Friday, January 13, 2017

History: The Year is 1930

I've uploaded year 1930 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Herbert Hoover's Day Off -- High tariffs will kill the world economy. I point out that Ben Stein gave the same lesson in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

The Australians Discover the Australians -- New Guinea natives are discovered. I talk about the free-love movement of the 1980's and Margaret Mead.

Notable Births -- Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Ross Perot, Pat Robertson, Ray Charles, Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Shel Silverstein

In Other News -- The Veterans Administration, "Technocracy", Pluto, the Schmidt wide-field telescope, Neoprene, Photo-flash bulbs, Scotch tape, Birdseye frozen foods and TWINKIES.

Herbert Hoover's Day Off

The US economy has taken a nosedive. 600 banks have closed. Million upon millions of dollars have been lost. And just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, Congress has a bright idea. In their wisdom, they have determined that cheap import goods are driving down the price of domestic goods. (Actually, it is more efficient manufacturing methods that are driving down prices, and deflation means that our dollars can buy more.) The farmers have been begging for subsidies, while car manufacturers have lobbied for tariff protections. In fact, so many lobbyists have "just dropped by" that Congressmen can grant them only 2 minutes each... maybe 3. Nothing in writing though. Shhh! The Smoot-Hawley Act is going to raise tariffs in ways that Congress cannot possibly be aware of. The bill is too complex and basket provisions hide tens of thousands of subsidies. Over a thousand economists collectively condemn the bill. The high tariffs will be considered a declaration of war against our foreign competitors, and war debts owed to America will become impossible to repay if those foreign counties are cut off from the most lucrative market in the world. But their pleas fall on deaf ears. President Hoover signs the bill into law. America has taken an economic hit to the jaw, and the government has decided to lean into it. [1] [2] [3] [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Inflation was intolerable, so I paid careful attention when President Nixon asked the American people to have one meatless day per week. We all laughed. "HOW ABOUT ONE MEAT DAY?" We were eating imitation this and imitation that. And by the way... it does NOT taste just like butter! One of Nixon's speech writers was also an economist named Ben Stein. He warned Nixon that a wage and price freeze would totally hose the economy, but it was an election year. Wage and price controls were believed to help the employer, protect jobs, and keep food prices low. But the price controls did not apply to new products and new foods. Suddenly, everything was new. Prices skyrocketed, but wages remained frozen. Years later, when Ben Stein was building a movie career, he played a school teacher in the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off". He is famous for the line, "Bueller? Bueller?" The director asked him to improvise a class lesson. He began teaching how America shot itself in the foot with the Smoot-Hawley Act. ([Click here]) Eyes glazed over, and students laid their heads down in a pool of their own drool. It was hilarious, and every word was true. [5] [6]

The Australians Discover the Australians

At this time Papua New Guinea is being administered by Australia. The known population of the island lives along the coast with an uninhabitable mountain range running down the center. Then gold is found in the wash of a river. Mick Leahy is hoping to make it rich as a gold prospector, so he organizes an expedition to search for gold in the mountainous region. To his surprise, the land levels out at a higher elevation, and when night falls, he can see fires all around him. The next morning the natives arrive to inspect the party. They are both amazed and afraid of the white people. The native consensus is that these skeleton-like beings are spirits. They wait for nightfall and secretly watch the white men. When one of them goes outside the camp to... eliminate, the watcher runs over to inspect. Yep. It stinks as bad as anyone's. These white guys are human. In time it will be determined that a million people live in the so-called uninhabitable region. They are isolated even from each other, so that they speak 800 separate languages. This will take some study. [7] [8] [9]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Anthropologist Margaret Mead had recently made her name publishing a book on the love life of the Samoans. She naturally headed to New Guinea to study these isolated people. She later published a book on the subject which I read in the 1980's after her passing. Her works had become controversial. Pop psychologists and free-love gurus were using Mead's studies to justify "open marriage" and gender role reversals. In other words, men and women think exactly alike and are interchangeable. They had missed Mead's point. Men and women might hold different jobs, but the meaning behind those gender roles is not interchangeable. Like it or not, societies arrange themselves so that the most important jobs go to the men. The fact that those primitive societies considered child-rearing to be the most important job meant that women were relegated to drudge jobs like hunting and defending the tribe. The duties may change, but the game remains the same. [10] [11] FYI, I checked out my conclusion with a psychiatrist friend and she confirmed that whatever the job is, if men consider it important, they tend to dominate it. (I think she was laughing too.)

Notable Births

  • Neil Armstrong: First man to walk on the Moon. [12]
  • Buzz Aldrin (Living): Second man to walk on the Moon. [13]
  • Ross Perot (Living): Business man and Reform Party Presidential candidate. [14]
  • Pat Robertson (Living): Chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network and Republican Presidential hopeful. [15]
  • And in Entertainment...
  • -- Ray Charles: He will be "more important than Elvis Presley" according to Billy Joel. [16]
  • -- Clint Eastwood (Living): "The Man with No Name" spaghetti western, "Dirty Harry" movies and known for his no-nonsense political views. [17]
  • -- Gene Hackman (Living): Actor in "Superman", "Enemy of the State", and a predictable but inspiring movie, "Hoosiers". [18]
  • -- Shel Silverstein: Author of "Where the Sidewalk Ends", "A Light in the Attic", and the song, "A Boy Named Sue" (Click Here) which will be Johnny Cash's biggest hit. [19] [20] [21] [22]
**Note 1: (Living) means they were alive when I checked on 2017-Jan-13.

In Other News

  • Congress creates the Veterans Administration. [23] [24]
  • The word "Technocracy" comes into use. It is the domination of technology. [24]
  • Pluto is discovered. [25]
  • The Schmidt wide-field telescope is invented. It is preferred for its quality picture taking. [24]
  • Also...
-- Neoprene. It smells, but they'll work that out. [26]
-- Photo-flash bulbs. Does anyone still remember these things? [24]
-- Scotch tape. Not your modern tape, but it starts here. [27]
-- Birdseye frozen foods. First marketing tests. [28]
-- And TWINKIES! The cake-filling-machine can now be used when strawberries are out of season. [29]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1930, Wikipedia.

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