Unemployment - EC354

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Lesson[edit]

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Unemployment
Course: Course - Easy Chair Series
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 52
Length: 0:55:14
TapeCode: ec354
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Easy Chair Series.jpg

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission.


This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 354, January 9, 1996.

Our subject is now a rather grim one, but one we have got to face, unemployment. It is a growing problem. The last two years have seen an increasing number of people losing jobs. These have been substantially older people. At first people over 50 were expendable. Now it is dropping down to the low 40s and 40. One of the reasons for this is that to hire a man of that age means he is eligible for more benefits, that they are costlier. Unemployment compensation, the health insurance, retirement and so on.

Of course, many corporations are getting rid of tens of thousands of peoples by making as many as possible part time employees, which means that many of them cannot survive on what they offer to pay them. By making all but a handful part time employees it means that they do not have to pay benefits for those people and they can afford them. This is partly due to the long, long history of wage increases and inflation which has made the worker overpaid in terms of his productivity and in which case also there have been more than the job requires.

I know an engineer told me that there were in his case with a large corporation twice as many as engineers as were needed. And he said, “As long as we were getting fat federal contracts the corporation could overload the work staff, play games trying to develop this or that and get an ... a bit ahead of the competition by putting a lot of people on special projects. But,” he said, “we can no longer afford to do that.” So a great many jobs have been lost that way. [00:03:07]

Then over regulation has meant the loss of jobs...[edit]

Then over regulation has meant the loss of jobs. Again, taxes have so increased that the margin f profit has been greatly narrowed. It used to be some, a few years after the war six percent was calculated to be the average rate of profit for business. Now it is far, far lower than that. I have heard as low as two percent.

So this has been a very serious problem. Then insurance is another problem. And I am sure you men can add other reasons in a minute or two why unemployment has increased. The cost of insurance is prohibitive. In the January 8, 1996 US News and World Report there is this article on page 39.

“Several years ago,” and I am quoting, “Texas trial lawyer Joe {?} was conducting a deposition in his penthouse office in Houston. In the hot seat was a top executive from a chemical company that was being sued by {?} clients for its involvement in an alleged toxic dump. During a break in the deposition the executive wandered over to a credenza and picked up a clear acrylic paperweight with a small piece of paper incased inside. The paper was a bank deposit slip for three billion, billion, no million, part of the 10 and a half billion judgment {?} won for Pennzoil and its 1987 battle against Texaco.

“Cowboy {?} drawled to the executive, ‘Don’t let this happen to your company.’ The chemical manufacturer soon took {?} advice and decided to settle the case.

“Even though the company claimed no wrong doing, its choice was quite easy.”

And it goes on to cite what the cost of the suit would have been for them.

As a result, victories are won by plaintiffs where no injustice exists, where the scientific evidence is clearly against the person suing. I am not saying there are not legitimate cases. What it am saying is that today the attitude of insurance companies is: juries will always give the money because they figure the company will pay because it is well insured.

However, this raises insurance costs for all of us so that even for a group like Chalcedon which is hardly involved in anything that is risky, the insurance costs are great. For anyone starting a business, there are almost prohibitive. And a man has to have been very provident and saved for a long time in order to pay just the insurance costs of going into business. [00:06:56]

So the job market is narrowed...[edit]

So the job market is narrowed. There are many, many people now who call me who say, “I have been out of work for a while. I thought I would mortgage the house or sell the house and try to go into business.” And then they tell me why they can’t afford it. They cannot afford it. They feel they have a 50-50 chance of making it, but they cannot afford it.

In most businesses it takes a couple of years before you turn a profit. And if in the couple of years you have very, very high costs in the form of insurance, you are in trouble.

So we have a major crisis. And, of course, there are other things that we can go into such as the debt that the federal government, private companies and people at large are overwhelmed with and debt is destroying people, companies, the country and the economy.

Douglas, you know a great deal more about this than I do. Why don’t you take your time and share with us what you know?

