Guest Opinion – J. Barry Wright
The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of Robert’s World Money and it employees, unless, of course you agree with them.
When I first heard that Tom Stebbins had opted for Calvin Coolidge to represent the State of Vermont I was dumbfounded. When I brought this subject up to a few who were knowledgeable in history I received two completely different points of view. This subject had all of the components of a grand controversy over the merits of a laissez faire style of government. Then it occurred to me that these were FUN notes. So I decided to make fun of both sides of the argument.
“Silent Cal” didn’t much believe in the idea of big government. As a matter of fact he didn’t seem to believe in nothing outside of his afternoon nap. He allowed big business to do whatever they wanted and it resulted in a period of absolute prosperity witness, “The Roaring Twenties”. Silent Cal reduced the income tax of the wealth from 56% to 48% and only the top two percent of the wealthy paid any income tax at all. This made him very popular with everybody at that time. Of course this resulted in insufficient funds for a federal government to operate and perform its duties. He passed these responsibilities off to the individual states. Meanwhile the prohibition had started and a million people lost their jobs.
Thus after Theodore Roosevelt had initiated a historic change in federal government control over conservation and environmental control. Silent Cal just allowed these programs to wither on the vine. Meanwhile the Prohibition was rolling ahead full steam and gangland bootleggers were murdering and taking control of large territories. Again the lack of government funding was a large aid to their success.
Franklin Roosevelt ended the prohibition in 1933 with the establishment of the 21st amendment and this was the first step in reversing the Great Depression.
Now those who are against the laissez faire style of government overlook one important detail. Our government cannot do anything efficiently. Every responsibility that we charge to the government is met with wholesale bureaucracy and quite often abject managerial incompetence. Politicians ruin and sabotage every worthwhile project and create inane amounts of paperwork and riders to bills. These riders result in multi-million dollar grants and construction projects being awarded to campaign contributors with no regard whatsoever for the common good of the people. Military contractors instigate wars and spend countless dollars lobbying for causes that are counter to the peace of our nation.
Subsidies are created for the richest most profitable corporations while the poor are forced to beg for a living wage.
So how is Calvin Coolidge supposed to represent fun?
He certainly was too quiet to be the life of the Party, he presided over prohibition and arguably led us into the Great Depression with his non action. People of Vermont what do you think? Would you rather have Robert Frost or Pearl Buck represent you on a FUN note? Ben and Jerry are also suitable candidates. See what happens when you don’t vote?