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Did Americans of the Past, Understand Money Better, than the Americans of Today?

Posted on 05/04/2012 11:20:26 AM PDT by pinochet

When young Americans read the history of the New Deal Era in the 1930s, they ask themselves how the FDR administration could have imposed a 90 percent top tax rate on rich Americans. From the New Deal Era to the 1970s, Americans believed in tax and spend policies. From the 1980s, Americans adopted borrow and spend policies.

Tax and spend policies are more moral and more justified, than borrow and spend policies. In the old days, Americans believed that all spending had to be paid for, and that one could not spend money that he did not have. Americans viewed borrow and spend policies as being extremely immoral, because they did not believe in imposing financial burdens on their children and grandchildren.

Americans were mostly hostile to indebtedness, and believed in living within their means. Personal bankruptcy was viewed as a sign of moral weakness. The most common debt obligations were home mortgages, and people did not take out loans just to buy the junk we are importing from China. The idea of printing money to cover federal budget deficits was unthinkable. America was the world's largest lending nation, and did not have to borrow money from any country. I think there is a direct link between the decline in personal morals since the 1950s, and the increase in bad ways of managing money.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: america; debt; inflation; money; vanity
Sometimes I get a sense that younger Americans have no self-control in all sorts of life choices e.g. obesity, sexual promiscuity, indebtedness, divorce rates, time spent watching TV, laziness, video games, porn addiction, drug addiction, etc., and all that lack of personal discipline is undermining our democracy.
1 posted on 05/04/2012 11:20:39 AM PDT by pinochet
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To: pinochet

Young Americans are trained to follow the propaganda of the advertisers and their peer groups. They are not taught how to think for themselves nor to question authority. They are sheep. Older generations had to make every penny count so they were figured things out better.


2 posted on 05/04/2012 11:25:09 AM PDT by mountainlion (I am voting for Sarah after getting screwed again by the DC Thugs.)
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To: pinochet

You can blame public schools for the decline. The more recent you get, the more likely the schools are at fault.


3 posted on 05/04/2012 11:30:39 AM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: pinochet
You cite the wrong era to make the point. FDR also trashed the Dollar, devaluing in from 1/20.63 to an ounce of gold, to 1/35. In doing so, he also violated or voided the obligation of many contracts, in clear contempt for the Founders' wise intention, in prohibiting the individual States from doing anything of the sort (Article I, Sec.10.)

Yes, the Founders understood money far better than most of the last three generations. For more on the subject: Medium of Exchange.

William Flax

4 posted on 05/04/2012 11:34:55 AM PDT by Ohioan
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To: pinochet
Sometimes I get a sense that younger Americans have no self-control

Well, ever since the 60s, young people have been told over and over and over that self control is bad. If you wait to have sex until you are married, you are some repressed nerd. If you don't drink and do drugs, you are a square. If you don't live a hedonistic lifestyle, there is something wrong with you or you are hopelessly naive.

Our society is reaping what it sewed. Kids (and many adults) who have no self control, no sense of personal responsibility, no shame at living off the public teat, no thought that they have to work and support themselves. Kids and a lot of adults think that society owes them a living, and that "the rich" should pay for it.

5 posted on 05/04/2012 11:36:34 AM PDT by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: rarestia
Rather blame the Keynesian control of related disciplines in leading Colleges & Universities. The public school teachers largely parrot what is being prattled in College classrooms. Few who go into teaching dare to question what they were told was "enlightened" thinking in College.

But for more on Keynes, the sociopath who formalized the corrupt practice of spending the next generation's yet unearned wealth: Keynes & The Keynesians.

Keynes whole approach was an attack on the principle as old as the Ten Commandments, that life is a multi-generational pursuit, in which each generation tries to provide a sound foundation for the next. It is implicit, for example, in the Fifth Commandment. But the sociopath was not interested in doing anything to protect the next generation--to offer an understatement.

William Flax

6 posted on 05/04/2012 11:42:27 AM PDT by Ohioan
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To: pinochet
You will not crucify mankind on a cross of gold!

Leaving aside the fact that you seem to be confusing monetary and fiscal policy, high marginal tax rates do not increase government income and suppress growth. The Great Depression, the New Deal, Social Security and the Great Society, as well as Jennings Bryant are sufficient evident that Americans of the past did not understand money very well at all.

Modern politicians have learned from the Social Security scam that the American electorate looks kindly on taxing their grandchildren to pay for their indulgences.

7 posted on 05/04/2012 11:44:37 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (Queeg Olbermann: Ahh, but the strawberries that's... that's where I had them.)
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To: pinochet

Can’t spend what you don’t have and just having it doesn’t mean you should spend it.

