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Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle are going to team up for a comedy special later this year.

Since both were attacked on stage, I'd like to suggest the name of the concert be, "We Double Dog Dare Ya!"


When the new patient was settled comfortably on the couch, the psychiatrist began his therapy session.

"I'm not aware of your problem," the doctor said. "So perhaps, you should start at the very beginning."

"Of course." replied the patient. "In the beginning, I created the Heavens and the Earth..."


Son: Dad... can I have $450 to buy a moped?

Dad: Son, listen to me very carefully. Due to the escalation of my personal monetary obligations brought on by spiraling inflation and the ever-fluctuating ramifications of the Petro-dollar, it behooves me to rule in the extreme negative when responding to this issue.

Son: Huh?!? I don’t get it!

Dad: Exactly.


"Your call is very important to us...

... Please enjoy this 40-minute flute solo."


Top 5 Signs that Gasoline has gotten way too expensive:

A gas station is offering a free car with every fill up!

Any purchase over a gallon requires a credit check.

Price is now in gold bullion.

Texaco now offering monthly payment plans.

You're excited to find gas at under $5 a half cup.

Quote of the Times;
When they say "White supremacy," what they really mean is "Christian supremacy." This is why they even call black people like Ben Carson "White supremists." - @TonyMicelliAyOh

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Issue of the Times;
A Joyous Return by

Distraction is a primary tool of politics, used most often by politicians who are in trouble with their voters for some reason. Boris Johnson is in trouble for partying like a rock star during the Covid lockdowns, so he never shuts up about Ukraine. This has the added benefit of providing an excuse for inflation, shortage and energy costs. If he can get everyone to pretend that Ukraine is more important than feeding their kids or paying their light bill, maybe they forget about the partying too.

Joe Biden is trying the same act with guns. Unlike Boris Johnson, Biden has many more problems to hide via distraction. Eighteen months into his tenure and just about everything has gone wrong. Biden is about as popular as rectal cancer. The reason is incompetence. This is compounded by the fact that Biden is a vegetable, barely able to function most of the time. Even when lucid, he reminds people why no serious person ever thought Biden was anything but a clown.

His handlers are hoping they can have him stand over the corpses of dead children, pointing the finger at white people and his troubles will go away. This is what passes for clever politics in a world disconnected from reality. Everyone is onto this stunt and no one is fooled by it. Instead, people rush off to the gun shop and pick up something, just in case this time things are different. Gun grabbers have sold more guns and gun company stocks than John Browning.

The gun issue is particularly bad for Biden because it reminds people of his reputation for being an outlandish liar. Most people know the facts on guns. When the gun grabbers start in on their nonsense about “military-style rifles”, “weapons of war” and “gun show loopholes”, everyone knows they are lying. For Biden, it brings to mind all of his other whoppers. Instead of distracting from the administration’s problems, the gun issue refocuses the mind on the source of the problems.

It will be interesting to see what the summer brings. The administration seems to be poleaxed by the economic troubles. They try to avoid mentioning it. Ukraine was supposed to be the main topic, but that is now joining gas prices, food shortages and inflation on the list of forbidden topics. They will need something to distract people, so we will just have to wait and see. Who knows? Maybe they produce something inventive to keep people busy over the summer.

News of the Times;
A farmer in Rhode Island just grew the largest pumpkin in North America, weighing over 2,200 pounds.

The only downside, the man’s wife no longer thinks it’s cute when he calls her “pumpkin.”


Mr. Bigger and Mrs. Bigger have a baby.

Who’s the biggest in the family?

The baby of course; because he’s a little Bigger.



At this point, if I get abducted by aliens, it's no longer considered an abduction, it's a rescue mission.

Sometimes, late at night, I dig a hole in the backyard to keep the nosey neighbors guessing.

After my funeral, I want one of my friends to take my phone and text all of my contacts, "Thanks for coming."

It's just a theory on my part, but I don't Marjorie Taylor Greene will ever be an official Crayola color.

I've reached the age where my mind says, "You can do that!" but my body says, "Try it and you'll be sorry."

