September 10th, 2002, 07:02 PM
The more things change...
I just wanted to share with you a minor revelation I had today while browsing the news. For those of you who don't know, Congress has recently passed a bill that will provide $6 billion for farmers hit particularly hard by the drought. One article had this to say:
In another article, I read about Iraq's attempts to rally Arabs in a unified front against the US, should Washington decide to launch an attack:
Daschle's home state of South Dakota has estimated its losses from the drought at $1.8 billion. Other states such as Nebraska, Kansas and Montana have likened this year's drought to the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s when vast numbers of farmers were forced off their land.
In another article, still, I read about the world's wildly fluctuating and consistantly failing economy:
Iraq called on Arabs Tuesday to strike U.S. interests in the Middle East if Washington attacked Baghdad, and the foreign minister denied his country was trying to produce nuclear bombs.
I just wonder what my grandparents would have thought about the current state of affairs considering they grew up during a similar time:
It has been another week of breathtaking falls and sudden rises on world stockmarkets. The Japanese Nikkei 225 index has reached 19-year lows on the back of disappointing economic growth figures. In Europe and America, many of August’s gains have been given up. There remains lots to be worried about—with a war in Iraq looming—and little in the way of positive economic or business news to cheer investors.
1929 -- The Stock Market Crashes, and the Great Depression begins worldwide
1930s -- The Dust Bowl forces thousands of farmers off their lands, the leader of a
relatively small country threatens the world with military power, and forms alliances with Italy and Japan.
1939 -- World War II begins on September 1st around 4:00am.
1940 -- FDR is anxious to enter the War, but the American people are resistant
1941 -- The attack on Pearl Harbor occurs December 7th. USA enters WWII.
Now granted, our recession is not the Great Depression, our "Dust Bowl" will likely not force farmers from their lands (especially with the latest bill), and Saddam Hussein is hardly Hitler, but the similarities are striking. How should we approach the current global situation to avoid repeating the past?
/* You are not expected to understand this. */
September 10th, 2002, 08:14 PM
I think overall the US is on the right track with the war on terror and all.It's fairly consistant throughout history that during times of crises a countries economy,but if they make it through their economy tends to shoot through the roof.Although times are difficult for a lot of people right now,in years to come I feel the US will be that much stronger(ie. the what doesn't kill you makes you stronger theory).The chances of such events as 9/11 will be lower,because our country's defense will have the necessary provisions to deal with such things,and if something like that was to happen,the people and government of the US would have a better idea of how to cope with it,and what to do to get the country back on track.As far as not repeating the past.As long as there are ruthless dictators and fanatical terrorists in the world there is no stopping the past from repeating,but we can decrease the damages these people can do to us by keeping their numbers at a minimum,and weeding them out by the roots before they're able to congregate in large numbers.I feel the best place to start would be Iraq and the anti-American terrorist cells that are quickly forming in SE Asia.As bad as these wars may be for international relations,the quicker we take care of this mess by eliminating these people and their cause the quicker the world can reach a state of relative peace(at least temporarily).
[shadow]I don\'t believe in anarchy.If you\'re not smart enough to beat the system it\'s your problem.
September 10th, 2002, 09:18 PM
They say history repeats iteself, and from the looks of things were right on schedule for a re-run. I honestly don't want to see any repeats of history, esp in the areas of warfare, as there was such a temendous loss of life in WWII. Not only that, but the effects of the war are still felt in many countries, esp. Germany.
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September 12th, 2002, 12:17 AM
Coincidence exists only in the eye of the beholder. I think any parallels are pretty strained, and those events aren't all that similar.
Elen alcarin ar gwath halla ná engwar.
September 12th, 2002, 12:42 AM
I think that we are better prepared economically today than we were in the 1920's. Remember that the stock market was a relatively new creature in terms of mainstream American culture. Since then we have (hopefully) learned our lessons in regard to economics and have taken measures to prevent another catastrophe such as the great depression.
As for our political/military climate, I think that we need to chase down terrorism and destroy it where it lives. It was the terrorists that came into our front yard and started this fight, and if the governments of the countries that sponsor terrorism (Iraq) don't want to get caught in the crossfire then they need to let us take care of business.
Warfare today is a lot different than it was during WWII. The Gulf War against Iraq had the lowest number of American casualties compared to other wars because of the advances in technology. Saddam had no idea that the stealth bombers were there until after the bombs were dropped. We fought the war primarily from the air.
I don't think that we are going to be able to compare the world to come to what has happened in the past. We have come so far that there is no comparison.
Time is a created thing -- to say \"I don\'t have time\" is like saying \"I don\'t want to.\"
September 12th, 2002, 12:50 AM
I have to agree with secretfire on this one.
The dust bowl occured over a much greater area, farms were far less capable of recovery, and government aid was non-existant. Also the ratio of small farmers to larger conglomerate farms was radically different.
To say Iraq is not Germany is like saying a mob is not the Special Forces. In area they are similar, in zeal they are similar, but in capability, economy, training, and expertise there is no comparison.
Finally our economic recession, which is world wide, is not on the scale of the crash of 1929 partially due to certain safe guards. Much of the concern is based upon what we read not what is the reality. Our financial institutions (I work for a bank) are no longer allowed to speculate on the market. So, while a market crash would hurt it would not be as devastating to the personal savings of the individual as it proved to be in the earlier 1930's. I do feel for those who are looking for work and the unemployment numbers are not good, but they are not close to the 20% unemployment ratings that happened after the great crash. Much of the current down trend can be traced to consumer confidence in the market.
I do not think we face the same dangers we faced then. I do believe we face others. However, striving to protect ourselves from repeating errors of the past does not guarantee us bypassing errors of the future.
Here are my recommendations for what to do.
The farmers - I approve of the aid package, however I did not approve of the earlier farm bill. Why? because I believe the money should go to the small or family farmer more than to large conglomerate farms but the bill did not distinguish between the two so most of the money is going to corporations not to the farmers and the workers who tend the farms.
Iraq - Sorry, I honestly don't know. I do not know whether it would be better to go in and create more turmoil or stay out and let the current turmoil there contine to grow unchecked.
The Economy - If we can do anything I would like to see us strive to make business more honorable. Yes, it is probably a pipe dream but I like to think that I am giving my business to people who deserve it. I am willing to pay a little more to go to a small proprietor rather than a super store. However, I find I am not willing to pay a lot more. Maybe I should be. However I do not feel that the new law passed will in any way affect the corporate scoundrels who are willing to steal profits, lie, and cheat their employees. They don't kill but they cripple people's future and cause pain and suffering just as badly as any terrorist.
\"We are pressing through the sphincter of assholiness\"