Columnist and Author Amity Shlaes Warns of Skyrocketing Inflation in St. Louis Speech (Video)

Columnist and author Amity Shlaes spoke to the College Republicans at the University of Missouri St. Louis today. In this clip Amity takes down a campus leftist on tax cuts and warns about skyrocketing inflation in America’s future.

Amity Shlaes is the author of The Forgotten Man.
Newt Gingrich wrote this about Amity’s bestseller:

This is a remarkable book which will forever change your understanding of the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s role and the lessons to be learned from government intervention.

Amity Shlaes makes a compelling case that Hoover and Roosevelt actually lengthened the Depression. They did this, Shlaes argues, by following bad monetary policy, which further deflated the currency, and by raising tariff barriers, which broke up world trade and reduced economic activity everywhere.

Shlaes makes the best case I have seen that business confidence is the key to economic expansion and that each step of the New Deal was a further blow to business confidence.

From her webpage:
In The Forgotten Man, Amity Shlaes takes us back to show us how the roots of our disillusionment can be found in a single election year, 1936. In that year, Franklin Roosevelt systematically established the modern political constituency, from unions to artists, to senior citizens. Roosevelt’s solution was to spend for these groups, so extensively that federal spending that year outpaced state and local spending, for the first time ever in peacetime. The consequence was the Roosevelt landslide of 1936 –but also the modern entitlement trap.

Amity spoke for 40 minutes and answered several questions from the audience. She will be speaking at another event here in the area tonight. It was an honor to listen to this revolutionary author and chat with her in person at a St. Louis campus.


My brother took these notes from Amity’s talk today:

Notes from Amity Shlaes presentation today at UMSTL –

Author of “The Forgotten Man – A New History of the Great Depression’

Began noting that we currently have basically 10% unemployment and the Dow dipped below 10K last week

Describing the Great Depression in one word she called it ‘monopoly’ – based on the fact that this board game started during this time and many people played it while listening to FDR’s fireside chats on the radio

The current picture from some economists of the Great Depression is that FDR gave us new central bank regulations which cured the economy – not necessarily true

FDR was restless and in pain physically and it may have showed in his policies – cited story about how haphazard the gold standard was set by FDR daily

Taxes were increased in Great Depression

There was a belief that spending and taxes were good for business

In early 1900’s communities, churches and state governments took care of people and federal government had much less influence

Now federal government is huge and does it really have a monopoly on efficiency and compassion?

The military hasn’t grown as much as the federal government’s non military areas

What happened then that is like today –

A discretion on the dollar – it is a tool to use – some egos involved

Increase in taxes – Bush tax cuts will soon expire – Obama sees taxes are a fun tool

Arrogance in the key players with a lack of challenging their actions

Labor was influential force in the administration (citing Wagner Act in 1930’s) which led to unrealistic increase in wages and a drag on the economy much like public sector wages today

Another example of labor’s influence on unrealistic wages is the card check legislation being proposed in union shops where election votes are made public

Another example of labor’s influence was the Cadillac tax being proposed in health care where the union gets special treatment

Stimulus –

Stimulus is not a good word – analogy of patient with illness not being treated by blood transfusion but looks good for a couple days after the transfusion – is activity really adding to productivity

The cash for clunkers may have just encouraged people who were planning to shop for cars next year to buy now

Taxes –

Rich people buy and invest and many times create jobs

Supply sometimes creates demand

Our tax system has a civic problem in that lower earners pay no taxes

Paying taxes gives an earner a say in government and the incentive to check how the government is spending an individual’s money

Every year more lower earners pay less in taxes

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