If you have anxiety, the first two drinks don't count because they just make you a normal person.

Prince Andrew has been stripped of another royal title, wasn't happy about it, but he did enjoy the stripping part.

Your Kentucky Derby horse name is a symptom of one of your mental illnesses and the last thing you ate.

You can't change the people around you, but you can change the people around you.

I wonder what the part of my brain that used to store phone numbers is doing these days?


SHE: I thought you said you had a Porsche.

ME: No, I said I was poor. Shhhh.


People have always named their children after expensive things: Mercedes, Dior, Chardonnay.

Next year, watch for kids named Electricity, Regular and Supreme.

Quote of the Times;
In cases of an abuse of the delegated powers the members of the general government, being chosen by the people, a change by the people would be the constitutional remedy; but, where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy. - Thomas Jefferson, Fair Copy for the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798

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Issue of the Times;
Why is Canada Euthanizing the Poor? by Yuan Yi Zhu

There is an endlessly repeated witticism by the poet Anatole France that ‘the law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.’ What France certainly did not foresee is that an entire country – and an ostentatiously progressive one at that – has decided to take his sarcasm at face value and to its natural conclusion.

Since last year, Canadian law, in all its majesty, has allowed both the rich as well as the poor to kill themselves if they are too poor to continue living with dignity. In fact, the ever-generous Canadian state will even pay for their deaths. What it will not do is spend money to allow them to live instead of killing themselves.

As with most slippery slopes, it all began with a strongly worded denial that it exists. In 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada reversed 22 years of its own jurisprudence by striking down the country’s ban on assisted suicide as unconstitutional, blithely dismissing fears that the ruling would ‘initiate a descent down a slippery slope into homicide’ against the vulnerable as founded on ‘anecdotal examples’. The next year, Parliament duly enacted legislation allowing euthanasia, but only for those who suffer from a terminal illness whose natural death was ‘reasonably foreseeable’.

It only took five years for the proverbial slope to come into view, when the Canadian parliament enacted Bill C-7, a sweeping euthanasia law which repealed the ‘reasonably foreseeable’ requirement – and the requirement that the condition should be ‘terminal’. Now, as long as someone is suffering from an illness or disability which ‘cannot be relieved under conditions that you consider acceptable’, they can take advantage of what is now known euphemistically as ‘medical assistance in dying’ (MAID for short) for free.

Soon enough, Canadians from across the country discovered that although they would otherwise prefer to live, they were too poor to improve their conditions to a degree which was acceptable.

Not coincidentally, Canada has some of the lowest social care spending of any industrialized country, palliative care is only accessible to a minority, and waiting times in the public healthcare sector can be unbearable, to the point where the same Supreme Court which legalized euthanasia declared those waiting times to be a violation of the right to life back in 2005.

Many in the healthcare sector came to the same conclusion. Even before Bill C-7 was enacted, reports of abuse were rife. A man with a neurodegenerative disease testified to Parliament that nurses and a medical ethicist at a hospital tried to coerce him into killing himself by threatening to bankrupt him with extra costs or by kicking him out of the hospital, and by withholding water from him for 20 days. Virtually every disability rights group in the country opposed the new law. To no effect: for once, the government found it convenient to ignore these otherwise impeccably progressive groups.

Since then, things have only gotten worse. A woman in Ontario was forced into euthanasia because her housing benefits did not allow her to get better housing which didn’t aggravate her crippling allergies. Another disabled woman applied to die because she ‘simply cannot afford to keep on living’. Another sought euthanasia because Covid-related debt left her unable to pay for the treatment which kept her chronic pain bearable – under the present government, disabled Canadians got $600 in additional financial assistance during Covid; university students got $5,000.

When the family of a 35-year-old disabled man who resorted to euthanasia arrived at the care home where he lived, they encountered ‘urine on the floor… spots where there was feces on the floor… spots where your feet were just sticking. Like, if you stood at his bedside and when you went to walk away, your foot was literally stuck.’ According to the Canadian government, the assisted suicide law is about ‘prioritis[ing] the individual autonomy of Canadians’; one may wonder how much autonomy a disabled man lying in his own filth had in weighing death over life.

