Tuesday, August 26, 2014

"Yeah, But the 50's Were Racist!"

When debating economics, nothing angers me more when a human mind purposely chooses to ignore the precise, specific argument at hand and pulls something unrelated to the debate, and presents it as germane. 

The perfect example of this - pointing to the 50's as ideal economic times.

If you ever bring up the 1940's and the 1950's as an example of what an economy "should be," you will be guaranteed 100% or your money back, leftists will un-thinkingly knee jerk and parrot two arguments they had spoon fed to them.

1.  Oh yeah, well the top income tax rate was 99.8%


2.  Yeah, but the 50's were racist!

I'm not going to go into the argument about the top marginal tax rate (which so few people paid) as it's been debunked.

But I am going to address the "Yeah, but the 50's were racist."

My counter-argument is simple:

So what?

Not that I am for racism.
Not that I had no problems with Jim Crow laws.
Not that I wanted blacks intimidated from voting or lynched.


During the 20 year period which most would consider the halcyon days of America (1940's-1960's) economic growth was nearly twice what it is today.  Unemployment a half.  Underemployment, non existent. And debt decreasing.  Practically all economic measures showed the economy firing on all cylinders and everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY (blacks included) benefited from this great general economic climate.

But to take an irrelevant sociological phenomenon such as racism and use it to besmirch or debunk an economic phenomenon is intellectually dishonest and...well...the epitome of leftist.

The truth is that the economic growth during the 50's was so great, it was able to OVERCOME what negative effects of racism there were.  Blacks and black families we infinitely better off based on a wide array of economic statistics during "those evil, racist, oppressive 50's" than they are today in Unicornitopia Diversityville Obama Land.  Unemployment, crime, real wages, illegitimate birth, divorce, etc.  And while things such as Jim Crow laws and other specific instances of truly oppressive racism existed, it wasn't until economic policies changed from that of capitalism and free markets to "The Great Society"/socialism did blacks' economic AND sociological lot start to severely deteriorate.  Ironically, this meant outright racism wasn't anywhere near as damaging to the black community than "well intended" socialism.

What I want to see, though, is taking the precise same illogic the left uses when deriding the 50's and reverse apply it today.

So there was a lot more racism back in the 50's, and there's less of it today.
But back in the 50's the black community (as well as all communities) had better technology adjusted standards of living, healthier families, and the economy was growing much.
Ergo, racism is good for economic growth!

Whether the leftist is smart enough to see you merely did what they did - dishonestly substitute the sociological scourge of racism into what was an economic debate - would be left to be seen.  Though my money would be on their heads spinning.


Glen Filthie said...

It kinda-sorta IS relevant to the issue, I suppose, in a roundabout way.

Back in the 50's, Obama, Holder, Sharpton et al shined shoes in brothels and social justice reigned supreme.

Today our economy is being gutted by black carpet baggers and black welfare slobs. The drain they are inducing on the economy is HUGE....

Mind you, that won't sit well with the dummies defending current economic policies. I am not yet comfortable with the so-called Dark Enlightenment, Race Realism or Neo-Reactionaries...but Detroit, New Orleans, Washington DC and pretty much all of Africa are what they are - and thanks to the baboon in the Oval Office America is showing signs of going the same way.
Regardless, the economy is going to get a lot more hatey and raycissss in the future. The free money for stupid people thing is not sustainable.

Peregrine John said...

Usually I just blink and say, "So you're telling me that racism is good for the economy?"

Yours is sneakier, and kills the obvious comebacks before they happen. I'll adopt something like it forthwith.

Anonymous said...

i agree glen its not just blacks though of course but a great deal of them yes but lets refrain from baboon and such shall we? he is a jackass though I am of course referring to bo44

Anthony said...

You'd have to look this up to verify, but I've seen it claimed that the economic gap between blacks and whites closed significantly between 1946 and 1966, and hasn't really moved since then. So the economic policies of the '50s were actually better for blacks than what we have now.

(Similarly, you can argue the "gender gap" all you like, or you can point out that it was 59c when Carter left office, and 71c when Reagan left office, and has only gone to 78c since then - so Ronald Reagan is responsible for almost 2/3 of the progress on the gender gap in the past 40 years.)

Anonymous said...

If I could reincarnate as a black male living in the 1950's, I would be a RAD SAFE soldier working on mapping the fallout from nuclear tests at Desert Rock Nevada test fields.

TroperA said...

I read recently that black dependency and single motherhood didn't take hold until Nixon started the Drug War in 1971 and used it as an excuse for tossing black men into jail. It's after large numbers of black men were incarcerated (and rendered unemployable) that welfare mommyism and government dependency swung into full gear. Even today, if you find yourself thrown into the prison system you'll find your income and employability take a huge hit. Good luck digging yourself out of that hole and getting a decent education/job.

mhowell said...

Awhile back I picked up a Texas Almanac from 1962. One of the interesting stats from the book is that the number of "Negro" high school graduates in Texas tripled between 1950 and 1960. The best way to lift all the boats is a rising tide.

Anonymous said...

It's strange, but a society can be relatively stable (at a governmental level) when it practices infanticide, slavery, and torture. In fact, care for the lower and less fortunate members of society is a fairly new phenomenon.

RICanuck said...

The 50's were racist!


The 50's were the only decade since reconstruction without race riots. The 50's were when the civil rights movement stopped getting lynched and were only beaten and jailed. The 50's were when whites started getting conscience stricken.

Prior to the 50's, race riots were white mobs, looting, burning, raping and murdering in black neighborhoods. My dad told me about Detroit, 1941. The riots since the 50's have been in black inner cities, or transitioning suburbs like Ferguson, MO.

Blacks no longer riot in cities where they are outnumbered by Hispanics.

I notice the younger white guys are all out of white guilt. They don't accept responsibility for inner city dysfunction.

Yes, the 50's were racist.

Sean Conner said...

How much of the economic boom of the 50s in the US was due to the industrial infrastructure of Europe and Asia being destroyed during WWII, whereas the industrial infrastructure of the US was unscathed?

Is this a question no one has asked?

The Wolfman! said...

My question is, how would you respond to someone who argued that the 1950s economy was an ideal 'mixed' economy with free enterprise, but high levels of regulation, protectionism and government control?

Anonymous said...

What about free market capitalism taking their jobs away to cheaper countries with less strict labor laws post 1960s?

T and A man said...

The era of Keynesian economics, commencing in 1946 at Bretton Woods and dismantled in 1971 at nretto Woods II.

Corrupted when Nixon took away the Gold exchange standard, and removed all otgether with Milton Friedman's loon-pond Monetarist theories.... which have many still blaming as Keynesian today.

Hmmm, Keynesian policies worked because they were enorsed full employment, not because of supposed counter-cyclical policies propping up asset prices which seems to be the argument by those less capable.

Chad said...

My take on the third world gaining industry is that it wouldn't be nearly the issue it is if we weren't debt financing the economy.

An economy without heavy debt loads can withstand deflation, even thrive in a deflation environment. Because deflation enhances savings, so America would thrive off of cheap imports.

However a debt laden economy becomes dependent on a price structure. Hence deflation would be shifting a commodity in relation to a debt load it's servicing. So deflation would make debts more unmanageable.