Michael Reagan's Monthly Monitor
The Roaring Twenties were a period of tremendous economic
and technological growth. In March, 1998, the Monthly
Monitor studied the similarities between our era and the times
prior to, and during, the Great Depression. It is instructive to
see the parallels between then and now; to understand the
commonalities and the differences so that we can be informed
citizens and investors.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
What Can We Learn From The Great Depression
Era of Good Feeling
Shanghai's Empty Skyscrapers
A World-Wide Stock Market Debacle
RCA (1925-1929)-and MICROSOFT (1993-1997)
Hoover Believed in Soundness of the Economy
History of US Deficits
Didn't Bob Dole ask, "Where is the outrage?"
He, like many of you, can not understand why, or rather, how,
President Clinton continues to get away with his antics.
Well, perhaps it was too much for Bob Dole to understand, at his
advanced age, how much America has changed in his lifetime. Heck,
sometimes I think I might be too old too. We always knew that
Americans voted with the pocketbooks, but I guess we had no idea
that a fat wallet (one filled with credit cards, a little cash
and a couple of handy condoms) took precedence over everything
else. At one point, not even that long ago, I think the news of
a President having sex with a young intern would have repulsed
the people ..not just from a moral perspective, but from a
practical one as well. It cannot be good for a political or
military leader to be putting himself at risk of being
blackmailed over bimbos. Of course, maybe Bill Clinton knows us
better than we know ourselves. After all how can he be
blackmailed if he is not embarrassed about his behavior, nor fear
how we the people might react. Maybe his behavior is not that
reckless. If we do not care, and his wife does not seem to care,
why should we think that he would care? Maybe we should not
expect otherwise. In many ways the American people have become
self indulgent and soft. In other ways, they have become immoral,
or at least amoral. We all seem to think we are owed something,
even if that something is just to be left alone in our immoral
morass. Then, once we go over the edge, it certainly feels better
knowing that there are others joining us in the sludge. Now we
have the comfort of knowing that our leaders have joined us too.
It seems as if that as long as we have enough money to satisfy
our cravings for entertainment, we will not bother with the
principals of our leaders or, for that matter, the principals of
Remarkably, even the establishment press seems taken aback by our
fellow citizens' tolerance of a
completely immoral president. They
too now know what we conservatives have predicted: If you feed
the people enough garbage, pretty soon they learn to like garbage.
As the chief purveyors of garbage in America, the media/press
folks cannot seem to find a mix of garbage that can get a rise
out of people anymore ...they almost seem disappointed. So, what
is the bottom line? As long as the stock market is high, interest
rates and unemployment low; that while Hollywood crank out
blockbuster movies and Silicon Valley makes ever more titillating
computer games; as long as we remain financially strong: we will
gladly ride to Hell in our hand-basket together. Don't worry.
Do you thing there should be a constitutional amendment
protecting the American Flag?
With all the pressing issues before us I DO NOT want congress
wasting their time passing a
constitutional amendment protecting
the flag. It is only a symbol; the beliefs, philosophy, and ideas
behind that symbol are what is important. Cops have better things
to do than chase a few radicals burning a flag. Get a grip,
So long as the statute concerning the proper method for the
disposal of a soiled flag, (i.e. incineration) is in force,
there is no requirement for any action. Since the specific flags
have been "soiled" both through their inclusion in the particular
"protests and by contact, those disposing of "soiled" banners ARE
IN FULL COMPLIANCE WITH THE EXISTING STATUTE although they may
not know it....
One of the first official acts of the Chinese Communists when
they took over Hong Kong was to ban desecration of the Chinese or
Hong Kong Flag. I'm patriotic but I question the validity of
this issue. It seems to be more smoke designed to keep us from
focusing on corruption and other real issues confronting our
The American Farmer
The true "flag" of this nation is its' constitution and it should
be protected at all cost. The Stars and Stripes (that represent
all I love and respect about this great country) is a symbol.
It's my belief that placing our symbolic flag under the
protection of our "real" flag weakens the fabric of both.
For those who dishonor our American Flag, pick another, then move
to that country! We can recycle your space.
Rick in CA
Do you think James McDougal's death will seriously hamper Kenneth
Starr's case against Bill Clinton?
