Not connected to writing in any way.  But we have had some interesting historical discussions in this place.  Was FDR the greatest ever President of the USA?  And what would Fox (or the Murdoch owned media) have broadcast against him if they had been around in the 1930s and 1940s? 

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To be fair, Clinton wasn't charged with lying about his sex life. He was charged with perjury and obstruction of justice.

Personally, I think it was appropriate to have a public debate about whether we should tolerate a president who perjures himself and obstructs justice, no matter the underlying motive.

Yes, and it helped that after Nixon-Watergate there was a proliferation of journalism schools and programs to facilitate those eager to share the fame of Woodward & Bernstein. Of course, they needed material, so personal lives became fodder.

"It is the continuous growth, the incrementalism of government programs past their much needed, purported temporary, purpose that Rupert Murdoch and the Fox folks might find issue..."

It's always interesting to read this kind of stuff from outside the USA. I'm not sure how the correct "amount needed" is determined, certainly it can't be the same amount for everyone in such a big, diverse country as the USA.

And it is interesting how Roosevelt, an elite, "saved capitalism," from, as you say, the extremes that were taking over most of Europe, but to do it he also made some corporations richer and more powerful than maybe even they dreamed possible (no, that can't be right, they had big, big dreams...;)).

I wonder what Roosevelt would think of the corporate power in America today. The banks too big to fail and the insurance companies that will run health care the way the defense contractors run the Pentagon....


True, but whatever might be accomplished in the USA regarding the economy is done in the capitalistic fashion, which means folks with lots of money and influence--the most successful capitalists-- are going to be driving the ball while the rest help push. FDR was no intellectual idealist in the philosophical sense, but the alternative at the time was dismal. Either way, you deal with the devil. The capitalist system destroyed the economy, and it rebuilt it. In the perfect capitalistic world, the economy would work from the bottom up. In the real one, it works both from the bottom up and top down, with the top, admittedly, receiving the greatest benefit. Maybe. Who's to say? Where's the comparable for that time?

As an elitist FDR might be turning over in his grave now. But the view for most Americans, for instance, with respect to the haves and have-nots is long as I get what I need, I don't care how much you have.

Maybe the comparable for that time was briefly post-war. At least for white Americans. Still a lot of New Deal ideals left (and added to with things like the GI Bill), a lot of unionization so the wage gap wasn't so extreme and workers felt part of the process (had to be fought for, of course, more strikes in 1946 than any other year) and lots of confidence. McCarthyism had a big effect, I think, but it wasn't really till the 70s that things started to change for the working class. There's a good book called, "Staying Alive, the 1970s and the death of the working class," that covers a lor of this.

And then, of course, the go-go, greed-is-good 80s and the final attack on the New Deal.

But I think Roosevelt was attacked in his time as much as Fox News (I'm always surprised Americans have no issue with foreign ownership of that network) can do today. I remember one of my professors saying the commuter trains into Manhattan were referred to as the "Assassination Express," because of all the plans to get rid of Roosevelt. And his wife. Wow, some of the cartoons with her were pretty far out

There are folks who still hate his guts, and will, no matter what he might have accomplished. But judging him for the New Deal is kind of like judging the police officer or soldier who drops the hammer on a suspected criminal or enemy; it's fair only in context of the action. In the '30s there were both paupers and pigs who took whatever they could get, and were glad to get it, then went on, especially the conservatives, to hate him. Well, having been a liberal earlier in life, I'm a conservative now for some time, but I never hated him. I've heard too many of the stories from the period, some of them close to home.

Don't know what the "Fair and Balanced" Network would be doing back then.  

I do know that if we are not in a time period now in the United States similar to that of the late 1850's U.S., late 1920's Germany, or one of any other of the many other pre-cataclysmic situations throughout history, I will eat my fedora. 

As a UK historian (of dubious note and qualifications), and a long term admirer of your great country, I must (reluctantly) take issue here.  Slavery and secession are not dividing your nation,  although there are a few hot heads proposing the latter. They are idiots and should be dismissed as such.  Your country does not have hyper inflation, where prices rise by the hour.  The US is coming out of a prolonged recession, like the rest of the free world and is still the model that most countries aspire to.

You misunderstood me, Andrew.

Of course I was not implying that the U.S. is a slave nation or a victim of hyper-inflation at this time.  What I was saying is that, because of a variety of reasons that are now playing out, the U.S. is on a course where it can no longer avoid going through a period as disastrous as those I mentioned and others.  It will be soon, and because of the situation the U.S. is in and it's awesome military might, which is far more powerful than any empire in history, it will be far worse.  It is just a question of how many millions around the world the elites in America are willing to take down with them.

I hope I am wrong.

"Elites"? Who might those be?

Not sure, Steve, if you're just baiting or not.  So I'll respond as if you are not.  

I'm sure you realize that there are elites in America; in all counties for that matter.  They include folks of all races, genders, religions, nationalities, etc., although some do predominate but that can change over time.  In the USA the 400 wealthiest people in the country are richer than the bottom 150,000,000.  That's what they have in common--an obscene accumulation of wealth.  With this wealth they can control our destiny; we are all powerless in the USA politically under the present system because of this.  Unfortunately, I think these elites will defend this status quo to the bitter end; that's what I'm concerned about.  Not for me; for my children and grandchildren.

To some extent I agree with what Jed says. I think the situation is dangerous, but perhaps certain reforms can stop the worst abuses by these people (not paying taxes and buying politicians). 


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