I wrote this article three years ago. It is still one of my favorites. Read it and decide whether John Steinbeck was a contemptible communist or a courageous man who confronted the government and the criminal bankers with truth. Is fighting for the little guy a noble or detestable trait? You decide.

“And the great owners, who must lose their land in an upheaval, the great owners with access to history, with eyes to read history and to know the great fact: when property accumulates in too few hands it is taken away. And that companion fact: when a majority of the people are hungry and cold they will take by force what they need. And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.” – John SteinbeckGrapes of Wrath


John Steinbeck wrote his masterpiece The Grapes of Wrath at the age of 37 in 1939, at the tail end of the Great Depression. Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize for literature. John Ford then made a classic film adaption in 1941, starring Henry Fonda. It is considered one of the top 25 films in American history. The book was also one of the most banned in US history. Steinbeck was ridiculed as a communist and anti-capitalist by showing support for the working poor. Some things never change, as the moneyed interests that control the media message have attempted to deflect the blame for our current Depression away from their fraudulent deeds.

The novel stands as a chronicle of the Great Depression and as a commentary on the economic and social system that gave rise to it. Steinbeck’s opus to the working poor reverberates across the decades. He wrote the novel in the midst of the last Fourth Turning Crisis. His themes of man’s inhumanity to man, the dignity and rage of the working class, and the selfishness and greed of the moneyed class ring true today.

Steinbeck became the champion of the working class. When he decided to write a novel about the plight of migrant farm workers, he took his task very seriously. To prepare, he lived with an Oklahoma farm family and made the journey with them to California. Seventy years later the plight of the working class is the same. If Steinbeck were alive today he would live with a Michigan auto manufacturing family making a journey to fantasyland of green energy, where automobiles ran on corn and sunshine.

The working class bore the brunt of the Great Depression in the 1930s and they are bearing the burden during our current Greater Depression. Steinbeck knew who the culprits were seventy years ago. We know who the culprits are today. They are one in the same. The moneyed banking interests caused the Great Depression and they created the disastrous collapse that has thus far destroyed 7 million middle class jobs. Steinbeck understood that the poor working class of this country had more dignity and compassion for their fellow man than any Wall Street banker out for enrichment at the expense of the working class.

Okies and the Land of Milk & Honey

“How can you frighten a man whose hunger is not only in his own cramped stomach but in the wretched bellies of his children? You can’t scare him–he has known a fear beyond every other.” – John Steinbeck – Grapes of Wrath


The America of 1930 was different in many aspects from the America of 2011. The population of the U.S. was 123 million, living in 26 million households, or 4.7 people per household. Today the population of the U.S. is 310 million, living in 118 million households, or 2.6 people per household. The living and working structure of the country was dramatically different in 1930.

The percentage of the population that lived in rural areas exceeded 40%, down from 60% in 1900, as the country rapidly industrialized. One quarter of the population still worked on farms. Today, less than 20% of Americans live in rural areas, while less than 2% live on farms. In 1935, there were 6.8 million farms in the U.S. Today there are 2.1 million farms. The family farm has been slowly but surely displaced by corporate mega-farms since the 1920s, with 46,000 farms now accounting for 50% of all farm production today.

The sad plight of the American working farmer did not begin with the Stock Market Crash of 1929. The seeds of destruction were planted prior to and during World War I. Automation through technology allowed for more cultivation of land. Agricultural prices rose due to strong worldwide demand, leading farmers to dramatically increase cultivation. With food commodity prices soaring, farmers fell into the classic trap that McMansion buyers fell into from 2000 through 2006. Farmers took on huge amounts of debt to acquire more land and farming equipment as local banks were willing to feed their illusions with loans. It was a can’t miss proposition. Jim Grant in his book Money of the Mind: Borrowing and Lending from the Civil War to Michael Milken described the end result:

Like bull markets in stocks, the bull market in farmland engendered the belief that prices would rise forever. “Speculators who had no interest whatever in farming bought land for the 6 percent or 8 percent annual rise that seemed a certainty throughout the early years of the century…” The rise in farm prices had only begun. The price of wheat was 62 cents a bushel in 1900. It was 99 cents in 1909, $1.43 in 1916, and $2.19 at the peak in 1919. To put $2.19 in perspective, it was not a price seen again until 1947.

The collapse of prices in the early 1920s would have been devastating enough, but the damage was compounded by debt. By the summer of 1921, crop prices were down by no less than 85 percent from the postwar peak. Nebraskans, finding that corn had become cheaper than coal, burned it. As it does in every market, the fall in prices revealed the weaknesses in the structure of credit that had financed the rise.

Between 1919 and 1921, the number of banks that failed totaled 724, with only one of the largest, National City Bank, being bailed out by Washington DC. The heartland, where more than 40% of the population lived, did not participate in the Roaring Twenties. Wall Street and the urbanized Northeast experienced the rapid wealth accumulation during the 1920s. The working poor of the farm belt struggled to subsist. Land under cultivation continued to rise even after the bust of the early 1920s, tripling between 1925 and 1930. The land was over farmed and not properly cared for, depriving the soil of organic nutrients and increasing exposure to erosion. Then Mother Nature took her pound of flesh, much like she is doing today across the globe.


The Dust Bowl was a period of severe dust storms causing major ecological and agricultural damage to Midwest prairie lands from 1930 to 1936. The phenomenon was caused by severe drought coupled with decades of extensive farming without crop rotation, fallow fields, cover crops or other techniques to prevent erosion.Deep plowing of the virgin topsoil of the Great Plains had displaced the natural deep-rooted grasses that normally kept the soil in place and trapped moisture even during periods of drought and high winds. These immense dust storms—given names such as “Black Blizzards” and “Black Rollers”—often reduced visibility to a few feet. The Dust Bowl affected 100,000,000 acres, centered on the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma.

Small farmers were hit especially hard. Even before the dust storms hit, the invention of the tractor drastically cut the need for manpower on farms. These small farmers were usually already in debt, borrowing money for seed and paying it back when their crops came in. When the dust storms damaged the crops, not only could the small farmer not feed himself and his family, he could not pay back his debt. Banks would then foreclose on the small farms and the farmer’s family would be both homeless and unemployed. Between 1930 and 1935, nearly 750,000 farms were lost through bankruptcy or sheriff sales.

Millions of acres of farmland became useless, and hundreds of thousands of people were forced to leave their lifelong homes. They set out on Route 66 toward the land of milk and honey – California. Hundreds of thousands of families traveled this lonely road during the 1930s.


Many of these families, often known as “Okies”, since so many came from Oklahoma migrated to California and other states, where they found economic conditions little better during the Great Depression than those they had left. Owning no land, many became migrant workers who traveled from farm to farm to pick fruit and other crops at starvation wages. While the Great Depression affected all Americans, about 40% of the population was relatively unscathed. Not so for the “Okies”.

Californians tried to stop migrants from moving into their state by creating checkpoints on main highways called “bum blockades.” California even initiated an “anti-Okie” law which punished anyone bringing in “indigents” with jail time. While Steinbeck highlights the plight of migrant farm families in The Grapes of Wrath, in reality, less than half (43%) of the migrants were farmers. Most migrants came from east of the Dust Bowl and did not work on farms. By 1940, 2.5 million people had moved out of the Plains states; of those, 200,000 moved to California.

Man’s Inhumanity to Man

“It has always seemed strange to me… the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.”John Steinbeck

Steinbeck’s novel was a national phenomenon. The book won Steinbeck the admiration of the working class, due to the book’s sympathy to the common man and its accessible prose style. It also got him branded a communist by the large California land barons and the non-stop harassment by J. Edgar Hoover and the IRS for most of his life. The book was lauded, debated, banned and burned. A book can only generate that amount of heat by getting too close to a truth that those in power do not want revealed. The Grapes of Wrath did just that. Steinbeck meant to pin the blame where it belonged:

“I want to put a tag of shame on the greedy bastards who are responsible for this [the Great Depression and its effects].”

The bankers who took their farms and cast them aside like a piece of trash, the Wall Street speculators who got rich by peddling debt to the working class, and the wealthy land barons who treated the migrant farm workers like criminals, were to blame for the suffering of millions. The pyramid of wealth was as unequal in 1929 as it is today. The 1% of the population at the very top of the pyramid had incomes 650% greater than those 11% of Americans at the bottom of the pyramid. The tremendous concentration of wealth in the hands of a few meant that continued economic prosperity was dependent on the high investment and luxury spending of the wealthy.

By 1929, the richest 1% owned 40% of the nation’s wealth. The top 5% earned 33% of the income in the country. The bottom 93% experienced a 4% drop in real disposable income between 1923 and 1929. The middle class comprised only 20% of all Americans. Society was skewed heavily towards the haves. By 1929, more than half of all Americans were living below a minimum subsistence level. Those with means were taking advantage of low interest rates by using margin to invest in stocks.

The margin requirement was only 10%, so you could buy $10,000 worth of stock for $1,000 and borrow the rest. With artificially low interest rates and a booming economy, companies extrapolated the good times and invested in huge expansions. During the 1920s there were 1,200 mergers that swallowed up more than 6,000 companies. By 1929, only 200 mega-corporations controlled over half of all American industry. The few were enriched, while the many wallowed in poverty and despair.

When self proclaimed experts on the Great Depression, like Ben Bernanke, proclaim that the Federal Reserve contributed to the Depression by not expanding the monetary supply fast enough, they practice the art of the Big Lie.  The Great Depression was mainly caused by the expansion of the money supply by the Federal Reserve in the 1920’s that led to an unsustainable credit driven boom. Both Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises predicted an economic collapse in early 1929.  In the Austrian view it was this inflation of the money supply that led to an unsustainable boom in both asset prices (stocks and bonds) and capital goods. Ben Strong, the head of the Federal Reserve, attempted to help Britain by keeping interest rates low and the USD weak versus the Pound.

The artificially low interest rates led to over investment in textiles, farming and autos. In 1927 he lowered rates yet again leading to a speculative frenzy leading up to the Great Crash. The ruling elite of society were the Wall Street speculators. Only 1.5 million people out of an entire population of 127 million invested in the stock market. Margin loans increased from $3.5 billion in 1927 to $8.5 billion in 1929. Stock prices rose 40% between May 1928 and September 1929, while daily trading rose from 2 million shares to 5 million shares per day. By the time the Federal Reserve belatedly tightened in 1928, it was far too late to avoid a stock market crash and depression.

The Federal Reserve was created by bankers to benefit bankers. The Federal Reserve purchased $1.1 billion of government securities from February to July 1932, which raised its total holding to $1.8 billion. Total bank reserves only rose by $212 million, but this was because the American populace lost faith in the banking system and began hoarding more cash, a factor very much beyond the control of the Central Bank.

The potential for a run on the banks caused local bankers to be more conservative in lending out their reserves, and was the cause of the Federal Reserve’s inability to inflate. From its backroom middle of the night creation in 1913, the bank owned Federal Reserve has sought to benefit its owners, the large Wall Street banking interests and its politician protectors in Congress. The working class has always been nothing more than hosts used by the parasites to tax and peddle debt to.

Income and wealth inequality reached a new peak in 2007, the highest level of inequality since 1929. William Domhoff details this inequality in the following terms:

In the United States, wealth is highly concentrated in a relatively few hands. As of 2007, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 34.6% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 50.5%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 85%, leaving only 15% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers). In terms of financial wealth (total net worth minus the value of one’s home), the top 1% of households had an even greater share: 42.7%.

Source: Domhoff

Real median household income in the U.S. is $49,777 today. It was $52,388 in 1999 before George Bush took office. This is a 5% decline over ten years. Even more disturbing is the fact that the top 20% of households showed real increases in income. The bottom 50% lost income during the last ten years, with the bottom 20% losing 8% of income over this time frame. No wonder there is so much anger among the working middle class in the country regarding the bailout for the top 1%.

Sixty million households make less today than they made 10 years ago. The policies of the Federal Reserve over the last ten years have benefitted speculators and punished seniors, savers and the working middle class. Every policy, program and regulation rolled out by the Federal Reserve in the last three years has been to prop up, enrich, and support their Too Big To Fail Wall Street owners. The middle class American working family is Too Small To Matter.

Steinbeck presciently realized that the suffering of the working class was not due to bad weather, bad luck, or the actions of the working class. It was caused by the rich ruling elite wielding their power and influence across the land in their effort to enrich themselves by any means necessary. Historical, social, and economic circumstances separate people into rich and poor, landowner and tenant, and the people in the dominant roles struggle viciously to preserve their positions.

During the Great Depression it was the brokers, bankers and businessmen who maintained a dominant role, while farmers, workers, and the common man were treated like dogs. Steinbeck used this symbolism by having the Joad’s family dog be run over by a rich person driving a fancy roadster early in the novel. Steinbeck saw the large California landowners as the epitome of the evil Haves. The landowners created a system in which the migrants were treated like animals, shuffled from one filthy roadside camp to the next, denied livable wages, and forced to turn against their brethren simply to survive.

