Wednesday, July 4, 2012

- U.S. Supreme Court Stole Our Liberty Long Ago

[nra blue eagle]
I thought I would spend some time talking about how it is that the U.S. Supreme Court could spend such great effort in NFIB v. Sebelius in finding the commerce clause did empower Congress to compel us to enter into an unwanted contract, while at the same time, it can tax you if you don't enter into that very same contract.  The Supreme Court took our liberty to be free from such a tax long ago because of a national emergency, which will be with us forever.

It begins in the Great Depression, when Franklind D. Roosevelt was inaugurated on March 4, 1933.  He called Congress into special session due to a banking crisis and demanded, "broad executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe." The FDR "Brain Trust" was full of energy, believing that unrestrained competition caused the Great Depression, and a new understanding of economics and policy would propel the nation from fear to prosperity.

Not letting a good crisis go to waste, the brain trust set to work on agriculture and industry. The result was the twin deamons of the Agricultural Adjustment Act, enacted May 12, 1933 and the National Industrial Recovery Act enacted June 16, 1933. 

The basic thinking behind the NIRA was to eliminate "cut-throat competition" by bringing industry, labor and government together to create codes of "fair practices" and "set prices." NRA participants proudly displayed their blue eagles, like the one above. In less than two years, the NRA prohibited more than 4,000 business practices and issued 3,000 administrative orders in over 10,000 pages. It crushed many industries and favored entrenced interests. 

32 days before the innauguration of FRD, Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. By this time, conservative economic policy was as dead there as the Weimar Republic. Govermnent management of of the economy as a bulwark against communism was in the ascendancy. So I thought I would give you a graphic from the 1933 Reichsparteitag, to put a little emphasis on the thinking on both sides of the Atlantic, about how government and industry should work together.

Nurnberg 1933 Poster

The Supreme Court, while under a withering public relations assault, set the constitutional permission for such federal economic intervention in stone, as the present Justice Roberts knows well, beginning in U.S. v. Butler


ikaika said...

NIRA was challenged in Schecter Poultry - the Skinny Chicken Case.

A lot of folks believed the Schechter Case would have been the comapritive objection to ACA- OBamacare.

Since the Obama Administration adopted the old Fascisti slogan "Avanti!" ("Forward"), I wonder how soon we will see another Fascist slogan top our institutions: "Arbeit Macht Frei!"

God Save America!

frithguild said...

Yes, Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, plus the legislation sunseted while it became wildly unpopular. I just wanted to set the stage here with the prevalent thinking in this period of history.

Next I will deal with its evil twin, the AAA.