Derek Leebaert writes interesting and provocative books. In The Fifty-Year Wound, he assessed the triumphs but also the costs of America’s Cold War victory, which included the growing and seemingly permanent influence in Washington of what President Eisenhower called the “military-industrial complex” and the “scientific-technological elite.” In Magic and Mayhem, Leebaert exposed the intellectual hubris and follies of our national security establishment in launching and fighting wars that we failed to win from Korea to Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, Leebaert in Unlikely Heroes, provides complex portraits of President Franklin Roosevelt and arguably his most important and influential New Dealers — Harry Hopkins, Harold Ickes, Frances Perkins, and Henry Wallace. It is a book that further undermines the conventional wisdom that Franklin Roosevelt was a great president.Read More
This week I have a question from Ryan who asks about economic development in America. Ryan says,
I was having a discussion with an acquaintance the other day over the causes of the post WW2 economy, more specifically why the middle class grew so large compared to the past and today. My claim was that the war devastated other countries’ industries, forcing other countries to buy from the US. This combined with the return of many men from the military to the workforce was the primary cause.
He claims that while those produced a large GDP, it did not explain why the middle class grew. Instead he advocates that the primary cause was the FDR policies of wealth redistribution, high tax rates, and strong labor unions. As such, he advocates for a return to those policies today.
What would be your perspective on this and where might one go to further research it?Read More
President Joe Biden has made it pretty clear he idolizes Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR). A painting of #32 hangs in his office, he frequently invokes the former president in his speeches, and the media often draws comparisons between the two progressives.
But as much as Biden seems to draw on FDR’s legacy, his knowledge of his positions seems to have one glaring omission. FDR was opposed to public sector unions.
Public sector unions are having a moment in the spotlight, and not in a good way. Their actions over the past year have incurred ire from all political directions. Many Americans have become aware of the role police unions play in protecting bad apples, blocking popular criminal justice reforms, and preventing transparency as extrajudicial killings and the resulting protests have demanded attention on our justice system.
These are only the opening days of what is supposedly the post-Trump era, and whether the country has really seen the last politically of Donald Trump is a matter that depends upon Donald Trump. The principal Trump-hate outlets are still pleased to refer to him as “the disgraced former president” but, of course, he has not been disgraced and there is no indication that he will be.
All of the Democrats and about a third of Republican officeholders are engaged in an elaborate and strictly observed pretense that Trump was a freakish and horrifying interruption of the normal, serene, bipartisan devolution of events in Washington. Like a dreadful meteor, he came and he went, pushed into the instantly forgotten past by a united effort of civilized Americans.Read More
Seventy-nine years ago today, the Japanese launched a surprise attack against the United States at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The devastation was immense, but the action did not knock the United States out of the war as the Japanese hoped.Read More
Still fighting off the tail-end of the Great Depression, Americans gave President Franklin Delano Roosevelt a landslide victory over Republican challenger Alf Landon in 1936. Roosevelt, keen to see his New Deal legislation brought to fruition, was frustrated again and again by the Supreme Court.Read More
On Presidents Day, we celebrate the life and accomplishments of our first president, George Washington, the father of our country, and Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president and one of our most renowned statesmen.
On that day, Feb. 17 this year, we should remember that the Framers of the Constitution wanted to ensure that an American president – such as Washington and Lincoln – would have the power to defend the country when the safety, security, and independence of its people are threatened.Read More
78 years ago today, the Japanese launched a surprise attack against the United States at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The devastation was immense, but the action did not knock the United States out of the war as the Japanese hoped.Read More
Almost imperceptibly, as political discourse continues to be a discordant contest between haters and admirers of President Trump with no journalistic distinction between comment and reporting, there has been substantial progress toward an improved strategic environment for the United States and the West generally.Read More
Seventy-five years ago today, the United States joined with Great Britain, the free French forces, and Canada to mount a bold invasion of the beachhead in Normandy, France as a last-ditch effort to gain a foothold in Europe against the conquering forces of Hitler’s Germany. To commemorate this significant…Read More
by Edward Ring When government fails, public-sector unions win. When society fragments, public-sector unions consolidate their power. When citizenship itself becomes less meaningful, and the benefits of American citizenship wither, government unions offer an exclusive solidarity. Government unions insulate their members from the challenges facing ordinary private citizens. On…Read More
by Robin Burk In ancient Greek tragedy, the hero rises to fame only to be undone by hubris, the fatal flaw of overweening arrogance. But to understand the events that continue to unfold around the 2016 presidential election, it’s helpful to look farther east. A generation before Sophocles chronicled…Read More