Posts Tagged ‘NRA’

Gridiron Club Pokes Fun at the “New Deal”

July 21, 2012

GRIDIRON CLUB POKES FUN AT THE “NEW DEAL”

WASHINGTON, April 14 — (AP) — The sharp but genial satire of the Gridiron club was turned tonight — at its annual spring dinner — upon the first year of the Roosevelt administration with this theme:

“In the new deal, everything is wild.”

President Roosevelt was among the many officials, diplomats and celebrities who laughed as the gridironers deftly caricatured personage after personage and parodied event after event.

There was one skit in which a “supreme quarterback” was portrayed as directing the maneuvers of a group of penguins. This must have reminded the chief executive that he once compared his efforts to bring recovery to the strategy of a football team’s field marshal.

Pres. Roosevelt spoke. But in its 50 years of existence the Gridiron club — composed of newspapermen — has made it a law that the words of a President at its gatherings are not reported.

Senator David A. Reed, Pennsylvania republican, who was presented as the hoary skipper of the old frigate, Constitution, also spoke.

Among the playlets was a revival sketch with secretary Frances Perkins presented as “Sister Perkins.” In it the man portraying Hugh S. Johnson told how she got “the new deal religion.”

Johnson, after joining lustily in singing “You Must be a Lover of the Codes” to the tune of “You Must be a Lover of the Lord,” called upon all to join Sister Perkins or have “the old devil crack down upon you.”

“Come up to the mourners’ bench you chiselers,” he shouted lustily. “Take your choice, you tories and witch doctors. Get the new deal religion, or get hell.”

The salvation laddies and lassies who accompanied “Sister Perkins” and the evangelist marched off singing about their love for NRA.

A pirate took the center of the stage before Senator Reed’s appearance to roar with buccaneer glee about the wreck of the good ship — “Constitution.”

Shortly afterwards the stage shook to a mighty storm. The scene that followed was Noah’s ark modernized with Noah as Everett Sanders, chairman of the Republican national committee.

He entered with Ogden Mills, one-time secretary of the treasury, who was still hopeful despite the deluge.

“Perhaps,” Mills said, “on this stout craft we’ll be able to keep afloat until this socialistic flood subsides.”

The passengers, carefully selected for “sound, conservative principles,” included Representative Hamilton Fish of New York, William Randolph Hearst, Emma Goldman and J.P. Morgan, and his little “friend, the midget.”

The voyage was a rough one but finally the clouds began to clear and Sanders hummed while Mount Ararat neared: “Franklin ain’t gonna reign no more.”

Andrew W. Mellon and John D. Rockefeller were shown as janitors for NRA; the directors of the United States Steel Corp. as members of the “workers council.”

John D., and Andrew decided that the redistribution of wealth had its advantages after all.

“Why, Andy, I feel like a boy out of school,” purred John D.

“What a relief it is,” agreed Mellon, “No directors’ meetings, no investments, no taxes, no responsibility.”

“Well, Andy, when did you first recognize your talent for janitor service?”

“To tell you the truth, John D., it was very early in the Hoover administration.”

The conversation ended abruptly with the appearance of “William Green, John Lewis, Eddie McGrady and all the rest of our new rulers.”

Along with the steel directors, they were members of the “council,” Myron C. Taylor, chairman of the Steel corporation’s board, was seen with overalls and grimy face. He said somewhat shamefacedly that he had been sifting ashes looking for “profits.”

He was firmly told that “profits are out” an in disgrace was ordered turned over to the workers’ country club.

Lima News (Lima, Ohio) Apr 15, 1934

Darrow the Cynic

June 29, 2012

Image from REA

DARROW THE CYNIC

In many ways Donald R. Richberg and General Johnson came off the victors in their public quarrel with Clarence Darrow. The defenders of NRA proved easily and conclusively the gross inconsistencies of Mr. Darrow’s reasoning, but they did not thereby validate the National Recovery Act and other measures of the Roosevelt recovery program. By exposing the addled thinking of Mr. Darrow, they have gained nothing in constructive defense of the follies of the NRA and its underlying philosophy.