Steinbeck’s world was black and white, good and evil, rich and poor. Today, the corporate mainstream media would brand him a anti-capitalist, socialist crackpot. Those in control want to keep the masses lost in shades of grey. In the 1930s it was clearer regarding who was to blame. The social safety net of New Deal programs from FDR had just begun. At the time, I’m sure they seemed like a good idea to ease the suffering of the poor. In reality, they did little to help, as the unemployment rate was still 18% in 1939, ten years after the Depression began.

These programs, along with hundreds implemented since the 1930s, have created a dependent underclass and have left America with unfunded liabilities in excess of $100 trillion. The rich use the 70,000 page IRS tax code to avoid taxes. They use their wealth to buy influence in Washington DC, rigging the game in their favor. The bottom 50% of the population pays no income taxes. The working middle class, with declining real incomes, foot the bill. They are bamboozled into believing they can live like the rich by a financial industry willing to lie, obfuscate and defraud them. Corporate superstar CEOs, fawned over by the corporate media, outsourced their good paying middle class jobs to foreign lands, boosting EPS, their stock price and their mega-million bonuses. This may not look like the 1930s, but it is worse for millions of American working middle class families.

The Dignity of Wrath

“…and in the eyes of the people there is the failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.”  – John Steinbeck – Grapes of Wrath


Steinbeck’s feelings about the people he was writing about can be summed up in this passage:

“If you’re in trouble, or hurt or need – go to the poor people. They’re the only ones that’ll help – the only ones.”

The Joads refuse to be broken by their circumstances. They maintain their dignity, honor and self respect, despite the trials and tribulations that befall them. Hunger, tragic death, and maltreatment by the authorities do not break their spirit. Their dignity in the face of tragedy stands in contrast to the vileness of the rich landowners and the cops that treated the migrant workers like criminals.

No matter how much misfortune and degradation are heaped upon the Joads, their sense of justice, family, and honor never waver. Steinbeck believed that as long as people maintained a sense of injustice—a sense of anger against those who sought to undercut their pride in themselves—they would never lose their dignity. Tom Joad is the symbol of all the mistreated working poor who refuse to be beaten down. The landowners and the police are the oppressors. Tom kills a policeman in a struggle for the dignity of the workers. Tom’s farewell to his Ma, captures the essence of the struggle:

“Wherever they’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever they’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. If Casy knowed, why, I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad an’—I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry n’ they know supper’s ready. An’ when our folks eat the stuff they raise an’ live in the houses they build—why, I’ll be there.” – Tom Joad – Grapes of Wrath

Steinbeck’s wrath was directed towards the bankers who stole the farms, the California landowners that treated the workers like vermin, and the police who sided with the wealthy and carried out the brutality on the workers. Tom Joad’s anger and wrath toward those who meant to make them cower is portrayed powerfully in this passage:

“I know, Ma. I’m a-tryin’. But them deputies- Did you ever see a deputy that didn’t have a fat ass? An’ they waggle their ass an’ flop their gun aroun’. Ma”, he said, “if it was the law they was workin’ with, why we could take it. But it ain’t the law. They’re a-working away at our spirits. They’re a-tryin’ to make us cringe an’ crawl like a whipped bitch. They’re tryin’ to break us. Why, Jesus Christ, Ma, they comes a time when the on’y way a fella can keep his decency is by takin’ a sock at a cop. They’re working on our decency”.”

Today, Steinbeck’s wrath would be focused upon Wall Street Mega-Banks, Mega-Corporations and the politicians that allow them to pillage the wealth of the nation. Droughts, foreclosures and technology drove millions of farmers into the cities during the 1930s and it accelerated with the onset of World War II. America became manufacturer to the world, with manufacturing accounting for over 28% of GDP in the mid-1950s. The business of banking, insurance and real estate accounted for less than 11% of GDP.

Since the adoption of the credit card on a large scale in the late 1960’s, the role of bankers and debt in our society has grown relentlessly and recklessly. The point of no return occurred in the mid-1980’s when the financial sector passed the manufacturing sector in relative importance for our economy. Today, banker generated profits from peddling debt to the middle class, creating derivatives to defraud widows and pension funds, and running their institutions like leveraged casinos on steroids account for 21.5% of GDP. Manufacturing profits now account for a pitiful 11.2% of GDP, as the CEO titans of industry at General Electric, Hewlett Packard, Intel, and Apple shipped the manufacturing jobs to Asia in a noble effort to boost earnings per share and reward themselves with $30 million pay packages.


Total U.S. debt as a percentage of GDP was remarkably stable at approximately 130% for three decades, while financial profits as a percentage of GDP consistently ranged just below 1%. The ascension of Alan Greenspan to the throne of the Federal Reserve unleashed a dust storm of debt and banking profits over the last 25 years. Total credit and financial industry profits each grew by more than 250%. Real wages of middle class workers are lower today than they were in 1971.

Since the higher paying manufacturing jobs were shipped overseas, Wall Street stepped into the breach by providing trillions of debt to the average American so they could buy stuff being produced in China by people who took their jobs. Wall Street and the corporate media convinced middle class Americans that their standard of living was increasing upon the waves of debt. The godfather, Greenspan, watched over and protected the big banks. When they screwed up in their efforts to pillage and plunder on a grand scale, the godfather would reduce interest rates and flood the system with liquidity. Heads they win, tails America loses.

Source: Barry Ritholtz

The powerful Wall Street banks were un-refrained, unregulated and unscrupulous in their unquenchable looting and ransacking of the wealth of the American public. The Federal Reserve provided the fuel and Congress lit the fuse with the repeal of Glass-Steagall, ultimately leading to the biggest financial explosion in world financial history in 2008. The financial crisis was created by the biggest Wall Street banks and the policies of the Federal Reserve. It is a tribute to their monetary power, complete capture of the mainstream media, and total ensnarement of the corrupt politicians in Washington DC, that somehow the Too Big To Fail banks are bigger than they were before the crisis.

The working middle class has footed the bill for the trillions that have been shoveled into the coffers of these criminal enterprises. As a reward, the savers receive .25% on their savings. These men have put 8.5 million people out of work in the last three years. Steinbeck understood that bankers who foreclosed on the homes of poor farmers and fed the speculation that led to the Great Crash were nothing more than extensions of an evil monster:

“No, you’re wrong there—quite wrong there. The bank is something else than men. It happens that every man in a bank hates what the bank does, and yet the bank does it. The bank is something more than men, I tell you. It’s the monster. Men made it, but they can’t control it.”

The bankers that control our economy today deserve the same scorn and wrath that Steinbeck heaped on bankers and California landowners in the 1930’s. Jesse, from Jesse’s Café Americain captures the wrath in this assessment of our current state of affairs:

“The Banks must be restrained, and the financial system reformed, with balance restored to the economy, before there can be any sustained recovery. All else is looting and folly, with apathy and complacent self-interest as their accomplices.”

Selfishness & Altruism

I ain’t never gonna be scared no more. I was, though. For a while it looked as though we was beat. Good and beat. Looked like we didn’t have nobody in the whole wide world but enemies. Like nobody was friendly no more. Made me feel kinda bad and scared too, like we was lost and nobody cared…. Rich fellas come up and they die, and their kids ain’t no good and they die out, but we keep on coming. We’re the people that live. They can’t wipe us out, they can’t lick us. We’ll go on forever, Pa, cos we’re the people. – Ma Joad – Grapes of Wrath

The power elite that believe they can control the masses as puppet master commands a puppet should beware. The wrath of the masses can be fierce and sudden. Ask Hosni Mubarak. As Steinbeck realized many decades ago, selfishness run amok, supported and encouraged by the authorities lead to poverty, despair and sometimes revolution. The false mantra of an economy based on self-interest and free markets is a smokescreen blown by the few with wealth and power to obscure the truth that they have used their wealth and power to rig the game in their favor. The have-nots can dream about becoming a have, but the chances of achieving that dream today are miniscule.

Steinbeck pointedly distinguishes between the selfishness of the moneyed class and the altruism of the working poor. In contrast to and in conflict with this policy of selfishness stands the migrants’ behavior toward one another. Aware that their livelihood and survival depend upon their devotion to the collective good, the migrants unite—sharing their dreams as well as their burdens—in order to survive.

Those in control need to keep the masses divided. They need Americans to be distracted by phantom terrorist threats, inconsequential political differences, American Idol, Charlie Sheen, Lindsey Lohan and Lady Gaga. They need Americans to be focused on “I”. Their greatest fear is that the American people realize that “We” can change the direction of this country and bring the perpetrators of crimes against the people of this country to justice. John Steinbeck saw the potential power of the common man if they became “We”:  

One man, one family driven from the land; this rusty car creaking along the highway to the west. I lost my land, a single tractor took my land. I am alone and bewildered. And in the night one family camps in a ditch and another family pulls in and the tents come out. The two men squat on their hams and the women and children listen. Here is the node, you who hate change and fear revolution. Keep these two squatting men apart; make them hate, fear, suspect each other. Here is the anlarge of the thing you fear. This is the zygote. For here “I lost my land” is changed; a cell is split and from its splitting grows the thing you hate–“We lost our land.” The danger is here, for two men are not as lonely and perplexed as one. And from this first “we” there grows a still more dangerous thing: “I have a little food” plus “I have none.” If from this problem the sum is “We have a little food,” the thing is on its way, the movement has direction. Only a little multiplication now, and this land, this tractor are ours. The two men squatting in a ditch, the little fire, the side-meat stewing in a single pot, the silent, stone-eyed women; behind, the children listening with their souls to words their minds do not understand. The night draws down. The baby has a cold. Here, take this blanket. It’s wool. It was my mother’s blanket–take it for the baby. This is the thing to bomb. This is the beginning–from “I” to “we.” – John Steinbeck – Grapes of Wrath

 The American people have a choice. They can continue on a course of apathy, selfishness and worship of mammon, or they can rally together with selflessness and concern for the welfare of their fellow man and future unborn generations. The current path, forged by a minority of privileged wealthy elite, will lead to the destruction of this country and misery on an unprecedented scale.

It is up to each of us to show the courage of John Steinbeck, who without a thought for himself, stood up against the stones of condemnation, and spoke for those who were given no real voice in the halls of justice, or the halls of government. By doing so he became an enemy of the political status quo. Are you prepared to incur the wrath of the vested interests and meet their lies and propaganda with the fury of your own wrath in search for the truth? These men are sure you don’t have the courage, fortitude and wrath to defeat them.


Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.

– Battle Hymn of the Republic

193 thoughts on “GRAPES OF WRATH – 2011”

  1. Jim,

    This one ranks as your tour de force. In a word, incredible. Best and most cogent analysis of the Great Depression I’ve ever read.

    More importantly, your writing style is hitting a new zenith. The blend of quotes from Grapes of Wrath with easy-to-read charts and facts from then and now is quite REMARKABLE. I hope that this article goes viral on the Internet. I think it will.

    One final point. You said, “The policies of the Federal Reserve over the last ten years have benefitted speculators and punished seniors, savers and the working middle class.” True enough, but you buried this sentence in the middle of a paragraph. Should have been the topic sentence.

    You didn’t think I was going to let you off without a pin prick, did you?

    1. SSS

      Thanks. I tried to capture Steinbeck’s fury in the article. The apathy in this country has to end. We need some wrath.

  2. Thank you for this… You expended a great deal of effort to produce this article but it is very informative and timely.

    Many thanks

  3. well done. particularly interesting to combine hayek/mises’ critique with steinbeck’s. rare but illuminating. and on target. the transfer payments (food stamps, unemployment insurance payments, rent subsidies, healthcare payments, social security) all make the greater depression marginally more bearable but, as you note, increase the nation’s unfunded liabilities beyond what ultimately can be managed by the generations to come without very destructive extreme inflation and bankrupting higher interest rates. while this is due largely to the profligate (and largely unproductive) deficit spending during the credit expansion of 1982 to 2007 which left us unable to apply keynes’s recommendations properly when we need them, we can’t change the past (or, it seems, learn from it). we only have the future as it becomes the present.

    what’s missing is hinted at in your intersecting lines of manufacturing and financial profits: the government must spend money not on endless bailouts of zombie banks or on wars (terrorism, drugs, iraq, afghanistan …) but on productive enterprise that employs the unemployed and, crucially, makes what the economy needs. whether this is applied research or green energy or orphan drugs that cure diseases but are unprofitable is a useful debate but the outlines are, imo, beyond dispute. as widely acknowledged only ww2 really ended the great depression. must it be another that ends this one? see above re: learning from the past.

