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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/15206/interwar-presidents-and-the-fantasies-of-historians/

Interwar Presidents and the Fantasies of Historians

January 3, 2011 by

Historians who are ostensibly concerned about “the little guy” revere US presidents in almost exact proportion to how many people were killed by their subordinates. Beyond Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson’s wars, however, is their dismal record of economic interventionism. FULL ARTICLE by Robert P. Murphy


Clinton Freeman January 3, 2011 at 9:44 am

Professor Murphy,
You had me up until the end, when you say

If one wants to draw a straightforward lesson from Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover, it is this: tax cuts and budget surpluses go hand in hand with phenomenal economic growth, while tax hikes, budget deficits, and radical growth in government go hand in hand with economic disaster.

By ABCT, and your own admission just a few sentences before, you say that the phenomenal economic growth under Coolidge was fueled by the Fed’s easy credit; how can you turn around and draw this conclusion – it seems like having your cake and eating it too?

Leon Haller January 3, 2011 at 11:35 am

Calvin Coolidge was, ideologically, the best president of the twentieth century. Admittedly, this says less than it appears to, given the ever declining quality of American leaders (and, frankly, Americans), but even by some ‘absolute’ standard, Coolidge was very good. He was the last president truly committed to preserving capitalism (Reagan had some good rhetoric, but in the end, he never repudiated the socialism of the New Deal, as did candidate Goldwater, essentially only opposing, and none too effectively, its logical expansion in the Great Society of the Sixties).

Of even greater historical importance, Coolidge was also the last patriotic American president, and the one who ended our earlier immigration invasion, which (temporarily) stabilized our population and allowed for the preservation of what Russell Kirk called America’s British Culture. America might well not exist today had we not ended the unending immigration flows of the early 20th century. Doing so allowed for a healthy cultural assimilation to occur – a national culture now obviously nearly destroyed by our current renewed immigrant invasion, which constitutes the biggest Big Government program in American, if not world, history: the transformation of the traditional white American people into a new, nonwhite people. A campaign of federal government mandated “peaceful genocide”.

I’m quite certain neither Calvin Coolidge nor Andrew Jackson nor even Herbert Hoover would have tolerated this greatest of all historical outrages.

Brennan Lester January 3, 2011 at 3:21 pm

“Even one of FDR’s subordinates admitted — years after — that the New Deal had simply extended the pioneering interventions of the Hoover years.”

Source? I believe it– but I would like names, please. Would make a good source.

Bob Murphy January 3, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Mr. Lester, I don’t remember the exact person. I read it (originally) in Burt Folsom’s New Deal or Raw Deal?, and then some other people picked it up too (perhaps from Fulsom).

Teqzilla January 4, 2011 at 9:21 am

I would assume it was a reference to a Rex Tugwell quote. Couldn’t tell you where the quote was sourced from.

ET January 3, 2011 at 3:23 pm

I always examine history through the lens of Orwell’s 1984.

In Orwell’s vision, the rewriting of history came under the control of a branch of the government. But it turns out there are plenty of up and coming historians who are will to do that job privately so we don’t yet need a ministry of truth. Give the public 30 versions of history, and they won’t read any of it and will simply listen to the government talking heads. No need to be subtle about it, especially when few are old enough to have lived through the 1920′s and fewer even that heard of Coolidge. Blaming Hoover’s hands off approach that left things so bad that only a world war could return us to prosperity is the playbook used by the current government. They have taken Orwell more seriously and have found the perpetual war they always wanted.

More interesting is how they will deal with current events and this loose cannon called the internet.

I am curious to see how the wikileaks reports get downplayed, or shutdown as a terrorist organization. Julian Assange has become the Emmanuel Goldstein character, the most dangerous and treacherous man in Oceania. Bradly Manning is the Winston Smith character who is now being transformed. I wonder if they’ll simply kill him or if he’ll come out screaming “Assange did it – I love BB”.

David K. Meller January 3, 2011 at 9:56 pm

There was a point raised that the Presidency of Warren G. Harding was supposedly spoiled by the Teapot Dome oil scandal. This brings to mind a VERY interesting essay in the Saga of Hog Island and other Essays in Inconvenient History by the late James J. Martin.

Prof. Martin (a student of the dean of “revisionist historians” Harry Elmer Barnes) explored in that essay the WWI Naval boondoggle of Hog Island, where more than two Billion dollars–some 150 billion $$$$$ in today’s money–was unaccountably squandered to build, store, and market warships, along with the attendent piers, docks, factories, etc. that nobody really wanted, nobody could use, and nobody was ever really held accountable for the construction of, the financing of, or the eventual disposal of, during the entire Wilson adminsitration. Prof. Martin takes the historical profession to task for their “oceans of stale moralizing concerning the paltry millions of dollars involved in the Harding scandals with the billions involved in Hog Island and Wilson’s Great adventure to make the world safe for Democracy”.

I would take Harding (who was a newspaper publisher, NOT a professional politician) over Coolidge, still more over Hoover, any day! I’m not even going to mention Wilson or FDR, since I think our friend H.L. Mencken does them justice better than I can…

Telling the truth, while I never gave a d**n about either the Dumbercrat’s,or the Stupid Party’s choices for Chief of State and heir to Attila, Napoleon, and Genghiz Khan, I have occasionally wondered about the total absence of attention by reputable journalists and historians to this otherwise appalling example of malfeasance from the sainted Woodrow I!

Just thought that some of my libertarian friends here would like to know…

David K. Meller

newson January 5, 2011 at 7:32 pm

james j. martin, whose relative obscurity (even in the libertarian universe) is a fitting punishment for ignoring political correctness, first cousin of tyranny.

newson January 5, 2011 at 7:54 pm

the saga of hog island is here:


Lee January 5, 2011 at 8:22 pm


Thanks for the link; interesting. Isn’t it ironic that those who constantly scream about the glories of “Diversity” follow policies and practices designed to kill it?

Lee January 3, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Yes, that” peaceful genocide” is not only going on here but apparently in all the formerly white industrial countries of the world. There seems to be a similar situation taking place in Communist China with the Uyghurs, who seem to be being pressed toward extinction by government policies.

The Caucasian percentage of world population has dropped from about 29% a hundred years ago to what I believe must be less than 10% now, though accurate figures seem impossible to come by.

Franklin January 3, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Why is the race of various human beings of concern?

newson January 5, 2011 at 6:37 pm

to lee:
the occidental observer has a graphic showing the relative decline of caucasian versus african populations, and future projections.


Chu-hua Zhu January 4, 2011 at 5:31 am

Why should anyone give a damn about ‘teh white race’? Nationalist weirdoes. The relative distribution of various genotypes are irrelevant (individualism FTW), and borders are total BS. I hope your beloved border cop Nazis deport you.

Bala January 4, 2011 at 5:39 am

“because ONLY whites have any love of really existing liberty”

So the value system of a person depends on race, does it? Quite an interesting hypothesis. How did you come to this conclusion?

Franklin January 4, 2011 at 10:52 am

I thought the Twilight Zone marathon on the Sci-Fi channel was limited to New Year’s day.

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