Our US Economy in Shambles!

(OK, technically this is war-ravaged mid 20th century Germany. But only technically.)

Tuesday, October 29th, 1929.  The Stock Market Crash and the Great Depression begins in earnest!  Republican Herbert Hoover and his Vice President Charles Curtis (1/4 American Indian from Kansas) had beaten Catholic Al Smith in the election of 1928.  The economy was riding high on Roaring 20’s Hedge Funds, Derivatives, Speculation Stocks and a World Economy stacked with frivolous inflation.  The world was drunk on rising Stock Prices and the US had huge Tariffs to block imports of European Goods.  The famous Oriental Rugs of the day were incredibly expensive.  All cotton and wool products had enormous Tariff rates.  Speakeasy’s were all the craze, because of the 18th Amendent (Prohibition of all Alcohol)  January 16th, 1919 and finally repealed by the 21st Amendment on December 5th, 1933.  Women had gotten the Right to Vote with the passage of the 19th Amendment, Ratified on August 18th, 1920.  For 14 years, Americans had to be “closet drinkers” to avoid the Law of the Land.   The underground Speakeasys were run by people like Al Capone….who supplied, cheap and expensive liquor and women to US Doughboys returning from World War I and who still found it tough to find anything but a Farming job!  The song of the day:  “How you going keep ’em down on the farm after they’ve see Paris!”  116,708 soldiers had died in World War I, with 204,000 returning that were seriously wounded, maimed and those that had lost arms and legs and suffered from serious “Shell Shock”.  Four million American Doughboys served and returned after World War I.

During the great Depression 1929-1939 over 15 million people were unemployed with a US Population of nearly 123 Million Citizens.  Homelessness for Women and Children were basically uncounted.  Since most women in those days did not work, the total impacted by the Great Depression may have exceeded 45 million souls.  Those who could rode the rails to California to pick vegetables and fruit.  This is what John Steinbeck called:  “The Grapes of Wrath”!  Europe had it no better, recovering slowly from World War I, had been tortuous for France, England and Germany.  The Colonial Powers of Italy, Portugal, Spain and the major countries aforementioned pressed their colonies with taxes and cheap goods debilitating those economies as well.  The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 was the testing ground for German weapon technology including the Stuka Dive Bomber and Messerschmitt 109 Fighter plane.  Mexico, Russia, the United States, Germany and the two Spanish participants with Generalissimo Franco finally winning and later, playing a waiting game to become part of the Axis Powers of World War II.  As the Germans soon found, their economy would only boom, if they were at War or Rebuilding!  That was then!

Today, coming off eight years of relative calm in the world after the giant banking and housing crisis of 2008-09 and the Obama years, we are now turning our economy upside down, going back to the bad old days of unregulated banking, unregulated Environmental Protections, unregulated Privatization of Schools, Industry and Prisons and more….much more!  We are threatening our North American economic partners Canada and Mexico, fighting with Iran, Syria, China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Cuba and Columbia over trivial matters,  We are attacking our European partners, Japan and China with huge Tariff threats on their imported and exported goods.  We are literally flipping our Economic System, upside down.  Hoping that the Global Community will simply “laugh it off”.  Pulling out of the Syrian Nuclear Agreement, pulling out of the World Climate Agreement and of course rolling back Environmental Protections on Mileage Standards and new technology.  Holding back Budgetary help for Medical Research, New Technology R & D and emphasis on non fossil fuel answers to transportation.  How this will all work out in the short term, is yet to be seen – but it will not take long to start figuring out what might happen.  We are restricting immigration into the country which affects the cost and availability of consumer goods.  It certainly affects the brick and mortar shops in this country more than the online sales which continue to grow.  It is estimated that 65% of US jobs will be lost to robotics and new technology in the next 6 years.  6 years!  Not long from now.  We are going through a definite “Paradigm Shift”!

In 1929, Congress came up with the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act.  It was protection by fine against Foreign Imported Goods.  Supposedly it protected American Farm Goods and Pricing.  Hawley-Smoot raised the cost of 20,000 imported goods by 60%.  Thousands of economists said it was a very bad idea.  They warned that this could cause a Global Downturn, that would be difficult to turn around.  Hawley-Smoot became law June 5, 1930.  The Global Trade War ensued.  The price of goods skyrocketed, the Wiemar Republic of Germany was the first to feel the heat and fell, due to having to carry a wheelbarrow of money to the bakery shop for a loaf of bread.  It also, brought chaos and the rise of some guy called Adolph Hitler.  Italy, Spain, France and England all followed suit.  Which we suppose offers the notion that choices can cause unintended consequences.  Farm Subsidies for US Farmers, which began in 1922 – soon became omnipresent in 1931!  Today, 2018 American Farmers are still being paid $20 Billion Dollars a year – not to plant – or to plant certain crops – mainly, corn, wheat, soy beans and rice which artificially causes the prices to rise and therefor cause the price of hogs and cattle and transportation to rise because of feed costs.  The current Trump-Trumpster Tariff Act is going down the same Primrose Path to destruction of our World Economy.

How many Coal Miners are going to have their jobs saved by Tariffs?  How much more will it cost for a gallon of gasoline, because the price of a barrel of oil is being artificially raised?  How many farmers are going to be saved or ruined by additional import and export Trade War events?  How much are goods and services going to cost our economy and how many jobs will be lost in 6 years?   Why do we not listen to history?  The laugh is that we have a 4% Unemployment rate!  OK….how much does rent cost?  How much is a new mortgage?  How much does a pound of butter cost?  How long can the price of Prescription Drugs continue to rise?  How long can the cost of Healthcare continue to rise?  How long can the cost of Health Insurance and Public/Private Schooling continue to rise?  We suppose we should mention, just in passing, that we all live in a Global Economy where everything and everyone is connected!  It was in 1929, but we just didn’t get it.  We are looking for another World War if we continue at this rate with this set of priorities.  We need to keep our eye on the prize, a sustainable economy!  One that allows our citizens and people the ability to have clean water, a healthy environment and a great Quality of Life!

Right now, as crazy as it sounds:  Our US Economy is in Shambles!








About Ron & Anna Winship

Independent News Producers/Writers and Directors for Parker-Longbow Productions. Independent Programming which includes a broad variety of Political, Entertainment and Professional Personalities. Cutting Edge - a talk show...is the flagship of over 30 URL websites developed or under development. The Winships have been blogging for the Orange Juice since back when nickels had buffalos on them, and men wore onions attached to their belts, because it was the fashion back then.