Thought you might like something a little different on this Labor Day. In an interesting look at how university Extension has always used social media to educate folks, here's a cartoon from 1946 from the Economics Extension department of Harding College, now Harding University. This conservative little college in central Arkansas put at the core of its mission teaching fundamental American values, and produced a series of cartoons like the following that extolled the virtues of the American economic system.
At the time, with World War II over, war-weary folks all over the world were looking for new ways to cast off the old and usher in the new. Great Britain, in perhaps one of the most instructive elections in history, cast off the Conservative government of Winston Churchill in favor of the socialist Labour Party. British folks were tired of sacrifice and want, and voted for the folks who promised plenty. In Communist Russia, Joseph Stalin reached his pinnacle of power as his country's victorious repulsion of the German invasion promised a new era of peace and prosperity that the Communists had not been able to achieve in the previous twenty-nine years. China was only a couple of years from the Communist revolution of Mao Zedong, triggered by mass starvation in the wake of the disastrous war with the Japanese and subsequent Chinese civil war with the forces of Chiang Kai-shek.
The economic professors at little Harding College saw all this and, in response to the rise of American socialist and communist parties, decided to tell the story in the way that folks would understand. The result was this entertaining, educational, and stunningly prophetic cartoon entitled "Make Mine Freedom." It's a great view for a slow moment on a Labor Day holiday.
Listen carefully...much of what your hear will sound very familiar to you. In an especially prophetic moment, the seller of ISM promises "...ISM even makes the weather perfect every day!" They must have had their advocates of catastrophic climate change even back then.
The last two-and-a-half minutes are especially startling in the accuracy of its message.Labor and racial strife, crony capitalism, politically-correct public officials, and farm regulation that constrains production are all predicted as the inevitable result of ISM. It seemed humorous and practically impossible in the America of 1946...not so much so in 2014. As we discussed in this note of a couple of years ago, many wood products companies are feeling the pressure of the heavy hand of ISM these days.