Mr. Gingrich's deft defense of his too-too titillating personal life was not the most salacious--wait...no...salient--moment in the most recent fetid display of his party's ethical culture.
That moment came when Dr. Paul stated (and the other three stood mutely by, nodding) that prior to the New Deal, before the federal government got into the business of helping out more kinds of people than the swells in watery Titanic upper deck suites then graves...
[Oh how I Love Love
Billy Zane's Callous Evil
whether smacked up against an
or in 'Twin Peak' Eerie Eerie Forests]
...Dr. Paul alleged that before President Roosevelt's fingers mangled the mechanisms of capital, "people weren't wandering the streets, ill." (The Congressman's a doctor after all.)
So: I thought I'd poke about.
In 1933, the worst Depression year, the US population was about 125,000,000.
(It's somewhat over 300M now. What busy rabbits we are.)
--Average yearly income was just under $1,500.
--Average house rent was $18/month.
--Average weekly wages for those who could find work/for those still with jobs was $20.
--Four years after that era's Wall Street betrayal of our nation, over 25% of the adult U.S. population eligible to work were unemployed.
--Millions of citizens not counted as homeless squatted in abandoned businesses and many more millions called shanty-town Hoovervilles home.
--The street-bound homeless numbered, in 1933, between 200,000 and 300,000.
You would have to be ill yourself to believe that under these conditions millions of pre-New Deal citizens weren't wandering about our cities, towns, and rural areas sick and many slowly dying.
More than anything else, Doctorow's masterwork is about the ruinous ethical detritus, the disastrous flotsam of the last era of unbridled, unregulated, American corporate capital.
Ask yourselves: why did Mr. Santorum, Mr. Romney, and Mr. Gingrich-the-historian stand mute...again, they nodded... in the face of this outrageous nonsense? The answer has to include the truth that these men are so deeply in the bag for the very wealthy and would so gladly try their best to drag us back to a 'Ragtime' era of unchecked capital that their silent nods are by now automatic, reflecting no thought or ethics whatever.
1933, Hooverville home, Ohio
1933, Hooverville home, St. Louis
1935, unemployed, homeless men on street, Baltimore