Thursday, November 15, 2012

1937 Essay by Then Senator Harry Truman

Greed, By Senator Harry S. Truman, Congressional Record, Bee. 20, 1937
reprinted in
American Affairs, JANUARY, 1946 Winter Number, Vol. VIII, No. 1 (p.6)

"ONE OF the difficulties, as I see it, is that we worship money instead of honor. A billionaire, in our estimation, is much greater in these days in the eyes of the people than the public servant who works for public interest. It makes no difference if the billionaire rode to wealth on the sweat of little children and the blood of underpaid labor. No one ever considered Carnegie libraries steeped in the blood of the Homestead steelworkers, but they are.

We do not remember that the Rockefeller Foundation is founded on the dead miners of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company and a dozen other similar performances. We worship Mammon; . . .

It is a pity that Wall Street, with its ability to control all the wealth of the nation and to hire the best law brains in the country, has not produced some financial statesmen, some men who could see the dangers of bigness and of the concentration of the control of wealth. Instead of working to meet the situation, they are still employing the best law brains to serve greed and selfish interest. People can stand only so much, and one of these days there will be a settlement. We shall have one receivership too many, and one unnecessary depression out of which we will not come with the power still in the same old hands. . . .

Our unemployment and our unrest are the result of the concentration of wealth, the concentration of population in industrial centers, mass production and a lot of other so-called modern improvements."


wilwon32 said...

I have previously suggested on several MMT-advocating sites that a more effective mode of advancing MMT ideas to the American citizenry might involve the use of animation strategies such as those promoted by the 'RSA Amination' folks. So far, a few boring-monologue videos have appeared, however, these really don't hold the attention of most uncritical folks who know little/nothing about economics and whose knowledge is probably limited to that drivel to which they are exposed by the MSM. I don't have the skills to follow up on this sort of suggestion, however, here is a link to a Portland, OR group -
'12-47 B the Media'

which appears willing to aid certain causes. Because it may be unlikely that MMT-advocates would also be accomplished artists, it might be possible that such advocates might be able to communicate with the '12-47 B the Media' to figure out a better way to obtain skilled, polished communication of MMT-concepts. Critical, would be the consultation/supervision of the project so that the concepts would be 'correct' and easily understandable.

As an aside, many of the comments on MMT-blog sites are not amenable to promotion to general enlightenment. The MMT experts/ wannabes spend inordinate time and words arguing about trivial points. By the way, the clever fellows who run the financial/banking systems are perfectly capable of understanding MMT concepts, however, it would not surprise me if such knowledge by this group would likely only assure that their lobbyists are better prepared to obfuscate efforts of MMT advocates.

Roger Erickson said...

Killer comment, Wilwon.

It's all true.

I'll contact the Portland group. That's my home town! Thanks for the info.

John Zelnicker said...

wilwon32 -- I think it is Warren who has said that the guys at the Fed who actually sit at the computers updating the accounts know exactly how it all works. I have also read the Warren's 7DIF has been surreptitiously circulated at the Fed HQ. But these are mid-level people who have no influence at this time, apparently.

And , I too believe that a bunch of the Fed managers and execs understand it but just don't want the general public to know. The we might start talking about all the emerging options to be explored to achieve the great return on coordination that will benefit everyone and move us all forward. Instead of talking about affordability or the hyperinflation around the corner due to money printing.

(Q: How can we be "out of money" and "printing our way to hyperinflation" at the same time?)

Roger Erickson said...

(Q: How can we be "out of money" and "printing our way to hyperinflation" at the same time?)

Some marketing language is inflated?

And while all inflation is supposedly equal, some inflations are more equal than than others? :)

At least in the paradigm of the befuddler.

I think there was actually a play on that word:
"Befuddler on the Roof"