  4. The sad fact missed by most people is the carnage of World War II reduced the surplus numbers of working men and women worldwide, destroyed the productive capacity of much of global industry and re-distributd global income and power into the hands of American government, military and business elites. This is what ended the Great Depression.
    The devastation of massive worldwide conflict and America’s ability to emerge victorious with a strong industrial complex was the foundation of the American global political and financial empire of the next 50 years (backed by a thermo-nuclear arsenal) and is what enabled the world economy to enjoy relative peace and unprecedented material prosperity during this time.
    In essence, the world had to be re-built with fewer hands than it had before and America’s position as victor allowed it to lead the effort and enjoy most of the spoils.
    As with all human endeavors, the American empire was ultimately undermined by the selfish actions of power and wealth-obsessed men and women. Only the fact that our empire was rooted in democracy and Christianity kept us from waging an all-out ruthless war of global conquest. Instead, America engaged in a cold war of threat and diplomacy – and an ongoing series of “police actions” – that failed in their attempt to extend America’s will and control over the planet.
    The result of this failure will be economic chaos, a growing power vacuum, and a new round of global death and destruction.
    Wars are the result of sin; especially arrogance and greed. It has always been this way and it will be so again. Only a change of every human heart away from self-love and toward sharing and compassion for others can stop wars from happening. This was taught by Jesus Christ.
    Sadly, he knew and preached the sinful nature of most humans will not change. He warned his generation the grapes of the Lor’d’s wrath would be pressed from them; and from all future generations until His will of sharing and compassion toward others is done. It is in the Bible and in history books. Look it up and ask yourself whether the harvest you are preparing is bitter or sweet.
    Both are ripening in the fields and will soon be gathered in.

  5. Great Jim, when does the book come out? Hey, I hope your getting some exercise although I don’t see how. You need to be around for awhile. It’s writers like you who can flush this all out.

    As an aside, one of my employees has a son in law in the basement who gets $500/ month SNAP and $150 from another program in cash for cigarettes, beer, pot, and toilet paper. So far this depression is a cake walk for some. Party on dude.

    1. cv51

      If I can figure out how to write a book while in traffic on the Schuykill Expressway, then I’ll be in good shape. My exercise consists of walking from my car to my house. Temperatures today will hit 50 degrees for the first time since November. Taking a long walk on the farm road will be refreshing after this winter.

  6. I guess if we could take out the fixation on income/wealth inequality the writing might be more interesting. It’s hard for my simple mind to concentrate on an exposition that constantly degrades into ‘the elite did it, they got all the money’, while ignoring important facts like the local panhandler who takes a call on his pre-paid phone while hitting you up for a dollar.

    Seems the whole of the alternative media is awake to the apparent fact that our economy is in a heap of trouble. What differs from site to site is (a) who they blame and (b) what they imply the solution to be. This piece, like many others produced from the so-called ‘left’, keys in on the “false mantra of an economy based on self-interest and free markets…”. A reasonable assertion to make from the left, but one which leaves the alternative hidden in an even denser ‘smokescreen’. I needn’t label that alternative as I don’t care to be called names. But clearly given the fixation on ‘unjust distribution’ of wealth, the answer implied is a system of just distribution. And frankly, after watching those systems gradually reduce their populations to State directed automatons to one degree or another, I think I’ll vote with my pocketbook for a -more- free market economy that allows the participants to work their way into being ‘haves’, rather than settle for one variant or another of the command and control economy that insists everyone be a ‘have-less because we say it’s more socially just’.

    Opportunity equality, not outcome equality.

    1. ideaman

      You reveal yourself to be an idealogue. If you think I’m from the left, you must be from another planet. If you honestly believe we have free capital markets that offer everyone an equal opportunity to succeed or fail, then there is no hope convincing you otherwise. You are captured by your ideology.

  7. a great article, very thought provoking. I have come to believe that big business (predominately the banksters) v. big government battle presented by MSM and our political parties is a false one. instead its an unholy marriage , where big business and banksters are given protection and privilege, in exchange providing politicians with money and election support.

    there have been attempts to alter this from time to time (campaign finance reform, term limits,ect.) Most of these attempts fall short

  8. Great analysis. Needs to be heard on MSNCB.
    FDR said nothing in politics happens by accident; so I say, in matters political,blame must be fixed or everything becomes noise.
    A solution must be found in new government, because only government is large enough to confront corporate power & wealth and only gov as an institution can be moved by public opinion.
    Barter is an attempt to move back into the past and could only succeed in creating a still lower standard of living for most. The world is too populous for a barter economy; it requires a reorganized economy. It also requires a justice system that punishes wrong, white collar crime, and does not just turn a page so better values are inculcated in the rich.
    It also requires policies world wide that compel rational and lower
    reproductive rates. We need giants in leadership and have only pigmies selling snake oil like QE2 or magic words like education for our cure.

  9. Great article ! Keep em’ coming !

    By the way, my wife and I were at the CPAC 2011 in Washington DC to support Ron Paul. The energy there was unbelievable. The people booing Ron Paul were easily drowned out by Ron Paul supporters.

    However, I could not believe the absolute stupidity for the people cheering for Donald Trump, Romney and the piece of crap, Ann Coulter. Boggles my mind.

  10. That read was better than sex. I just emailed the link to my entire address book. I just wish I had more than 4 friends. Great stuff from a Lefty! Thanks.

  11. I am asking the following question because I truly don’t know the answer. It is stuff I have heard repeated many times from many sources.

    Is it true that;

    1) WWII is the main reason the Depression ended.

    and/or the corollary

    2) The real reason for entering WWII was to end the Deprression.

    If it is true, isn’t WWIII just around the corner?

    Any insights will be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Stuck

      WWII didn’t really end the Depression. Consumer spending was very low during the war years. Unemployment went down as everyone either went to war or worked toward the war effort. Savings skyrocketed as people bought war bonds. The government borrowed like mad.

      What ended the Great Depression was the fact that America was the only country unscathed by the war. We rebuilt the rest of the world with our manufacturing expertise.

      I think FDR wanted us in the war. I’m not sure of his motivations, but he wanted us in the fight.

  12. I loved this article; learned so much; have bookmarked it as a “favorites” & sent to my friends. Thank you! OUTSTANDING !

  13. Thanks, Jim.

    ssgconway — I had 2 summer jobs during my college years that put me in contact with wealthy people.

    Job1: Limmo driver, shuttling rich folks to JFK airport and/or back home to their mansions.

    Job2: Waiter in a very upscale restaurant — $50 steaks …. way back in 1976.

    Conclusion: Cheapest mutherfuckers on the planet. HORRIBLE tippers!! With the limmo job often times $0. I guess they thought the $20 I got per run (2+ hour round trip) was plenty of money. I got even though. For my cheap-ass repeat “customers” I would produce silent farts on the whole trip.

  14. any chance you can print names and addresses of those 8 guys pictured at the end of this article?

    i would like to mail them each a bag of my personal excrement

    1. pugsly

      I can identify 6 of the scumbags: Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon, John Paulson, Ken Lewis, John Mack, and Vikrim Pandit.

      Maybe someone knows the other two criminals.

  15. @stuck

    About WW2 and the depression.

    I think the answer to both is yes.

    the depression created the conditions that helped lead to the rise of Nazi Germany and Militarist Japan (Fascist Italy was really pre-great depression.) there were other factors including the disastrous treaty of Versailles and the impotent league of nations.

    in a sense WW2 also ended the great depression. Our industrial capacity expanded to meet the demands of the Allies and it remained unscathed after the war. Like what admin mentioned above about meeting of a rebuilding Europe in Asia, unlike previous wars we never fully demobilized. This saw the development of the Military industrial complex to counteract the soviet union and communist china. also the GI Bill provided a large boost to home-coming veterans training for the new jobs created (directly or indirectly) by the military industrial complex. Gi Bill often the opportunity of affordable housing for vets , which boosted construction. with better paying jobs and new homes, the demand for consumer goods would set the up a booming US economy (with a couple of short recessions) until late 60’s

  16. Excellent work.

    What amazes me is how docile the American people have become. Lobotomized by reality TV and American Idol the sheeple of the United States have shown no revulsion against the inequities of the increasingly transparent plutocratic rule by a narrow plutocratic elite of finance, big business and the entrenched political class that serve them. There are no Steinbeck’s in a fractured intellectual landscape to garner a following of mind and soul, no Father Coughlin’s to have millions with their eager ears to the radio( regardless of his garbled message). We are, for the most part, rudderless on an uncharted ocean as a result.

    “Somebody Must be Blamed”: Father Coughlin Speaks to the Nation

    What of democracy as well as what of capitalism?
    Oh, capitalism shall never again flourish as once it did. Capitalism has been almost taxed out of existence in an effort to meet the coupons and the bonds, in an effort to meet the dole system that is absolutely unnecessary in a country of our wealth.
    And democracy? All we who twenty years ago entered a war to fight its battles to make the world safe for democracy, tonight we stand aghast because its last fortification, its last tower of strength, the Supreme Court of America, who has been a protector of the rights of the poor, who has been the protector of the rights of the rich, who has been the protector of the liberties of all, is now assailed and is now the target for those who blame it for our misdemeanors and who blame it for the Depression and the following misery which eventuated from it.
    Somebody must be blamed, of course. But those in power always forget to blame themselves. They always forget to read the Constitution of the United States of America that says, “Congress has the power to issue and regulate the value of money.” And blinding their eyes to that as they protect the private issuance of money and the private fixation of money, we are going merrily on our way.
    Perhaps, perhaps another ambassador from another foreign capital shall come upon the scene. Perhaps, despite the advice of Washington of no foreign entanglements, despite the passage of the Jansen Act, which forbids us to lend money to those who already have borrowed it and who have not returned their loans, perhaps despite those things, some way, some miraculous way shall be found to project America into the next maelstrom. And democracy once more, thinking that it has power within its soul, shall rise up to clap and applaud, because the youth of the land is going abroad to make the world safe for what? Safe for dictatorship? Safe against communism abroad when we have communism at home? Safe from socialism in France when we have socialism in America? Or safe, safe for the international bankers?
    I ask you to think seriously of your decisions last November. You have asked for the New Deal that is an ancient deal in all its finance. You have what you asked for. I ask you to abide by your decision. You have been warned a thousand times. Those who warned you should now bow their heads. Even though truth be on their side, you have paid the price, democratic America. And now it is your turn to bear the burden in silence like men keeping America safe for democracy.
    Good evening. God bless you.

  17. Admin, I think it is amusing yet, to be expected that you would be accused of being a “lefty” similar to Steinbeck. The average person doesn’t understand that the Fraud Street banksters are huge supporters of a global socialist oligarchy managed by the ultra-rich. Until the start of the 20th century there were only two industrial nations on earth whose finances were not controlled by a small group of international bankers: The United States and Russia. With the creation of the Federal Reserve putting the U.S. in their control only Russia remained. The overthrow of the Russian government was financed by these international bankers with their new found treasure, the Federal Reserve. Today there is no free market. Wall Street is completely manipulated by cash from the Fed’s QE2. Because it is inflated by QE2 it will likely crash when QE2 ends unless there is a QE3, QE4, …etc. I believe the there are enough enraged people that this manipulation of our money and markets will soon come to an end resulting in a true market correction crash. This will not solve the problem of the unholy alliance of Washington and Wall Street. Over half of all PAC money comes from one zip code. Only a true purging of Washington’s politicians, a true “vote the bums out” drive, on going until every last one is gone, will solve the problem. We got a start in the last election but, it must continue until Wall Street’s tentacles are no longer controlling our government.

  18. WWII ended the Depression as everyone went back to work, and they saved money, everything was rationed. Once the war was over, everyone had money to spend on houses, cars, and all kinds of shit. Admin did point out that the U.S. industrial might was built up during the war.

    Today if you put 15% of our population back to work at real jobs, the economy would explode.

    I think Roosevelt wanted the U.S. in the war to aid the United Kingdom, shutting off the oil to Japan did the trick. Japan was provoked and EofJ reacted.

    WWIII Stuck? – Ask Paul Krugman. He seems to think killing 20 to 40 million people could turn the world economy around. Sounds like a hell of idea.

  19. Tim Strauss said—> “There are no Steinbeck’s in a fractured intellectual landscape to garner a following of mind and soul, no Father Coughlin’s to have millions with their eager ears to the radio ..”
    Tim, if Steinbeck were alive today, would we hear his voice?

    Or, would he be just another of the millions of bloggers worldwide … a great voice drowned out by a sea of mediocrity.

    Having no voice … or having a million voices? In either case, the message is silenced. Or so it seems, imho.

  20. A superior article with the important information about created depressions.

    “The Great Depression was mainly caused by the expansion of the money supply by the Federal Reserve in the 1920’s that led to an unsustainable credit driven boom. Both Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises predicted an economic collapse in early 1929. In the Austrian view it was this inflation of the money supply that led to an unsustainable boom in both asset prices (stocks and bonds) and capital goods”

    Economic events are necessary in order to maintain a system of rulership. That system is now beginning an effort in which this collapse is but one part of this effort to remain in control.

    Recognizing that this is an engineered event and with suffficent historical evidence and critical analysis to leave us no doubt as to where we are heading. We must conclude that another Gobal
    War is itself the objective. Many believe this is true already and many supposed answers are at
    the ready, but none really explain the brutality of the entire arragement of the control models which we have seen exhibited through the eyes of history.