[Murray] Well, I have had a recent experience of at 61 years old of being out of a job and it took me about two or three days to make up my mind to go into business for myself, again, after not being in business for myself for about, oh, probably 20 years. But the start up costs of a business, unless you have got money saved, unless you have got cash the odds are greatly stacked against you. Unless you have got cash to pay the... you have got have a minimum of one million dollar business liability insurance policy. Plus you have got to be able to buy your equipment and fixtures and so forth and to go into debt for that, I... you... you are almost ensuring that you are going to fail. I don’t care what kind of business you are in. [00:09:15]

But some... some of the factors that have driven this unemployment thing is that people fail to see the implications of technology. Within the past night or two on the local PBS station there was a very telling illustration of this in the documentary of how the new Boeing 777 airplane was designed and put into production. One of the things that they said in there, which if I were a young person planning on making a career out of being a pilot, I would give second thoughts about doing that is one of the things that they said was that the computers on 777 that the airplane could almost fly itself. Well, when they are that close, you know they are going in that direction. And I would venture to predict that within a lifetime or less we will see commercial air travel that is totally automated. You will get into this device. It will take off, computerized and it will fly computerized and it will land computerized. We called them... in World War II they called them drone airplane where they didn’t want to send a live pilot into a particular situation. But if you take a look at all of the national safety, transportation safety board findings on airplane crashes, commercial airplane crashes, they almost always lay the blame for the crash on pilot error.

Now this is going to have to have a powerful influence on the direction of engineering of commercial aircraft. But which is a digression, but basically we have to recognize that technology is moving faster and faster. Technology begets more technology. Industries that have difficulty managing large numbers of people because of the increase in government regulation which says that you must give people time off for maternity leave and you must give them time off for this, that and the other. Small businesses cannot survive losing key people for any long periods of time. And I can’t tell you how many contractors and business people that have talked to in recent years that say, “If I could just back to being a sole proprietorship again, I think, I would be happy.” They said, “If I was just a guy with a tool box working out of his pickup truck, I would be happy.” I wouldn’t have to deal with all of the ... being an unpaid tax collector, having to be counselor and social director to a bunch of people who will refuse to take responsibility for their own lives.

[Voice] Yeah. [00:12:26]

[Murray] And today local small contractors up here...[edit]

[Murray] And today local small contractors up here cannot afford to hire a fellow who is over about 28 years old, particularly if he is married and has a family, because the insurance costs would eliminate any possibility of his making a profit, eliminate it, along with the taxation in the insurance cost.

So this is what is driving the unemployment figures is that small business people who comprise 80 percent of... or more of all of the jobs that are out there in our economy simply can’t afford to have employees.

[Voice] Government regulation, civil government regulation.

[Murray] Well, they are... yeah, they are forcing each individual entrepreneur to become a social service agency.

[Voice] That is right.

[Murray] ... to provide, in effect, government benefits without the government having to take the blame for it.

[Voice] Absolutely.

[Murray] ... they take... they take... the government takes all of the credit for passing this legislation, but they take none of the responsibility. What a great object lesson and... and what a great example the government sets for each individual citizen in this country when the government will not take responsibility for the laws that it passes. It won’t provide the funding and it wants to lay all of this responsibility on the individual entrepreneur. And they have so loaded people down to the point that a lot of people who have the ability simply don’t go into business.

[Voice] And you are really saying the civil government is generating unemployment.

[Murray] Sure they are.

[Voice] That is what you are saying long term. People need to understand that. That is precisely correct.

You know, another thing that I was... I was going to mention is her we get at a root problem, something that Rush has written about a number of years ago and maybe more recently, a spirit of decapitalization, non long term, very short term, non provident way of looking at things. Unemployment, like everything else, is a religious phenomenon and decapitalization and this spirit of short term benefits for short term labor and not stressing the human element in the work and that sort of thing, a consumption economy rather than a production economy. That, too, of course, generates unemployment and we are seeing the effects of it is about us all about us. [00:15:02]

[Murray] Well, corporations used to have five year...[edit]

[Murray] Well, corporations used to have five year plans. Now that is ... that is an anachronism.

[Voice] That is right.

[Murray] I mean, it is ludicrous to plan five years ahead. The CEOs of corporations, major corporations today live or die by what happens in the next 90 days.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Murray] And everybody wonders why all of these major corporations have this army of lobbyists, because the ... the... the entire economic landscape can be turned upside down within one session of Congress.

[Voice] That is right.

[Murray] And that is the reason this army of lobbyists are out there is they are damage control experts. They try to blunt or divert the direction of the Congress in... in any way that ... that would be detrimental to the economic well being of a major corporation. People don’t understand why these people are out there. That is their purpose. They are... they are. .they are life guards for the corporation.

[Voice] Douglas said on one point that we have got to recognize that there is some legitimate unemployment temporarily when there is technological change. It was that way in the beginning of the industrial revolution. Now we are in what is the so-called information revolution. But it doesn’t mean that people can’t get jobs. It means the jobs are shifted. So I think we have to introduce that note of some legitimacy, although it should not be long term.