Despite the Canadian government’s insistence that assisted suicide is all about individual autonomy, it has also kept an eye on its fiscal advantages. Even before Bill C-7 entered into force, the country’s Parliamentary Budget Officer published a report about the cost savings it would create: whereas the old MAID regime saved $86.9 million per year – a ‘net cost reduction’, in the sterile words of the report – Bill C-7 would create additional net savings of $62 million per year. Healthcare, particular for those suffering from chronic conditions, is expensive; but assisted suicide only costs the taxpayer $2,327 per ‘case’. And, of course, those who have to rely wholly on government-provided Medicare pose a far greater burden on the exchequer than those who have savings or private insurance.

And yet Canada’s lavishly subsidised media, with some honorable exceptions, has expressed remarkably little curiosity about the open social murder of citizens in one of the world’s wealthiest countries. Perhaps, like many doctors, journalists are afraid of being accused of being ‘unprogressive’ for questioning the new culture of death, a fatal accusation in polite circles. Canada’s public broadcaster, which in 2020 reassured Canadians that there was ‘no link between poverty, choosing medically assisted death’, has had little to say about any of the subsequent developments.

Next year, the floodgates will open even further when those suffering from mental illness – another disproportionately poor group – become eligible for assisted suicide, although enthusiastic doctors and nurses have already pre-empted the law. There is already talk of allowing ‘mature minors’ access to euthanasia too – just think of the lifetime savings. But remember, slippery slopes are always a fallacy.

News of the Times;
What word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?



My wife's cooking is so bad...

How bad?

So bad the flies are taking up a collection to get the screen door fixed.


How many mystery writers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?


One to screw it in most of the way and the other to give it a surprise twist at the end.


GENIE: I grant you 10 wishes.

ME: Isn't it usually just 3?

GENIE: Yes, but you've got a lot of issues going on here.


I accidentally sat on my phone.

Siri suggested several local gyms.

Quote of the Times;
"The Democrat party is the party of weak men and unhappy women." - Tucker Carlson

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Issue of the Times;
The New Normal Is Failure by Kurt Schlichter

Look around and all you see is failure.

A bunch of kids are being murdered by some semi-human, so what do you do? Draw your weapon and put him down or die trying? Or do you sit there, doing nothing?

The same government we’re supposed to give up our guns to because they have it all under control chose Option B. It chose failure.

Tell me more about how the real problem is that we have the capacity to defend ourselves.

But the real problem, to our enemies, is not that murderers murder. The real problem, to our enemies, is the very fact that we can defend ourselves. The objective of our trash elite is not to have a country that runs well, where people are secure, and where rights are respected. The objective is to rule. And if a bunch of kids die for that, they’re fine with it. They can live with failure, but not accountability.

The clusterfark in Uvalde is just a symptom of a much bigger pathology. It is a symbol of the failure of every institution in our society. And the solution is never to revamp the institutions and eject the parasites heading them. It’s always – always – to take power from us and give it to the people who screwed up in the first place.

Show of hands – who was shocked to hear that this creep was on law enforcement’s radar before his killing spree?

I see a distinct lack of hands.

But the failure is not limited to being unable to stop murderers. It’s not even the only failure involving schools. The schools are churning out a generation of quasi-literates and have been turned into a Grindr for perverted weirdos to use for grooming their prey. We got a good view of the failure during another epic failure, the COVID response.

This is systemic.

Everything is failing.

Go try to get baby formula.

See if you can afford gas. Hell, roll up to a Mickey D’s drive-thru and try to roll away with lunch for four under $30.

The courts don’t work, the Congress doesn’t work, and our alleged president is a borderline clinical moron who is lying when he’s not merely stupid. This human sex toy got up at Annapolis and told the Naval Academy grads that he had been accepted there. It was a lie – of course, he’s senile so maybe he believed it – and the regime media skipped over it like they skip over everything else that offends the official narrative.

Failure, failure, failure.

What is one institution that works? Just one.

