According to Elizabeth Warren “we’re not here because of men at all”. This is what she said this last Monday to a roaring crowd of over 20,000 people who came to hear her speak at Washington Square Park in Lower Manhattan.
She even emphasized the word “men” so everyone would know what she meant.
Now those who will try and defend Warren against charges of man-bashing or misandry will say she was just trying to show the accomplishments of a great woman.
Here was her statement in a larger context:
“We’re not here today because of famous arches or famous men. In fact, we’re not here because of men at all. We’re here because of some hard-working women
So, what did one woman — one very persistent woman, backed up by millions of people across this country — get done? Social Security. Unemployment insurance. Abolition of child labor. Minimum wage. The right to join a union. Even the very existence of the weekend”.
Warren was using this area, not far from the site of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory where 146 people, most female immigrants, lost their lives in a fire in 1911 to highlight the life of a woman named Frances Perkins.
Frances Perkins (1880-1965), was a socialist who worked in the woman’s suffrage movement. She witnessed the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire first hand and later went on to become FDR’s labor secretary and the first female cabinet member. Perkins was indeed the brainchild behind much of FDR’s new deal leading up the drafts for Social Security, minimum wage laws, union laws and child labor laws.
So, what is the problem with what Elizabeth Warren said on Monday?
First, she did not say “we are not here to celebrate famous men, but to celebrate a famous woman”. That would have been fine. When she said “We’re not here today because of famous arches or famous men. In fact, we’re not here because of men at all. We’re here because of some hard-working women” the “here” she meant was the modern culture and society we live in. A society that has a 40-hour work week, social security, child labor bans, unions and a minimum wage.
The problem is that while it might sound cool to say “we’re not here because of men at all” the fact is Francis Perkins worked with FDR and without FDR’s larger vision, charisma and political mastery Perkin’s ideas may have never come to past.
So, no Elizabeth Warren – you were there, speaking in our modern social welfare state, because of a woman AND a man, not just because of a woman.
And is that not the case for all us in this life? We live because a man and a woman came together as God designed them to do.
“Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord”.
1 Corinthians 11:11 (KJV)
But now that we have established that we are in fact “here” in a modern social welfare state because of both men and women we must ask ourselves another question. Were the changes that the New Deal brought about a good thing for America?
Was the New Deal Good for America?
In their article “FDR’s Folly: How Roosevelt and His New Deal Prolonged the Great Depression”, Jim Powell and Burton W. Folsom made the following observations of FDR’s New Deal:
“The Great Depression of the 1930s was by far the greatest economic calamity in U.S. history. In 1931, the year before Franklin Roosevelt was elected president, unemployment in the United States had soared to an unprecedented 16.3 percent. In human terms that meant that over eight million Americans who wanted jobs could not find them. In 1939, after almost two full terms of Roosevelt and his New Deal, unemployment had not dropped, but had risen to 17.2 percent. Almost nine and one-half million Americans were unemployed.
On May 6, 1939, Henry Morgenthau, Roosevelt’s treasury secretary, confirmed the total failure of the New Deal to stop the Great Depression: “We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. . . . I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started. . . . And an enormous debt to boot!
the National Recovery Administration, which was Roosevelt’s centerpiece, fixed prices, stifled competition, and sometimes made American exports uncompetitive. Also, his banking reforms made many banks more vulnerable to failure by forbidding them to expand and diversify their portfolios. Social Security taxes and minimum-wage laws often triggered unemployment; in fact, they pushed many cash-strapped businesses into bankruptcy or near bankruptcy. The Agricultural Adjustment Act, which paid farmers not to produce, raised food prices and kicked thousands of tenant farmers off the land and into unemployment lines in the cities. In some of those cities, the unemployed received almost no federal aid, but in other cities — those with influential Democratic bosses — tax dollars flowed in like water.”
FDR’s agenda was not just bad economic policy, but it was actually an attack on some fundamental principles that America was founded on. Burton Folsom explains this in his article “Which Strategy Really Ended the Great Depression?”:
“According to Charles Merriam, vice president of the NRPB, “[I]t should be the declared policy of the United States government, supplementing the work of private agencies as a final guarantor if all else failed, to underwrite full employment for employables. . . .” That idea launched what Merriam and the NRPB dubbed “A New Bill of Rights.” FDR would call it his Economic Bill of Rights. Included was a right to a job “with fair pay and working conditions,” “equal access to education for all, equal access to health and nutrition for all, and wholesome housing conditions for all.”
New Bill of Rights
FDR viewed this Economic Bill of Rights as his tool for guaranteeing employment for veterans (and others) after World War II. But it was more than a mere jobs ploy; it had the potential to transform American society. The first Bill of Rights, which became part of the Constitution, emphasized free speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion and assembly. They were freedoms from government interference. The right to speak freely imposes no obligation on anyone else to provide the means of communication. Moreover, others can listen or leave as they see fit.