At least that’s the crazy idea that was drilled into my head.


8 posted on 05/04/2012 11:46:57 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: pinochet
As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is, to use it as sparingly as possible; avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it; avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertions in time of peace to discharge the debts, which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burthen, which we ourselves ought to bear.

- GEORGE WASHINGTON, Farewell Address, Sep. 17, 1796
9 posted on 05/04/2012 11:51:20 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: pinochet

Our founding fathers knew of the dangers of paper money. Thomas Jefferson is quoted as saying that bankers are dangerous to liberty and prosperity.


10 posted on 05/04/2012 12:09:35 PM PDT by theBuckwheat
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To: pinochet
FDR took an 18 month Recession and
extended it into a 10 year Depression
by employing Keynesian Economics.

11 posted on 05/04/2012 12:11:44 PM PDT by Uriel-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: pinochet

Money???? I think you meant Obama Bucks.... you know, from his staaaaash.


12 posted on 05/04/2012 12:34:52 PM PDT by Third Person
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To: Ohioan

>>>You cite the wrong era to make the point. FDR also trashed the Dollar, devaluing in from 1/20.63 to an ounce of gold,

I understand what you are trying to say. I am not a fan of FDR and the New Deal, and my favorite President of the 20th Century is Calvin Coolidge.

I believe in low taxes and low spending. The point I was trying to make, was that the New Deal era preferred high taxes and high spending, rather than the current immoral policy of high borrowing and high spending. Conservatives are more outraged by high taxes than by high borrowing. The huge federal debt burden is a crime against American children. I consider it a form of child abuse, because it turns our children into debt slaves, before they even join the debt market.

In India and Pakistan, they have a horrific practice called bonded labor, where young children are enslaved by businessmen and feudal lords, to pay off debts incurred by their parents. It is recognized as one of the world’s worst human rights violations. Americans are doing a similar thing to their children.


13 posted on 05/04/2012 12:36:50 PM PDT by pinochet
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

>>>Leaving aside the fact that you seem to be confusing monetary and fiscal policy, high marginal tax rates do not increase government income and suppress growth

I oppose high tax rates. I prefer a government that follows policies of low taxation and low spending.

However, given a choice between more borrowing and higher taxation, I prefer higher taxation. The huge debt burden is a crime against American children.


14 posted on 05/04/2012 12:42:01 PM PDT by pinochet
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To: rarestia; mountainlion; All
The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America

Free pdf of first version of book at site.
15 posted on 05/04/2012 12:54:47 PM PDT by khelus
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To: rarestia; mountainlion; All
The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America

Free pdf of first version of book at site.
16 posted on 05/04/2012 12:58:02 PM PDT by khelus
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To: pinochet
Up until WWI (about the time the Fed was created,) Americans also understood that the only real money was a commodity -- gold. They used dollar bills for their everyday transactions, but only out of convenience. The idea that the government could simply print money with no precious metal backing would have been ludicrous to them.

Alas, today, even many FReepers think a return to gold would be a bad thing.

17 posted on 05/04/2012 3:13:16 PM PDT by BfloGuy (The final outcome of the credit expansion is general impoverishment.)
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To: pinochet
Okay, but something like a flat tax is probably preferable. The 90% tax rate was never across the board. I agree that government should be pay as you go, and all deferred payments (pensions) must be funded in an actuarially sound manner.
18 posted on 05/04/2012 3:49:54 PM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (Rush: If Ward Churchill had a daughter, she’d look like Elizabeth Warren.)
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To: pinochet

“my favorite President of the 20th Century is Calvin Coolidge.”

My 11th grade US history class seemed to like him when we were going over the 1920s yesterday. I find that encouraging.


19 posted on 05/04/2012 4:23:03 PM PDT by GenXteacher (You have chosen dishonor to avoid war; you shall have war also.)
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To: pinochet
There are many different perspectives from which one may analyze the basic Left/Right division, philosophically. One of the clearest goes to whether one sees policy & priorities as driven by immediate concerns, desires, etc., or by a sense of multi-generational purpose. Ultimately, every family, community, tribe or nation is about multi-generational purpose.

When you lose that--as with the Sociopathic economics of Keynes ("in the 'long-run' we are all dead"); or with the present insane immigration policy of the United States, or with efforts to destroy traditional marriage, or with efforts to continue an educational system that honors those who attack the people's heritage, rather than those who built it;--you steal the birthright of your posterity.

The colossal debt is but one facet of a very sick perspective. But it is part & parcel of what drives the Left.

William Flax

20 posted on 05/05/2012 10:48:44 AM PDT by Ohioan
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