When History Repeats Itself: Too Big Too Fail, 1936 Edition

A while ago, I finished reading Michael Hiltzik’s The New Deal. This seemed eerily familiar (p. 336-7; boldface mine, emphasis original):

Racism did not invariably drive the opposition to the New Deal after 1934. Its beating heart was economic, more particularly the property-holding class’s fear that FDR was covertly plotting a Share Our Wealth program of his own. Although this fear was counterbalanced on the Left by the impression that Roosevelt had gone out of his way to preserve the fortunes of the affluent, it was much the stronger sentiment, as the journalist Marquis Childs observed in a 1936 piece for Harper’s titled “They Hate Roosevelt.”

“The phenomenon to which I refer goes far beyond objection to policies or programs,” he wrote. “It is a passion, a fury, that is wholly unreasoning…a consuming personal hatred of President Roosevelt and, to an almost equal degree, of Mrs. Roosevelt. It permeates, in greater or less degree, the whole upper stratum of American society.” Curiously, “the majority of those who rail against the President have to a large extent had their incomes restored and their bank balances replenished since the low point of March, 1933.” Yet, “the larger the house, the more numerous the servants, the more resplendent the linen and silver, the more scathing is likely to be the indictment of the President.” Here was another manifestation of the phenomenon Will Rogers had noticed at that Chamber of Commerce dinner, where the recipients of billions of dollars of lifesaving federal largesse stood up one after another to denounce the government for its involvement in business.

Plus ça change….

BONUS VIDEO (cuz it’s a classic):

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1 Response to When History Repeats Itself: Too Big Too Fail, 1936 Edition

  1. Roosevelt was hated for what he got done, Obama is just hated.

    Hint to Obama – they’re going t hate you anyway so…

    Oh, and please all, don’t give me the weak tea arguments about all the stuff he got done. He’s mostly been painting the house as it burns. The progressive causes that really matter, that really will mean the difference between a good world and a shitty world a half century from now, he’s blown completely….

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