The last blog I wrote, concentrated on the current unemployment levels in Las Vegas Nevada. It also closed with a very inspiring statement by FDR, instructing Americans to be diligent during these times. If you can’t receive money for your work: then work just for the effort and pride of working. The consequences of lofty would not only hurt ones mental state of being, but also harm the country, as we embark upon regular employment again. So where are we today March 05, 2010. The unemployment rate in Las Vegas Nevada is 13% (1). The unemployment rate nationally is 9.7% (2). Recently President Obama provided a 4th extension of EU Benefits, which help with some income issues, but yet still is no solution for the underline problem of UNEMPLOYMENT. In the state of Nevada Tier IV benefits, began March 2, 2010 provided 6 weeks of benefits. As most unemployed I found these benefits to be very instrumental in helping me pay accumulated debit. The accumulation of debit is something this country does not need during these times of recession recovery. In regards to my employment searches, I have updated my application with the state, county and city. I have also update my application with the Housing Authority and neighboring city of North Las Vegas. Some of these departments still have a hiring freeze which was enacted Spring 2008. I am not surprised at the state of Nevada limiting employment opportunities considering the extensive efforts the Governor and the state legislation has endured trying to balance the budget.
Part of the budget balancing act of course would freeze state funds for employment. In the state of Nevada, this budget balancing is also having a major cut on education, especially higher education 7% (9). This is the wrong thing to be considering during these times of recession recovery. And if prolonged will have damaging effects on the State of Nevada and the nation as a whole in the end.. What a web we are weaving by not supporting the education and development of our future. I only pray that this is reversed soon.
Within the city of Las Vegas, the recession recovery has hit the employed personnel. Mayor Oscar Goodman, expressed his plan to fire all city employees, then rehire them, “I’m trying to save jobs — if it’s a strong-arm tactic, so be it,” Goodman said, according “If it’s legal, I’m going to propose it to the council.” (10)
Although this method was virtually impossible, I applaud our mayor for his shock value approach, which verifies the true nature of our state of the city financially. It seems that “BUDGET REDUCTION” is the only words I hear and read about from our elected officials these days. Reduction in essence means reduce, which is not a benefiting factor in the balance of a market exchange economy. A reduction cuts the bottom line, which trickles down to unemployment. In 2008-2009 a change of -0.6 the GDP of the state of Nevada existed compared to 2000-2008 which Nevada has an annual GDP of 3.9. (11) The GDP of the national increased by 5.7 for the fourth quarter 2009.(12) The Gross Domestic Product accounts for the amount of products and services produced in the United States thus sometimes is related to the number of jobs available or offered. This equation of unemployment and GDP is not always an accurate determinate. However it provides an ideal of unemployment.
On a good note, I am glad to hear President Obama start talking about “Green Jobs” again. The President recently mentioned a proposal job amendment. The amendment proposed would… “for the government to offer a job guarantee to all unemployed individuals who are ready, willing, and able to participate in the economic recovery—that is, to target the unemployed directly.” (8) Again I applaud Obamas’ effort and hope this proposal materialize on Main Street. And since Main Street is the core essence of President Obamas administration, I find it very interesting the correlation between him and the Great Franklin D. Roosevelt. Main Street represents everything America is all about. First we the people of Main Street, elect a sovereignty and representatives, to administer government for the people by the people. This notion of government by the people for the people is in actuality, a contract. At varied times in our history, this contract has inundated with an array of negative and positive attributes, yet has always been resilient. At the beginning of this entry, I mentioned doing some comparative reading, which included Margret Mitchell, David Brinkley, and Fredrick Douglas. A common theme I found was the battle placed upon the contract of the United States. The battles I want to focus on, are the years 1860, 1865, or 1935.
1860 provides the empirical questioning of decentralization. I think people today in our very modern society, don’t think this is possible. But looking at the various state and local government proposals for cession, provide ample evidence that there is some friction among citizens. The following link details all the state and local governments that have proposed some type of cession List of U.S. state secession proposals (wikipedia link).
When there is discontent within a nation, the fabric at it’s core begins to unravel.