    One answer does explain all. That depending on the available technology of an epoch, once a populations numbers exceed certain values the ability to dominate information with supposed explantions, or lies, begins to seriously fail when sufficiently challenged with the truth. A tipping point as it were in the propaganda war of mind control over the masses.

    You note that: “(Steinbeck wrote the book in 1937). Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize for literature. John Ford then made a classic film adaption in 1941.”

    Pearl Harbor December 7th, 1941 and we are off to the Second Global War. Today, we are all clearly in serious trouble. A Third World War will make the Second World War look like an attractive alternative. They will do it if they are not stopped. We are now watching the previews of coming attractions right now.

    Thank you for a brilliant article.

  21. Excellent Jim, I wish everyone would take the time to read this article. Problem is that most people won’t because they will never take the time to educate themselves and understand where we are at this time in history, which always repeats itself. The sheeple may realize it when they are camping in a ditch, but not until then, and it will be too late. I find it hard personally to have alot of compassion for some of my fellow Americans who have put themselves in harms way. I hate the greed of Wall Street and the Govt. for sure, but when I hear someone complian about their misfortune, 8 credit cards, underwater mortgage, behind on car payments, etc…. I ask them WTF were you thinking? I consider 1999-2011 the “Lost Decade” as far as my personal finances, I am not either ahead or behind where I was at the beginning, but I learned how the game is really played.
    Your chart of the FIRE empire is frightening, interest and fees and insurance are today’s manufacturing base, completely unsustainable.
    I have put your page up on my Facebook friends, hopefully more and more people will realize the truth.

    1. Matt

      Thanks. I lost three Facebook friends on the TBP facebook page over the weekend due to my Catholic Church article. Some people don’t like the truth.

  22. Admin.,

    From a good bean counter to a great article writer. Not bad !

    I knew some of those Okies from the dust bowl, as they came to California for work. They were looked down on by most of the California natives, as they undercut wages. The Okies were just trying to support their families. Most were decent folks. The poorer ones stayed in LA, Northern
    California got the higher on the food chain Okies, as they had more gas money.

  23. Top row from right to left: Bank of America Chairman and CEO Ken Lewis, Bank of New York Mellon Chairman and CEO Robert Kelly, JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO James Dimon, and Goldman Sachs & Co. CEO and Chairman Lloyd Blankfein.

    Bottom row from right to left: Wells Fargo & Co. President and CEO John Stumpf, Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit, Morgan Stanley Chairman and CEO John Mack, and State Street Corporation Chairman and CEO Ronald Logue. (Xinhua/Zhang Yan)

  24. Folks who enjoyed this post might also enjoy a post I wrote a while back, “A Tale of Two Depressions”.

    Clearly, the words written by John Steinbeck in the Grapes of Wrath echo the truth today as much as they did in the time of the Great Depression. The very same social and economic forces are in play with very much the same results, just this time it is on a GLOBAL scale. For right now, the poor starving farmers displaced from their land aren’t here in the FSofA, they are in the impoverished countries of the world where people live on $2/day like Egypt. 10s of Thousands of poor farmers in India committed Suicide in 2009. $2/day is a yearly income of around $750, less than I make in a week and I basically hit the mean of the Middle Class in the FSofA. Long as I remain employed anyhow.

    Still, ever more people here are falling off the economic cliff as they lose the jobs rooted in the consumer based waste economy. The social welfare system put in place at the time of the Great Depression is keeping these people from falling into the same kind of life or death despair that is overtaking societies in the 3rd World now. This social welfare system clearly will not continue in perpetuity, and when it does fail, the very same fate befalls most working men and families as befell Tom Joad and his family.

    Steinbeck was a Communist sympathizer, for good reason. Anyone who sides with the Working Man, the Labor Class as opposed to the Capitalist class is expressing sympathy with Communist ideals. The need the Working Class has to band TOGETHER to protect themselves and their families from the predatory leechfucks of the Capitalist class is fundamentally communal in nature, thus the term “communist”.

    Today however, we know of the failure of the Communist system on the grand scale as it was attempted and corrupted both in the Soviet Union and in China. It really did not succeed in any large society. The only place you can make a case where it DID succeed in a sense was in Cuba, although its “success” was at a relatively low level economically compared to Capitalist economies functioning through the Age of Oil.

    The revulsion for Communism is palpable on the pages of TBP, but at the same time what Steinbeck wrote in the Grapes of Wrath resonates with many people here as well. Most of us, even the most well to do are just Working Men, some paid better than others of course but still working men. We see how the financial system here is skewed to benefit the very wealthy and powerful, who buy our political leadership. As I try to point out with my posting, this is how the Capitalist system has ALWAYS functioned, it functioned this way in the Great Depression when the Dollar was in fact “backed” by Gold. Credit expansion and contraction can occur regardless of what you use to back the “money”. Speculation can occur regardless, and Banksters can always create “money” from nothing, as long as they have Da Goobermint around to enforce Taxation and make that “money” worth something. VERY strict regulation of banking is necessary to prevent this sort of thing, but such regulation is anaethema to people who believe in a “free market”. It is also very difficult to enforce such regulation when the people who are in control of the money can buy the politicians who make the laws which regulate them.

    The system functioned this way at the time of the original Amerikan Revolution just as it functioned in the Great Depression, just as it functions today. It has NEVER functioned any other way than this, anywhere. It has been an ever expanding Ponzi ever since its birth when Sir Isaac Newton became Master of the Mint back in 1692 in Jolly Old England. It in fact began well before this in its current form with the Medici Banking house in the 15th Century, but the invention of the Calculus in the 17th Century enabled the understanding of money flows and derivative functions, this came with the Calculus. It is no coincidence that the two places where the current monetary system grew to its current power originated in England and in Germany. Two men are responsible for that, Isaac Newton in England, and Wilfred Gottfried Lebniz in Germany. These are the two men who independently invented the Calculus. Both had the ear of the rulers of their time, and both were instrumental in the development of banking that evolved thereafter.

    If you look at this dispassionately and divest yourself of things you THINK are true about Capitalism but really never have been true, you can begin to see how the whole monetary system really works, and why it fails the way it does so regularly, on what amounts to a “Fourth Turning” cycle. THIS Turning however is significantly different from the Turning that occurred in the time of the Great Depression, or the one that occurred at the time of the Amerikan Revolution. The difference is in the scale and scope, it is now a GLOBAL collapse with the fundamental underpinning of the economics for the industrial society reaching its Peak, and now depleting. Oil that is. Black Gold. Texas Tea.

    As Jim indicated in the OP, at the time of the Great Depression, Industrialization was only partly underway and much of Amerika was still agrarian. Not so now, most of the population is urban, and moreover the agricultural system itself is dependent on Oil. The problem is world wide, through all cultures, virtually all dependent on the same monetary system and the distribution of food produced by industrial agriculutre. When it collapses, which it must, ALL nations on earth will collapse virtually simultaneously.

    We aren’t going to return to “Capitalism” that never really existed in this collapse. The Capital is all gone now upon which to build ever expanding Ponzis. The populations which expanded under this schema will have to contract, and contraction is not an environment in which even Korrupt Krony Kapitalism (KKK! lol) can function. It is Growth based, always.

    What might function here, at least to spread the pain around more evenly? That which you all hate, Communism. At least you hate it when you put the Soviet Union or China under Mao into your head; when you put John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath in your head you can understand it a bit better and even sympathize with it. Communism in its pure form is the Working Men coming together to SURVIVE, communally huddling together in tents while they figure out how to ditch the landowners in Califonia they slave for, and the banksters on Wall Street that run their monetary system. Its big problem is that on the grand scale it corrupts easily, just as Capitalism corrupts. Big Labor Unions designed in theory to help the Working Man battle the power of Capital rapidly become corrupt organizations. Its an aggregation problem of society, which can only be solved by making society much SMALLER. This will happen organically, because the die off necessary here will FORCE societies to become smaller.

    I believe that when all is said and done here, societies will become so small as to revert to Tribal organization. It’s a bunch of folks all huddled together in tents figuring out TOGETHER how to survive as a GROUP. It is “communal”, but it is not “communist”. Communism is a solution of large nation states attempting to survive during a period of depletion of resource, and I see it highly likely that some sort of Communist solutions will be undertaken here as time goes by. Either that or Fascist Solutions, but most certainly not Capitalist solutions, and not Democratic solutions. “Freedom” as we have known it for the foreseeable future is going the way of the Dinosaur, though of course we never have really been free. To find Freedom, you will have to be mighty far out in the Wilderness, even further out than I am. You better be one mighty adept Survivalist to live that way. I could not live that way, Jeremiah Johnson I am not. I am off to the Great Beyond if my Community does not survive in some form.

    In the end, it WILL be the “Working Man” who survives this conflagration, even if I am not one of them. I am a bit too old here and the health isn’t so good. I only hope that younger folks I teach might make it through the Zero Point. The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth.


  25. Beautiful peice JIm.

    (Hate to be pedantic but Ben Strong was the head of the NY Fed – not the head/chairman of the Federal Reserve)

  26. the more I see the term ‘lefty’ thrown about,
    the more certain I am that it was introduced by the right
    to infantilise progressive voices. ‘lefty’ sounds childish,
    ‘leftist’ sounds grownup.

  27. Great article. Just a point on the movie/book, the movie is actually a watered-down version of what Steinbeck was saying about how people can justify meanness toward their fellow man in various ways (usually ending in ” -ism”) and yet the generosity of the human spirit cannot be extinguished and can be found in the most desperate of places. (It’s interesting to compare this story to the modern Slum Dog Millionaire, which has many of the same themes.)

    At the end of the book, Rose gives birth to a still-born baby due to her own malnutrition, but uses her milk to nurse a dying man who cannot eat solid food. You don’t really know if they survived a day or a week after that, but that wasn’t Steinbeck’s point.

    That kind of ending never had a chance with the censors in Hollywood who tacked on a “we’ll be alright” ending that missed the penultimate sections of the book.

  28. Great work, brother. You have grown tremendously in the last few years. When I found this piece linked on Jesse’s Cafe, I thought that was quite a high compliment indeed.

    A fantastic read in this light is “Satan’s Bushel” by Garet Garrett. Written in the 1920s, it predates the Depression yet prophesies the calamities of “commoditizing” the food supply. Free on, along with all of his other excellent novels on economic topics.

  29. Haven’t stopped in for awhile. Glad I did today. Best article I’ve read on this blog. Maybe the best
    I’ve read anywhere in a long, long time. There is so much information, misinformation, and outright
    bullshit constantly littering the political, social and economic landscape that a seeker of some semblance of the truth has need of a shovel. Fortunately, and especially when the Admin. gets his game face on, this site puts out info that causes me to have a glimmer of hope. I plan to look in more often. Thanks.

  30. What a crock of steaming shit.

    Easily the most vapid compilation of lies and half-truths to be found on the internet.

    Unauthenticated, derivative nonsense.

    Ignorant belligerent class envy rant unsupported by facts.

    My time could have been much better spent taking a big shit than reading this specious abomination.

  31. Just kidding, Jim.

    Easily one of your best articles to date.

    I’m back, and ready to roll, so I’m praying someone pisses me off.

    1. Smokey

      I told Avalon yesterday how boring it seemed on the site over the weekend. Only civility and reasoned discussion. Who needs that?

  32. The trouble with the have vs. have-not argument is that it is an over-simplification. It’s very easy to “have-not”. All one has to do is….nothing, and it will come about quite naturally. It’s also the same vivacious need for survival that drives both the rich to conquer as the poor to hang-on. It is the same greed causing the bubble to expand as it is causing the deflation of the same. Left versus Right is also an over-simplification. The pure argument from either side is flawed.

    “All in favor of having someone else pay the check? The “ayes” have it. Motion carried. Time for the minority to fork it over.”

    “All in favor of keeping the power in our hands? The “ayes” have it. Motion carried. Time to keep the little guy in his place. If the mob rules, we lose our civilization.”

    It’s not one versus the other…it’s the same human motivation exactly.

    You cannot create a system of government to control this. The answer is in fostering kindness and charity in all of us – and not just as a way to ally our guilt. I know it sounds naive, but it is also true. We’re only animals until we learn that lesson. I’ll start having faith in god when i see the atheist giving charitably to the down trodden when he thinks no one is looking; or when i see the poor man cheering for the hard-earned success of another when he thinks everyone IS.


  33. @Smokey

    1) In the “Fox News Fair & Unbiased” thread (now in the internet ozone) I posted that one of the ingredients of Cambell’s soup was “cum of Smokey”

    2) While you were gone, you missed the absolute Love Fest for RE. ONLY llpoh wanted to vote him off the island … and even his responses were … piss assed Politically Correct.

    3) Your wife gave me a blow job while you were away on business.

    4) @ RE, I am very sorry to read that your not in the best of health.

