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tv   Book Discussion on The Money Makers and Right Out of California  CSPAN  January 17, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm EST

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siblings quarreling and there will be more coming up. >> host: do you think you'll go back to do more writing this >> guest: i don't know if they will let me and i would like to. >> host: you don't have plans to publish on the mainland. do you plan to publish in chinese and taiwan and elsewhere? >> guest: i would like to. >> host: mei fong, thank you for talking to us about "one child," and congratulations on the. >> ..
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of modern conservatism. in this book she examines the labor disputes and depression era california. she shows how this set of events caused business leaders at the time to rethink their relationship to american politics. olmsted finds a depression era california, strong arm policies against farmworkers that most of the conservative movement. she chair of uc davis' history department and historian of anti- communism. she is the author of several books in including challenging the secret government and real enemies. eric rauchway has written "the money makers". how roosevelt and keynes ended the depression, defeated ashes
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them. he makes clear that fdr regarded his fight against economic depression and his fight against fascism to be in in distinction bowl. monetary policy should be central to our understanding of the roosevelt understanding, depression and war. eric rauchway is the author of numerous works on the progressive and new deal era's. he has working for the american prospect, the american times, and other publications. we are indeed fortunate to be hearing tonight from these two noted historians and their newly released volumes of history. please welcome catherine olmsted and eric rauchway. cap [applause]. >> thank you very much. thank you very much to the avid readers staff.
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thank you for staging this event and thank you to all of you for coming out. what we will do, since this is slightly unusual that our books came out at the same time and on very related topics, certainly nothing we could have planned if we tried. since it's happening, we thought we would do a joint joint event. i talked very briefly about the overlap between the two books and then kathy will talk for a few minutes about her book and i will talk for ten minutes about my book and then we will take questions. the connection between the two books is that both of them treat 1933, the year fdr took office as a critical turning a critical turning point in u.s. history when there is a pivot toward our own time. normally, a big turning point is
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1945. the. the whole of the roosevelt administration belongs to an era vote before our own. for different reasons, we are making cases that we should look at the beginning of roosevelt administration for the origin of the america we live in now. with that being the case, we will each talk about our case and then we will be happy to take questions. cap he will start first. >> let me start by saying why i think 1933 is such an important turning point and then eric will give his argument. 1933 was 1933 was a time when there were the biggest cultural strikes in u.s. history. 50000 farm workers went out on strike in 1933 in california. that includes 18000 justin one cotton strike. they went on strike so that
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employers would recognize their union. they heard franklin roosevelt wanted them to join the union. that he would protect their right to unionize. this included asian americans, mexican-americans, and other types of ethnicities. it included men and women and they demanded different types of rights. those employers launched a counter revolution against at that still continues today. here's the ironic part. roosevelt didn't want farmworkers to join unions or go on strike. his labor laws specifically excluded agricultural workers, but the the agricultural workers didn't know that. let me give you a little bit of background. 1933 marks the really pivotable turning point in political and
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economic history. when economic labor laws changed the balance of power between workers and employers and in the process of doing so, it then helped transform businessman's view of the federal government. before the new deal, america's big businessmen often supported and expansive role for the federal government because the government built the roads and the dams and the railroads that expanded their market. the government out then prohibit alcohol and control labor. in particular, the government turned a blind eye to when employers crackdown on striking workers. that was during the big strike in the 1870s and early 30s. then in 1933, franklin roosevelt took office in the government began to intervene in the economy in new ways. it started serving organized labor as well as -- washington
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empowered laborers by guaranteeing their right to have unions. and able to get industrial unions, roosevelt excluded farmworkers from the protection of this labor law. the farmworkers believe that roosevelt did support them and so they went out on strike to the manned union recognition from their employers. roosevelt aids did not encourage the strikes, but they didn't break them either. moreover, and here's the key point, they threaten to withhold the new agricultural subsidies from the federal government from growers who continue to use violence against their workers and who refuse to go into mediation with their workers. now the accra businessman found the new dealers support from mediation infuriating.