But a right to a job, a house, or medical care imposes an obligation on others to pay for those things. The NRPB implied that the taxpayers as a group had a duty to provide the revenue to pay for the medical care, the houses, the education, and the jobs that millions of Americans would be demanding if the new bill of rights became law. In practical terms this meant that, say, a polio victim’s right to a wheelchair properly diminished all taxpayers’ rights to keep the income they had earned. In other words, the rights announced in the Economic Bill of Rights contradicted the property rights promised to Americans in their Declaration of Independence and in the Constitution.”
A guaranteed income, “equal access to education for all, equal access to health and nutrition for all, and wholesome housing conditions for all” sounds like something we are hearing today from many Democrats whether they deny the “Socialist” label or not. As the old saying goes “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck”.
This ideology is not new. Its been tried time and time and again and it continues to fail. It fails because it violates how God has designed human nature and it also fails to take into account how sin corrupts God’s design of human nature.
How the New Deal Hurt American Culture for the Worse
People are told a false narrative today that before the New Deal there was no social safety net when in fact there was. The social safety net was the one that God designed – which was the family and the church.
The Scriptures tell us that God has declared that it is the family and the church that are to care for the poor and needy. The first level of God’s social safety net is the family.
“4 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God…
8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
1 Timothy 5: 4 & 8 (KJV)
“If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.”
1 Timothy 5:16 (KJV)
And it is only if a person has no family to help them, that the church should then step in to help the poor. And then this giving for the poor is to be given of one’s free will, not under compulsion.
“6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”
2 Corinthians 9:6-7 (KJV)
Even in the Old Testament theocracy of Israel where God commanded giving for the poor, there was no such thing as tax collector. The giving was freely done by individuals to help the poor and needy around them.
And this is one the big divides between Leftists and those who believe in freedom. In his article “Whatever You May Think of Republicans, Don’t Call Them ‘Stingy’” John Tamny writes:
“Republicans are greedy. They’re “out for themselves” as evidenced by their reflexive support of “tax cuts for the rich.” According to New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, the GOP is the party of “hate.”
Conversely, it’s safe to say that the Democrats are rather charity minded. Figure that their voting habits are invariably informed by compassion for the have nots. Democrats feel, and their intense emotions are deep when it comes to correcting what they see as societal injustices of the economic variety.
Except that such an impression about charity and charitable giving would be incorrect
According to Times columnist Paul Sullivan, “Red counties, which are overwhelmingly Republican, tend to report higher charitable contributions than Democrat-dominated blue counties.” Sullivan was referencing a study published last month in the academic journal, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. The study was a creation of four research professors “who set out to explore how political differences affect charitable giving.” As Sullivan noted in his analysis of the report, the “more Republican a county is, the more its residents report charitable contributions.”
As Arthur Brooks showed in his 2006 book Who Really Cares, U.S. households in the top 10 percent of income accounted for at least a quarter of all money donated, while U.S. households with net worths of over a million dollars were the source of over half of all charitable gifts. Brooks’s study also confirmed what the more recent one did: Republicans give more than Democrats do to charity, and do so at all levels of income.”
In other words, most Leftists, Socialists and Democrats are only generous with other people’s money. While most Conservatives and Republicans who believe in the God given right of private property, are highly generous with their private property in helping the poor and needy around them through their churches or private charitable organizations.
And this was one of the worst impacts of the New Deal on American culture. People no longer saw it as their duty to take in their parents or other relatives in their old age. Extended family members no longer saw it as their duty to care for the poor relatives. And this affected giving and participation in church charitable organizations as well.
This change gave powers and responsibilities that were meant for families and churches to the government and in the process this change weakened both the institutions of the family and church.
No, Socialists Did Not Give Us the Weekend – God did
I just had to chuckle when I read Elizabeth Warren’s statement that Francis Perkins and the New Deal gave us “the Weekend”. Actually, it was God who gave us the concept of the weekend.
“9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates”
Exodus 20:9-10 (KJV)
Now we know under the New Covenant that we do not have to take our day of rest on Saturday, we can do it on Sunday or even another day of the week.
“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days”
Colossians 2:16 (KJV)
But the concept of a day of rest, a “weekend” of sorts, was God’s design. And Americans believed in this long before the New Deal. In fact, it was illegal in many parts of the United States to work on Sunday throughout the 18th and 19th centuries and even in the first half of the 20th century.
Elizabeth Warren was flat wrong that society has come to where it has only because of women and not “because of men at all”. Men have cooperated with and helped women and women have cooperated with and helped men to get us where we are today. And where we are today is not good thing from God’s perspective.
I would argue that men cooperated with women in many ways that they should not have. One of the biggest mistakes men cooperated with women on was in voting for woman’s suffrage in 1919 and 1920. After woman’s suffrage, the New Deal helped to further weaken the place of the family and the church in society.
And just as feminism has proven to be a failure, so too has socialism. Every time socialism is tried, it fails. And in the same way that feminism can only exist on the backs of men if they allow it, so too social welfare states can only exist based on the success of capitalism within their nations.
On the subject of child labor laws, I would encourage you to read Jeffery’s Tucker’s article for the Mises Institute entitled “The Trouble With Child Labor Laws” . And on the subject of Minimum wage laws you should check out this article by Jon Miltimore entitled “The New York Times Explains Why the Minimum Wage Should Be $0.00” .