Our military? Oh please. Just last week the military demonstrated its real priorities when it released a list of proposed new names for various forts and bases that are currently labeled with insufficiently PC monikers. Now, here’s a meaningful list challenge for them: Provide a list of names of real wars these people have won since 1991.

Here it is: ___________________________.

We’re getting tired of nothing but disasters, debacles, and decline. And that’s when things get dangerous. What cannot go on will not go on, and we Americans are not going to accept muddling through forever, lurching from crisis to crisis created by our garbage ruling class and that cannot be solved by our garbage ruling class. Jimmy Carter was like that – President Peanut tried to tell us to embrace the suck. We told him to suck on his malaise. We turned to Ronald Reagan, and Carter was in a funk for forty years until Grandpa Badfinger finally relieved him of the title of “Worst President of the Last Century.”

We will turn to someone, because this is unsustainable. The question is “Who?” And that is not precisely a question of individuals. It might be Trump, it might be DeSantis, it might be someone else. The question is what kind of person. Will it be a positive American leader in the vein of a Ronald Reagan, or will it be an American Caesar?

I write about the authoritarian temptation in my upcoming nonfiction book We’ll Be Back: The Fall and Rise of America:

“His rise would come as the result of a backlash against the left, and it would be propelled by a sense that the institutions, left to their own devices, would frustrate the true intent of the Framers and the people. He would call himself the restorer of American democracy (which sounds better to American ears than “restorer of the Republic” even if not technically correct). He would observe the rituals and symbols of the old United States, yet his reign would be distinguished by the unbridled use of his power. He would ignore the norms and unofficial rules of American politics that have so far restrained the conservatives but, to their mind, not the left. Checks and balances? Nah, it’s an emergency. We’ll get back to having those later.

And later never comes. His supporters would see him as cutting through the obstacles to enact the necessary reforms to restore America to greatness. His opponents would call him an authoritarian. And they might have a point.”

The danger of systemic institutional failure is not merely the damage from the fallout, though as we saw in Uvalde, it can be monstrously horrific. The danger is that the failure is so pervasive and the ruling caste behind it so committed to retaining its own power at the expense of anything else that people may confuse this perversion of our constitutional system with the real thing and simply give up on the Founder’s vision. They might embrace a strongman who is empowered sufficiently to break the hold of our garbage ruling class – at the price of our republic. The failure we are seeing is so complete, so comprehensive, that maybe Americans will come to think that this harsh cure is not worse than the disease. But, of course, it will be. Maybe not with the first dictator, or the second, but it will. Augustus was okay, unless you crossed him. But a Caligula is eventually going to come along.

News of the Times;
Me in 2019: If I could just have a week with nowhere to go and nothing to do, I could get my whole house in order.

Me in 2022: Nope, that wasn't the problem.


A new survey shows that 60% of men under the age of 30 don't own a suit.

Then again, those of us over 30 that have a suit don't know if they still fit.


At this week's family history and tradition class, the teacher asked the young class how to describe old folks.

Olivia raised her hand and answered, "Over the Hill."

"Yes, good answer," said the teacher.

"Yes, Johnny, do you have another nickname?"

"Long in the Toot," Johnny responded.

The teacher corrected him. "You meant Long in the Tooth, didn't you?"

"Not at all, have you ever been behind my Grandpa?


A little girl was watching her daddy repair his tractor.

She asked her mother, "What happens to old tractors when they finally stop working?"

Sighing, her mother answered: "Someone sells them to your father, dear."


Jet Blue is making a bid for a hostile takeover of Spirit Airlines.

That's what I want, being flown around by disgruntled employees.

Quote of the Times;
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. - H.L. Menken

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Issue of the Times;
Here Are The Nutcases Who Believe In “Replacement” - They're Democrats by Ann Coulter

The “Great Replacement Theory” (GRT) has taken the media by storm! It seems that the white racist who shot up a grocery store full of black people last weekend cited GRT in his 180-page “manifesto.”

First of all, journalists need to understand that GRT is only a theory taught in advanced law school seminars. It is not something designed for indoctrination of mass audiences of young people.

