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#777907 Oct 19, 2012
The major currents of the labor movement in this era also
reveal the influence of the yeoman tradition. The dominant
labor leader, Samuel Gompers, founder of the American
Federation of Labor, opposed socialism and preached
instead a social gospel that stressed strong family life, selfimprovement,
and “working class thrift” or what we would
today call “asset building.” When asked, amidst the economic
depression of the early 1890s, what labor wanted,
Gompers famously said one word:“More.” But more what?
More wages and more time off, certainly. But specifically,
more economic independence. As Gompers later elaborated:
“We tacitly declare that political liberty with[out] economic
independence is illusory and deceptive, and that…
only…as we gain economic independence can our political
liberty become tangible and important.”19
#777908 Oct 19, 2012
This is the language of civic republicanism, only now spoken
on behalf of a yeoman who is no longer a farmer but
a unionized craft tradesman, and who retains his aspirations
to own his own home, raise and educate his family,
and in these and other ways rise up as a free man in a free
republic. The images of the early American labor
#777909 Oct 19, 2012
Da-Vey Putz didn't know buggy whips were out of fashion. LOL
#777910 Oct 19, 2012
The images of the early American labor movement
that come down through history are mostly red, that
is both bloody and associated with leftist anarchy: the Mollie
Maguires up against the Pinkerton; the Wobblies vandalizing
box cars with“silent agitator” stickers or Eugene Debs
and the Pullman strikers battling federal troops amidst the
flames of the torched World Columbian Exposition. But the
earliest, and over time, the most politically influential strain
of the labor movement rejected socialism, rejected communism,
#777911 Oct 19, 2012
This dominant tradition instead emphasized the need for
a “family wage” that would pay a reasonably sober, thrifty
man enough to keep his wife and children out of the mills
and the mines and preserve their home. The famous labor
leader Mary Harris (Mother) Jones is today remembered as
a leftist feminist icon, and she certainly was a woman who
knew how to raise hell. But she believed so strongly in the
yeoman values of hearth and home that she championed
what we would today call “wage discrimination” against
women and even opposed women’s suffrage.
The average working woman is unfitted for the
ballot. She will rarely join an organization of the
industry she works in. Give her the vote and she’ll
neglect it. Home training of the child should be
her task, and it is the most beautiful of tasks.
Solve the industrial problem and the men will
earn enough so that women can remain at home
and learn it.20
#777912 Oct 19, 2012
Like today, the Progressive Era was a time of deep conflicts
and confusion over how best to preserve the yeoman tradition
under rapidly changing conditions. One hallmark of the
age was a very high faith among American elites in science
and in “scientific” government. The creation of a civil service,
Teddy Roosevelt and other high-minded Progressives
believed, would purify politics and professionalize administration.
Progressives also believed that bureaucrats at the
newly empowered Interstate Commerce Commission could
protect small-scale producers from the monopoly power
of railroads by scientifically determining with their slide
rules the exact right price for transporting, say, a pig, as
opposed to a trainload of hams, from Dubuque to Chicago.
Eugenics, including the sterilization of “imbeciles” to prevent
“race suicide,” was another great Progressive era cause.
So was “scientific management” of business, informed by
Frederick Taylor’s “time and motion” studies of assemblyline
workers, which figures like the jurist Louis Brandeis
cited in hammering against the waste and inefficiency of
Since: May 11
#777913 Oct 19, 2012
The point is that smart business people know & understand the value of good employees, Understand the costs of training new ones. Most are already offering good insurance benefits . They are not going to run out & make everyone part time.
#777914 Oct 19, 2012
White racism, meanwhile, deepened across all classes.
The Supreme Court, in Plessy v. Ferguson, upheld “separate
but equal” in 1896. Extrajudicial mob murders, otherwise
known as lynchings, exceeded 200 a year and became, for
their on-lookers, almost festive communal events. Another
kind of blood lust, Imperialism, also ran high, as the country
charged into costly and ill-considered wars in Cuba and
Yet despite these contradictions and contrasts, one broadly
shared priority united populist farmers and urban professionals,
Bible thumpers and secular social engineers. It was
that government should preserve the promise of American
life by using its powers to protect small-scale producers
from the predations of monopoly capital—and do so without
resorting to any radical socialist schemes that would
threaten the yeoman’s ideal of liberty.
