Friday, February 10, 2012

Nixon the socialist

I was reading an article by David Frum critiquing Charles Murray's latest book when something jumped out at me.

He provided a quote from Richard Nixon's State of the Union speech in 1971 when an unemployment rate of 6% was considered a national emergency.

We must do better for workers in peacetime and we will do better.

To achieve this, I will submit an expansionary budget this year--one that will help stimulate the economy and thereby open up new job opportunities for millions of Americans.

It will be a full employment budget, a budget designed to be in balance if the economy were operating at its peak potential. By spending as if we were at full employment, we will help to bring about full employment.

I ask the Congress to accept these expansionary policies--to accept the concept of a full employment budget. ...

With the stimulus and the discipline of a full employment budget, with the commitment of the independent Federal Reserve System to provide fully for the monetary needs of a growing economy, and with a much greater effort on the part of labor and management to make their wage and price decisions in the light of the national interest and their own self-interest--then for the worker, the farmer, the consumer, for Americans everywhere we shall gain the goal of a new prosperity: more jobs, more income, more profits, without inflation and without war.

I'm certainly not the first one to notice, but you have to wonder if the Republicans we're dealing with these days ever take a moment to reflect just how over the cliff they've gone when compared with their leaders of the past. Where have rational thoughts like "by spending as if we were at full employment, we will help to bring about full employment" gone? These days when President Obama says something like that they call him a socialist and claim he's out to ruin the country.

Sometimes I think that all those Republicans sitting home instead of participating in the primaries and caucuses just might be opting out because they don't recognize their party anymore.


  1. heya smarty,

    When I was in Mnpls (the year before NN), we went to the library ... my daughter was looking for an article about a moon landing, and we needed to go - IIRC - to microfilm to get the article. Well, you know how microfilm is. You pretty much end up browsing the news around it. I actually really love reading newspapers on microfilm.

    So anyway, I ALSO found an article about Nixon promoting .... universal access to birth control. Yeah. Birth control.


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  3. Remember, this was shortly after Nixon finally killed off the gold standard.