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I'd be really interested to hear opinions about this. I found some of the statistics in it close to unbelievable, but I trust the writer.

It's about poverty in Ohio.




Nov. 3rd, 2003 01:46 pm (UTC)
My best friend and her husband went to Ohio University for grad school. Ohio University is in Athens, OH, which is Appalachia. College educated people were bussing tables there for minimum wage IF they were so fortunate as to have a job at all. During the Clinton boom years unemployment in that region was above 30%. Same thing in Ironwood, MI, where my family is from. My home town in Jackson averages 20% unemployment in boom years. This because all these places had economies dependent on heavy manufacturing which is moving out of this country.

All of them are rural. All of them are filled with people who routinely line up hundreds deep for one single decent job with benefits. These aren't lazy ass spongers who are looking for a handout, but they ARE people who know that working three minimum wage no-benefit jobs won't feed their families. (Both parents can't work because of daycare costs.)

You are talking out your ass about the New Deal. I can recommend you a number of excellent books that prove the exact opposite of what you've written. I had a class on this in college and did a major survey of New Deal improvements in my own home town, including flood reduction, the Post Office and paved streets.

Did the New Deal end the Depression? No, the War did that. But it certainly did NOT worsen it. It also created vast amounts of needed modern infrastructure for this nation and alleviated the starvation of millions, including the members of MY family that weren't surviving by poaching deer and illegal trapping. Not to mention creating great art, modern historical record-keeping, rural electrification, highways, dams, I mean seriously, where are you getting your information?

Rural poverty is as serious a problem as urban poverty. And there's a TON of it. And not because people are unwilling to work or aren't trying. There simply is nowhere to get a job.

In my home town I was offered a full-time no-benefits college teaching position for $12,000 a year, with a Master's Degree. That was considered the going rate because the area is so depressed and jobs are so few. Somebody took that job because they had a husband who was probably making about the same amount and so could squeeze by. I couldn't, becuase I couldn't live on that. I had interviewed all over the state. There were about 10 jobs that I was qualified for offered per year. And hundreds and hundreds of applicants for each one. Now quadruple that figure for unskilled people and you might be in the ballpark.
Nov. 3rd, 2003 02:48 pm (UTC)
You are talking out your ass about the New Deal.


I can recommend you a number of excellent books that prove the exact opposite of what you've written.

Do it. Provide me one reference by an economist that shows the US economy improving under the work programs or welfare that FDR implemented.

The stockmarket crashed, started to recover, and then did a nose-dive again when FDR started screwing with things.

CCC and the rest did a lot for the country - greatuncles on both sides help build Boulder - but it fucked businesses and prevented the regrowth that was occurring prior to the implementation of those programs.

It's like saying that the price limits on gas during the seventies helped people.

You can't take money from people, channel it through the government, and give it to other people, and expect more money to come out than went in.

- hossgal
Nov. 3rd, 2003 07:06 pm (UTC)
This is all going to make no difference if we argue it.

I will pull up a bunch of Keynesians and you will pull up a bunch of Supply-siders and seeing the debate is STILL going on, neither of us win.

I think Supply Side doesn't work and I'm sure you'd agree about the Keynesian viewpoint. Lately, the Supply siders have had a concerted attack on the New Deal in order to further their current political agenda and economic strategy. This same debate was going on when I was in college and still rages on.

If economists can't agree on it (and they can't) then we won't either. Two schools of thought, two answers.

We can argue about the validity of each until the cows come home and we won't agree.

I get a lot of my information about it from Thomas K. McCraw and his essay "The New Deal and the MIxed Economy" from "Fifty Years Later, the New Deal Evaluated." HE's from the Harvard School of Business, or at least was at the time.

Another good resource is "The Great Depression" by Robert S. McElvaine, though he's an historian and not an economist. He just rounds up economic thought and works it into the bigger picture. And brings it at least into the Reagan era recession. I think he's dead on for any time.

"Part of our difficulties today are the result of the failure of both conservatives and liberals to look at the full economic picture. Most conservatives have ignored the problem of maldistribution and have depended on a growing economy to solve all problems. For their part, liberals from the 1960s through the early 1980s concentrated ONLY on the division of the pie, not on its size. Questions of distribution are fundamental, but so are those of productivity. We need a more equitable distribution of wealth, not of poverty. IF we are to succeed economically and morally, we must concern ourselves BOTH with the size of the pie AND with how it is sliced."

But both of these guys are Keynesians.