The fear mongering tactics used recently to pass the bailout bill are not new. Robert Higgs has exposed it in detail. Roosevelt’s 1933 inaugural speech gives us a glimpse of the tactic from the days of the Hoover administration:
True they [“moneychangers”] have tried, but their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish.
The remainder of the speech outlines in broad terms his vision for executive powers to be used for command and control of the economy. Read the The Revolution Was for Garet Garrett’s take on FDR’s implementation.
Here’s hoping we learn from the past and don’t let history repeat itself.