    5) Jim absolutely motherfucks the Catholic Church in a Featured Article. Others defend the Catholic Church and motherfuck Jim. I claim to worship the Great Pumpkin and motherfuck both camps.
    There ya go. At least one of these five items should get your pottymouth creative juices flowing.

  34. @Smokey

    Also …. after a very long hiatus, San Diego Guy (from the old site) made a strong comeback yesterday. His new moniker is SandyEggo. Very cute. Did you like him? Do you like ANYBODY??

  35. Stuck,

    SDG was one of my very favorites from the old site, serious business.

    Surely nothing has been said or done regarding RE that I can’t undo. I say we revote, forthwith, and banish his sorry ass permanently.

    If RE is sick, is there any chance that by some miracle it’s terminal ?

    My old lady can suck the chrome off a trailer hitch.

    1. Today on Washington’s Blog:

      John Kenneth Galbraith Explained 50 Years Ago that Inequality Causes Crashes

      In his definitive study of the Great Depression, The Great Crash, 1929, John Kenneth Galbraith wrote:

      There seems little question that in 1929, modifying a famous cliche, the economy was fundamentally unsound. This is a circumstance of first-rate importance. Many things were wrong, but five weaknesses seem to have had an especially intimate bearing on the ensuing disaster. They are:

      (1) The bad distribution of income. In 1929 the rich were indubitable rich. The figures are not entirely satisfactory, but it seems certain that the five per cent of the population with the highest incomes in that year received approximately one-third of all income. The proportion of personal income received in the form of interest, dividends, and rent – the income, broadly speaking, of the well-to-do – was about twice as great as in the years following the Second World War.

      This highly unequal income distribution meant that the economy was dependent on a high level of investment or a high level of luxury consumer spending or both. The rich cannot buy great quantities of bread. If they are to dispose of what they receive it must be on luxuries or by way of investment in new plants and new projects. Both investment and luxury spending are subject, inevitably, to more erratic influences and to wider fluctuations than the bread and rent outlays of the $25-week workman. This high bracket spending and investment was especially susceptible, one may assume, to the crushing news from the stock market in October 1929.

      Galbraith wrote that in 1954.

      Numerous prominent economists in government and academia have since agreed, including:

      Robert Shiller
      Raghuram Rajan
      Paul Krugman
      Robert Reich

      Mark Thoma
      Emmanuel Saez
      Thomas Piketty
      David Moss

      Kemal Dervi
      Michael Kumhof

      Romain Rancière

      Robert Wade
      David Ruccio
      In addition, a large and healthy middle class has long been understood to lead to political stability. But America’s middle class is being decimated.

      Given that revolts are partly being waged in a number of Arabic countries because of inequality, and that inequality in America is worse than in Tunisia, Egypt or Yemen, this is a cause for concern.

      As Robert Shiller said recently:

      I think inequality is a huge emerging problem, and that our society has to think about dealing with it in a constructive and real way – not through ‘Let them eat credit,’ [a reference to the “let them eat cake” statement of the soon-to-be-deposed French aristocracy] not through wishful thinking. We have to understand how we get inequality and what we can do about it.

      In 2009, Shiller said:

      To me, I would hope that this would spur public discussion about the structural problem that inequality, economic inequality, has been worsening in the United States and in other countries for 30 years. And it’s gotten really — especially at the high end — it’s gotten really off.

      And it’s not like we want to level income. I’m not saying spread the wealth around, which got Obama in trouble. But I think, I would hope that this would be a time for a national consideration about policies that would focus on restraining any possible further increases in inequality.

      This, I think, is potentially the big problem which is bigger than this whole financial crisis. If these trends…


      If these trends that we’ve seen for 30 years now in inequality continue for another 30 years, we’re going to look like — it’s going to create resentment and hostility. It’s not a country that — we could turn into a country that even the rich would rather not be in.

  36. Steinbeck…Fonda…FDR…Springstein….
    and virtually every other name mentioned above…multi-m/billionaire jews.

    Father Coughlan.

  37. To the Jew bashers here, hmmph and fud, stick in up your Gentile asses. If foreskin lovers like you had any smarts whatsoever you’d be ruling the world instead of us.

    Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Eḥad

  38. Just read this on the silverbearcafe it made me think,this has got to be jim but it starts to look like RE.Had to click over to check(you boys need to stop hanging out your starting to sound like)

  39. @ Admin

    I noted that Tyler Durden posted this article on Zero Hedge. I was skimming through the comments and saw this one from alien-IQ:

    “The list of authors that were assholes reads like a who’s who in the literary world…But the writing is still often brilliant. It is the confrontational and controversial personality that often produces the most challenging, provocative and important works.”

    At first I thought the comments were referring to YOU (snicker), but upon closer inspection, they were directed at Ayn Rand.

    Also noted that David Pierre checked in with his usual 9/11 Truther bullshit and was bad-mouthing you to beat the band.

    1. SSS

      David Pierre exits the barn every time I post an article on Zero Hedge. They ignore him because they can see he is a traitorous blithering idiot.

      The article seems to have legs. I think people are emailing it to friends and families.

    2. We’ve chosen “later”.

      “There is no means of avoiding a final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as a result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.” – Ludwig Von Mises

  40. “It is our other fake poster. SNJ.”

    Kiss my ass you rat fink bastard. What do they do with snithches in the 30 blocks of squalor? I know people, so watch out.

    Nevertheless, I swear upon the Holy of Holies that it was not I.

    IP addresses eat shit.

  41. Stuck,

    That’s what I REALLY miss about TBP #1.

    I used to torch the shit out of MANY people, friend and foe alike, including you AND the Administrator, under an anonymous entry. Can’t do it here, because JQ knows right away.

    Three of my funnest things in the world used to be:

    (1) get laid

    (2) take a big shit

    (3) torch unsuspecting victims anonymously

    That anon feature is all but gone now on this site. Oh, it’s still fun, but not as much.

    SSS and JQ got in a minor skirmish a couple of weeks ago, with neither holding an edge. I jumped in and declared it an embarrassing rout by SSS and JQ was fit to be tied.

    His first response to my intervention on that post, “Smokey, you shit stirring prick.”

    I laughed until tears came.

    So, yeah, it’s still fun, but posting anon is MUCH more fun, especially if you’re burning an unsuspecting friend.

    1. Smokey

      DP is such a dipshit that even though he knows his IP address is banned, he takes the time to compose multiple long winded 9/11 threads with 15 links and try to post them. They go into the spam filter and dump them in the trash. He is truly a demented nutjob.

  42. Stuck – I in no way said vote him off the island. I said that the whole point of the exercise was to stroke his ego, and that it would only serve to further increase his influence on the site. I also said that any request to limit his posts to readable lengths would be laughed at. I was 100% correct.

    I have been absent for a couple of days, but have no intention of writing a vote me off the island article. A bigger pile of shit there has never been on this site, and all the turds that encouraged him are to be congratulated. Simply take a look up the posts, where he adds 1500 words, and further tries to imply that there are similarities to the messages that the Admin and he present: “Folks who enjoyed this post might also enjoy a post I wrote a while back, “A Tale of Two Depressions”. ” Unfuckingbelievable.

    Admin – with all due respect, and fully acknowledging that this is your site to do with as you please, the issue in recent days was not the absence of Smokey, the issue was the dominance of RE. I truly do not understand why he is allowed to influence this site to the degree that he does, and I believe it is at the detriment to the site and to the message that you are trying to get out. He has no interest in educating anyone, despite his protestations, or he would make his posts and articles more reader friendly. He uses this site for his own gratification, and for no other reason. He is now taking every opportunity to undermine you, in my opinion. At the moment, I do not know what the mission of this site is. RE’s crap is outside even anarchy and Communism, and it is a substantial piece of what is put up here. He is against virtually everything that most members believe in, and there is no reasonable debate with him – how do you debate eradication of populations, no property rights, and return to a pre-industrial state? His hypocrisy knows no bounds. I am not asking for explanation, but I truly do not understand why he is allowed such influence. As before, it is yours to do with as you will, but I personally think the site has taken a bad turn in recent days.

    Smokey – I am glad you are back. I truly am disgusted by what I have seen the past few days, and the efforts of RE to undermine this site are astonishing. I used to enjoy being a part of this site, but the last few days have been anything but enjoyable.

  43. Yeah, I burned his ass an hour or so ago on ZH.

    That fucker will be 90 yrs old and still posting Truther shit on ZH and still trying to post it here.

  44. LLPOH,

    I returned today. Had no idea.

    When I left Thursday, RE was still MIA. I do find it particularly disgraceful the way Stuck has had his tongue buried up RE’s ass lately, for fear of RE leaving the site.

    True, RE eats shit like nobody else. You honestly have to wonder what the people who read his posts are thinking.

    Here’s the dirty little secret. Nobody reads his shit. Or damn few read it. Let me rephrase. Nobody with any fucking brains reads it. Which of course means Stuck swallows it whole.

    Your characterization is most apt, when you mention that RE is beyond communism and anarchy.

    Name me ONE person who reads all of RE’S articles and I’ll name you a damn fool.

    Shit, name me a single person who has genuinely read more than two ENTIRE articles written by RE and I’ll show you a fucking idiot.

    As far as detracting from the site, as long as the membership growth maintains it’s current rate, then the fallout from RE may be minimal. If membership slows, my guess is that some of the articles being posted may get looked at a little harder. Just my opinion.

  45. Sir:

    I applaud you. You and Mike Stathis have become two of my favorite writers from “Market Oracle’s” website. I think many of your pieces are brilliant, and I often incorporate excerpts (as follows) in my own writing towards my own efforts in reaching other intelligent people and helping them to comprehend the oceans of destruction and theft that has occurred and the unspeakable wickedness that has befallen this picked-over-carcass of a once mighty nation. Keep up your invaluable work (and yes….write THAT book – record your ideas whilst you drive); trust me when I say far more people read blogs than actually comment upon them.

    We just need a critical mass of informed, outraged citizens. Remember: These vampires and nation-wreckers are so few and we are so many. This they know and shudder!

    An outstanding excerpt from one of the contemporary books that helps chronicle these unfathomable crimes (which unfortunately too few Americans’ read anything of importance any more if at ALL)

    The Monster: How a Gang of Predatory Lenders and Wall Street Bankers Fleeced America–and Spawned a Global Crisis

    “It is rare to get documented proof of the banksters’ deviousness in causing recessions in order to enrich themselves at the expense of the people. But we do have a private memo from the American Bankers Association in 1891, the contents of which are actually recorded in the Congressional Record of April 29, 1913. Keep in mind that this memo was written in 1891, undeniable proof that the Panic of 1893 was planned by the banksters a couple of years in advance:”

    ‘We are authorizing our loan officers from the Western States to loan on properties, monies repayable by September 1st, 1894. No fatal date is to exceed this date.

    On September 1st, 1894, we shall categorically refuse all loan renewals. On that day, we shall demand the repayment of our money, under penalty of foreclosure on collaterals.

    The mortgaged properties will become ours. (Money will have become scarce beforehand, and the repayments will have become generally impossible.) We’ll thus be able to acquire, at a price agreeable to us, two-thirds of the farms west of the Mississippi and thousands more east of this great river.

    We’ll even be able to possess three quarters of the western farms as well as all the money in the country. The farmers will then become land tenants only, just like in England.”

    (Source – For the entire exemplary piece from above, see Academic Economists are the Unholy Priests of the Bankster’s

    How MANY will be made to die in this PLANNED FAILURE/GREAT DEPRESSION NO. 2? (See Dr Ben “Kevorkian” Bernanke Helping U.S. Economy Commit Suicide @

    A scholar and investigator from Russia used available census data from that first economic collapse and concluded that the Great Depression senselessly caused the unnecessary deaths of 7 million Americans. Included are these damning, fascinating, heart-wrenching excerpts:

    “Famine killed 7 million people in USA““ The material presented in the article apparently made the Jewish-owned Wikipedia’s moderators delete the piece from the database of the online encyclopedia.

    ”The researcher, Boris Borisov, in his article titled ‘The American Famine’ estimated the victims of the financial crisis in the US at over seven million people. The researcher also directly compared the US events of 1932-1933 with Holodomor, or Famine, in the USSR during 1932-1933.”And:“Analyzing the period of the Great Depression in the USA, the author notes a remarkable similarity with events taking place in the USSR during the 1930s. “He even introduced a new term for the USA – defarming – an analogue to dispossession of wealthy farmers in the Soviet Union. ‘Few people know about five million American farmers (about a million families) whom banks ousted from them lands because of debts. The US government did not provide them with land, work, social aid, pension – nothing,’ the article says.”


    “Every sixth American farmer was affected by famine. People were forced to leave their homes and go to nowhere without any money and any property. They found themselves in the middle of nowhere enveloped in massive unemployment, famine and gangsterism.”

    Later (page 2 of 3)

    “At the same time, the US government tried to get rid of redundant foodstuffs, which vendors could not sell. Market rules were observed strictly: unsold goods should always be categorized as redundant and they could not be given away to the poor because it could cause damage to businesses. A variety of methods was used to destroy redundant food. They burnt crops, drowned them in the ocean or plowed 10 million hectares of harvesting fields. “About 6.5 million pigs were killed at that time,” the researcher wrote.

