Friday, July 22, 2016

History: The Year is 1833

I've uploaded year 1833 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Child Labor Laws and those Gosh Darn Illegal Aliens -- Real teeth are put into the child labor laws. I talk about debt, debtor's prison and Tejas which is being inundated with Anglo illegal aliens.

Banking on Disaster -- Andrew Jackson takes on the 2nd Bank of the US. He will win but the economy will collapse. I talk about solutions, but I don't think there is one.

In Other News -- The Barlow lens, General Santa Anna and American Party politics.

The Child Labor Laws and those Gosh Darn Illegal Aliens

Once more, the British Parliament has created a feather bed for the working children of the British labor force. Back in 1819 the Utopian industrialist (and future socialist) Robert Owen, limited children's work hours to 12-hour days and 9-year-olds could not be hired at all! (What is this world coming to?) Now a new law limits 13-year-olds to 9 hour days! (Are we raising loafers?) Everyone is required to wash their hands and face twice a day to prevent the spread of disease, and education is to be provided to fill in all those extra hours the kids have: at least 2 hours a day, 6 days a week. Medical experts recommend an extended lunch hour for the health of the children.[1] (The current lunch "hour" is 45 minutes.) Most importantly, 4 government inspectors have been hired specifically to enforce the law along with many assistant inspectors to help them. Before this time, enforcement consisted of local officials reasoning with factory owners. (In a modern context, this would be like hiring gang members to stop drug dealers. It might work... uh... no. Probably not.) Now a professional PAID factory enforcement team has been established. Things are looking brighter. Soon 10-year-olds will be forbidden to work in the mines. (Yikes!) [2] [3] [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
You can see how socialism got rolling. Working conditions during the emerging Industrial Age were hideous. Even the most libertarian-minded people of the modern day would be tempted to meddle with the labor laws under such conditions. With the new threshing machines killing jobs on the farm, people moved to the cities. But that meant kids could no longer contribute to food production or spinning wool. They naturally gravitated to the textile mills. If a young girl was reasonably well-educated, she might become a shop-girl. If you couldn't support yourself, you were sent to the public workhouse. In America, those who could not pay their debts went to prison... or Tejas. The Mexican government paid good money for A LIMITED NUMBER OF CATHOLIC SETTLERS to work the land, but that was a mistake. Too many white illegal aliens were crossing the border. (Those gosh darn white people were nuthin' but trouble!) That sounds funny, but it's true. The Texas Revolution probably would have happened any way, but illegal aliens from southern states like Louisiana were a disruptive force. [5] [6]

Banking on Disaster

Andrew Jackson won his bid for a second term as President promising to rid the country of the Second Bank of the United States. If you will recall, the First Bank was chartered by Alexander Hamilton, who used the bank to control the money supply and to provide a means for the US government to pay off its war debt. However, the Jeffersonian vision of government did not include banks. Jefferson believed that bankers were dishonest people whose only aim was to keep farmers in their grip and squeeze. So when it came time to renew the bank's charter, the Jeffersonian republicans let it lapse... right before the War of 1812. As the need for ready cash soared to meet the needs of war, President Madison scrambled to set up another bank. Thus in 1818, the Second Bank of the United States was established. Unfortunately, the bank president was an idiot, so during the Panic of 1819, Andrew Jackson almost lost his farm. Jackson doesn't forget old wounds. The current Federal bank president. Mr. Biddle, is competent, but he is also a bit of a wheeler-dealer. Jackson can smell something bad, so he tries to withdraw all the money from the bank (ALL THE MONEY!) He declares the bank unconstitutional and pays off the entire national debt... every last penny with money to spare, but not before Mr. Biddle tries to brings down the house. President Jackson will avoid most of the consequences of his actions. The Federal banking system will be turned over to the states in 1837, just in time for Jackson's successor, Martin Van Buren, to take one for the team. Several banks will fail. As cash liquidity dries up and the economy grinds to a halt, wildcat banks will spring up "out there amongst the wildcats." Unregulated (and probably non-existent) banks will set up for the needs of the moment and then fade away. For years to come, very few financial instruments will be more worthless than a federal note. [7] [8] [9] [10]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Was this all Jackson's fault? No, but like most people of the time, he didn't understand how banking works. If for no other reason, a Federal bank is required to regulate the massive spending that a government the size of the USA engages in (even in Jackson's time). Collecting enough cash to buy pencils for the federal government can tie up money for long periods of time, and then suddenly dump large amounts of cash into the market to make the purchase. The pencil market would go into a frenzy to meet the demand and then collapse utterly. Don't even ask about the eraser market. Some sort of banking system is needed that can hold tax funds and parcel them out in a sensible, and generally non-disruptive fashion. Providing loans to state banks in the meantime, would help regulate the money supply and if it is done prudently, would help the economy over most short-term problems. But wait. What am I talking about? It's the GOVERNMENT! Forget I said anything. I lost my head. I'm saying that a Federal banking system is needed for a large economy such as the USA, but it needs to be revisited periodically. Setting a time limit on the renewal of the charter didn't work for us before. Maybe there is no way for a Federal banking system to work without a lot of suffering, and crying and gnashing of teeth. It's just too much money. Maybe limiting government obligations to an amount that the CURRENT LIVING taxpayers could conceivably repay makes sense. But again... it's the government.

In Other News

  • The Barlow Lens is invented. It increases magnification and corrects the focal point of colors for precise viewing. It will remain a popular lens into the modern day. [11] [12]
  • General Santa Anna overthrows Mexico's President Bustamante. Hooray!! For a while it looks like he will restore constitutional government to Mexico, but no such luck. [13]
  • The American Whig Party is established as real Party politics begin. Henry Clay and Daniel Webster unify their Party against the Democrats and Andrew Jackson. Eventually, the Whigs will be replaced by the Republican Party under Abraham Lincoln. [3] [14]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1833, Wikipedia.

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