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the growers were shocked to discover that the government was intervening in the economy as they pocketed their winning from the agricultural subsidies. the growers didn't just complain about the changes by the new dealers, they organized. once they smashed the union threat in california's fields, they attacked the bigger problem which was the new deal itself. rather they attacked parts of the new deal that benefited labor. they were fine with the dams and canals and subsidies. they won over middle-class voters by hiring consultants to explain that the new deal or creeping socialism as they call it, was responsible for strikes and cultural changes. for increasing secularism, women diversity and working outside the home.
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in the story i tell him this book, there are a lot of great characters. on the left, center and right, all of whom are emblematic of the new dynamic between left, center and right politics at the time. there's caroline decker who was a 21-year-old from georgia. blonde, blue eyes and very petite. always blue eyes and very petite. always dressed nicely in these polkadot dresses and high heels. she went out into the fields to organize farmworkers. she was a fierce, passionate organizer who spent years in state prison because she was sentenced for sedition. langston hughes was on the left along with others. the center, it was at that time inhabited by the liberals who were desperately trying to find a middle ground between what they saw as reactionary conservatism on the one hand and uncompromising radicalism on the other. between what one of them called
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up epilepsy and catalepsy. they included george creel who had been an journalist. by the 1930s he was ahead of the new deal on the west coast. he would try to go to the fields to solve these strikes. another liberal mediator was a retired general named happy glatt furred. he was a world war i hero who was called out of retirement by the government and sent to imperial valley in southeastern california to solve the strike there. they had to flee for their lives. they were threatened with death by growers and vigilante. at the center, it included john steinback who wrote a lot of the stories. although he did a lot of
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research, the history that he wrote was very selective edited history. it sure in the efforts of women and people of color. then there was herbert hoover who was a wealthy grower and mobilized other wealthy farmers to revive conservatism and what he hoped would be a political comeback for him. also there is retired retired general ralph who is the father of intelligence, retired to san diego and became very concerned on strikes in california. he started a massive private surveillance network that surveilled people who were suspected of being on the left and people suspected of union organizing. by the time he died in the
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1950s, his, his bungalow was stuffed full of hundreds of files on suspected individuals in california and mexico. so these ideas develop the shape of the political landscape we live in today. herbert hoover helped us discover nixon in 1946. he then arrange for other businessmen to fund a campaign for businessmen. the same individual who funded hoover went on to support the next californian who would preside over the transformation of america in the 1980s, ronald reagan. there is there is a direct line from hoover to nixon to reagan and the people who work for them. now one more point i would like to make about the book before i turn it over to eric is that the california businessmen really
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discovered a very potent technique for discrediting liberals in the 1930s. they discovered how to bash the center for coddling the left. and perversely, to do this at precisely those times when the center was distancing itself from the left. franklin roosevelt was no radical. he never wanted the government to take over, the banks or the factories are the farm and i didn't do so well he was president. he did support labor and unions but only because he wanted workers to collectively organize to raise their wages without government intervening to redistribute wealth. the new deal maintained a social order that largely benefited white men. throughout the labor struggles in california roosevelt and his advisers dismissed and marginalize those who propose more radical alternatives. still the new dealers attempted
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to distance themselves. they were attacked for being too radical. as the center defined the left and the enemy, the the right claimed that the center was the left. this was a technique of course that conservatives would use down through the decades. they were portray a tip toe to the left as a stampede. to bring this back to california in closing, they once said that california is like america only more so. i think the struggles in the california fields in the 1930s were similar to struggles elsewhere but more so and ahead of their time. the states multi racial, multiracial workforce of women and men foreshadowed the coming transformation of american labor. the employer's need to maintain control over this multiethnic,
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multiracial workforce. they need to demand their collective bargaining rights. now i'll turn it over to eric [applause]. >> okay so kathy is giving her case that modern conservatism was a result of early policy. all point out another way in which i think this is true. a couple weeks ago, ben carson, on public radio, don't laugh said that we be coupled the dollar from the gold standard in 1933. since that time it's not based on anything. why would we continue to do
