Once is History, Twice is Parody and Ignorance

Gary Farber (so far only via Facebook) (UPDATE: Now here) finds a reprint from the 8 March 1933 issue of The Nation:

At the risk of gilding the tinsel, let the record be set down finally as The Nation takes leave this week of the “only party fit to rule.” American memories are short. Four years from now the public will be asked to restore the Republicans and prosperity.

Let it therefore be recalled, now and henceforth, that four years ago not a cloud even as large as a man’s hand had appeared in the heavens. That it was, from the financial standpoint, a clear blue sky may have had a certain prophetic symbolism which was overlooked at the time. Herbert Hoover was about to assume the Presidency….

In his acceptance address the previous August Mr. Hoover had declared:

We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land. The poorhouse is vanishing from among us. We have not yet reached the goal, but, given a chance to go forward with the policies of the last eight years, and we shall soon, with the help of God, be in sight of the day when poverty will be banished from this nation. There is no guaranty against poverty equal to a job for every man. That is the primary purpose of the economic policies we advocate.

Unfortunately, as Paul Wolfowitz observed, policies should always be evaluated by their results, not their purposes.

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