It seems to be fate that the cause of opposition to administration policies falls into the hands of the Wirts and Darrows. They snatch the spotlight and the big headlines, while the calm, well-reasoned criticism of Ogden L. Mills is shunted into the background.

Mr. Darrow’s social philosophy has been shaped by his past experiences as an advocate for the accused, the oppressed, the unfortunate. He has become the champion of the underdog.

In a battle between society and a coupled of murderers, Mr. Darrow indicts society and excuses the criminals. A man of this type of mind would be expected to have a low opinion of the possibilities of human nature.

You might expect him to say, as he did say, “All competition is savage, wolfish and relentless and can be nothing else. One may as well dream of making war lady-like as of making competition fair.”

Mr. Darrow overlooks the fact that all advancement in social justice has consisted in applying workable rules for the enforcement of fair play — not perfect rules, by any means, but workable rules. They are ever being amended in an effort to reach a greater degree of fairness. As wolfish instincts become refined and sublimated better rules are accepted. We still have a long way to go, but we have certainly made a lot of progress in the last three centuries.

The most amazing thing about the Darrow report is that, while he is a professed cynic regarding human nature as applied to rules regulating fair competition, he advocates socialism, or socialized control of industry, which is based on the highest faith in mankind.

Mr. Darrow lacks the faith that business can ever be made to compete on a fair basis; yet he is willing to repose faith in a bureaucratic control over the lives of 120,000,000 persons.

Socialized industry means nothing less than the control of industry in the hands of a few tyrants. If takes a prodigious amount of faith in human nature to approve such a system.

Socialism, or socialized control of industry, to be successful, must presuppose: (1) That the leaders who battle their way to the top (through ruthless competition for leadership) will be not only superman, but also spotless, selfless characters; and (2) that the great mass of individuals will not be spoiled by the multiplicity of government props and aids that will surround them.

A people whose life is ordered for them by a small group of alleged supermen cannot retain the moral fibre of a people who are left to use their own initiative and invention.

A realist would concede that human nature is capable of great things, but in order to bring out the most and the best in him the individual must be left as far as possible a free agent, unhampered by manifold interferences from a paternalistic government. Political freedom means freedom for the individual to develop.

The question the country must settle is, how far, under our modern industrial set-up, must we go in ?? ???? down regulatory laws in order to protect individual liberty? What is the bare minimum of regulation consistent with modern conditions?

We believe that the National Recovery act, the Securities act, the Stock Exchange regulations bill and the other measures go far beyond the necessary minimum of regulation.

President Roosevelt and his advisers think that NRA and present legislation does not go far enough. There the ????  ?? ????ed, and it should be fought out along these lines.

Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) May 22, 1934

“Stand Out of My Sunshine!”

December 12, 2011

A COSTLY BLUNDER

MANY business advantages will accrue to the American people from the Supreme Court decision invalidating the NRA.

In spite of frenzied administration propaganda to the contrary, recent disinterested nonpartisan statistical surveys show how the meddlesome NRA RETARDED RECOVERY IN THE UNITED STATES.

The Brookings Institution and the National Bureau of Economic Research have published their conclusions that the NRA definitely interfered with the revival of production.

Furthermore Colonel Leonard P. Ayers, of Cleveland, has shown that in the two years of the NRA codes American industry has made almost THE WORST RECORD among the nations of the world so far as recovery is concerned.

Colonel Ayres has shown that only France had made a less satisfactory record.

Other principal countries in the same period showed INCREASES in industrial production RUNNING UP TO 41 PER CENT, while under the NRA the United States actually revealed A DECLINE OF 9 PER CENT.

The Cleveland economist makes the subjoined vigorous and true indictment of the futile and disturbing major new deal experiment, from which the country has at length been saved by the Supreme Court.

Image from FDR and the Supreme Court

“The first and safest conclusion is that conditions will probably improve after the necessary readjustments to the changed conditions of conducting business have been worked out. It seems quite improbable that the trend of industrial production in this country can continue to decline during the next two years at the rate at which it has declined during the past two years. The natural forces of recovery are operating vigorously in the rest of the world, and they are bound to have at least some effect here unless we erect too many new barriers that restrain them.”

What a blow to the prestige of self-inflated politicians!