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that? not to be outdone, cruz said just a couple days ago that i think the feds should get out of the business of trying to juice our economy and simply be focused on sound money and monetary stability ideally tied to gold. >> the basic fact of what he said, carson is right. on the very first day of the new deal we could couple the dollar from the gold standard and cruises right. the government is trying to juice it when it is moving it slow and slow it down when it's getting out of hand. of course i think both carson and cruz are wrong in their view that this was a bad thing. that's what the book is about. although the subtitle is not what i would call subtle, talks that roosevelt ends the depression and you can tell from the cover this is a book of a
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general of fdr. his dollar policy was a centerpiece of all of those achievements. the thing about a gold standard is, and i suspect that cruise knows this, there's only only so much gold in the world. one of roosevelt's aides aides wrote that the total gold production of the whole world would fit into a cube there to . those estimates of how much gold there is are generally in that range. it's not very much. meanwhile, there's been an increasing number of people since columbus is time making and wishing to trade in an ever increasing trade of stuff. that means gold is deflationary. with decreasing the in quantity of gold and increasing stuff, the value changes. if your money is tied to gold, a
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fixed amount of money, to buy more stuff or to put it another way, the price the price of stuff goes down. that's inflation. deflation. if your banker you deal in money. if money keeps being worth more you're happy. the dollar you getting paid back in is worth more than the dollar you laugh. most of us are not anchors. that means if the do of stuff is worth less money. with deflation, the non-banker majority get majority get squeezed and we can't buy enough. we all make decisions on when to buy based on what we expect with the price of the thing to do. not just what it is right now. if we know the money we have on hand is going to be worth more next week, if we know the price of the thing is going to be
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lower later, than unless we we absolutely need it, we will wait to buy it. we might even wait another week to see if it changes even more. if we think our money is going to be worth more, why spend it now a bit more deflation can bring in economy entirely to a halt which is what happened when fdr became president of the united states. prices have fallen so far since their peaks, they have been falling for so long over the years of the great depression. people wanted to hold their money instead of buying goods with it. the economy slowed so that by the time roosevelt became president, unemployment was at catastrophic levels. probably about 25%.
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that's why the first thing that roosevelt did upon taking office was to end the gold standard in the united states. he did this because he wanted to shift expectations about prices so people would begin to think that now prices are going to start to go up. if prices go up by better start buying things because my money isn't going to be much worse later. that means the maker of things sell more things and they can afford to buy more things themselves and employ other people. the economy begins to move in a virtuous circle. with this shift in expectations, or a rise in prices, the recovery from the great depression began. right there in march 1933 and it continued strongly "after words". franklin roosevelt's first term in office for the four fastest years of economic growth in peace time that the united states has ever had. >> now by ending the gold standard in beginning to use the dollar as a tool to manage prices and therefore expectations, roosevelt was hoping to start the recovery. he also knew that a lot more was at stake.
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only a few months before roosevelt became president, in january of 1933 out of hitler became chancellor of germany. prices have also been plummeting there and unemployment had been rising to catastrophic levels. already, write them in january 1933, january all roosevelt already knew that hitler was a sense of evil for the united states. he appealed to the worst in men and ridiculed their tolerances and it could not exist permanently as the rule of law and human rights. with deflation creating support for nokia's him, it seems to be a choice between a rising prices and a rise in dictators. that meant roosevelt's program of recovery was not only an effort to put america's back to work, but also a race to restore the united states to a strength sufficient to fight against fascism both at home and abroad.
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john maynard is also on the cover there in a rather handsome portrait. if you judge it by a cover, it's fantastic. i can say that because i had nothing to do with it. the changes in there because it was haynes who gave the christmas an earliest formulation that expectations could and should be managed in the way that i've described. it was haynes who argued that deflation was far worse and that inflation for the reasons i've already does arrived it was his views on money that provided practical and theoretical basis for a lot of what this was about. he not only wrote the works that were read by his advisers and cheered him on in his newspaper column, they also saw in his earliest monetary policy the outlines of what became the postwar system of international management.
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that's a system that is more or less with us today and played an important role in managing the 2008 crisis. in the book you will find this and how he interacted with them. how these two titanic egos operated in their respective fears and were together. how that monetary policy that resulted from the interaction defeated fascism in the u.s. and abroad. those successes make a case and i think they had a better understanding of how and why to use monetary policy. thank you. [applause]. >> so now we begin to take questions.
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[inaudible] so is this what you need? hello. it's on. it's for the camera. okay. i kathleen. i was really intrigued because eric talked a lot about, my favorite thing in the whole wide world is to bring up the present. i like to compare things.
