Is Politics About
In The Colonies
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 and others 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. Many southern states had paid their debt and many of the national and state bonds had been sold at a discount by veterans to wealthy easterners who would earn a substantial profit. Hamilton, who wanted to put the federal government at the center of nation's financial system and further secure the federal establishment standing, 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. The debt assumption caused some in Virginia to charge 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 and supported France. The Northeast wanted England's industrial good and to expand manufacturing.
President Washington served well
as President and feared a political party
In the Middle
President John Quincy Adams easily lost his 1828 reelection bid to Andrew Jackson who was dead set against extending the Second Bank of the United States charter. He disliked condescending bank and 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 elected. Largely owned by foreigners autocracy, he felt the bank was corrupt. See Presidential Courage Andrew Jackson
"... in the fall of 1902, he Teddy Roosevelt tried to stop a 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." '
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. One size does not fit all. See Educating the Class of 2030
Recently It's Been
A typical example of money and politics concerns the 1966 opening of California's energy market. Twenty-four states followed.
By 2000 California faced serious blackouts as prices spiked to 50 times normal. See California electricity crisis How could this happen? A look at the politics will help. Someone made money.
"Enron was Mr. Bush's biggest political patron as he headed into the 2000 presidential election. In all Enron has made $623,000 in contributions to ..." the Bush 2 campaigns beginning with his first 1993 Texas gubernatorial campaign, "... 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 little change. Wealth has been produced in substantial amounts
and many are happy with the distribution. The Guns and God group want limited
government which allows their simplistic lifestyle so hey vote
Republican ignoring that much of their well-being comes from government.
Some say history
repeats itself. Fifty years ago my father said people change very slowly
and have changed very little since Cain and Abel. Both statements are
true. I am sure politics is more than
just the money but money is always a good place to begin.
"One of the melancholy facts of political life is that your convictions tend to align with your paycheck." Barton Swami 7/24/15 The Week
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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.|