So what is GRT? The New York Times describes it thus:

“[T]he notion that Western elites, sometimes manipulated by Jews, want to ‘replace’ and disempower white Americans.”

(You want a conspiracy theory about a secretive cabal of Jews? Check out the Times’ series of articles on “neoconservatives” back in the early 2000s.)

But then—just as every argument about abortion suddenly becomes an argument about contraception—a few paragraphs later, the crackpot theory jumps from a Jewish cabal replacing whites with blacks…to the idea that Democrats are using immigration “for electoral gains.”

Wow, that is nuts! Where’d anybody get that idea?

Oh yeah—from liberals.

Here’s Democratic consultant Patrick Reddy in 1998:

“The 1965 Immigration Reform Act promoted by President Kennedy, drafted by Attorney General Robert Kennedy, and pushed through the Senate by Ted Kennedy has resulted in a wave of immigration from the Third World that should shift the nation in a more liberal direction within a generation. It will go down as the Kennedy family’s greatest gift to the Democratic Party.”

(Well, sure, if you want to totally overlook skirt-chasing and pill-popping.)

Then in 2002, Democrats Ruy Teixeira and John Judis wrote The Emerging Democratic Majority, arguing that demographic changes, mostly by immigration, were putting Democrats on a glide path to an insuperable majority. After Obama’s reelection in 2012, Teixeira crowed in The Atlantic (which was then a magazine that people read, as opposed to a billionaire widow’s charity) that “ten years farther down this road,” Obama lost the white vote outright, but won the election with the minority vote—African-Americans (93-6), Hispanics (71-27) and Asian-Americans (73-26).

A year later, the National Journal’s Ron Brownstein began touting the “Coalition of the Ascendant,” gloating that Democrats didn’t need blue-collar whites anymore. Woo hoo! Obama “lost more than three-fifths of noncollege whites and whites older than 45.” But who cares? He crushed with “minorities (a combined 80%).”

“Adios, Reagan Democrats,” he says gleefully.

Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg’s 2019 book, RIP GOP, explains the coming death of the Republican Party as a result of…sucking up to Wall Street? Pushing pointless wars? Endlessly cutting taxes? NO! The GOP’s demise would come from the fact that “our country is hurtling toward a New America that is ever more racially and culturally diverse…more immigrant and foreign born.”

And these were the genteel, nonthreatening descriptions of how immigration was consigning white voters to the Aztec graveyard of history.

On MSNBC, they’re constantly sneering about “old white men” and celebrating the “browning of America.” A group called Battleground Texas boasts about flipping that deep red state to the Democrats—simply by getting more Hispanics to vote. Blogs are giddily titled, “The Irrelevant South” (“the traditional white South—socially and economically conservative—is no longer relevant in national politics”). MSNBC’s Joy Ann Reid tweets that she is “giddy” watching “all the bitter old white guys” as Ketanji Brown Jackson “makes history.”

This week, the media’s leading expert on the crazies who believe in replacement theory is Tim Wise, popping up on both MSNBC and CNN to psychoanalyze the white “racists.” He’s been quoted, cited or praised dozens of times in the New York Times. This isn’t some fringe character, despite appearances.

In 2010, Wise wrote an “Open Letter to the White Right” that began:

“For all y’all rich folks, enjoy that champagne, or whatever fancy ass Scotch you drink.

“And for y’all a bit lower on the economic scale, enjoy your Pabst Blue Ribbon, or whatever shitty ass beer you favor …

“Because your time is limited.

“Real damned limited.”

Guess why! Wise explained:

“It is math.”

Wait, isn’t math racist? But moving on…

“Because you’re on the endangered list.

“And unlike, say, the bald eagle or some exotic species of muskrat, you are not worth saving.

“In 40 years or so, maybe fewer, there won’t be any more white people around who actually remember that Leave It to Beaver …”

Have you ever noticed how obsessed liberals are with Leave It to Beaver?

“It’s OK. Because in about 40 years, half the country will be black or brown. And there is nothing you can do about it.

“Nothing, Senor Tancredo.”

