Jay Evensen: Calvin Coolidge wouldn't shed tear over sequester

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  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    March 8, 2013 10:28 a.m.

    To "airnaut" so then you agree that it was not Coolidge's policies that started the Depression. Beyond that, all of your other claims are completely false and made up.

    The Depression was created from a recession that the Government tried to fix. The roaring 20's were created by government doing NOTHING to fix a recession.

    What you and you ilk will never admit is that FDR's policies kept us in the Depression and may have even been what turned a recession into the Depression.

    Read the following:

    "How Government Prolonged the Depression " in the WSJ

    "Contrary to popular myth, FDR prolonged agony of Depression" in the DN

    "The New Deal Debunked (again)" at the Von Mises Institute

    "Great Depression" at Library of Economics Liberty

    The sad thing is that you and your ilk insist that this time you will get it right and not make the same mistakes while doing the exact same things.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    March 8, 2013 9:50 a.m.

    What caused the great Depression?

    No one person or event was responsible for the Great Depression. There were several major causes.

    1. Unequal distribution of wealth. The shrinking of the middle class. Wages were not keeping pace with the increase in the cost of living or staying relative to the wealth in the hands of the industrialists and others in the upper income classes.

    2. There was over speculation in the Stock Market, which was not regulated..

    3. Increased manufacturing and agricultural output, since wages did not keep pace for the consumers to purchase what was produced, inventories increased and income remained low.

    4. Buying on credit, known in the 1920s as installment buying. People purchased things like refrigerators on time, and did not have money to pay when the bills became due.

    5. Lax Federal regulations on businesses also contributed to the cause. Tax laws and lack of government oversight were especially favorable to the large corporations to encourage business expansion.

    6. Banks were permitted to speculate in land and the stock market with little government regulations.

    7. The Stock Market Crash of 1929 signaled the beginning of the Great Depression.

    Ala - GWBush 2000-2008

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    March 7, 2013 3:57 p.m.

    To "airnaut" again, you are wrong. If you look at what caused the crash in 1929 and again in 2008 it was the easy credit as mandated by the liberal policies that ran the Federal Reserve.

    In both cases the Federal Reserve made money easy, not the President or congress. You may want to blame conservatives, but it was your ilk and their desire to make credit easy for the poor that caused both crashes.

    See "The Great Depression" at the Von Mises Institute.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    March 7, 2013 3:13 p.m.

    Conservative revisionist History from the failed Glenn Beck University and Limbuagh Institute of Conservative Studies....

    Stock Market crash - Oct' 1929
    FDR becomes POTUS - 1933

    Coolidge (R) and Hoover (R) led the country through the heydays of the lower taxes, Lower rates, higher lending and lax lending regulations of the roaring 20's and head-on ful steam ahead into the crash of the 30's.

    Precisely the way GW Bush did in the Great Recession of the the 21st century.

    Obama is the FDR of our generation - for precisely the same garbage economy reasons he was handed by his republican pedacessors.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    March 7, 2013 1:40 p.m.


    Read the question again. He asked which president was most responsible. It most certainly wasn't Coolidge. He wasn't responsible for the easy-credit Fed policies which led to the crash.

    That leaves Hoover and Roosevelt. You could argue that Hoover is more responsible, for interventions such as pushing the Fed to tighten credit, pressuring businesses to keep wages and prices high, increasing farm subsidies, increasing tax rates, or signing Smoot-Hawley. (Laissez-faire...if only! You might have a case blaming Hoover, but it wouldn't be for non-intervention.)

    However, I have to give the big prize to Roosevelt, for taking a bad situation and making it worse. He took office in 1933 and prolonged the suffering to the end of the Thirties. He tried intervention after intervention (I won't list them -- everyone knows what they were), preventing a natural recovery from taking place. His policies led to the 1937-1938 depression-within-a-Depression. Lots of other countries went through the Depression, but for the U.S. it was Roosevelt who turned it into the Great Depression.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    March 7, 2013 12:56 p.m.

    "Looks like even Bush told the truth."

    First, let me say that I never thought Bush lied. I think he choose to believe the wrong information.

    But, you guys are amazing. Even Bush admits in his book "Decision Points" that there were no WMD's

    "He still gets a "sickening feeling" when he thinks of the nonexistent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."

    The lengths some people will go to deny reality. Or, maybe you know more about it than President Bush.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    March 7, 2013 12:50 p.m.

    Years Calvin Coolidge (R) was President -- 1923-Jan. 1929 (followed by Herbert Hoover (R))
    Year of stock market crash and beginning of Great Depression -- 1929

    Years George Bush (R) was President -- Jan. 2001 - Jan. 2009
    Year the "Great Recession" began -- late 2007/early 2008

    Hmmm.....maybe Republican policies aren't so great after all.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    March 7, 2013 12:09 p.m.

    To "JoeBlow" but Bush was telling the truth, read the following:

    “Troops 'foil Iraq nerve gas bid'” July 2, 2004
    “US did find Iraq WMD” NY Post October 25, 2004
    “Iraqi Nerve Gas, WMD Find Blows Away Pundits” NewsMax, May 17, 2004
    “WikiLeaks Show WMD Hunt Continued in Iraq – With Surprising Results” Wired October 23, 2010
    “Iraq mortar shells contain blister agent” USA Today January 11, 2004
    “Bomb said to hold deadly sarin gas explodes in Iraq” MSNBC May 17, 2004
    “Sarin, Mustard Gas Discovered Separately in Iraq” Fox New May 17, 2004
    “Warheads with mustard, sarin gas found by Polish troops in Iraq: Rumsfeld” Spacewar July 1, 2004
    “Hundreds of WMDs discovered in Iraq” WorldNetDaily June 21, 2006

    Plus there is the tons of uranium that had to be shipped out of Iraq to Canada for disposal.

