Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Keeping Things in Perspective.

It's what's keeping me on a fairly even keel during this period of flashy rhetoric from Congress and gloom and dooming from the media.*

As I mentioned earlier, have been slogging my way through the Progressive Era when things were much worse for the wage workers than today** and was noting that the leadup what's happening nowadays is strikingly similar to before the depressions of 1894 and 1929. Even then, especially with the birth of the Progressive and Socialist parties, there were calls to nationalize industries. Teddy Roosevelt, Taft to a lesser extent and even Wilson were more in favor of regulation, however. Of course, as we've seen lately, too much regulation as well as bad regulation can cause problems, too.

Anyway, the calls for revolution we hear from the left, the far right, whoever else, aren't anything new, nor are they really likely to lead to any cataclysmic changes (as some against their better judgements would hope)***. Even the progressives back in the time of Square Deal Teddy knew this.

Finley Peter Dunne, a humorist during that era best known for his Mr. Dooley**** anecdotes, very nicely summed up the progression of American government and reform by likening it to housecleaning:

"The noise you hear is not the first gun of a revolution. It's only the people of the United States beating a carpet."

Would that more people would keep this in mind nowadays. It'd save us from a lot of grief later on.


* Their perspective's been a gloomy one for a while, as, well, they're all going out of business. Wonder when the Times, for example, is going to ask for a bailout.

** Again, perspective: between 1895-1896 something like 1000 banks failed and there was NO deposit insurance back then, either. There was no worker's compensation, no unemployment, very few pay raises, next to no job security, either. Not like we have nowadays, anyway. Also, the government used to send the National Guard out to shoot people who struck.

*** At least, I hope, in this Brave New technological world, that there won't be any major cataclysms. After all, a Czogolsz today has access to things far more lethal than a pistol.

**** Amazon's got a deal on two of Dunne's Mr. Dooley books, I see. Even one would be nice, though. *hint.*

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