[Murray] Well people need to look ahead and whatever industry they are in, they need to look well into the future and they need to read as much as they can lay their hands on about whatever activity that the... the business that they are involved in whatever is coming down the pike, because unless you can see these trends coming a ways off, you are going to get swallowed up by them, like auto workers did.

[Voice] That is right.

[Murray] Like all the various end of the steel industry, the lumber industry, the mining industry...

[Voice] Right.

[Murray] ... all of these major resource based industries and producers in this country. I don't think that there is one in 1000 workers at the... at the mill level or at the ... at the bottom saw what was coming until it washed over them like a wave. And nobody told them, not the government.

[Voice] That is right.

[Murray] Nobody told them.

[Voice] Well, years ago, as you know, a man would get out of high school, possibly go to college and have a job his entire lifetime. What are the latest figures on how many times a person will... it is seven, I think. The average person will change jobs seven times. I may be off there, but it isn’t it something like that?

[Murray] At least.

[Voice] Yeah, it is something like that.

[Murray] At least.

[Voice] I think, too, if you are talking about the causes of unemployment you have to look at the causes of employment. You touched on capital. Well, on a personal level and a government level we have done everything to destroy capital and create an economy based upon debt.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] But private property and freedom to use that property has declined. And whenever that ... you interfere with those elements that create jobs and create employment, you are creating unemployment. [00:18:04]

[Murray] Well, most people have figured out by now...[edit]

[Murray] Well, most people have figured out by now that the government is lying to us about the rate of inflation. The bank pays you somewhere between one and two percent interest on a savings account. The government depreciates the purchasing power of every dollar you save at a real rate of about 13 percent and then they lie to you and tell you that the inflation rate is only around thee or four percent when, in fact, they have taken most of the cost of living factors out of the consumer price index so that they, for political reasons, they can make you think that they have inflation under control.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] You know this is... this is... excuse me. This area we are living in is a whole mining area. Few if any mines in the entire mother load region are... are ... are now operating on any kind of a scale other than a one man operation here and there. But in the last century when this area was built on mining all you had to do was own the property or sometimes lease the property from the owner and you had to come up with the engineers and the capital to open up that mine. You didn’t have to ask anybody for permission. In fact, it was many years before some... some of the counties began saying, “We would like a map of your workings in case there is a mine accident.” And some counties like Calaveras if any maps were submitted they never bothered to keep them.

But you didn’t have to ask anybody’s permission to go into business. It was up to you. It was your capital.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] It was your property. It is your risk.

[Voice] Absolutely.

[Voice] And today, to open up a simple little business it costs you a tremendous... because it has to go through a lengthy review process even to build a building today requires a lengthy review process. We had to get everybody’s approval and a check off including Indian groups to make sure there weren’t any Indian ruins on our property of any kind of anything and... of archeological value that we might be destroying when we built a 3800 square foot building.

[Voice] Political hatred of property in this country and it has been that way for many years.

[Voice] And the destruction of freedom.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] You can’t create jobs if you are not free to go into business.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] And... and ultimately...

[multiple voices]

[Voice] Property and freedom go together.

[Voice] Your... your freedom to go into business and to earn a living is one of your fundamental freedoms.

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] You mentioned mining. The case of the Sonora gold mine is very interesting because before they could start any mining they had to spend something like 30 million dollars to satisfy all the environmental and regulatory concerns. Then when the price of gold dropped, they could have continued, but with the increasing pressure and attempt to impose new restrictions on them, they finally gave up and quit this past year.

[Murray] You know... you know how what... political maneuver they use in order to get operating at all? They borrowed 80 million dollars from the Bank of America and then when the heat came on from the EPA, they said to the Bank of America, you want to get your money back? You act as our intermediary here so we can get the necessary permits.

[Rushdoony] Good, smart.

[Murray] They didn’t need all that money. [00:21:44]

[Voice] The... you talked about factories, jobs closing down. Another problem is businessmen today, seeing the political climate investors will and corporations will buy a company figuring on the short term, not the long term. We are going to buy this and either strip it of its assets or we are going to operate it for a short term to make a profit and if the government shuts us down, we sell it or we... we abandon it.

[Rushdoony] Yeah.

[Voice] And... and we take whatever we can get out of it short term and we take it and we put it somewhere else where we can make some money here in the next two or three years and then we will take our money out. And they don’t care if this mill is shut down or this factory is shut down, because they are long gone. And there it sits idle.