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my question is actually for you because what was really interesting to me in this book is the whole idea of the farm workers, which i'm presuming were migrant workers and the fact that we don't get them organized until many, many years later. was there any backlash because they were migrants or was it just i mean they seem be awfully nervy which it took him a long time to get nervy again. >> there were so many difficulties involved in organizing farmworkers. you have multiracial, multiethnic workforce that speaks different languages and many of them have prejudices against the other group. then they are desperately poor. so if you are a union organizer, you have to recognize that your union is going to subsidize this organization because they can't afford to pay union dues. in addition, if you get
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everybody organized and you overcome all these obstacles and you form a union and you get a contract and you get paid more for picking cotton, when they pick the cotton crop and everybody goes away. some of them go on to pick melons and some of them pick lemons or whatever. you as an organizer, you try to fall on them but you have to start all over again with organizing them and educating them. those are just obstacles that don't concern the growers. the growers use a lot of different techniques against the union organizing. they would evict the strikers from the housing and from their land. then they could work with local law enforcement to arrest them. a lot of strikers were arrested for vagrancy which was this all-purpose charge in the 1930s that you could be put in jail for up to a month just because a
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police officer said you seemed like a vagrant. then also there is the violence. there's a lot of vigilante violence. in the cotton strike of 1933, three workers were killed. there were killed by vigilantes. this was not uncommon. so because of all of that, it was remarkable that they were able to try and organize as long as they did. then finally, the violence and the lack of government support, since they weren't supported they finally gave up. especially with world war ii and a lot of the workers got jobs in the shipyard. that pretty much killed the organizing efforts until the 1960s when they took up the cause again.
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was there any conversation between the growers and people in california and the people in the south about dealing with the labor population? >> that's a very interesting question i would say no. the california growers see themselves as very different from the southern planters even though they are the unintended beneficiary. so i did not see a lot of interaction. there's a lot of the same attitudes because there's a big migration to california from the south. a lot of the california growers are from the south and they have a lot of the same racial attitudes as the southerners. i didn't see much coordination. i have a geography question.
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kathy yearbook is set in california and you just answered that yes there is the context that there and the rest of the nation. california doesn't make it into the index of your book. was there california side of monetary policy? california does make a brief appearance. when they were working through the congress, they had to get it by an act of legislation. they wanted to go to places where there were swinging representatives or senators. they thought their resources could be best use. a number of the men in the treasury were put to work campaigning in michigan and places in the south and in new york. they wanted to go to california because as one of them said, there's patty lamarr, but the
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secretary of the treasury said there was nothing to spend there. >> i'd like for you to say a little more about the southern growers moving to california. i think as growers as being local but then we see all the other books about the growers who have multi generational families that build up these dynasties, usually in the san joaquin valley. now you're talking about another group and some interactions that i've not heard about. >> there are two great migrations from the south to california and other start states in the west.
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there's one that many people know about, the african-american great migrations starts in world war i and accelerates in world war ii. there's also a migration of southern whites throughout this time. in in particular there are a lot of southern cotton planters who come to california to use dart their own cotton farms here because they know the industry. they want to take risks in california and california has a different pattern of landholding than the rest of the nation, even of the south and that it's much more on average, the farms are much larger. they're owned by corporate corporations are very wealthy individuals. a lot of these southern planters come to california and invest in cotton land so they can then really make a lot of money. some of them are very society successful. others are not. then during world war ii they go to the cities. but there is a migration of the farmers as well.