After several more paragraphs of mocking white people, Wise ended with this stirring conclusion:

“We just have to be patient.

“And wait for you to pass into that good night, first politically, and then, well …

“Do you hear it?

“The sound of your empire dying? Your nation, as you knew it, ending, permanently?

“Because I do, and the sound of its demise is beautiful.”

To Wise, the best way to kill the anti-Semitic trope of Jewish elites waging war against whites is to be a Jewish elite waging war against whites.

I don’t know about the Jewish cabal version of GRT, but as for liberals using immigration to bring in more Democratic voters, as Maya Angelou said, “When people show you who they are, believe them.”

Speaking of theories involving Jewish cabals…

The New York Times on neoconservatives, August 4, 2003:

For the past few weeks, US President George W. Bush has been surrounded by a secretive circle of advisors and public relations experts, giving rise to all kinds of conspiracy theories and debates. It's been said that the group's idol is German Jewish philosopher Leo Strauss.

News of the Times;
Why do sheep get really anxious and nervous at night?

Because so many people are counting on them.


Little kid #1: "What does your mother do for a headache?"

Little kid #2: "She sends me out to play."


Finland is looking to join NATO for no money down, and its first month free, by referring Sweden through the alliance’s refer-a-friend program.

Speaking at a joint news conference at NATO Headquarters, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin begged Swedish counterpart Magdalena Andersson to sign up so Finland could get a free month of membership.

“Hey, Maggie, this is a great deal. One month free and they waive the membership fee. That’s a lot of money,” Marin said. “Please. Just join for a month and then quit. You don’t even have to do one training exercise or any Article 5 stuff. C’mon.”
Marin told Andersson she had asked Serbia first, but the Balkan nation told her to “go eat a great big bag of dicks.”

The alliance introduced its popular “NATO Rewards Program” with the fall of the Iron Curtain in the early 1990s, which saw membership double from 16 to 30. Poland’s referral of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Bulgaria won it six months free, a complimentary body mass analysis, a $50 gift card to GNC, and a one-on-one personal training session with the United States.

Not to be outdone, the Russian Federation created its short-lived Comrades Club program to woo former Soviet republics and Warsaw Pact members, but its offer of a free T-54 tank failed to get any takers.


The cop asked, "Whose car is this? Where are you headed? What do you do?"

The miner replied, "Mine."


On the Internet, you can be anything you want.

It's amazing how many people choose to be stupid.

Quote of the Times;
“A nation can unite. A multicultural economic zone cannot.” - Daniel Concannon

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Issue of the Times;
FDR’s policies prolonged Depression by 7 years, UCLA economists calculate by Meg Sullivan

Two UCLA economists say they have figured out why the Great Depression dragged on for almost 15 years, and they blame a suspect previously thought to be beyond reproach: President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

After scrutinizing Roosevelt’s record for four years, Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian conclude in a new study that New Deal policies signed into law 71 years ago thwarted economic recovery for seven long years.

“Why the Great Depression lasted so long has always been a great mystery, and because we never really knew the reason, we have always worried whether we would have another 10- to 15-year economic slump,” said Ohanian, vice chair of UCLA’s Department of Economics. “We found that a relapse isn’t likely unless lawmakers gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies.”

In an article in the August issue of the Journal of Political Economy, Ohanian and Cole blame specific anti-competition and pro-labor measures that Roosevelt promoted and signed into law June 16, 1933.

“President Roosevelt believed that excessive competition was responsible for the Depression by reducing prices and wages, and by extension reducing employment and demand for goods and services,” said Cole, also a UCLA professor of economics. “So he came up with a recovery package that would be unimaginable today, allowing businesses in every industry to collude without the threat of antitrust prosecution and workers to demand salaries about 25 percent above where they ought to have been, given market forces. The economy was poised for a beautiful recovery, but that recovery was stalled by these misguided policies.”

Using data collected in 1929 by the Conference Board and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Cole and Ohanian were able to establish average wages and prices across a range of industries just prior to the Depression. By adjusting for annual increases in productivity, they were able to use the 1929 benchmark to figure out what prices and wages would have been during every year of the Depression had Roosevelt’s policies not gone into effect. They then compared those figures with actual prices and wages as reflected in the Conference Board data.