    So-called public works introduced by President Roosevelt became a salvation for a huge number of jobless and landless Americans. However, the salvation was only a phantom, Boris Borisov wrote. The works conducted under the aegis of the Public Works Administration and the Civil Works Administration were about building channels, roads or bridges in remote, wild and dangerous territories. Up to 3.3 million people were involved in those works at a time, whereas the total number of people amounted to 8.5 million, not to count prisoners.”

    “Conditions and death rate at those works are to be studied separately. A member of public works would make $30, and pay $25 of taxes from this amount. So a person could make only $5 for a month of hard work in malarial swamps.”

    “The conditions, under which people were working for food, could be compared to Stalin’s GULAG camp.”

    “The Public Works Administration (PWA) bore a striking resemblance to GULAG. The PWA was chaired by “American Beria,” the Secretary of Interior Affairs, Harold Ickes, who threw about two million people into camps for the unemployed youth,” Borisov wrote. “Harold LeClair Ickes (1874–1952) later interned USA’s ethnic Japanese in concentration camps. The first stage of the operation took only 72 hours (1941-1942).”

    Must Reading for appreciating the evil these insatiably, greedy bastards are capable of:

    So do we go down in another act of collective American cowardice or do we finally get our grossly overdue Day of Reckoning for the global Criminal Banking Cabal orchestrating yet another collapse and genocide since we now again have the rare admission entered into the written record by contemporary Gangster Ben Shalom Bernanke?:

    Bernanke: Federal Reserve caused Great Depression
    Fed chief says, ‘We did it. … very sorry, won’t do it again’WND

    Well, guess what? They are pathological liars and historical mass murderers, and they ARE doing it again.

  46. This is the best article you’ve ever written, bar none.

    I’ve grown to believe that there is some subliminal messaging coming from the television signals that make most of America apathetic and not involved with things that are going on around them, such as this economic crisis. I mean, they really can’t be this fucking stupid. There has to be some other reason. The more television you watch, the more you’re effected by the subliminal waves.

    Once again, kudos for the great article.

  47. LLPOH,

    That RE’s posts are shit is not really up for debate. That’s a given. The question is the amount of damage they do to the site. I look at membership growth as a proxy for the damage.

    Sure, the message is corrupted, to the extent that RE is allowed to post. But if the site continues to grow, I believe that his shit will be a temporary glitch, at most.

    Most people are not going to experience the same problems you and I experience on RE’s posts. Because most people don’t spend as much time on this site as we do. Or they ignore his shit.

    Of course, when he is trying to be a big shot and dominate, it makes it tough to ignore his shit.

    RE’s shit will handle itself at some point. The Administrator will get fed up with it, or I’ll run his ass off, or he’ll machine gun a fucking McDonald’s or do a two and a half gainer off the Golden Gate Bridge.

    But his shit will work itself out eventually.

  48. You two guys have REDS — Reverse Engineer Derangement Syndrome

    Smokey, if I have my tongue up his ass, then you live IN his ass. Pre-occupied much, are we??

    I disagree with many of RE’s views. Sometimes I want to go to Alaska and choke him the way you choke your monkey. So, chill the fuck out.

    People may or may not read RE’s posts. How the hell do you or I know for sure? But, one thing is for sure, his posts generate a lot of comments and activity. And THAT’S good for this web site,

  49. Stuck – Respectful, you are full of shit. RE’s views are in no way good for the site. He is a self-serving ass that is doing his level best to crap all over this site – and in this, he is very good. I note that the weekend was dead as a dodo, except for RE and his bullshit. You really are not thinking this through. If I want to read shit like his in a never ending stream, I would subscribe to Anarchist Today. Any random viewer who wandered through on the weekend would have to wonder what the fuck was going on. When he finally does post his real views in a succinct manner – like no property rights, death to the 20% wealthiest, total annihilation of the human race, etc., what do you think newbies think? For that matter, what do you think? The guy is jerking off all over this site, and you, and others, are promoting it. In my humble opinion.

  50. Stuck – and what do you think of his Mayan end of the world bullshit? Galactic cataclysm or some horseshit. Does that make this site better, or does it push it toward whack jobs, 9/11 truthers and other the generally insane? Jesus fucking Christ, the guy is insane personified.

  51. His posts don’t generate SHIT, except for deluded fools like you who fall for it. He makes shit up and then lays it out there by the fucking tractor trailer load and thinks he is some kind of fucking philosopher or seer.

    I don’t choke my monkey. I spank it.

    I choke my chicken. Get it right.

    RE’s posts are a fucking abomination. You take out the reader comments that motherfuck his posts, then divide the remaining comments by the number of posts, and you’ll be about 3 places to the right of the decimal point.

  52. Smokey – if you haven’t looked at it, have a look at RE’s should I stay or go/vote me on or off the island article and comments. It is gut wrenching stuff in my book.

  53. Jim – I’m glad you did this. If everyone would just follow the money to see where it ends up, some real change might actually happen. I’m not for communism, just plain old fairness. Concentrating most of the wealth at the top leads to ruin.

  54. Although I believe that RE’s departure from this site would be a HUGE plus, the following comment from the vote-me-on-or-off-the-island article may be my favorite all time TBP comment.

    Submitted by JIMSKI

    “The idea that you “write for TBP ” is a joke right? You have shown over and over that you write for one person, yourself.”
    “I vote to keep you on the island so we can watch the further disintegration of your mind and have ringside seats to what will no doubt wind up in the MSM. I want to be able to tell my friends I saw this happening and it is too bad he killed (insert number here ).”

    I busted a nut on that, which I first read a few minutes ago.

    That one is a Classic for the ages.

    A fucking Classic for the ages.


  56. Joe Blow,

    There is a key on your computer keyboard about halfway down on the left.

    It says: CAPS

    If you use that key, you can post articles that have lower case letters in the words.

    Hate to break it to you, but the unions are a bunch of cocksucking bought whores who are leaches on society.

    Unions eat shit.

  57. Joe Blow – I take it upon myself, as it gives me great pleasure, to welcome newbies such as yourself to TBP. It is important work, and take it seriously.

    So, in welcome, let me say this in all sincerity – you are one truly ignorant douche. I can only hope that any further posts you may make are an improvement over this one. That shouldn’t be hard. Unfortunately, I do not have high hopes, given that you seem to have the IQ of a gnat.

  58. Jim,

    Bravo bravo. Just when I think I’m out, you pull me back in. Truly great piece. I’ve been singing and whistling that song all day. What have we done with what those brave men gave us?

  59. hmmph – what the fuck’s wrong with you? Crawl back under your rock, and quit posting shit to make your antisemitic bullshit points. Fucking asswipe.

  60. Dear I T coordinator at : Try as I might, I cannot find a way to send a copy of this excellent essay “The Grapes of Wrath 2011” to my personal E-Mail ([email protected]).
    I would very much like to print this out when my printer is eventually fixed. Would you please be so kind as to send me a copy of this? This one is a ‘keeper’, truly exceptional. Thank you very much. (Donald)

  61. llpoh, Smokey, and Stucky

    When it comes to RE, you guys personify Libertarians……….like herding cats. Note that Quinn hasn’t weighed in on your back and forth. He remains silent.

    All three of you have made excellent arguments for or against RE. I myself particularly identify with some of llpoh’s comments, but that is unimportant.

    What is important, even critical, is RE’s ability to express himself without censorship. RE admits to being kicked off several websites for his radical views. But not this one. Hell, he even has “contributor” status.

    That’s a badge of HONOR for TBP and a feather in Quinn’s cap. Let’s go with that.

  62. SSS – as I have said, I did not argue or stump in any way for his banishment. I am simply disturbed by the degree he commandeers the site. There is a message to be gotten out, and it sure as hell isn’t RE’s that is important. That he tries to purport that he and the Admin are birds of a feather, as he did above, is truly disgusting. And 10,000 words a day is further out of line. He can say what he needs in far fewer words without feeling he is being censored. Common decency would seem to demand it.

    I am still disturbed by it all, and feel it is not a positive.

    Thanks for the input.

  63. SSS,

    I am inclined to agree with llpoh. Since when does RE’s “ability to express himself without censorship ” include corrupting the content of the blog through mind-numbingly long posts force fed to a captive audience ?

    People come to this blog to read Quinn’s articles, not RE articles. For some unfathomable reason, RE is under the impression that he can write.

    How many of RE’s articles would be posted by Zero Hedge or Financial Sense? Would you consider them censors because they refused to contaminate their forum with utter shit that isn’t worthy of the partition stalls of public men’s rooms, much less The Burning Platform ?

    Probably 90% of the members here have asked RE to shorten his posts. He does not give a flying shit what they want. This is all about self-gratification to RE, and massaging his sick mind.

    Posting without censorship implies REASONABLE posting. What if RE sends Quinn two articles per day ? What if RE sends him five a day ? Ten ? Fifty ?

    What if RE decides his articles are too short and lengthens them on average by 11,000 words?

    Does your “no censorship ” dictum remain intact?

    Where does Quinn draw the line ?

    I disagree that what’s important is RE’s ability to express himself without censorship. What if a dozen crackheads from Harlem decided they wanted to be regular writers on TBP ?

    Does Quinn give them space too, so as to avoid “censoring ” them ?

    I mean, fair is fair, and their posts would be at least as good as RE’s, and probably far more informative and entertaining.

    You may want to rethink your shit, SSS.

    1. I was zonked last night, so I didn’t see the running dialogue about RE’s posts until this morning.

      To tell you the truth, it is exhausting running this blog. I started out just writing articles and getting them posted on Seeking Alpha and a few other sites. I like the challenge of writing a good essay. Keeping this blog interesting on a daily basis is draining.

      I love when I see articles pending from other contributors because it takes the pressure off me.

      RE’s new format basically shows he will have one post per day. That seems OK to me. There are 15 posts listed on the right side. People can pick and choose what they want to read or not read.

      I’d love for others to submit more articles.

  64. libertarian-lite, why don’t you and your buddy get a room?

    I missed the “fun with families” flamefest whilst otherwise occupied with extreme weather porn. I got the gist of the issue and thought back to a time when there were no ‘lines drawn in the sand’ — one better than cliche from the throat yogurt king, vandalising my mother, wife, daughter , and maybe my little dog, I forget. Where was the high moral ground then?

    As for myself, I laughed, and thought, Golly, he’s channeling Stephen King. You know, the best-selling bad writer who admitted that when he got himself in a corner and could think of nothing better to do, there was always ‘gross them out’.

    While away ‘in the 19th century’ — no power, water, ice, telephone nor mobile connection to the outside world, I had occasion to think on your ‘animal work’ term but I will leave that for another time.

    Sure is nice to enjoy a cold beer again.

  65. Excellent analysis and comparison. Thanks for the contribution.

    My solution is we have to learn to be debt-free and soveriegn. Only the individuals can do it. The powers that be want us enslaved with debt, high taxes, and high priced commodities.

  66. Novista,

    Only a goddamn deluded fool like you could read my post and infer a fucking thing related to ” moral high ground “. My comments did not address nor even hint at morality.

    Have I ever complained about morality on this blog, ASSHOLE? You should know, the way you stalk my comments. My comments regarding RE have ALWAYS related to the length of his posts and the irrational nature of those posts.

    Sorry, can’t get a room with my buddy because I have a date with your whore wife. Regarding cliches, I’ll be banging that bitch like a screen door in a hurricane, right after she gulps a pint of my Single Celled Soldiers.

  67. From the southern tip of the ‘Dark Continent’ (yes, we can also read !! … and write)

    What strikes us here in southern Africa in 2011 is the glaring similarities between the US of the 1930s and the current Africa (esp southern).

    REVERSE ENGINEER wrote: “The very same social and economic forces are in play with very much the same results, just this time it is on a GLOBAL scale. ”

    We cannot see ANY signs of the ‘voluntary abandonment’ of the iniquitous instruments and expectations thrust upon us by Finance-Media Complex.

    “There is no means of avoiding a final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as a result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.” – Ludwig Von Mises

    To the contrary – there is concerted and significant effort to ‘drag’ millions of our poor into a ‘virtual’ middle class by way of social grants. These grants (approx $30 per month) are then ‘interpreted’ as formal income against which credit can be extended !! … and there, together with a belief in ‘the better life’ projected by the media, you have them trapped as the cycle of debt begins.

    It would be interesting to read comments by readers familiar with the views of Thomas Hobbes in his Leviathan re. Social Contract and strong central government. How do we read and interpret Steinbeck against the backdrop of ideas presented by Hobbes ?

    How do we avoid ‘bellum omnium contra omnes’ (the war of all against all) ?? (Hobbes)

  68. If it is one post per day, I think that is fine. Especially if he continues with his “RE’s Daily Rant ” title, so that his articles aren’t confused (by newbies ) with other authors.

