Never letting a crisis go to waste

After a trip to Russia shortly after the revolution, during which he and others met for six hours with Stalin, American economist and engineer Stuart Chase reported saying, "'Why should Russians have all the fun remaking a world?"  The quote comes up in an interview in the January 2008 issue of  Reason  in which Nick Gillespie talks to Amity Shlaes, author of the history of the Great Depression, The Forgotten Man (Harper Collins 2007).

As a public service I offer this unguarded crystallization of policy, this clue to the mind of the old New Dealer, from one of his other books: 

  1. A strong, centralized government.
  2. An executive arm growing at the expense of the legislative and judicial arms.
  3. The control of banking, credit and security exchanges by the government.
  4. The underwriting of employment by the government, either through armaments or public works.
  5. The underwriting of social security by the government – old-age pensions, mothers’ pensions, unemployment insurance, and the like.
  6. The underwriting of food, housing, and medical care, by the government.
  7. The use of deficit spending to finance these underwritings.
  8. The abandonment of gold in favor of managed currencies.
  9. The control of foreign trade by the government.
  10. The control of natural resources.
  11. The control of energy sources.
  12. The control of transportation.
  13. The control of agricultural production.
  14. The control of labor organizations.
  15. The enlistment of young men and women in youth corps devoted to health, discipline,community service and ideologies consistent with those of the authorities.
  16. Heavy taxation, with special emphasis on the estates and incomes of the rich.
  17. Control of industry without ownership.
  18. State control of communications and propaganda.
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I leave the cleansing of America from the poison of such socialism as an exercise for the reader.

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