Today, Jeff and I, Homeless Dog travel the WABAC machine to the Great Depression in America.
“What was life like during the great depression, Ms. Dog?”
Just as the man and dog are about to enter the WABAC machine, a neighbor knocks on the door. After Homeless Dog tells the neighbor they are about to go back to the year 1929 to visit the Great Depression era in America, the neighbor tells them he remembers what his father told him about the depression, which he lived through.
“My father recalls being startled by loud cheering in the school nearby. It was the end of World War I and I was 3 years old. As a typical teenage boy, Dad had focused on food and cars. Street cars and Model T Fords appeared in the late 1920s. A lot of foods were becoming packaged and chicken houses were disappearing from backyards. Food was still very cheap. A loaf of bread cost 10¢. Then came the steamer and high-powered luxury cars (Pikes Peak Motor with high-gear capacity). Dad’s family was middle class, but the Depression affected everyone. Food and jobs were hard to get and many people stood in lines for government handouts. A lot of people lived on powdered milk, dried beans, and potatoes. In Chicago, a crowd of men fought over a barrel of garbage — food scraps for their families”
“What caused things to go wrong, Ms. Dog?”
Different things, Jeff. Greed, materialism, people not wanting to live within their means. And the socialistic policies of President Franklin Roosevelt, known as FDR, particularly his New Deal. FDR believed the government, through central planning (socialism) will ensure the welfare of its citizens better than a free market economy. As history proved, this was the wrong way to do things.
Like Barack Obama, aka the Skinny Socialist, today, President Franklin D Roosevelt demonized business and free enterprise and prevented entrepreneurs from cutting prices, created scores of government jobs while the private sector diminished, gave out government handouts, and created public works projects.
Here’s a modern example: Solyndra: The manufacturer of advanced solar panels received a $535 million loan guarantee to build a factory outside of San Francisco.
Solyndra went bankrupt in 2011 amid falling prices for solar panels, and has since served as the poster child for well-meaning government policy gone bad. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solyndra
Its assets are being auctioned off, and DOE is not expected to recover any meaningful amount of money.
The executives at Solyndra, who contributed to Barry Obama’s presidential campaign, walked away with golden parachutes, while we got the shaft.
Let’s enter the WABAC machine:
“What are those officers doing, beating up that shabbily dressed man, Ms. Dog?”
That man is known as a hobo. Many men became that way because the government taxed them so much and they couldn’t find work as a result of Roosevelt’s policies that they hopped freight trains and traveled to wherever they could find work here and there, mostly there. Although the men who became hobos money financed, by fiat through taxation, the train system, they were considered trespassers and mistreated and harassed, much like homeless people in places like Bucks County, Pennsylvania are treated today.
Farmers were hit hard by the Great Depression. It was a double whammy: There was a drought, and government policies drove the average farmer out of business.
FDR’s New Deal favored fat cats over average families. The government catered to the large farms by having them even burn crops, while people go hungry, in order to reduce the supply to keep prices high. This hurt the little guy, such as the Joads, the characters depicted in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Grapes_of_Wrath
The root of the problem that caused the Great Depression was the culture — the way people thought. They wanted more than what God could give them, so they engaged in all kinds of activities driven by greed, and they chased after foolish things to keep them happy.
This was the way of the world.
Note this, Jeff, up until 1929, Princeton Seminary adhered to the truth but eventually a movement surfaced to end Princeton’s adherence to scriptural theology, and in 1929 Princeton Theological Seminary was reorganized under modernist influences. Shortly thereafter, Westminster Seminary was formed in response to the church’s worldly views.
“Isn’t 1929 the year the Great Depression started, Ms. Dog?”
Bright guy, Jeff. Westminster Seminary has maintained the infallible Scriptures as their foundation. The problem with the New Deal era is that people turned away from God.
“Then he [Jesus] said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions’’ Luke 12:15
The people of the depression gained a new outlook on life and many survivors still hold those same virtues today. They deny the self indulgence and immediate gratification that come from material things. Instead they focus on relationship — with their family, with others, and most importantly, with God.
“So people acting rightly, responsibly on their own and not turning their lives over to the government that deals them a stacked deck is the best way to go, Ms. Dog.”
Right, Jeff. And I lie on the deck that was provided for me.