During 1860 some believed the federal government was dictating law as it attempted to justify the economical state of the south with reference to slavery(3). Considering the world demand for cotton during this period, the south may had a huge interest, of which federal law would not be tolerated. This period is known as the Antebellum period (1830-1863). During this period the South flourished in cotton production, yet felt it’s philosophy was under siege by the rising abolitionists in the North, and the a struggle with the federal government over tariffs (5). Political voices as John Calhoun began to rise the Antebellum spirit of the South by suggestion secession to protect Southern interest. Zachary Taylor and Andrew Jackson both stood on this Southern platform, but Jackson refused to allow the veto of Federal law by states (6). One major issue of concern still on the minds of Southerners, was the 1825 Committee by which Levi Woodbury (New Hampshire) stated “… that all questions of direct taxes on land; all internal duties and excises; and all imposts, no less than questions of foreign and internal commerce, have a powerful, and, often, an immediate influence on the interests of agriculture.”
Seeming that the Southern state represented 70% of the US export, the ideal of protectionist tariffs rattled the Southern planters. They feared this would effect the raw material of their product, as a finished product and rallied against these tariffs (7). So the question for 1860 was division of the union, because of economical non-balance and federal mandated tariffs, which effected the Southern agricultural industry. Although not always stated, social and cultural differences propelled the thought also. Regardless of the Southern planters beliefs, facts remained that a social contract between the people of the United States and the Federal government existed. Although this contract was not prevalent as such, it was the theme of Lincolns only ambition salvation of the union.
1865, the union was saved, and what followed seems to be the reverse of the states and people of 1860. The correlation between Fredrick Douglas’s life and Gone With The Wind is too too revealing at this point. As the south tries to habituate to the new realm of the union. The Federal government implemented RATIFACTIONS through out the South, which not only alienated the races, but also completely rearranged the social class structure, which presided over the Antebellum period. During this period, the Federal government made themselves very present in the day to day lives of the south. Mitchell details yankee soldiers patrolling the streets of Atlanta. Not only was their presence necessary to enforce Ratification laws, but as a constant reminded of the state of the union, of which the south had now to attended to as legislated in Congress. Personally I love this period of American history, because after the Civil War, the sovereignty of the United States, started to take on a more active role of governing in a manner that coincides with the Constitution. An definition of who we the people are, began to developed, which included not only African Americans but also women. The Civil War period and the Ratification period, provide for America, an excellent reference point as to what liberty has come to mean. Those rights delegated in the Constitution had to be acquired through the delicate political system which embodies us. All three branches of the government were put to the test, to ensure liberty and freedom were attended to by this nations, diverse population.
Of the three years used in this comparison, I believe 1935 to be the most similar to the state of the union today. What a year for then President Roosevelt. Out of all the great things accomplished by him, I only want to write of one, NEW DEAL. What was the New Deal , a deal between the nations people the government of which we the people had elected to govern us. Why a deal? The Great Depression provided more than enough hurt to people of this nation. Especially the workers of this country who built it brick by brick. And from my “MARXIST” view point, the structure of Corporations could not, or did not attend to the possibilities of these workers, who just happen to be the same people of the nation who had elected governance over themselves. No where in that contract during those time did that governance protect from Corporations.
Although the industrial corporations provided ample employment. The means by which that employment was administered was a great failure to society. Everyone knows of the ills of the early Industrial period and the torment it place upon workers, family, and children. During the Industrial Revolution, the government again, sought to administer a contract between it’s people and the corporations which employed these people. Because of the nature of democracy, many of these corporations had great influential powers over the laws and guideline, by which they operated. Then the Great Depression along with the Dust Bowl basically froze employment opportunities. (13) I believe many of the corporation began to feel the side effect of the depression, and began to reduce their work forces, thus reducing their productivity, which in turn had a dramatic effect on the GDP and unemployment.
In 1933-35 the unemployment rate in the United States was 25% (15). At that time no unemployment insurance existed, of which Roosevelt enacted the New Deal in 1934-5. The New Deal represented an intentional effort of the sovereignty to attend to the people who had made it possible for them to govern, It was the first SOCIAL CONTRACT for the people, by the people. (16) With concerns of The New Deal John Dewey, the father of humanism, wrote in Individualism, Old and New (1929): “We are in for some kind of socialism, call it by whatever name we please, and no matter what it will be called when it is realized….There is still enough vitality in the older individualism to offer a very serious handicap to any party or program which calls itself by the name Socialism….The older individualism is still sufficiently ingrained to obtain allegiance in confused sentiment and in vocal utterance.” It was clear to Mr. Dewey that if socialism was to come about, it would have to bear a different title. Later, in 1929, came the stock market crash which brought about the intended condition of despair in this country and the subsequent election of Roosevelt and the “New Deal” (18).
