The Roaring Twenties vs. The Dirty Thirties

Real Ways To Reclaim Freedom For America

Premise: Creeple will gladly sacrifice prosperity for America in return for personal power for themselves. There were two great societal freedom experiments in the early twentieth century. One proposed that restoring previously lost freedom would also restore previously lost prosperity. The other presumed that freedom itself was the reason for a loss of prosperity and set about to remove vast amounts of freedom to ostensibly fix the economy. Restoring economic freedom is known economically as freeplenomics. Removing economic freedom is known economically as creeplenomics.

1920s flappers

Flappers – 1920s (perhaps the most iconic image of that era). Young women liked to dance and have fun. The Roaring Twenties was the most prosperous decade in American history.

Freeple leaders responded to the 1920 Depression with freeplenomics – drastically reducing taxes, regulations, government spending and the size of government. Creeple leaders responded to the Great Depression of 1930 with what creeple today deceitfully call stimulus, but what is really creeplenomics – a deliberate government expansion and intrusion into the marketplace. The deflationary 1920 Depression (which was even more severe than the 1930 Great Depression) was over in less than two years. The Great Depression evolved into a suffocating economic malaise that festered throughout the 1930s and WWII, peaking again in the 1945 recession, along with hyper-inflation in 1946, and a falling GDP until 1947.

Some creeple today insist that WWII stimulated the economy – except that the malaise in non-war sectors of the economy persisted and the war ended with the whole economy in a recession, as do most wars. Living standards under war rationing and price controls had still not returned to the level of the late 1920s. The 17 year malaise only ended with the implementation of freeplenomics policies of tax cuts, removal of tariffs and price controls, the dismantling of many of the draconian labor laws of the 1935 Wagner Act through the passage of the Taft–Hartley Act of 1947, massive government borrowing and spending reductions, and a large reduction in the size of the federal government.

The unemployment rate after the 1920 Depression averaged 5.5% from 1923 to 1929, whereas it averaged an astonishing 29.2%(!!!) from 1930 to 1939 (official U.S. Census Bureau Statistical Abstracts).

1920s 1930s Unemployment

The following screenshot is from the official U.S. Census Bureau Statistical Abstracts of nonfarm unemployment from 1920 to 1939. Click to enlarge.

1920s 1930s Abstracts

From 1920 to 1929 the national debt went down from $26B to $16.9B (there was a surplus every year), but from 1930 to 1939 (before the war) the debt grew from $16.2B to $40.4B (there was a deficit every year). During the Roaring Twenties, even though tax rates were reduced precipitously, so many people were making good money and paying taxes that the national debt plunged by 35% in only 10 years! During the Dirty Thirties, even though taxes were dramatically hiked across the board, so few were employed and paying taxes that the national debt sky-rocketed by 250% in only 9 years!

1920s 1930s Debt

The following screenshot is from the official federal government website showing the national debt from 1920 to 1939. Click to enlarge.

TreasuryDirect 1920 1939

Question: Because of their significant but divergent histories the Roaring Twenties and the Dirty Thirties are the only named decades in American history. If it was possible to magically restart either the regaling prosperity of the first, or the grinding poverty of the second, which one would you choose?

Conundrum: The contrasting governmental responses to these two depressions offers a test tube comparison between the policies of freeplenomics versus the policies of creeplenomics. One worked to restore incredible prosperity. The other failed miserably, producing an economic malaise that lasted 17 years!

[Creeple want you to scoff off the realities of the Roaring Twenties compared to the Dirty Thirties – otherwise you might realize that freedom produces prosperity, while big-mommy government interference produces malaise (but power for creeple).]

1930s food line

1930s Al Capone soup line (perhaps the most iconic image of that era). Even the gangsters had to help feed the legions of unemployed. The Dirty Thirties was the most distressed decade in American history.

Explanation: Creeple propagandists insist that FDR’s so-called stimulus and regulation policies supposedly “saved capitalism” from the destruction of the laissez faire 1920s. In fact, the 1929 stock market crash resulted from the threat of a looming international tariff and trade war (the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act – definitely not laissez faire) combined with Federal Reserve-induced artificially low interest rates which encouraged a highly leveraged market (they carried too much debt – just like before the 2008 financial crisis). Both reasons were creeple intervention in the marketplace and the eventual passage of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act greatly contributed to the beginning of the Great Depression. When the act passed in June of 1930 unemployment was still at 6.3%, but afterward spiked to over 30%. The severity of the 1929 market crash was the result of a flaw in stock market rules. (The simple uptick rule, introduced in 1938, probably would have prevented most of the crash.)

The period following the 1920 Depression up to the creeple-induced stock market crash was arguably the greatest period of prosperity and technological advancement in American history. But if given a choice of magically returning to the economic conditions of the era of Flappers or soup lines, creeple today would insist that you choose the utter misery of the Dirty Thirties over the heady affluence of the Roaring Twenties (get the names?). In fact, President Obama has made that choice for you – he chose to implement a so-called stimulus policy (creeplenomics) following the 2008 financial crisis. The result is the current Obama Malaise, with the federal debt again skyrocketing like during the Dirty Thirties, and which when using the unemployment measuring standards of the 1920s and 1930s has averaged above 14%!

Conclusion: History tells you what works and what doesn’t. Freeplenomics (restoring economic freedom) works and creeplenomics (removing economic freedom) does not.

[This page is from The Paranoid Quiz website. To understand the context take the quiz.]