One of the more amusing things of the economic quagmire left by the Republicans in 2008 is that they did the same thing to our country in the late 20’s and early 30’s. The asinine revisionist history that the Republicans spew today regarding FDR and the New Deal just exemplifies the insanity of conservative ideology. It’s a crying shame that so many Americans simply do NOT know (or care to know) our nation’s history and readily accept the conservative spin as outright truth.
A recent piece by a fellow blogger and friend at The Modern Left titled “Employee Free Choice Act = Radical Islam?”, exposes the lies and fear mongering that big corporations have been disseminating in order to defeat this vital piece of legislation. So here we are facing an economic catastrophe and the present administration is supporting measures to ensure workers’ rights while big business fights rabidly against it and as usual all we have to do is read a bit of history and we will see that this has happened before, under similar circumstances and the nation as a whole benefited greatly from enhanced workers’ rights.
Rewind to 1933
The nation was in the midst of the First Republican Great Depression. Unemployment was rampant. Franklin Delano Roosevelt had assumed the presidency in March of 1933, inheriting the worse economic catastrophe in our history to date. Corporations and banks were clamoring for government assistance, which the government provided. Big business was more than happy to get relief but they balked at a few caveats that the administration included. Under the guidance of Labor Secretary Francis Perkins, (our first ever female Cabinet member) the administration enacted provisions that prohibited child labor. It enacted a minimum wage requirement and a maximum hour work week. The legislation dramatically improved workplace conditions and created unemployment compensation. These provisions that we now take for granted were vehemently opposed by business interests and the Republican Party. Now imagine what this country would be like without these safeguards today! It is not surprising that the same arguments that are being made today in 2009 are exactly the same nonsense that was made in 1933. And in much the same way, I am sure that the progressive agenda will succeed under President Obama as it did under FDR, no matter how the conservatives want to spin it.
History has a funny way of repeating itself.