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conserving the depression
bush urges more greenhouses to increase gas supplies
by tom scarpelli
7.20.01
humor

In announcing his energy program, President Bush quoted Franklin Roosevelt’s promise on taking office to provide “direct, vigorous action,” presumably to emphasize his commitment to a strong energy policy to fight nationwide rolling blackouts. George the Second has gone so far to dub his Presidency, “The Action Administration.”

There has been some feeling the proposals Bush presented weren’t anywhere near the drastic steps that the current situation demands or anything like the dramatic actions that FDR implemented in the Depression. But had he enjoyed the benefit of the wide range of advice Bush received during his years as an oil company executive, Roosevelt would surely have passed over the ill-conceived recovery programs he adopted in his ignorance of energy’s impact on the economy.

Clearly, if FDR had adopted the sophisticated approach taken by Bush, and implemented the following steps, the Depression would have lasted only a few short decades instead of persisting for agonizingly long years.

- A rigorously enforced national speed limit of 55 mph could have saved vast amounts of gasoline wasted by the Okies in their headlong rush to California in poorly tuned jalopies and weighted down pickup trucks - - gasoline that would have then been available for use in lanterns to light rural homes, thus eliminating the need to spend billions of dollars on wacky countrified electrification schemes.

- The American people would have responded instantly if FDR had announced some kind of public relations program like Gerald Ford’s WIN program or Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No To Drugs,” that would have involved the public in a personal fight against the Depression by asking them to say, turn their thermostats from 72 to 35 degrees and encouraging them to come up with proposals of their own for combating the Depression, like only giving the cat ten seconds to get out at night or actually eating the cat.

- A massive program of conversion from oil to strip-mining coal in 1933 could have vastly extended the nation’s spectacular Dust Bowl, forever ending the grim specter of agricultural surpluses rotting in granaries and depressed beef prices.

- An income tax surcharge falling primarily on persons of moderate income not yet totally ruined by the Depression would have produced a much healthier foreclosure rate, freeing up huge amounts of housing and causing a welcome drop in rents and new home costs.

- Additional assistance to hard-pressed corporations in the form of investment tax credits would have kept many needy businesses out of the tragedy of receivership and reduced the pitiful spectacle of bankrupt companies standing idle in “bread assembly lines.”

- A much more conservative program of public employment would have left the
landscape uncluttered by the bridges, dams, libraries, public schools, national parks, and other “busy-work” projects that are the inevitable fallout from poorly thought out plans for job creation and would have preserved the feelings of self-respect and self-reliance possessed by the individual worker who is allowed to freeze to death in
dignity.


ABOUT TOM SCARPELLI



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