Thursday, December 8, 2016

History: The Year is 1913

I've uploaded year 1913 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

It's a Duesy of a Car -- The Duesenberg company is established. It will regulated out of existence during the Great Depression.

The Sudden Suicide of Diesel -- Rudolf Diesel takes a flying leap. I talk about the recent settlement of VW over violations of diesel emission standards.

Limitless Government -- Dear God, whatever did we do to deserve this? It starts with Woodrow Wilson and rolls downhill from there.

Limitless Banking  -- Dear God, now I see. The Federal Reserve is established.

Notable Births -- Richard Nixon, Jimmy Hoffa, Rosa Parks, and don't forget: Vince Lombardi, Bear Bryant, and Jessie Owens.

In Other News -- Mahatma Gandhi, the Geiger counter and Henry Ford brings the assembly line to his factory.

It's a Duesy of a Car

The Duesenberg Automobile & Motors Company is open for business in Des Moines, Iowa. The two brothers, Frederick and August Duesenberg, are building racing cars and marine engines, but by the 1920's they will be producing luxury automobiles. The Duesenberg will earn the distinction of being the "Rolls Royce" of American cars... the very best that money can buy in terms of luxury, quality of design and materials. Soon "It's a Duesy," will describe anything that is the biggest and/or the best. [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
So Rolls Royce is still around. Where is Duesenberg? One could say that the Great Depression did them in, but what really did it was government regulation. With crushing poverty across the nation, the government felt compelled to free up resources to help the poor. This presumed that somehow when a rich person bought a set of fabulously expensive tires for his Duesy that some poor guy was denied tires for his Model T Ford. Government regulators turned to experts to craft new regulations... experts that were hired by Duesenberg's competitors. In time the Duesy was edged out of the market. And that was how the phrase "It's is a Duesy!" was replaced by "It's the Cadillac of its class". Now the term "Cadillac" is being edged out. Obamacare was enacted to regulate the high cost of medical care. The people with "Cadillac Insurance Plans" are heavily fined. (They don't call it a fine, but it is a fine.) Soon, all that will be left will be "Model T" plans that most doctors will not accept. Look for a Duesy of a shake up. Only a few insurance companies will be left standing, and the doctors accepting those plans will be sporting tattoos and smoking heavily.

The Sudden Suicide of Diesel

Rudolf Diesel, the inventor of the diesel engine, has disappeared. He boards a steamer in Antwerp for a business meeting in London. He takes a late dinner and asks for an early wake-up call. The next morning, Dr. Diesel is not in his cabin. A quick search reveals an overcoat left neatly folded near the after deck railing. 10 days later, a fisherman pulls a body out of the sea. With heavy weather coming he must abandon the body, but he collects a few items from the pockets. Diesel's son identifies them as belonging to his father. Later speculation suggests that Diesel was murdered for selling secrets to the British, but it is more likely that he committed suicide due to financial losses in real estate speculation and in the stock market. He leaves his wife about £1,000 pounds sterling or three-quarters of a million dollars in 2015 money. While this is a considerable amount to go on with, his patents had come into question which drove him into a deep depression... just as the diesel engine was starting to to replace the steam engine. [4] [5] [6]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
In order to comply with "clean diesel" standards, certain German companies have gamed the emission tests. Just like the tests for the best video card, CPU or internet download speed, these car companies have programmed the automobile computers to notice when a test is being run, and then tweak the engine parameters to produce the best emission results. The engine runs terribly for the purpose of actual driving, but for the emission test, it's golden. It's also illegal. We are talking about emissions 40 times the legal limit. As of July 2016, Volkswagen has agreed to a settlement of 14.7 billion dollars for US violations alone. I doubt I'll see a dollar of it. [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