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how might have things played out a little bit differently? >> we've taken another look. [inaudible] what do you think. >> i take it this question is for me. the question is, what would fdr have done if he had come into the white house in early 2009 with the majority in both houses of congress. first of all if roosevelt had had democratic majorities in early 2009, he would actually be in a better position than he was. in fact in 1933, the democratic party consisted in large measure of southern democrats who were
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not always in favor of roosevelt's new deal policies and became less so over the course of the 30s. that's an important thing to know that he would've probably been in a stronger position had that occurred. i think the key difference between the two administrations is in large measure and add attitudinal one. fdr had no use for bankers, particularly wall street bankers in the earliest days of his administration. in fact some of the days he had dealing with financial matters were disgusted that he would reject any advice dealing with j.p. morgan and company. but this is a man who came into the white house saying he was glad the moneychangers had been kicked out of the temple. he was very clear that he wasn't interested in advice from that quarter. that was a popular position to take in 1933. if he if he had taken that position in 2089, would it have been as popular that's always
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really tough to know. i do have the sense that early in 2009, one could have been a little sterner with the banks and the bankers then president obama was. whether that would have been better than what we have as a whole is a whole another issue. i also think he was fairly aggressive in moving monetary policy from the white house. in part that's because the federal reserve board that we have now is a creation of the new deal. it was largely a result of the banking act of 1935. it's a different arrangement than what existed in 1933. in part i think it's attitudinal. you probably know we have a perennial debate over raising the debt ceiling in this country
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and that republicans in congress have several times tried to use that in shutting down the governments or the possibility of a default as a lever to get concessions out of the white house. the last time around, maybe it was the time before last, number of folks found in the skier approach that would've allowed him to mensa coin a platinum coin and put it on the positive as a way of relieving the debt on paper or in metal and then they would go on with spending so it would technically be under the debt ceiling even though it was largely a device. the obama administration rejected considering that as a negotiating tool. i like to think that roosevelt what about at least let it be known that he would consider minting a platinum.
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so the question is is there a difference between roosevelt and obama? he had a keen sense of how to use power where maybe obama does not. i think there's no question that roosevelt was an astute politician. as i talk about in the book, one of of the things he was very good at doing was ginning up protest from outside and then saying to the press and republicans and other folks who might reject his policy he would say look if you don't let me do this, the people over there will get their way. this was an excellent way of shifting what was possible a little bit further toward where he wanted the center of the political spectrum to be.
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i've never noticed president obama doing anything quite that shrewd. roosevelt had been a governor and obama had been a senator and those are two very different jobs with different levels of power. we have from the floor, the opinion that they are from different classes which is probably true. the question, did roosevelt not care about consensus? >> i think that after a certain point he certainly didn't. this is president franklin, i hate their --dash certainly there's a superficial way in
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which that's true. i think that roosevelt has a titanic ego but you almost have to have that to run to brett for president. he had the confidence that he per could persuade anything of anyone, given the chance. he would tell them the right thing to do and they would believe them. quite often that turned out to be right. [inaudible] caroline decker came from georgia but she had left there
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when she was 12 and went to new york. i'm not sure she was that shaped by the southern contacts. she had the southern accent which made her very effective and she's this cute little blonde girl next-door type with a southern accent and she seemed to very nonthreatening and so the communist party like to put her front and center to see how american we are. but the other leader of the farm workers union in california was a man named pat chambers who came from ohio. i think the key factor for both of them was not necessarily class or race or their own personal history but ideology. they had just come to communism in the 1920s and were fervent believers at that time that they thought the communist party was that the way to help american workers. they didn't really have much of an understanding but they were really committed to this idea
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that the communists were going to help american workers. they were the main leaders in california but then there were also a lot of people who didn't get the headlines or didn't get sent to prison for sedition but came from the workforce. they were either the southern migrants who were african-american or where the okies or mexican american. so i guess the answer is it was a very diverse leadership of the union. >> i want to ask a question of both of you. kathy i want to push you on something which is wise california is so central. is it just a ship that power toward the west? why is this the beginning of the california moment? also one of the things about the book is this great cast of characters. you read it and it's not just keynes and roosevelt.
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they pop up after a long rides and multiple meals. it's this intellectuals and incredible politicians. it seems to me that pales to what comes next in the 40s, 60s, 70s. maybe the kennedy the kennedy era. was this also certain nostalgia? so my question is why california. why did this conservative movement beginning california? i think it has something to do with the precarious nature of california capitalism, that there was this real sense of threat with labor organization among the growers, because you have crops that are ripe for a
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couple weeks. if they're not picked, they go bad and you lose all your money. they felt particular anxiety about the labor organization that was even more so, i would argue, then the corporate industries in other parts of the country. also in california in agribusiness, they had had a long tradition of leading the government in order to build the dams in the canals and the railroads. so this sense of betrayal that they had one roosevelt, they thought was now using the government to help the workers organize against them. there's a little bit of something irrational in their anger at the roosevelt administration. the only way i can explain that is to say that they felt like it
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was a personal betrayal. they thought they could count on the government for all these years and now they no longer could. >> i had a couple extra minutes to think about the answer. the question is about the relationship and the various thinkers and other politicians in that era. things seem to be different a bit later. i think this is obviously true. the roosevelt is secretary of the treasury and john henry was very educated and very comfortable about intellectual folks and ultimately became the host to the bretton woods conference. contrast that with his successor in the truman administration with the kentuckian who came over to talk to him about what needed to be done next.