So upon the unstable state of the union, by which depression had established itself. Roosevelt’s New Deal provided optimism and security to come. Yet at the same time, it raised the issue of Socialism within the American political platform. It’s important to point out the two very original concepts of the New Deal which still have an function in our modern society. The New Deal had three components: direct relief, economic recovery, and financial reform: Direct relief was provided through the extension of Hoovers Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA). Economical recovery was done through deficit spending and dropping gold values. Financial reform included the National Recovery Administration (1933), the Agricultural Adjustment Act farm programs (1933 and later), insurance of bank deposits (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 1933) and the Wagner Act encouraging labor unions (1935). The unemployment insurance and social security were added in 1935 and were departments of Public Works Administration (PWA), and Works Progress Administration (WPA).(wikipedia links)
Roosevelt’s New Deal ensured the people of the free governed nation, insurance that protected their vested employment security and effort. Ironically the New Deal was the beast of burden upon Roosevelt. In David Brinkley book titled “Washington Goes To War”, I am immediately aroused to the similarity in the plight of President Obama. Brinkley explains in great detail the very complex and chaotic world of Franklin Roosevelt. Despite all of the realities of the state of the union following the depression and at the foot of World War 2, Roosevelt kept firm belief that the New Deal was a good piece of legislation and would come to evolve itself as a core in the future of American life to reference to employment and social assistance. (17) Although many would deny it, the New Deal was the United States first enacted legislation that was socialistic in nature. FDR toward the late summer of 1935 was facing the external criticism, concerning his failure with the New Deal and how it cost the nation millions amount of dollar and how it was welfare uselessness.
With WW2 on his mind, and FDR was more concerned, with the failure of the New Deal. Especially damaging to Roosevelt’s New Deal was personalities such as Senator Robinson who “abhorred some of the more liberal and innovative New Deal enactments-massive expenditures for unemployment relief, guarantees to workers of the right to organize unions and bargain collectively…they also realized that the New Deal, for all its excesses protected from a much worse fate at the hands of Huey Longs of America.”(16) As President Obama advances health care and employment opportunities, I hope he looks toward Franklin D. Roosevelt for inspiration, should he ever have doubt about the very necessary legislation he and his administration must ratify into law. If doubt should ever come to their minds, I hope the precedent model of Roosevelt provides encouragement.
FOOTNOTES AND REFERENCES:
Margaret Mitchell, GONE WITH THE WIND, Macmillan New York in June 1936
Jules Archer, THEY HAD A DREAM, Puffin Books February 1996
David Brinkley, WASHINGTON GOES TO WAR Random House Value Publishing (April 12, 1999)
(1) http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/feb/20/ Unemployment Rate Las Vegas
(2) http://www.bls.gov Unemployment rate national
(3) rights email@example.com The Panic of 1857 Southern Economic Thought and Patriarchal
Defense of Slavery, Huston James L. John Wiley and Sons Jan 2007
(4) Registar of Debates US Committee Senate, Woodbury, Levi 1825 firstname.lastname@example.org
(5) Cash, Wilbur J. The Mind of the South (1941),
(6)^ Richard H. Pildes, “Democracy, Anti-Democracy, and the Canon”, Constitutional Commentary, Vol.17, 2000,, p. 27, accessed 10 Mar 2008
(7)Stanley Lebergott Why the South Lost:Commercial Purpose in the Confederacy p. 59-60
(8)Pavlina R. Tcherneva, Policy Note 2009/1 , Obama’s Job Creation Promise
A Modest Proposal to Guarantee That He Meets and Exceeds Expectations
(9) Save Our Schools March 22nd, 2010 by Justin McAffee
(10) Vegas Blues: Mayor May Fire Workers, Then Rehire at Fewer Hours
Tom Diemer political daily 3/11/2010 http://www.politicdaily.com
(11)June 2, 2009, 12:12 PM ET Your State in 2008: GDP and Jobs Don’t Always Go Hand in Hand by: Justin Lahart
(12) US Department of Commerce GDP Final 2008 http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/2009/pdf/gdp408f.pdf
(13)US Department of Commerce GDP Final 2009 2/26/2010 http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/2009/pdf/gdp408f.pdf
(14) 1930’s Dust Bowl by Paul Bonnifield
(15) 1932 unemployment rate http://www.bigcharts.marketwatch.com 11/20/2008 INDEX
(16) Albert Fried FDR and His Enemies St. Martin Publications
(17) David Brinkley Washington Goes To War, 1988
(18)John Dewey http://www.apfn.org/THEWINDS/1997/05/new_deal.html