much more liberal Republican predecessor, Herbert Hoover.
Hoover presided during the infamous Smoot Howley Tariffs of 1930 which taxed over 20,000 imported goods, thus providing even more fodder for the Greatest Depression. W Bush was much more a free marketer. FDR's solution: Mega more government involvement in every sort of American business - from soup to nuts, including the production of the infamous Boondoggles.
It is reported that President Obama will announce, yet, another jobs plan which will print and pump more money into high-cost, low return, unaffordable boondoggles like building more schools, paying out more money to union teachers and highway builders, and extending jobless benefits - again. It has been proven that more investment in public schools, as well as the extension of jobless benefits does little to improve student achievement nor does it encourage workers to get back to work.
President Obama has already provided billion dollar boondoggle benefits to fellow crony capitalists like GE, banking, Chrysler, GM, solar panel factories, teachers, and other "shovel ready jobs" which, as of today, have not dug up much dirt, or provided any increase to our Gross Domestic Product.
Watch out, the President will be announcing his newest new plan to "spur job growth," this Thursday. There is no doubt he has taken the advice of FDR and Bernanke in how to increase jobs, even if it means the semi collapse of western civilization. . and war.
Obama's jobs plan must entail a Quantitative Easing (of some type) more than even FDR could afford. Roosevelt could institute his alphabet soup programs -CCC, FDIC, FERA, NRA, SEC, TVA, WPA, and so on, very cheap on the dollar. The Civilian Conservation Corps, for instance, sent hundreds of thousands of unemployed youth out to build projects like dams, electric plants, reservoirs, and countless other projects for one dollar a day in 1934 money. With inflation that calculates to the pay equivalent of 16 dollars a day in 2011 money. I very much doubt if our spoiled youth, or even our poorer people who live better than kings in third world countries, will work for under 20 bucks a day.
The unions, who President Obama has to appease, are far more demanding, and they, according to James Hoffa (the one still living), Joe Biden, Debbie Schultz, and others have declared war against the Taxed Enough Partiers calling them everything from Negro lynchers, to SOBs, to Barbarians. Obama is in so much globally hot water with the fringe left global warmers and other environmentally ill Marxists, that he must throw out one big bone to them, or risk complete annihilation in the polls.
Business has been very gun shy to invest due to the stifling of energy production, Obamacare, taxation and the future effects of those mysterious Dodd Frank rules which make everything perfectly unclear. Public spending has also increased 20 percent under Obama, and more people are becoming quite comfortable with the handouts, and voting for more handouts, IE., Democrats.
President Obama will be making a huge mistake if he merely engineers more busy work for the masses as FDR did, but at a much higher price - borrowing into the future - again. At least, FDR performed boondoggling, which I have learned can be both a noun or a verb, at bottom dollar prices. When the NY Times was more known for honesty, they printed the following back in 1935, concerning Boondoggling:
Now, the word came to prominence on 4 April 1935 when The New York Times ran a story about how jobless workers were being paid by the government to make lanyards from leather, rope, and canvas:
"Boondoggle burst into the world with something of a bang, becoming an attack term immediately after its first recorded appearance in print. This occurred on April 4, 1935, in an account in The New York Times of an investigation into public-relief expenditures. Testifying the previous day before a committee of the Board of Aldermen (predecessors of today’s gender-neutral City Council), a Robert Marshall of Brooklyn said that he had been paid to teach “boon doggles.” Asked what he meant by this, he explained that “boon doggles is simply a term applied back in pioneer days to what we call gadgets today… . They may be making belts in leather, or maybe belts by weaving ropes, or it might be belts by working with canvas, maybe a tent or a sleeping bag.” From CitizenArcane.Com
However, a massive government jobs program would not do it for President Obama as it was also fruitless for FDR - at a much lower price. FDR was saved by a World War - which he promised to never be engaged in - just as Obama promised to withdraw troops from Iraq - by 2009.
Only World War II could provide the "safety net" for FDR's legacy. Thanks to years of FDR's intervention into business and the private sector, the poverty rate and unemployment rose during the 1930's despite the myriad of programs. Obama seems to be on a fast-track in the same direction
Europe, weakened by WW I and its own depression, was ripe for war, and had no desire to challenge Germany's sword rattling. Americans, today, are also war wearied, and as we suffer recession after recession, debt upon debt, Russia, and especially China have been taunting and provoking the U.S. over everything from our economic troubles to our military involvements.As our economy degrades, China and Russia become more militarily optimistic, not unlike Germany and Japan watching a weakened U.S. prior to WW II.
Every time I see a photo of Putin, he is either riding on a horse armed with a crossbow, or expressing his machismo snorkeling six feet under water. That tells you a little about the psychology of man wanting international glory. Which, reminds me of one of Communist China's most popular video games, Glorious Mission, which gives hundreds of millions of young Chinese boys the opportunity to shoot down, virtually, U.S. soldiers in simulated (so far) combat.
Even before Word War II got into gear, U.S. factory and agricultural production was boosted by a war torn Europe that was still suffering economically from Word War I that devastated the Euros, thus bringing the U.S. to superpower status despite the interruption by the Greatest Depression. By the time the United States fully engaged in WW II, nearly every adult American became employed, because of the wartime emergency. Men went to war and women went to factories, and suddenly, poverty became unnoticed, as America became fully preoccupied by war.
Obama's only hope.
Herbert Hoover http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1580.html
New deal statistics http://www.shmoop.com/great-depression/statistics.html