What case? Isn't President Clinton, like, the greatest president
ever?! That horrible 'Great Right Wing Conspiracy," lead by that
dastardly evil Kenneth Starr, cannot win. With all the wonderful
things Clinton did, he has to win.
- P.S. Hitler wasn't so bad, we must not judge people. There really
is no right and wrong. Who are we to judge? Doesn't every man
behave like an animal in heat???
As a "convicted felon" McDougal, like Hale, is not credible as a
witness. He did, however, provide Starr with much material, which
had been hidden. That will be much more important to the case.
Besides losing a major witness, another death has occurred to a
potential enemy of Bill. A loud unspoken message has just been
sent to Monica, Johnie Chung, ex Arkansas governors, and other
potential enemies of Bill. That message is that strange and
deadly things often happen to people that could end up in a court
What Can We Learn From The Great Depression
Popular wisdom today says that it is impossible for America to
go through another debilitating "Great Depression" like that of
the 1930s. That may be correct, but not for the reasons most
people think. The American people today don't appear to be nearly
as easily led, nearly so gullible as Americans in the 1930s. This
is due more to the Information Age than it is to learning from
history. Americans don't learn from history - probably because
they don't know it. The radio was new and, effective by the 1932
election. For the first time voters could be accosted in their
own homes via sound waves - and Democrat charges that Hoover was
CAUSING the depression sank deep into their consciousness. The
generation who were young parents in 1932 would NEVER recover
from the firm belief that they must not spend money ever again
as they did in the 1920s. That paradigm shift in people's feelings
about money was an unintended consequence of the charges made by
the Democrats. People developed a permanent fear of depression
and a new dependence on the Federal Government. If the government
was run by Democrats, popular wisdom held, there would never be
another Depression. Unbalanced budgets and runaway federal
spending to prevent economic recession were, therefore, moral
and good. It took the passing of that generation and new
generations arising before any changes could be made in the
growing federal control and spending.
Today's young people are more apt to believe in flying saucers
than in the Federal Government being useful to them in their
old age. The people who actually lost jobs in 1932 - and that was
when the depression actually hit - believed that FDR saved them.
Yet, twice since 1929 dramatic drops in the market have occurred
- one in 1987 and the second in 1997 - and the results have not
been the same. Because of federal protections in place? Hardly.
If there were a real run on the banks like there was in the 1932,
the federal government, with its $5.5 Trillion debt, would hardly
be in a position to stop it. What does keep deflation in check
is the mood of the people. As long as they believe a stock market
slide won't continue, it probably won't.
However, there could be some stormy weather ahead if the public
does react like it did in 1932; the results may be the same -
a depression. After all, there was no International Monetary Fund
to save the world in 1932, and it is in place to save the World
from the Asian Crisis of 1997-98, right?
Probably not. At this writing the IMF has put $100 billion
+ into the Asian Bailout and it has not appeared to help much,
if at all. The Indonesian currency, which was the worst hit of
the Asian currencies in a major wave of lost value, has again
suffered a sharp drop in value.
There is good evidence, in
retrospect, that Federal intervention worsened the 1930s
Copying that response for the current worldwide crisis could do
on an international scale what Federal intervention in the US
Economy did on a national scale in the Depression years.
Sixty years of deficit spending has left America with a national
debt equivalent to it's entire gross domestic product for 1991.
In 1929 real per capita federal expenditures in 1990 dollars were
$195.41. They increased to $367.84 by 1933, in Hoover's efforts
to create jobs, an 82 percent increase. By 1937, five years
into the Roosevelt administration, per capita federal expenditures
were $545.23, a 48 percent
increase, and they had gone up to
$638.78 by 1940. Clearly, if government spending to create jobs
was the answer to the depression question, Hoover's spending
should have reversed the trend by 1932.
What happens if loans made by the World Bank are not paid? What
would happen would be a worldwide financial crisis comparable to
the Savings and Loan Crisis in America - only on a global basis.
America would be responsible for a third of the debt incurred,
on top of its already $5.5 Trillion public debt.
To make matters worse, with the currency devaluation that has
taken place throughout the world for
many years, but especially
in the last four years, money America lent to the IMF to bail out
nations would be paid back in currencies that have been
dramatically reduced in value.