Limitless Government

Well... here we are. Woodrow Wilson has been elected President of the United States on a platform of expert domestic management. No foreign entanglements are on the horizon, so its all about fixing the USA. Yes, we can. The old Constitution was good enough for the 18th century man (read is morons) but in the 20th century we need something modern. We can trust the voters to get it right, We can build a government based on science and run by experts... socialism-lite, so to speak. The Constitution limits the power of taxation, but with the ratification of the 16th Amendment our limits are gone! The Feds can tax the income of individual citizens mercilessly... oh... I mean fairly. After all, if you are making too much money, you should be sharing that extra income with your fellow citizens, whether you like it or not. The 17th Amendment is also ratified this year. It allows Senators to be elected by the people rather than be beholden to the state legislature or the governor. Now we have a second House of Representatives promising bread a circuses to the masses... oh... I mean looking out for the little guy. (Sure, Wilbur.) Anything else? Yes. The U.S. Federal Reserve System is established. I knew there was a reason to fear God's justice. Next up... Prohibition. [12] [13] [14] [15]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
To be fair, these guys really believe that this is the right course for the future of humanity. The fact that we know these boneheaded bigots have just placed our heads into the jaws of a lion should not blind us to that fact. What worries me today are the measures we are implementing today that we are CERTAIN are correct and that our children's children will curse us for. Without granting forgiveness, we cannot expect forgiveness in return. With that in mind, "May my children forgive me as I have forgiven my father and my father's father. I reserve the right to criticize my father's actions while understanding that every man sets out to do what he think is right... or at least reasonable."

Limitless Banking

Remember that earthquake that flattened San Fransisco? It caused a world-wide financial panic. Why? Well.. a lot of insurance companies had to pay off, and believe it or not, insurance companies do not exist to pay off your claims. They are like banks. They hold your money in reserve, investing it in other businesses while trusting that you won't need it back any time soon. So after the Great Earthquake, there was the Great Payoff with no money left for investment. There was a run on the banks, so the banks issued script, like casino chips, redeemable in limited locations... like... one location... the bank. J.P. Morgan tried to save the financial system. It wasn't enough. This year, President Woodrow Wilson (Democrat) pledges to reform the banking system. Traditionally, Democrats have despised a central bank, but Wilson thinks it can work. They change the name to "The Federal Reserve." (This is like a Socialist switching to the Democrats. Only the label has changed. It works the same when Libertarians become Republicans.) Now they must convince the man of the common people, the one-and-only, William Jennings Bryant. He is an intelligent man, but he admits that he doesn't fully understand this Federal Reserve system. He eventually signs off. On December 23rd, Wilson signs the bill into law. The financial markets are free... free to do good... free to do bad. The possibilities are limitless... either way. [16]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I hate Woodrow Wilson almost as much as I hate Satan.. close call... yet I cannot assign Wilson the total blame. Republicans were four-square behind the idea. The bankers met at Jekyll Island to plan it all out. Their first objective was to kill off the farmer's banks which were draining the New York banking reserves. Is it any wonder that farmers view bankers as little weasels? I know bankers. They are not little, but there is great potential for their inner-weasels to blossom if they are not careful. Running the Federal Reserve (without it spiraling out of control) takes a lot of self-discipline. The generation of the late 19th and early 20th century had a lot of self-confidence. It's not the same thing. I recommend the book "The Creature From Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve" by Edward Griffin. I caution that the 2nd half of the book gets into conspiracies which, I think, do not hold up. Nevertheless, the author clearly notes where he is speculating, so I'm still recommending it. [17]

Notable Births

  • Richard Nixon (Vice-president and President of the United States. I voted for this guy. Hey! I was young.) [16]
  • Jimmy Hoffa (Union leader who will go missing... very likely "sleepin' wit' da fishes".) [17]
  • Rosa Parks (A black woman who forces a legal case by refusing to give up her seat on the bus to a white man.) [18]
  • And don't forget: Vince Lombardi, Bear Bryant, and Jessie Owens... zoom!!! (Owens' Olympic feats are the subtext in the movie, "The Book Thief") [19] [20] [21]

In Other News

  • Mahatma Gandhi is arrested. The Indian Passive Resistance Movement has begun. [12]
  • H. Geiger introduces the Geiger counter. It detects radiation by counting individual alpha rays. [12]
  • Henry Ford brings the assembly line to factory production. He is not the first, but everyone is scrambling to catch up now. [12]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1913, Wikipedia.

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