In a national radio address on February 23, 1934, Huey Long unveiled his “Share Our Wealth” plan, a program designed to provide a decent standard of living to all Americans by spreading the nation’s wealth among the people.
Long proposed capping personal fortunes at $50 million each (roughly $600 million in today’s dollars) through a restructured, progressive federal tax code and sharing the resulting revenue with the public through government benefits and public works. In subsequent speeches and writings, he revised his graduated tax levy on wealth over $1 million to cap fortunes at $5 – $8 million (or $60 – $96 million today).
The full text of this speech, as printed in Long’s official Share Our Wealth pamphlet, can be seen here.
On January 11, 1944, FDR in his State of the Union message to Congress provided an update on the US involvement in WWII as well as laid out a proposal for an economic bill of rights for Americans.
Here’s the live speech:
Here’s FDR’s remarks about an economic bill of rights (full text available) from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum: “… It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth- is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill housed, and insecure.
People consider the Great Depression (1929-1941) to be the only economic depression the US has ever had, but it’s the one where we still have living survivors and a great deal of history recorded about it so that we can benchmark current economic situations to it. There are six other depressions on record in the US since 1789:
1837-1844 (the Long Depression)
There have been 47 recessions on record since 1790. What the MSM (mainstream media) and politicians call The Great Recession of today is actually another Long Depression with unemployment reaching Great Depression levels.
Realistically, unemployment for June 2013 was 23.4% and for July 2013 it was 23.3% according to economist John Williams’ Shadow Government Stats website; he calls the government’s official jobs report and unemployment rate “nonsense” (btw, he reports that April & May 2013 were both at 23% unemployment).
“I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw.” – Hamlet
Ever wonder why nothing of value for the public ever gets accomplished in Washington? It’s by design. Both the Republicans and the Democrats play roles ordained by their rich benefactors, aka Sugar Daddies.
The endless gridlock, bluster, and sniping harken back to high school and childish cliques. But it’s all for show. And the rich folks love the system just as it is because it’s full of corporate welfare and handouts for them. How else would they have gotten so rich and pay no taxes? They bribe lawmakers to make laws officially stealing your tax money for them. Pretty good eh, crooks making the laws.