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he said that's not how i see it from where i come from. he was not interested. the truman administration was generally like that. it was staffed with pictures. it's hard to say, it's tempting to give the same answer i gave a few minutes ago. it is partly personality. academics know this as well as anyone else. it's uncomfortable to be around someone who's smarter than you are. especially if you think of yourself as someone who's pretty smart. it takes somebody who is very confident and comfortable with themselves who doesn't care if you're smarter than he is, but who can drive in value value from what you have to say. to deal with a cast of characters like this one where somebody who's a little more insecure like harry s truman who always felt like he was stepping into shoes that were too big for him was not quite as comfortable.
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you see the same kind of transition from kennedy to johnston. i do think it's kind of personality but it's also kind of structural. he had been a senator and had been embedded with the fixers and the makers and roosevelt came from a very different background. he had been in touch with the progressives in new york and those folks who are reformers. when he had polio he spent a long time reading books by himself. he was fairly comfortable with a wider variety of people i think. >> i'm interested hearing these questions to think about difference in the geographical center of our books. liberalism was really happening in washington and new york in the 1930s. conservatism was of course in
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the south but also, i'm arguing in california. the only time california comes up in your book is when their first trying to stop bretton wood and herb herbert hoover was trying to stop him from running again. it's interesting that the california labor becomes a center for liberalism in the 1930s it was anything but. do you have anything to say to that? >> that was a great speech. >> this is your question, not mine we both know that california remains largely conservative even down to now in certain areas california's geography is split very much between the republican fishhook
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and the coastal cities. san francisco always has a kind of bulimia and era, but it's real california has the left coast is a recent phenomenon. could you talk a bit more about the sacramento communist movement. i noticed that sacramento gets more than los angeles and sacramento combined. >> i need to spend more time on my index. [laughter] >> sacramento is where the union is headquartered. that's where they were tried for crimes.
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it was a very vibrant movement. they had this mass conspiracy trial there in 1935 with 19 communist put on trial. >> you said something about women working in 33 or their move to that. i said say what, because i thought that thought that came after the second world war. >> certainly there is a big increase in women working during and after the second world war, but it's sort of a gradual upward tran throughout the 20th century. there are a lot of women who are working in the field in the 1930s because they're just desperately poor. you can't feed your family unless you have everybody, including the children, out working in the field. that's in the field. that's why there are so many women working. [inaudible] when they said that the interest
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rate structures below interest rate to zero and negative was the road to hell. i was wondering if you could talk about the fear of hyperinflation and how that affected roosevelt and keynes approach. they knew about that. >> so the question is about the fear of inflation and how it shapes political debate. it's very clear that in 1933, even with severe deflation and prices having been going down for so long that bankers in certain kinds of conservative opinion makers are eager to say but inflation is just around the corner. if we do what president roosevelt wants, we will have runaway inflation and the economy will be completely destroyed. >> that doesn't happen. of course we had the same kind of warning since 2008 or 2007.
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that also hasn't happened. so why is that? i think like i tried to point out, there's some certain interests who are always worried about inflation. if you're on a fixed income or if your banker, then you are really worried about inflation because that will hit you where you live. if. if you are basically on any other kind of business, it's not going to bother you quite as much unless you're fabulously rich which of course we always have to worry about that. but i think also there's a psychological element to it as well. just think about the language people use.