    Looks like even Bush told the truth.

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    March 7, 2013 12:01 p.m.

    Wow Nate! FDR did not take office until 1933. Hoover's laissez-faire approach made the Depression worse. Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon predicted a fast recovery with no action from the government (first saying 30 days then 90 days). From 1929 to 1933 unemployment went from 5% to almost 30%. By the time FDR took office half the banks in the United States had failed, investment was down 98%, and farm and industrial worker income was down about 40%. After FDR became president unemployment fell to 14% by 1937 before a minor recession in 1938, which ironically was caused by FDR's concern over deficits, thus cutting federal spending, before the private sector was strong enough to sustain itself.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    March 7, 2013 11:54 a.m.

    "But what has GWB have to do with this discussion anyway?"

    Just pointing out that the truth does not always emanate from our elected officials, even Republicans.

    "USED WMDs on his own people its pretty certain that he actually had them"

    HAD being the key word. But, I guess you and Mr Bush are at odds with your claim. I will go with his assessment.

    But Mr Bush admits that he was shocked when no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq.
    "No one was more shocked and angry than I was when we didn't find the weapons," he writes

    "It is a fact that he was negotiating to get yellow cake"

    Seriously? It is certainly not a fact. Heck. Its not even being suggested that it ever happened. That has been debunked so many times it is a complete joke.

    How did you miss it?

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    March 7, 2013 11:33 a.m.

    @djc "Correct me if I'm wrong...."

    Okay. You're wrong. The president most responsible was Franklin Roosevelt. After the 1929 crash (triggered by Fed policy), instead of allowing the market to correct itself quickly, Roosevelt tried to ease the pain through government intervention, thus prolonging the pain for about an extra decade.

    Read Amity Schlaes's other book, The Forgotten Man, for the details.

    Yes, we should learn from history. Bush and Obama seem not to have done so...and the Great Recession drags on.

  • gee-en Salt Lake City, UT
    March 7, 2013 11:26 a.m.

    The more I read about Calvin Coolidge, the more I am impressed with what that man stood for and with what he did!

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    March 7, 2013 11:21 a.m.

    @ Joe Blow. Since Saddam USED WMDs on his own people its pretty certain that he actually had them, isn't it? It is a fact that he was negotiating to get yellow cake,(un-enriched uranium)from Africa. Sorry to spoil your fun! But what has GWB have to do with this discussion anyway?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    March 7, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    "Imagine having a leader who tells us the truth instead of one who lies to us!"

    Yes Mountanman. I could not agree more. Care to compare the ramifications?

    10/7/2002, George W. Bush, President

    "The Iraqi regime . . . possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas."

    Rice, September 8, 2002: You will get different estimates about precisely how close he is. We do know that he is actively pursuing a nuclear weapon.

  • djc Stansbury Park, Ut
    March 7, 2013 10:48 a.m.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Calvin Coolidge the president that was most responsible for driving the USA into the Great Depression? It seems rather astounding to worship this man at a time when it appears politicians are driving the country headlong into another great depression just as fast as they can. The purpose of studying history is to attempt to not repeat mistakes from the past. Evidently the lessons of history are lost on some. While Coolidge was busily reducing taxes and denying aid to those in need the country collapsed around him. This doesn't seem especially noteworthy to me. I would hope we would look for ways to not repeat what happened during Silent Cal's tenure.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    March 7, 2013 9:48 a.m.

    @Irony Guy

    Maybe it's because everyone knows it's not true. Well, almost everyone.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    March 7, 2013 9:46 a.m.

    @ Irony Guy. What caused the stock market crash and the domino effect of the depression was not economic freedom but over valued stocks, sort of like the over valued housing market that caused the last crash! The government giving out sub prime mortgages to people who had no ability or intention of servicing their mortgages produced the perfect condition for the crash! By the way, speaking of overvalued stocks, what's the DOW up to today? Another correction is right around the corner.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    March 7, 2013 9:10 a.m.

    Wrong again, Jay. Coolidge's laissez-faire approach to an out-of-control securities market, as well as Smoot's ruinous tariff, brought the US economy to its knees the same year Coolidge left office. This guy was terrible for America. Interesting that Shlaes book doesn't even try to answer the charges that Coolidge's policies brought about the Great Depression. Not a peep. Maybe it's because she can't.

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    March 7, 2013 8:55 a.m.

    Excellent article about an exceptional (but forgotten) president.

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    March 7, 2013 8:52 a.m.

    "...the rewards of their own industry. This is the chief meaning of freedom"

    See, it was these shortsighted guys in the past that convinced Americans that you could keep your earnings and accomplish great things with them. Now all of the people that followed that counsel are "evil"....

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    March 7, 2013 7:48 a.m.

    "I want the people of America to be able to work less for the government and more for themselves," he said. "I want them to have the rewards of their own industry. This is the chief meaning of freedom.

    "Until we can re-establish a condition under which the earnings of the people can be kept by the people, we are bound to suffer a very severe and distinct curtailment of our liberty."

    Imagine having a leader who tells us the truth instead of one who lies to us!