Monday, December 6, 2010

A Depression psalm

The so-called 1932nd Psalm:

Depression is my shepherd; I am in want.
He maketh me to lie down on park benches; He leadeth
    me beside the still factories.
He restoreth the bread lines; He leadeth me in the paths
    of destruction for his Party’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the Valley of Unemployment,
    I fear every evil; for thou are with me; the Politicians
    and Profiteers they frighten me.
Thou preparest a reduction in mine salary before me in
    the presence of mine creditors; Thou anointest mine
    income with taxes; my expenses runneth over mine
    income.
Surely unemployment and poverty will follow me all the
    days of the Republican administration; and I shall
    dwell in a mortgaged home forever.

Published in the Weatherford Democrat, June 10, 1932. Collected in Donald Whisenhunt’s Depression in Texas: The Hoover Years (New York: Garland, 1983).
Politicians who are willing to lead us in the paths of destruction for their party’s sake frighten me too. Mitch McConell (R-KY): “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

This psalm seems to have begun its life during Warren Harding’s administration:
[Amalgamated Sheet Metal Workers’ Journal, March 1922.]

[Locomotive Engineers Journal, June 1922.]
The Democrat is still publishing in Weatherford, Texas.

comments: 3

normann said...

Preview of coming attractions: http://www.salon.com/news/us_economy/index.html?story=/news/feature/2010/12/06/america_collapse_2025

I link to this article not because I agree that the scenarios will play out exactly the author sketches, but because even if some of them come true, things will not be pretty in the US. The end of dollar hegemony alone will do plenty of damage.

Non-Americans who chortle with Schadenfreude at the prospect of the US getting its comeuppance should ponder the fact that US energy profligacy not only underpins "Suburban Nation" but the current cheap food regime that has so far allowed the favelas to fester. When there is no more surplus grain for Ethiopia's begging bowl, its population will return to a solar-powered sustainable level. This goes for all places in the so-called third world that cannot feed themselves.

Whether thing get as bad for Americans as quickly as the author forecasts, one thing is certain. Americans won't be the only ones suffering. And at least those Americans within horsecart or biodiesel truck distance of arable land won't be starving. Not sure I can say the same thing about the Haitians.

End of rant.

Elaine said...

I'm afraid I agree, sadly. We *aren't* too big to fail...

Michael Leddy said...

I spent a good part of the day yesterday trying not to think about what I read in Salon.