Their record is largely one of hampering, rather than facilitating the revival of prosperity.

Perhaps new dealers need anew the advice which Bentham, the British economist, published more than a century ago.

“The request which agriculture, manufacturers, and commerce present to government,” wrote Bentham, “is modest and reasonable as that which Diogenes made to Alexander: ‘Stand out of my sunshine! We have no need of favor. We require only a secure and open path.”

Rochester Evening Journal (Rochester, New York) Jun 18, 1935

A National Game of Blind Man’s Buff

December 12, 2011

WINSOR M’CAY’S LAST PICTURE
By Arthur Brisbane

It Shows a National Game of “Blind Man’s Buff,” American Business Blindfolded

AS HE WORKED at his pictures, not in isolation but in a room with other artists, where young office boys might watch and study his methods, Winsor McCay would look up occasionally to ask with ingenuous sincerity, whoever might be near him: “There, do you think that is PLAIN enough?”

His desire above all was to make his meaning clear, plain. He succeeded in doing so in this as in so many other pictures.

*     *     *

A drawing by Winsor McCay calls for little comment, except that which takes form in the brain of him who studies the picture.

Winsor McCay has certainly made this picture “plain.” Business men will not miss its meaning.

*     *     *

Mr. McCay did not outline this picture in any spirit of criticism or final judgment. He endeavored to show the business intelligence and enterprise that have created this country’s industries, its commerce and prosperity, as they are NOW.

There are various opinions of what we call “American Big Business.” But there cannot be two opinions as to the work that Big Business has done. It has created the factories, the mills, the railroads, the new industrial ideas and methods and [the payrolls] of America. Selfishly, if you like, mistakenly, with unwise methods sometimes, but it has created them.

Business, like a man blindfolded, in the game of “Blind Man’s Buff,” with many little children around him, groping with hands spread out, wondering just where he is and in what direction he is going.

The gnome-like creatures that surround him are all the creation of the New Era, chief among them, little, busy NRA. These little creatures under the direction of college professors, some of whom, perhaps know less about business than those who CREATE the business, have made the rules of this new “Blind Man’s Buff” game that American Business must play, doing the best it can.

The little gnomes have not only written new rules for the game, they have also invented new taxes to pay the expenses of the game, and the big blindfolded individual must simultaneously play the game under the new rules and find the money to pay the new taxes.

It is not an easy game for him, as yet.

*     *     *

The object of the game, as in old-fashioned “Blind Man’s Buff,” is to seize and identify one of the players, giving that player’s name correctly, without removing the bandage on the eyes, or “cheating” by peeking.

American Business and Industry would have no difficulty in identifying the lady that they are seeking, if once she were firmly held, but at present the blinded giant is walking in the wrong direction, that which he seeks behind him.

Perhaps he will turn soon, seize and hold the handsome lady, and make us all happy, while the little gnomes and their professorial papas dance and sing in a ring.

But that hasn’t happened yet.

*     *     *

After sketching in pencil, the picture which Mr. Powers later finished in ink, in a style quite different from that of Mr. McCay, the latter commented, according to his custom, on the work in hand:

“You know how foolish a man feels when his eyes are blindfolded. Even when one of your children steps up, puts both hands over your eyes, and says: ‘Guess who?’ you feel that the world has suddenly changed. The world is what we see and, without sight, nothing is real.

“My business is making pictures, and I don’t pretend to judge the New Era, the professors or the new theories. But I do know that many business men feel as if they have been suddenly blindfolded, that they no longer can control their business direction or their own movements.

“Perhaps they were going too fast in the wrong direction, perhaps they need to be blindfolded for a while. I don’t know.

“But I do know as a maker of pictures that it would be difficult for me to get ahead in my line if somebody fastened a handkerchief around my eyes.

“And I know that some of the ablest business men in the United States today feel as I should feel if blindfolded.”

*     *     *

Many able Americans, trying to comply with all the orders of these little gnomes and at the same time to meet their payrolls, will say “Amen” to Mr. McCay’s words, and agree heartily with the thought expressed in this, his LAST PICTURE.

Hamilton Daily News Journal (Hamilton, Ohio) Aug 18, 1934