“What’s your favorite part of the New Deal,” they said. “Well,” I said. “Let me tell you about the rum-distilling program …”
This is a real, and quite serious, story; to relieve unemployment in the Virgin Islands, Harold Ickes set up a US-owned corporation (with three shares of stock: one held by him, one by the Assistant Secretary of the Interior, and one held by the VI governor) …
… for economic development in the islands. It built roads, and notably, a hotel, to help establish a tourist industry … livingnewdeal.org/wp-content/upl…
but, as Ickes said, “it was a rum operation primarily.” loc.gov/item/201779745…
Government House Rum came in at least three kinds (its first product was, unusually, an aged cane-juice rum, rather than one made from molasses) and with recipes on how to make appropriate cocktails. loc.gov/item/201779749…
This is part of a much bigger story, about how repeal of Prohibition didn’t mean the end of government involvement in the alcohol industry, but a new phase of government involvement, of which rum was a vital part in the U.S. territories.
A story worth telling, but which requires more room than there is here …
… but, uh, be on the lookout.

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More from @rauchway

27 Oct
Acknowledging all the caveats about how this is a game and not serious historical analysis, let’s think about what Roosevelt did do, and whether it applies …
In 1932, Roosevelt campaigned on a major public works program, farm relief, better labor laws, securities regulation, more public power, reforestation, lower tariffs, old-age pensions, unemployment insurance, coordination of industry…much of we now think of as the New Deal.
He could therefore say that his agenda needed enacting because he’d campaigned on it.
Read 20 tweets
18 Oct
He’s George Baer, if that helps.

(I know it doesn’t.)
This is George Baer, depicted during the 1902 anthracite strike. Image
A coal baron who@claimed he and his peers enjoyed their wealth and property by divine right, and refused to make concessions to the working man, even ones he could well afford.
Read 4 tweets
1 Oct
The reason we, and everyone else, went off the gold standard is that it was a giant failure.
“This is where Freud would come in. This reluctance to part with something that is precious to you, this insistence on discipline. He identified a personality that was what he called parsimonious to the point of avarice, and you and I have probably heard the term anal retentive”
Read 6 tweets
18 Sep
I reviewed Woodward & Costa's PERIL. I think its stuff on Biden is as interesting, if less juicy, than its stuff on Trump.

"'Who thinks democracy is a given?” [Biden] asked … 'If you do, think again.'"

A lot of the Trump stuff leaked before publication because it tells us yet more about January 6 and the plan to derail certification. But the Biden stuff, which is the stuff of ordinary politics, is consequential too.
There is, in specific, quite a lot of material on Biden and Manchin, which is of current interest.
Read 5 tweets
15 Sep
Saying Elder got 47% is misleading; he got 47% of people who answered the second question (who should replace). Remember, Newsom asked that you vote “no-and-go”—no on the recall and nothing on the second question. Looks like about 45% of the total voters did that. Which means…
About 4m voters didn’t vote on the second question. Elder got 2.4m votes. So he lost overwhelmingly to the nonvotes. And he didn’t get 47%, he got 47% of 55%, or about 26%.
(Those of you who are screaming at your monitors that @jonrog1 has been proved right again, I hear you.)
Read 6 tweets
29 Aug
"Gov. Ron DeSantis has crisscrossed the state…promoting a treatment for people who already have COVID-19. But the last time he held an event specifically to encourage getting vaccinated was four months ago. Instead, he’s downplayed the vaccines…"

If you wanted a test case for a large state that made a strong push to vaccinate people, you should look elsewhere.
"Florida shows that even a state that made a major push for vaccinations — Florida ranks 21st among states and Washington, D.C., in giving people of all ages at least one shot — can be crushed by the Delta variant"

that's in the NYT article

what is 21st, a participation trophy?
Read 11 tweets

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