“Which do you want?” Woodrow Wilson asked a campaign
audience in 1912:
Do you want to live in a town patronized by some
great combination of capitalists who pick it out as
a suitable place to plant their industry and draw
you into their employment? Or do you want to see
your sons and your brothers and your husbands
build up business for themselves under the protection
of laws which make it impossible for any
giant, however big, to crush them and put them
out of business?22
#777915 Oct 19, 2012
the first 9/11. oh yeah, when we had a strong president who wasn't more interested in hanging with celebrities in Vegas.
and we are quite sure your karma occurs whenever you look in the mirror and your pocketbook.
Since: Oct 12
#777916 Oct 19, 2012
Ben Stein comes clean on FOX News:
"I hate to say this on Fox, and I hope I'll be allowed to leave here alive, but I don't think there is anyway we can cut spending enough to make a meaningful difference," Stein said. "We are going to have to raise taxes on very rich people, people with incomes of like say, 2, 3 million a year and up, and then slowly move it down."
#777917 Oct 19, 2012
the grapes of jazz
For most American farmers, the first two decades of the
20th century were comparatively good times, as low-grade
inflation pushed up commodity prices and eased debts. The
Great War years were particularly prosperous, after Food
Administrator Herbert Hoover, trying to boost production
to feed hungry allies, set commodity prices sky high. Farm
income swelled, and many farmers borrowed heavily to
expand their acreage and buy new equipment. But in 1920,
the bubble burst.
President Wilson cut price supports and wheat prices
declined that year from $2.50 a bushel to less than
$1; corn fell by 75 percent and stayed low. Meanwhile,
small-town grocers, general store owners, druggists,
and the other independent proprietors on Main Street,
already reeling from the decline of the farm economy,
began to face ruinous competition as giant chains like
The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P) and
Sears Roebuck and Company expanded out of the cities
and across the American heartland. In 1926, Imperial
Wizard Hiram Wesley Evans, presiding over a rapidly
expanding second Ku Klux Klan movement, bemoaned
the economic collapse facing “Nordic” Americans in the
#777918 Oct 19, 2012
“Our falling birth rate, the result of all this,
is proof our distress. We no longer feel that we can be
fair to children we bring into the world unless we can
make sure from the start they have capital or education
This was a key cultural moment in the history of the yeoman
tradition, and one that has many implications for
today’s blue state–red state divide. The Progressive movement
rested on a rare alliance between family farmers,
small-town independent proprietors, and urban professionals,
who found common cause in resisting the consolidating
power of giant corporations. Yet by the 1920s,
deep economic and cultural divisions had emerged
between the increasingly desperate and often reactionary
heartland and the increasingly prosperous, libertine,
“roaring” major cities.
Urban sophisticates turned away from politics to enjoy jazz
parties, bootleg liquor, Sunday golf, and a booming stock
market.“It was characteristic of the Jazz age,” F. Scott
Fitzgerald would later remember,“that it had no interest
in politics at all.”24 Meanwhile, millions of yeoman farmers
driving secondhand Fords across the American heartland
were losing their farms and stores, comforted only by the
millenarian promise of evangelical Protestantism. By the
1930s, a new American type emerged: the yeoman farmer
who, like the Joads in The Grapes of Wrath, had become an
embittered penniless migrant.
Since: Oct 08
#777919 Oct 19, 2012
Give us the reason for the use of the Electoral College, Ifs yous know?
#777920 Oct 19, 2012
Even as the Great Depression dragged on, President
Franklin D. Roosevelt continued to celebrate the yeoman ideal. Addressing the Texas Centennial Exposition in
1936, FDR proclaimed:
In our national life, public and private, the very
nature of free government demands that there
must be a line of defense held by the yeomanry of
business and industry and agriculture…. Any elemental
policy, economic or political, which tends
to eliminate these dependable defenders of democratic
institutions, and to concentrate control in the
hands of a few small, powerful groups, is directly
opposed to the stability of government and to democratic
Yet from the beginning of his administration, Roosevelt
struggled with an opposing value that would eventually
come to define the New Deal and liberalism up to this day.
Small-scale producers might be dependable defenders of liberty.
