Current U.S. Political Economy Controversies
From the earliest days this country has been about money.
Jamestown was founded by moneyed interest and Plymouth had financial
backers who expected a return on their investment. The world of Plymouth
was just settling down when English religious tolerance increased,
immigration stopped and some inhabitants returned to England. The
population declined, asset values plunged and Plymouth had
one-hundred years of economic stagnation. The talented moved north
to Boston. It was a brain/talent drain. Gresham's Law that bad paper
money chases good gold coins also applies to people. A bad economy chased the most
talented people toward Boston's economic opportunity.
By the middle of the 18th century colonial trade with other nations was flourishing and very wealthy smugglers like John Hancock did not want to pay taxes for British military protection. He financed the Minutemen and eventually the colonies won their independence. The Revolution was about the money. See Instigators Finely Hit a Nerve With The 1773 Boston Tea Party
Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton embodied Jefferson deepest republican fear that some would sacrifice liberty for the expedience of absolute authority. Alexander plans for a national financial system which would assume all national and state debt caused much turmoil as many southern states had paid their debt. In addition many of the national and state bonds had been sold by veterans at a discount to wealthy easterners speculators who would earn a substantial profit.
Hamilton wanted to put the federal government at the center of nation's financial system to further secure its world position. He got Madison to end his disapproval of Hamilton's debt plan by agreeing with Madison's desire to move the nation's capital to a site along the Potomac River. George Washington an avid land speculator owned much of this land. Some in Virginia charged Congress with an unconstitutional act. Source THE FIRST SECRETARY OF STATE 1789-1792
Before leaving office Washington had to put down a rural revolt of whiskey producers who didnít want to pay taxes. In addition there were threats of impeachment because many felt Washington had broken the constitution when he signed the Jay Treaty. Southerners disliked England whose goods thy felt were too expensive/ They also supported France. The Northeast wanted England's industrial good to expand manufacturing.
President Washington served well and feared a political party system would not only develop, it would be dangerous. But two plus parties were inevitable. Federalist like Adams and Hamilton wanted tariffs to protect their business interest. Wealthy business owner Oligarchs were friendly to England and wanted a strong central government. Jefferson, Madison and other wealthy southern Oligarchs wanted low tariffs so they could buy cheap European merchandise. This required low tariffs and a Republic run by the people and not a country tied to Northern manufacturing.
It was about the money.
In the Middle It Was About the Money.
President John Quincy Adams easily lost his 1828 reelection bid to Andrew Jackson. Andrew was dead set against extending the Second Bank of the United States charter and he hated its condescending President, Nicholas Biddle. Jackson felt the bank had excessive power over farmers, mechanics, and others unconnected to the eastern ' " moneyed aristocracy." ' Land speculation losses in Tennessee made Jackson feel that "debt, bankers, and paper money --' "ragg money" '-- were all the devil's work." He felt the bank had used its ' "golden favors " ' to help Adams be win the 1824 election. Largely owned by the European autocracy, Andrew felt the bank was corrupt. See Presidential Courage Andrew Jackson
"... in the fall of 1902, he [Teddy Roosevelt] tried to stop the coal strike that threatened, more than any event since the Civil War, to divide the country." For months, over 100,000 Pennsylvanian miners had been striking. There was sabotage, riots and murder. The leader of the United Mines Workers suggested a Presidential commission but railroad man George Bear refused to bargain with ' " instigators of violence and crime." '
Later the Tennessee Valley Authority did a lot of good but the area is still poor because many talented people left for economic opportunity. Areas losing talented people need specially designed programs and not those that are needed for their brain drain destination. One size does not fit all. See Educating the Class of 2030
And the Answer Is?
California opened its energy markets in 1996 and 24 states follow by end of 2000.
"Enron was Mr. Bush's biggest political patron as he headed into the 2000 presidential election. In all it has made $623,000 in contributions to his campaigns since 1993, when he was raising money for his first Texas gubernatorial race, according to the Center for Public Integrity, another watchdog group." Source
Enron had sales of
6.1 billion in 1992, $31 billion in 1998 and 139 billion in 2001.
In 2001 VP Chaney's energy task force predicted a 12% decline in U.S. oil production by 2020 compelling the U.S. to import two-thirds of its needs. Politics is also about fear.
Today the Four G's
Today the four Gís of Guns, God, Greed and Greenspan's free market philosophy all want less government. Wealth has been produced in substantial amounts and income has floated to the top. The Guns and God group want limited government which allows their simplistic lifestyle so they vote Republican. The Greed and Greenspan group want no change in their share of the pie. Keep military, education and elderly spending high with no increases for anyone else. It's about the money.
Some say history repeats itself. Fifty years ago
my father said people change very slowly and that they have changed very
little since Cain and Abel. Both are true. I am sure it is more than
just the money but money is always a good place to begin.
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|A few years ago well-respected columnist and Public TV personality David Brooks seemed to be acting like Chicken Little. Was sky falling? Was political animosity at an all time. Had partisan politics reached historical proportions. Why were so many respected people saying that the money interest were in charge and causing a stagnate Congress? I looked to historical political economy for answers.||Recently Mort Zuckerman also a Public TV personality and business person began talking of the historically slow recovery from the Great Recession. I was confused. Economic history indicates that our current balance sheet recession was very average and seems worse only compared to recent mild inventory recessions. More study followed.|