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they talk about sound money and a strong dollar and hard currency. it's all good tough stuff. people always talk about a week dollar as if it's intrinsically bad. if you have a weaker dollar, that means folks overseas can buy our goods more easily and that might not be such a terrible thing. >> so you would've taken those as benchmarks from the 1920s? >> i was going to do america first and then talk about it. i think when ted cruz, for example, talks about having some of the money that's tied to gold, that's as much a kind of psychological point. i think a lot of people like the idea of a restraint, even, even an arbitrary one on what policymakers can do. i think that's the appeal of the gold standard. other than the fact that gold is shiny and we like it. i think it's the idea that it's going to tie people in. that's the language that he
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uses. it's tied to goal and it can't run away. i think there's a kind of psychology and that's not an original observation with me. keynes talked about the psychology of the gold standard and so did freud. he had rather unflattering things to say about certain kinds of retentive net's and gold. but there's a rational argument in favor of gold. there's also kind of a cultural or psychological one that has an appeal that's irrespective of whatever you think you can do. but you ask about the deutschmarks and the german experiences a whole other thing. if you listen to the germans today, you would think that hitler became chancellor in 1923 because they are terrified of inflation but hitler didn't become chancellor 1923. he he became chancellor after a severe deflation. why this is true, i don't know
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except again i think there is a cultural psychological interest in their being a restraint. we don't want things to get away and out of control. it was the wild swing that then allowed the deflation and the collapse. it's not a rational argument as much it is it is a cultural and psychological one. >> i'm tempted to ask which book is better. >> but instead i will ask it this way, you both captures similar moment as a turning point. it's a very different turning point. it's the inauguration of this sort of moment and it inauguration of the movement that will try to tear down the accomplishments of that. do you see that as a contradiction or is it part of how we define what a turning point is that it doesn't just
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bring in a new system but it also clarifies for its opponents what they're fighting against. >> yes i think you said that brilliantly. i think that's the very definition of a turning point is that it isn't just the beginning of modern conservatism. were making the same argument but in different ways. >> yes i entirely agree with kathy. i think that the goldplated incredibly symbolic role at that moment. it's the basis of rallying support for the liberty league which challenges roosevelt in the 1936 election. it's the symbol that things have gotten out of hand and it serves as a rallying point for a range of other discontent.
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>> is there a friendly wager between you two about who sells more? [laughter] >> we are each mutually interested in the others welfare. [laughter] so it's all good. >> alright, is that it? do you do you think we should end? okay. five minutes. are there any other questions? >> you said something about and i am interested in knowing which things he left out of the grapes
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of wrath and his other books because they seem like they've included everything. so since i wasn't here then, i don't know how it was different on the ground. >> well one of his novels that i really looked at closely in my book was the in dubious battle. it was his most first major serious book that got him a lot of attention and it was a book that he did a lot of research for. it is now being made into a major motion picture with james franco. it's a very well done and appealing and riveting novel. however, steinback did all his research for it and learned and knew very well that one of the two leaders of the strike was a woman, caroline decker. he knew that women participated
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equally in the strike. he knew that the strike was 95% mexican-americans yet he wrote a story as white men. the leaders were white men, the growers were white men and it was all struggle among various groups of white men. so it's a very interesting story and it really conveys the violence of these strikes in the brutality of the growers that they leveled against the workers, however the completely leaves out the way that women participated in and lead these strikes strikes and that mexican-americans were a major majority of the workers at that point in california strike. >> hello. this question is for mr. eric rauchway. is one of the problems with the
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federal reserve's bank that was created during the wealthy administration that it wasn't really a central bank? it was to die centralize. we know roosevelt was not a fan of anchors so was his, how did he reconcile, i think if i recall correctly, it became more of a central bank bank during the roosevelt administration. how do you reconcile that, i guess roosevelt is looking at more of a democratic policy. >> the question was about the relationship between roosevelt and the federal reserve system. roosevelt had a better relationship with the federal reserve board than with the federal reserve bank of new york. as you probably no, before the 1935 act, the bank act, the bank of new york had quite a bit more power then it would later have. in the earliest days of the
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administration when he was actively trying to raise the value of the dollar by revaluing it, the federal reserve bank of new york, one of the bankers let it be known that he was going to try to counteract that policy with his own open market operations. in the words of a witness at the time, roosevelt jumped through the phone at him and told him that if he didn't step up and support the president's policy then roosevelt would show him what real inflation look like. so that relationship was not simpatico or whatever you want to say in those early days. but again it shows roosevelt's willing to threaten the federal reserve of new york and get his way. later roosevelt appointed eccles to be the chairman of the board with the 1935 reform and he raises


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