    1. “And the great owners, who must lose their land in an upheaval, the great owners with access to history, with eyes to read history and to know the great fact: when property accumulates in too few hands it is taken away. And that companion fact: when a majority of the people are hungry and cold they will take by force what they need. And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.” – John Steinbeck – Grapes of Wrath

  69. Grapes of Wrath 2011 is a great article, spot on.

    – despite having a small but significant blind spot.

    What is generally claimed by the MSM as “unsustainable” for the economy is not exactly as it is often portrayed.
    What is seldom asked is whether “entitlements” (benefits for the not-so-rich) would be “sustainable” if there were no trillion dollar bankster handouts, subsidies for global corporations, and tax breaks for the wealthy? How much of the expense of medical care is due to protecting the profits of the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries?
    Nor is it often asked how global militarism affects what is ultimately “sustainable” economically, both in terms of immediate spending, and the deformation of the economy away from productive investments to unproductive war making.

    It is also frequently claimed that the allegedly unearned “entitlements” make the lower classes lazy and “dependent”. Here, I probably don’t need to go into why that unearned argument doesn’t carry much weight against elderly pensioners.
    But what about the others? What is the author implying when, immediately after decrying tax evasion by the wealthy, he writes “The bottom 50% of the population pays no income taxes“. Have we taken into account how many of the bottom 50% have no income to pay income tax on? Have we taken into account how lack of jobs, lack of good schools, and the counterproductive war on drugs have broken up families, imprisoned a large part of the population, and led to many drop-out single parent families constrained further by lack of affordable child care?
    In short, is being unemployed, or even unemployable, so clear a mark of being lazy and dependent?

    Some will doubtless say all that is irrelevant to the numbers, to the poor not paying their way. But is that true? Are income taxes the ONLY taxes? What about the other payroll taxes, SS and Medicare? Those are very regressive taxes. What about other local taxes, which are also known to be regressive?
    In short, for the financial wealth they possess, for the income above subsistence they command, are the poor evading their fair share of taxes for the societal “benefits” they receive?

  70. Smokey,

    “What if a dozen crackheads from Harlem decided they wanted to be regular writers on TBP ?”

    If we can cut this down to 1 or 2 crackheads, I think that this would be a value-added exercise for TBP regulars. Maybe add a contribution from a pimp, a john, a coke-dealer and a few thugs. Let us see what is in the heads of these Obama supporters.

  71. We missed an opportunity to organize these Obama supporters in November when the DNC’s bus gathered them all for the trip to the polls. How are we going to do this now?

  72. Admin – your decision to make. I have made my points, and feel it is a mistake, and you feel differently. So be it.

    I appreciate and thank you for your efforts.

  73. Great article; very well done.

    The Middle Class is getting sqeezed to the max and most people don’t know what to do.

    December 21, 2012 will help lift us to the next level spiritually.

    von Moff

  74. Greetings from Finland, and my sincere compliments for your article.

    It is not only the US but also Europe. We´re in the deep, and heading towards a Soviet-style EU.
    This is done by using the current economic crises as a tool and as an excuse.

    The problem is, as you note in the article, that the real economy and finance-economy have become separate ie. the real economy pays the follies of financial world but nothing trickles back in the real economy.
    Now governments in Europe are preparing to cut spending but this will not bring economic growth, it does just the opposite > more property goes to banks > more money is needed for social-stuff and food stamps > rising deficit > more cuts

    It is a downward spiral and on every turn someone drops from the train.

    Time for a revolution, I should say 😉

    Riikka Söyring, Finland

  75. Riikka Soyring, Finland,

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Your assessment of the economic situation is very accurate. I think that revolution may show up in the next couple of years or so, here or in Europe, or both places.

    Please stop by here and comment again when you get a chance to.

  76. Smokey – as soon as I saw you had posted on this thread, I zoomed straight over to see if you had given von Moff an appropriate greeting, as I couldn’t be bothered. I figured his “December 21, 2012 will help lift us to the next level spiritually” would have set you off big-time. I am so disappointed.

  77. You know the world is in deep doo-doo when the Finns are talking about a revolution!

    The Finns????? What the hell?

    No disrespect meant towards Finland, but what are their worries? Running out of reindeer meat? Afraid Goldorack will sell them defective heat pumps? What else??
    von Moff, why wait for the next level of spirituality? Step in front of a speeding train.

  78. Smokey said, in response to my anti-censorship statements, “You may want to rethink your shit, SSS.”

    Now, hold on a minute here, amigo. Your language on this site isn’t exactly a model of moderation. Some of the statements you come up with would make a whore blush. Now, I realize that many of us, including me, are guilty of using profane language, but you’ve taken it to an art form level. And sometimes you get very, very personal while doing it.

    Have YOU been threatened with being booted from the site? Don’t think so. Has Quinn told you to back off or tone down your comments? Don’t think so. Has anyone called for your expulsion from this site? Don’t think so.

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again about TBP. “No rules, just right.”

  79. SSS – gotta be some rules. I come here for a bit of fun, and to support the general mission, as I see it. It is not The Daily Union or Anarchists Unite. There must be a finite limit, somewhere, where the overall mission of the site is lost, if more and more content comes in from whackjobs and pychos. Admin believes this point has not been reached. I do not believe he has opened the floodgates to every Tom, Dick, and DP as of yet, tho.

  80. SSS,

    So what’s your point ? That my language is foul? Goddamn, have you read any of the Administrator’s posts ? Have you read any of his articles TODAY ?

    The reason I said you may want to rethink your shit, is because I thought I did an excellent job of exposing the absurdity of your position.

    If you disagree, then answer my questions. Is fifty posts per day from RE acceptable on this forum? Are 11,000 word posts from him acceptable ?

    We’d be there RIGHT NOW if llpoh, me, and others hadn’t complained so much. RE was at several a day last Fall until the complaints started.

    And what if a half dozen crackheads decide they’d like to dominate the forum here. Where does your sanctimonious, patently absurd “no censorship ” shit end ?

    If the Administrator asks me to quit posting, I promise you he won’t have to ask but one time. In the meantime, if I think the site is being abused or shit on I will not hesitate to comment.

  81. SSS,

    I don’t think the content of RE’s posts need to be censored. I think the content of his posts are the vilest form of shit, but I do not think censoring is appropriate.

    I DO think that the length of his posts and the frequency of his posts could ruin this blog.

    However, I believe JQ has the situation handled, and I was very comfortable with Jim’s reassurance on this thread today regarding this matter.

    So I probably won’t say much more about it until RE pisses me off again.

  82. SSS – I support free speech. Totally. This is not a free speech argument, but a private property argument. I do not understand how you are confused by the difference.

    I reserve the right to deny entrance, and/or use of, to my home, to my car, to my business. This is the Admin’s site. It belongs to him. He giveth, and he taketh away if he so chooses. I will not argue the toss with him. I will present arguments I have, however. There is no right to say whatever you want on someone else’s forum. Fortune magazine doesn’t publish Communist crap, and Reader’s Digest doesn’t publish porn. The right to publish something on someone else’s property does not exist. RE does not believe in private property rights. That is his prerogative. In this society, private property exists.

    I repeat, it is not a free speech issue, it is a private property issue.

  83. SSS – by the way, I do not mean to “shit all over you”. We undertake vigorous debate (that is putting it mildly, I suppose.).

    I simply do not see this as a free speech issue. Not at all.

  84. RE has had zero responses to his Daily Rant today.

    Don’t like it? Don’t read it! That, and that alone, is the solution.

  85. Smokey – despite the funny looking thingamajig – that was not me. I suspect you can determine the actual culprit by looking above for similar funny looking thingamajigs.




  87. Smokey

    If you note that I addressed that comment to l-l, the context of ‘high moral ground’ had nothing to do with you. Rather, icw “fun with families”.

    Fortunately, you rise to the occasion and perpetuate the double standard. Thank you. Btw, if my wife were at the keyboard, she would tell you your viper could never last the distance with her.

    And, really, no one would have time to stalk all your many comments and dialogues.

    Good night and good luck.

  88. The federal government “paid out a quarter of a trillion dollars in federal farm subsidies between 1995 and 2009.” “Just ten percent of America’s largest and richest farms collect almost three-fourths” of these subsidies.

    Boehner says we are broke. Then why does large profitable farms need hundreds of billions to operate?

  89. And, really, no one would have time to stalk all your many comments and dialogues. -Novista

    Classic DARVO move by the demented dent head.

    [Deny Attack Reverse Victim Offender]

  90. I dont get the free speech argument [above]

    JimmehQ is nice enough to give you a punching bag.

    And you ingrates dont want it.

  91. @Administrator, I really like your articles and viewpoint but cannot share them. The profanity allowed in your comment section is extremely distasteful to me. Perhaps an administrative bar of soap for Smokey and his ilk?

    1. Tina

      That is the downside to freedom of speech. I will not censor. People can say whatever they like. It isn’t for everyone.

  92. Tina,

    I apologize for the profanity.

    Perhaps when you share the articles you could explain that sometimes the language is a little strong and/or colorful, but does not tend to derail the thrust or general meaning of the article. Or, maybe you could show the articles to the more laid-back of your friends, those friends who would not be easily offended by despicable and socially unacceptable language.

    Or perhaps you could go fuck your bearded clam with that administrative bar of soap.

    Your choice, cunt.

  93. Smokey – I don’t understand why you’re being so restrained with your response to Tina’s attempt to apply her censorship criteria to TBP.

  94. TINA !!!

    Please DO NOT LEAVE!! We (I) need reasonable like minded people like you. Runnng away never solves problems. You defeat evil by confrontng evil head on. And this Smokey fellow is about as evil as they come. I would run also but the Holy Spirit has instructed me to do battle with that dumb cocksucker (oops! sorry). Stick around and you will see that Smokey is an outcast here, a thumbs down magnet, a China spy, and quite possibly the Devil’s personnal servant. So, again, please stay and add your voice to the ever growing chorus of Smokey haters. Bring him down or go down, please.

  95. Stuck,

    Evil does not exist as a force in itself. The determination that a thing is evil is the result of a judgment in a human value system. It is a strictly subjective determination. All of what you call evil actions are based on ignorance and misunderstanding.

    People never do anything evil, given their model of the world. Osama Bin Laden is no more evil than Mother Teresa. Both thought they were helping their people. Likewise George W. Bush and Hitler. Ditto Winston Churchill and Neville Chamberlain.

    Nor does your Devil exist.

  96. It is a warped and confused mind that can not distinguish between Mother Teresa and Hitler.

    LISA!!! See what I mean!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is Satan himself, in the flesh.

  97. Smokey said; —> “Nor does your Devil exist.”

    Au’ contraire!


    At first look you would say that this man is just a gimp,
    he talks alot,
    he lies alot,
    he walks with a bad limp.
    But no one really knows him,
    no one takes the hint,
    a mastermind in fool’s diguise,
    his name is Smokey Kunt

    You could call him the devil,
    the reason being this,
    A devil in disguise,
    a wolf dressed as a lamb,
    just when you think he’s going to fold,
    he’s got four aces in his hand.

    He runs the underworld,
    and no one sees his face,
    he’s killed a 1000 men,
    he’s got a million different names.
    He’s the baddest mother fucker that I have hever known,
    he works hard for what he’s got,
    he’s got a heart that’s made of stone.

    He’ll make you doubt yourself,
    he’ll play tricks with your brain,
    Smokey steals and Smokey kills,
    it doesn’t matter,
    it’s all the same.
    He may seem a petty crook,
    but he’s no ordinary man,
    his name is Smokey Kunt,
    he’s got the whole world in his hands

  98. In feudal times 0.1% of the population owned 99% of the wealth. The world is slowly working towards the 20/80 principle. The people on this site just have no historical perspective.

  99. This was incredible. The analogies you made between the Great Depression and the current collapse, set against the backdrop of the Grapes of Wrath, helped me to see where the blame lies and what we need to do. We need to unite.

  100. llpoh and Smokey

    Re your arguments for rules, property rights, whatever. Admin said:


    That is the downside to freedom of speech. I will not censor. People can say whatever they like. It isn’t for everyone.”

    He was defending YOU, Smokey. Let’s move on.

  101. In a properly regulated market environment everyone must fend for themselves. Thats individualism.
    But when conglomeration is not controlled by antitrust, which has been the case for 40 years then thats oligarchy.
    However if you want individual freedom, you must have individual responsibility. You cant blame someone or something else for your weakness and ignorance resulting in your failures in life.
    Individual freedom cannot pursue without character. When you institutionalize weakness than a culture is doomed to slide into despotism.

  102. I agree that the freedom to say what you like in any manner you like is fundamental. I personally was raised to avoid ill-mannered louts. Smokey’s response to my comments were exactly what I thought they would be.

    My grandfather who farmed during the dust storms in SD was a real man and I never heard him curse. He treated others with respect, listened to their opinions and did his work to feed his family.

    Insults, profanity and ad-hominem attacks are easy. Doing the real work to calmly find the words to sway others to your point of view is not.