In the three years following the implementation of Roosevelt’s policies, wages in 11 key industries averaged 25 percent higher than they otherwise would have done, the economists calculate. But unemployment was also 25 percent higher than it should have been, given gains in productivity.

Meanwhile, prices across 19 industries averaged 23 percent above where they should have been, given the state of the economy. With goods and services that much harder for consumers to afford, demand stalled and the gross national product floundered at 27 percent below where it otherwise might have been.

“High wages and high prices in an economic slump run contrary to everything we know about market forces in economic downturns,” Ohanian said. “As we’ve seen in the past several years, salaries and prices fall when unemployment is high. By artificially inflating both, the New Deal policies short-circuited the market’s self-correcting forces.”

The policies were contained in the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), which exempted industries from antitrust prosecution if they agreed to enter into collective bargaining agreements that significantly raised wages. Because protection from antitrust prosecution all but ensured higher prices for goods and services, a wide range of industries took the bait, Cole and Ohanian found. By 1934 more than 500 industries, which accounted for nearly 80 percent of private, non-agricultural employment, had entered into the collective bargaining agreements called for under NIRA.

Cole and Ohanian calculate that NIRA and its aftermath account for 60 percent of the weak recovery. Without the policies, they contend that the Depression would have ended in 1936 instead of the year when they believe the slump actually ended: 1943.

Roosevelt’s role in lifting the nation out of the Great Depression has been so revered that Time magazine readers cited it in 1999 when naming him the 20th century’s second-most influential figure.

“This is exciting and valuable research,” said Robert E. Lucas Jr., the 1995 Nobel Laureate in economics, and the John Dewey Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. “The prevention and cure of depressions is a central mission of macroeconomics, and if we can’t understand what happened in the 1930s, how can we be sure it won’t happen again?”

NIRA’s role in prolonging the Depression has not been more closely scrutinized because the Supreme Court declared the act unconstitutional within two years of its passage.

“Historians have assumed that the policies didn’t have an impact because they were too short-lived, but the proof is in the pudding,” Ohanian said. “We show that they really did artificially inflate wages and prices.”

Even after being deemed unconstitutional, Roosevelt’s anti-competition policies persisted - albeit under a different guise, the scholars found. Ohanian and Cole painstakingly documented the extent to which the Roosevelt administration looked the other way as industries once protected by NIRA continued to engage in price-fixing practices for four more years.

The number of antitrust cases brought by the Department of Justice fell from an average of 12.5 cases per year during the 1920s to an average of 6.5 cases per year from 1935 to 1938, the scholars found. Collusion had become so widespread that one Department of Interior official complained of receiving identical bids from a protected industry (steel) on 257 different occasions between mid-1935 and mid-1936. The bids were not only identical but also 50 percent higher than foreign steel prices. Without competition, wholesale prices remained inflated, averaging 14 percent higher than they would have been without the troublesome practices, the UCLA economists calculate.

NIRA’s labor provisions, meanwhile, were strengthened in the National Relations Act, signed into law in 1935. As union membership doubled, so did labor’s bargaining power, rising from 14 million strike days in 1936 to about 28 million in 1937. By 1939 wages in protected industries remained 24 percent to 33 percent above where they should have been, based on 1929 figures, Cole and Ohanian calculate. Unemployment persisted. By 1939 the U.S. unemployment rate was 17.2 percent, down somewhat from its 1933 peak of 24.9 percent but still remarkably high. By comparison, in May 2003, the unemployment rate of 6.1 percent was the highest in nine years.

Recovery came only after the Department of Justice dramatically stepped up enforcement of antitrust cases nearly four-fold and organized labor suffered a string of setbacks, the economists found.

“The fact that the Depression dragged on for years convinced generations of economists and policy-makers that capitalism could not be trusted to recover from depressions and that significant government intervention was required to achieve good outcomes,” Cole said. “Ironically, our work shows that the recovery would have been very rapid had the government not intervened.”

News of the Times;
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