Keynes v. Hayek II

Lead: The work of Friedrich August Hayek represented an acute, powerful intellectual rebellion against the growing power of state involvement in the lives of citizens and commerce, but he was no classical liberal.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Adherents to the Austrian approach to economics and its champion, Ludwig von Mises, rose to intellectually challenge the rise of the state, particularly the two great experiments in state dominance over individual life and the marketplace, Communism and Nazism. Von Mises’s most influential acolyte was Nobel Memorial Laureate Friedrich August Hayek. His premier insight in political economy was that as the involvement of the state grew, the reach of individual freedom was circumscribed and the productive, creative contribution of the marketplace to the general prosperity of society as a whole was compromised.

 

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Keynes v. Hayek I

Lead: They represent two distinct approaches to political economy. John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich August von Hayek are perhaps the most influential economists of the modern era.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Lord Bertrand Russell, himself no slouch among the intelligentsia of the 20th century, said John Maynard Keynes’s “intellect was the sharpest and clearest that I have ever known. When I argued with him, I felt that I took my life in my hands, and I seldom emerged without feeling something of a fool.”

 

 

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John Kennedy Loses the Vice-Presidency

Lead: In 1956 a little known Senator from Massachusetts suddenly emerged on the national scene by losing.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1956 there was little doubt in party circles about who the Democrats would nominate for President. If he wanted it Adlai Stevenson of Illinois could again run against President Eisenhower. The question was who he would chose as a running mate. Jack Kennedy, Senator from Massachusetts considered the race. Some of his advisors, most especially his father, Ambassador Joseph Kennedy, were skeptical. Assuming that Stevenson would lose, the defeat might be attributed to Jack's Catholicism. Also, despite his wealth, physical attractiveness, and stunning victory over Henry Cabot Lodge for the Senate, Kennedy's career had been rather lack-luster to that point and was considered by many to be a political light-weight.
All that changed when the freshly re-nominated Stevenson threw the convention into chaos by declining to name a running mate. The Kennedy competitive juices began to flow and his forces at the Chicago convention jumped into action. There were five candidates but the real race was between Kennedy and Tennessee's Estes Kefauver. By the second ballot Kennedy was ahead but just barely. With the voting so close states previously committed to the other candidates were waving their standards to switch votes. Whoever switched first would probably put one or other over the top.

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Kennedy Gives LBJ the Nod

Lead: The nomination in hand the Senator from Massachusetts needed a running mate who would help him win.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: Wyoming did it, the entire delegation at the 1960 Democratic Convention moved for Kennedy in a single vote and he went over the top. After short talk with his pregnant wife on Cape Cod, a brief appearance in the meeting hall, the nominee motored back through the streets of Los Angeles to his hide-a-way on North Rossmore Boulevard for a well-earned rest. While an aide fixed some eggs Jack Kennedy prepared for bed, the nomination for vice-President very much on his mind. He was a Senator from a northeastern state, perceived as a liberal with little experience. He had seized the nomination often ignoring the wishes of Party elders by a combination of hard work, careful strategy, and the generous distribution of his family's enormous financial resources. He needed balance and he needed it badly.

 

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The Electoral College II

 

Lead: Despite the general disdain with which Americans regard the Electoral College, on balance it has proven to have its good points.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The College tends to decrease, but of course not eliminate, the practice of fraud and corruption by reducing the opportunities for vote swindling to the few states where the vote is very close. The Hayes-Tilden disaster 1876 was utterly corrupt but the fraud was so obvious that it ruined any claim that Hayes had to a mandate and ushered in the long reign of Jim Crow in the South. Fortunately, he turned out to be a better President than the election that gave him the White House might have indicated.

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The Electoral College I

 

Lead: It is among America’s least popular constitutional creations, yet the nation cannot rid itself of the cranky, musty way of electing its President, the Electoral College.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The founders never really intended it to be the way the Chief Executive was elected. They expected it to be an elaborate nominating committee. In a largely rural Republic where distances prevented all but a very few candidates from attaining true national stature, the College would elevate several. They would then be referred to the House of Representatives which would choose the President and Vice-President. After the unanimity of the two elections of George Washington, however, the election of the President degenerated into a series of closely contended cat fights highlighted by the growth of what the founders said they hated most, factions and political parties.

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Wannsee Conference III

Lead: During World War II the Nazi extermination of Jews and other genetically undesirable groups was reduced to banal bureaucratic efficiency.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the summer and early fall of 1941, nearly everywhere German Armies were triumphant. The plains of Russia passed quickly under the tracks of German tanks pressing ever-eastward into the Soviet heartland. In this euphoric period of Nazi hubris when all the world seem to bow in deference to their ambitions, the decision was made to move in a more systematic way to accomplish one of Hitler’s great desires, the total annihilation of the Jewish race and all other groups considered by the Nazis to be genetically inferior.

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Wannsee Conference II

Lead: In January 1942, a group of high-ranking Nazi bureaucrats met in the Berlin suburb of Grosse-Wannsee. Their host was Reinhard Heydrich, affectionately known as der henker, the hangman.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The men were in Wannsee to plan the implementation of one of Adolf Hitler’s great desires: the continent-wide extermination of the Jewish race and all other groups he felt were genetically subhuman. Heydrich’s career as a German Naval Officer had been cut short in 1931 after an aborted flirtation with his civilian superior’s daughter, and he joined the Nazi SS. His talents soon attracted the attention of Heinrich Himmler, and as a result Heydrich’s rise to power was swift and decisive. After the Nazis came to power he helped Himmler consolidate party control over national police forces. By 1939 Heydrich was in charge of the Reich Central Security Office in charge of all police functions including the secret police, the Gestapo.

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