    I was raised to respect myself and my elders. That respect enables me to recognize and pity people like Smokey who do not. I also pity his grandchildren who will never have the hero I did in their formative years.

  103. Tina,

    You agree that the freedom to say what you like in any manner you like is fundamental.

    As long as you approve of the language.

    Congratulations on your grandfather. This may be the first time I’ve ever heard of a man working to feed his family.

    P.S.—-I never heard either of my grandfathers swear either. Like that is somehow relevant here.

    Please spare me your pity.

  104. Great article. Can’t say enough good things about it.

    “Real median household income in the U.S. is $49,777 today. It was $52,388 in 1999 before George Bush took office. This is a 5% decline over ten years.”

    Which source did $49.8K come from? Claritas reports the estimated 2010 median as $52.8K. Inmaterial to the overall article just curious about the source.

  105. A strikingly good read here. Thanks. It was a plateful of wholesome understanding and good fiber for what ails us all .I recently read the Grapes Of Wrath. About time, I should add. For those who have not yet-a brutally straight talking, heart tearing dialogue with you-God`s people. Did we learn anything?

    Today`s circumstances tells me no! Steinbeck did for us what we could not do for ourselves…he recorded for the nation the experience of a scornful, ugly,seemingly God forsaken past in order that we might become both spirit filled and prudent. A better people in charge. Only that; nothing more. And, we failed. Curses.

    Now, our thoughts and actions go lopsided and upside down. Our treasure, our trust, our praises and our confidences are heaped upon the unmerited among us: the entrenched leaders , the propped up banksters and the gutless gangster gamblers. We need to put it the way it should be…for God`s sake.

    I, for one, echo what has found its way to me via the internet. The subject line: Jails and Nursing Homes : redefining our humanity. It de-funds the despicable: the criminal and refunds to the silver haired, well-journeyed among us. Starve the kleptomania and murderous and prepare a buffet feast for the frail among us; and they are among us, though hidden away. Monitor the helpless; not the hopeless. Station the guard to watch over the golden aged who today are lonely ,unsupervised and abandoned. Simply double check the locked cell of the disgraced, turn away and don`t give a second thought.

    My God…what have we become when we abandon our seniors to shoe-leather soup and sackcloth for bedding? Where is the sanity? We are damned if what we suffer has no lessons learned. From the land of milk and honey; the Okie…tagged the “lepers” of our time showed us the big how to survive- The Rose of Sharon loosened one side of the blanket and bared her breast.”You got to,” she said. She squirmed closer and pulled his head close. “There!” she said “ There.”

    A powerful reminder-your article- especially the final captures…the faces of fraudulence, complicity and coercion. What gives me energy and spirit is the Battle Hymn given to us and for us.

  106. The Federal Reserve was Not ‘created by bankers to benefit bankers.’ It was created by populist progressives in the Woodrow Wilson administration on December 23, 1913. Wilson insisted on a Federal Reserve Board in Washington under political, not banker, control. Banks such as J.P. Morgan were against it and tried presenting a plan for a central bank under private control to no avail. Banks did, however, benefit from the Fed as much pressure was lifted from their shoulders. They soon became allies to the government and became “ambassadors” to Wilsonian plans of underwriting his “liberal dreams” soon after the war. During the war and post-war years American banks made huge foreign loans to the allies and to Germany for the destruction of and then the rebuilding of Europe. With the failures of the Treaty of Versailles and later an isolationist Harding administration that refused to show leniancy on war debts, Europe began defaulting on its loans. During the 1920s the Fed and bankers had a symbiotic relationship that masked the growing problems in the economy. The bankers now grew used to feeling secure that their loans were underwritten by the federal government and the Fed grew used to using banker money for diplomatic purposes.
    My point is that the bankers and Wall Street may be to blame for economic meltdowns, but they are never the only culprits, atleast not since 1913. The government has played a huge part in every recession and depression since the founding of the Fed. I definitely agree that the Fed is a Big Problem though.

  107. Rockleah — you believe the Federal Reserve Act was the product of “progressive populists”? Interesting.

    A look at the actual history shows otherwise. The Federal Reserve system was a banker creation from start to finish, from Money Trust senator Nelson Aldrich, to foreign central banker Paul Warburg. They admittedly met on Jekyll Island in “conspiratorial” fashion, taking great pains to keep it secret. This is now admitted history — the Fed went back to Jekyll Island for a conference last year.

    The banker “opposition” to the Federal Reserve Act was what is known in fencing as a feint — a false move meant to throw the opponent off balance. The Money Trust openly sponsored one central-bank bill (Aldrich-Vreeland), knowing the public outcry would prevent its passage. Secretly, they authored the other bill (the Federal Reserve Act) and loudly pretended to oppose it, ensuring its enactment. The two bills were in effect identical.

    Read a well-researched and -presented book such as “The Creature From Jekyll Island” for more details on this trickery — which, like it or not, is how things have always operated in the realm of “politricks.”

  108. JayLib,

    Hate to break it to you, but Rockleah won’t see your comment.

    This article is in the archives. It hasn’t been commented on in weeks.


  110. JayLib– I’d like to read “The Creature From Jeckyl Island”. My info also comes from a well-researched biography called “The House of Morgan” by Ron Chernow. It gives the story from the bankers viewpoint, and also events leading up to the creation of the Fed. From other sources on the web I still say the Fed was created by the Wilson administration following the Glass-Willis plan submitted to him basically due to fallout from the Panic of ’07 where general prosperity in the country simultaneously occurred during a banking crisis alerting Americans that their banking system needed serious reforms and updating. I don’t disagree with much of what’s been written;however, I have a knee-jerk reaction to criticism focused like a lazer beam on “the rich” or “the bankers” or “big business”, and I fall into none of those categories. Personally, I trust people who are experts with money to manage my money not experts at staying in political power.

  111. There is a lot written above, and you’ll have to forgive me for missing it, but I read nothing above mentioning the Community Reinvestment Act, political policy at the root of the failures of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

  112. This will take a day or two to analyze for marxist influence, but seeing Paul Krugman cited tells me it is certainly here. Did anyone stop to realize that the CENTRALIZED push to clearcut the mid to far west for cultivation and grazing produced the dust bowl? This whole discussion is an attempt to paint the Occupy bolsheviks as the new “casualties” of depression, and “depression” the consequence of non confiscation of wealth by non producers. As if those forces and their smarmy agitators had ever attempted to make some worthwhile impact on their own existence. Like learning while enrolled in school, or applying for work, during or afterward. In activities that are added value. Sorry. No
    correlation seen.

  113. Great blog site. My partner and my spouse and i actually loved reading through your own content.
    This really is truly a excellent study personally.
    I have saved this and I ‘m looking towards reading brand-completely innovative content. Continue the nice function!

  114. In 1938, give or take a year or three, my mother ran an account at a local drugstore for medicine for me. Sometimes she owed as much as $11, but they carried her. Sometimes she paid as much as 75 cents on her bill!

  115. @ Admin, who always (thinks he) has an ace up his sleeve

    That’ll learn those varmints who criticized Steinbeck.

  116. An even better debate whether Steinbeck was a communist, would be regarding FDR. The topic came up at my 12 yo daughters birthday party at the pool, and a fried of ours mentioned her family was directly impacted by the New Deal in that several of her uncles found work on WPA(?) projects when there was no work.

    The conversation evolved over the course of day, and while wars may be fought for economic supremacy, the ultimate conflict is between Satan and his minions against Almighty God. This is where the war hits home, on a personal level. While anyone can flip on a TV and be entertained, or get behind the wheel of the great equalizer and push a 1/4 ton of glass and steel down the road at break neck speeds, the hyphen between our date of birth and when we draw our last breath is measured by what we have done according to the truth of God’s Word.

    If you don’t know God, perhaps it time you do,

    “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”

    (Romans 10:9-10 ESV)

    The is truth as set forth in God’s Word. Anything else, if it contradicts the truth, is a lie. I don’t know if it can be stated any more plainly.

    I thank my God for you all. Good evening and God bless.

  117. What a hoot rereading this thread. And the winner is ……

    “The profanity allowed in your comment section is extremely distasteful to me. Perhaps an administrative bar of soap for Smokey and his ilk?”
    —-Tina @ Admin

    Smokey in response to Tina …..


    I apologize for the profanity. Perhaps when you share the articles you could explain that sometimes the language is a little strong and/or colorful … Or, maybe you could show the articles to the more laid-back of your friends who would not be easily offended by despicable and socially unacceptable language.

    Or perhaps you could go fuck your bearded clam with that administrative bar of soap. Your choice, cunt.”

  118. I think it can be turned around easily: buy from the smallest possible retailer or producer.

    We always here about devastated small towns and devastated black communities and the reason for the devastation is simple: they starting spending their money outside the community. In the case of the small towns, money moved away from the mom and pop businesses to the shiny new big boxes. In the case of the black community, the purchases went from small black-owned businesses to the larger nicer white owned ones (that had often refused their money just a few years before).

  119. I should note that your library probably has it on audiobook. You can download it for free (or get it on CDs and load it to your computer) and listen to it on your device when doing something else. Great way to listen to accomplish more per day. In this case, I like the audiobook version better. Read it in college, listened to it 6 months ago. usually has what the library doesn’t.

  120. I must have missed this article the first time through, but I’m glad a simple comment I made on the teenager thread helped bring it back so I could read it this morning.

    When the “I” becomes a “we” is truly the thing they fear the most. That is of course why they stoke the fires of racial animosity, flood our nation with foreign invaders, isolate us in our homes with electronic distractions, label everyone (Steinbeck included) with political or social tags that set off alarms- socialist, racist, homophobe, conservative, bible thumper, gun nut, misogynist, whatever.

    God forbid that the masses ever become aware of the power of their collective need to simply live without the interference of our handlers.

    They fear us. And they should.

    Because if the “I” ever becomes the “we” there will indeed be a terrible vintage.

    Thanks again Jim for connecting the dots, you do it better than anyone else out there.

  121. I’m back, and ready to roll, so I’m praying someone pisses me off. -Smokey

    Good to know your geriatric python is still fogging mirrors.

    I wish you well, sir. And yes, it sounds teary eyed, but I did miss your wrinkled ass.

  122. But, just to piss you off, are you one of those old farts who hate old farts, but whose ears stick out at an 90 degree angle which warns me of your delapidated driving skills Smokey?

    And how does it feel to have 11.5 inches of useless urinary tract hanging out your depends as you scooter around Walmart?

  123. Thanks for the repost Admin, I didn’t join the website until feb 2012, so I missed this one.

    As for Steinbeck, I may have to reread this work. Last time I was in 8th grade and my teacher was telling us about how he was a communist.

  124. To understand how inflation has eroded our standard of living, consider when Henry Ford decided 100 years ago in 1914 to pay his assembly line workers $5 per day and reduce the workday from 9 to 8 hours. This was not an act of charity, rather it was used reduce employee turnover and, in turn, reduce overall cost of operations. Using the above metrics, a gold coin was priced as $20 of legal tender in 1914. One hundred years later the same coin is priced at $1,300 which is an inflation factor of 65. Sixty five x $5.00 is $325/8-hour day or $40.63/hour or $82,063/year.

    But we also know that the price of gold is suppressed with a massive paper-gold COMEX future market trading over 250 paper ounces to one physical ounce. Assuming there was little inflation from 1914 to 1933 and using the above cost-of-living data from 1933, one would have to multiply 104 x $5.00 for $520/8-hour day or $65/hour or $131,300/year to see today’s value of the 1914 $5.00 day wage!

    In 2013 the average automotive worker hourly wage was 27.77 or $56,095/year. In other words, today’s auto workers receive approximately 40% pay of a 1914 auto worker!

  125. Just a minor quibble with the following of your statements:

    “These programs, along with hundreds implemented since the 1930s, have created a dependent underclass and have left America with unfunded liabilities in excess of $100 trillion.”

    That is incorrect, there aren’t any “unfunded liabilities” for a country that spends and taxes in its own currency. The US has no foreign debt. And it won’t take “inflation” or “money printing” either. The US (or any monetarily sovereign nation with freely floating currency or foreign currency debt) doesn’t need to tax as much as it spends and it doesn’t have to pay interest on reserves or bonds if it doesn’t want to.
    There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with deficit spending. On the contrary. The gov’t deficit is the private sector’s surplus. All that counts is what those dollars are spent on.
    Ask yourself why it’s mostly the reactionaries who favour a mandatory balanced budget.

    As for the dependent underclass, I agree there, it is much better to expand public sector employment and put in place a Job Guarantee-like mechanism which the federal government funds in its role as “employer of last resort.”

  126. NO FOREIGN DEBT??????

    Foreigners hold 40% of our debt.


    The lenders might disagree.


    So it can run like the VA, Obamacare, FNMA, Freddie Mac, Medicare, and SS.

    Yikes. You are either being sarcastic, or you are a graduate from an Ivy League School who actually believes the drivel you just wrote.


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