Yet New Dealers increasingly concluded that what was
needed to jump-start the economy was to serve the interest
of a newly abstracted type: the consumer. FDR gave an early
hint of this shift in 1932, when he said,“I believe we are at
the threshold of a fundamental change in popular economic
thought…. In the future we are going to think less about the
producer and more about the consumer.”26
Populists and Progressives had worked to defend the interests
#777921 Oct 19, 2012
Populists and Progressives had worked to defend the interests
of small farmers and businessmen without much concern
about what scale of production would offer the “best deal” for
shoppers. Writing for the majority in an 1897 opinion against
railroad tariffs favoring large-volume shippers, U.S. Supreme
Court Justice Rufus Peckham took the typical Progressive
view: even when big combinations of capital could permanently
deliver lower prices, they should be opposed because
they threatened to put “small dealers and worthy men” out of
business. If small-scale farming, manufacturing, transport,
and retailing had built-in inefficiencies that led to higher
prices, so be it. That was the price of liberty, which could only
be achieved through adherence to the yeoman ideal of broad,
small-scale ownership of productive assets. As Sen. Henry
Teller of Colorado observed in 1889,“I do not believe that the
great object in life is to make everything cheap.”27
But New Deal liberals saw the trade-offs differently. Monopoly
was still bad, but mere bigness was not. New Dealers believed
that large-scale production in both agriculture and industry,
when guided by government and counterbalanced by
a strong labor movement, could lead to greater efficiency
#777922 Oct 19, 2012
perhaps your other sites are counting buyers in Communist China....
J. D. Power is very authoritative on this subject.....
Since: Dec 08
Gauley Bridge WV
#777923 Oct 19, 2012
It's all part of the same problem.
#777924 Oct 19, 2012
Mitt Romney's kids have a job: kids!
When has a CEO ever done anything for the people?
We have insurance companies who drop you when you need them most: your not covered, here are your premiums back, sue us! Did some CEO think up that one?
Mitt Romney: I was a CEO! I will create 12 million jobs. Really? Most CEO's seem only to hire as a last resort. If demand for their products outstrips supply: they hire.
Most CEO's love the Bush massive recession: cheap labor!
They can put up signs "hiring" and offer lower wages!
Cut taxes for the richest like him to zero!
Healthcare coverage access for all
To pay for tax cuts!! It's insane!
Hey! Don't put grandma out on the street:
VOTE FOR OBAMA!! VOTE ALL DEMOCRAT TICKET!!
(or just fffccckkkk off!)
Since: Dec 08
Gauley Bridge WV
#777925 Oct 19, 2012
That's not a job. I don't get paid but I could. A lot.
#777926 Oct 19, 2012
Yet if the yeoman lost his farm or his store in the Great
Depression, his children were quite likely to gain a tidy suburban
bungalow eventually. The yeoman ideal did not die
in the 1930s. Instead, it found new expression in the ethic
of homeownership, to which politicians across the political
spectrum increasingly appealed. In 1931, President Hoover’s
Conference on Home Building and Home Ownership concluded
that democracy is not possible “where tenants overwhelmingly
Hoover is not often given credit for it, but in 1932, he signed
into law one of the nation’s most effective efforts to promote
homeownership, the Federal Home Loan Bank Act,
which led to that crucial instrument of modern middle-class
American life: the 30-year, self-amortizing mortgage. The
act signaled a gigantic commitment on the part of the government
to a new kind of homesteading, this time on the
“crabgrass frontier” of suburbia.28
Under FDR’s presidency, this commitment would deepen
dramatically, through such legislation as the Home Owners Loan Act of 1933 and the Federal Housing Act of 1934. The
National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 even included a
provision for “Subsistence Homestead Communities”—a
small, last-gasp, literal effort to restore the yeoman ideal.
Far more realistic and consequential was the Servicemen’s
Readjustment Act of 1944, or the G.I. Bill, with its offer of
a college education and low-interest, zero-down-payment
home loans to returning veterans, including blacks and
women. In the tradition of the Homestead and Morrill acts
of the previous century, the G.I. Bill brought college education
to the masses, built the suburban Levittowns, and
funded the baby boom—though it could not make yeoman
farmers out of returning soldiers and sailors. Most of its
beneficiaries would wind up working for giant, hierarchical
corporations during the 1950s and 1960s. Postwar suburbia
would boast few backyard chicken coops, fruit trees, or even
vegetable gardens. Still, the G.I. Bill put a lot of husbands
behind lawn mowers on the weekends, and gave them a settler’s
stake in their new communities.
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