[Voice] We don’t want to forget, too, men, owner’s taxation. I mean, it is capital gains taxes will... essentially are penalizing people. And the whole idea of a capital gains tax is if you are able to capitalize well you are penalized for it. And that is the spirit of decapitalization we talked about.

I wrote down, too, we need to be fair. There are many good employers out there. Some people are unemployed simply because they don’t work hard. And when we live in a culture where there is a great deal of laziness and people expect a hand out all the time, this isn’t true of many workers, perhaps not even true of most of them, but I have had experiences with people like that. And I think that is a factor that we need to take into account.

[Voice] I think, too, regarding regulations, not only big government, it is not only the EPA and ... and federal regulations or even state regulations. A lot of times it is local regulators right down to the person next door who says...

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] I don’t want this next to my...

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] I ... I... I don’t want you to build that on your property.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] So I am going to cause a stink and I am going to accuse you of all kinds of things and you are going got destroy this or destroy that.

[Voice] Right.

[Voice] And everybody wants to regulate. Everybody who buys a place in the country wants to think they are the last house that is going to be built in the country and nobody should interfere with my view.

[Voice] That is right.

[Murray] Yeah, if you want a view, buy more land.

[Voice] That is exactly right.

[Rushdoony] Well, yes, go ahead.

[Voice] No, I wasn’t... go ahead, Rush. [00:23:59]

[Rushdoony] I have had some people who are Chalcedon...[edit]

[Rushdoony] I have had some people who are Chalcedon friends tell me that with their little businesses they no longer hire anybody from the outside to work for them. They can’t afford it. The least little criticism or correction they can file suit against them. They can charge them with absurd things like sexual harassment when no such thing existed, anything to make trouble. So they rely on their wife or their daughters to come in after school and to help out for an hour or two and they get buy that way. So the job market is being reduced because the employer has become so highly vulnerable and this is deadly. When employees regard ... are regarded by employers as a threat rather than a help...

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] ... you have a crisis. And it is a growing crisis because people are afraid of their employees.

[Murray] I think there is probably in all of this there is an unintended long term benefit and that is that it is going to force families together.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] Because families are going to have to... if they... you know, if there is a family business then all of the family members are going to have to pull together and work in it in order to make it survive. And you see some instances of this here locally like the local feed store, the Spence family. All of the boys work in that ... in that business and they are doing well because they all pull together and I think that is something that a lot of other people need to emulate.

[Rushdoony] Well, you can go to some places in town that used to be open during the noon hour because they had some older woman come in and run things while they went out for lunch. Now they close for the noon hour.

[Voice] I don’t think we need to forget, too, that this wicked idea of guaranteed minimum wage, of course, produces unemployment.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] The Democrats have been crying for the last 10, 20 years. Let’s raise the minimum wage. That sounds so nice and pretty, but what it really means is that people that maybe don't have as many... as much skills are going to be kept out of work and it is going to be an... a heavy burden on the employer. Minimum wage is evil and it causes unemployment.

[Rushdoony] Well, we have a problem. It is affecting all of us. Some of us are feeling the loss of income by many people, most churches and especially Christian foundations including ours are seeing more and more people unemployed or with a reduced income. And as a result, the income to the organizations is reduced. It is a rather grim and sad thing for me that so often I hear from somebody who has been a very faithful supporter that they can no longer support us because their plant has closed down and their position is ended and being 50 or 60 or thereabouts there are no jobs available of them in their industry. It is a very trying situation. And some of these men have been more than two years without work and, of course, after I believe, it is, six months, they are no longer regarded as unemployed because their unemployment insurance runs out. [00:28:11]

There is an interesting facet to all of this...[edit]

There is an interesting facet to all of this. With the growing unemployment, with the growing number whose income is reduced, we see at the same time the chief executive officers of some of the top corporations receiving the highest recorded salaries in American history. This seems very unjust. On the other hand, while I was horrified when I first read about some of the salaries running into the millions that are being paid out, I am reading everything I could on the subject I learned a little more. These officers who become the CEOs of these corporations were at some smaller company and either through their own ability or some set of circumstances, they developed something and a huge advance is made, more sales, more profits and so on. And the major corporations are so desperate that they will offer these people fantastic sums in the hopes that they can repeat the miracle.

Well, all they can do is to be ruthless. And so there is a problem developing because so much is expected of these new chief executive officers. They are expected to work miracles. The stock holders and the board of trustees expects it and at the same time there is a hostility on the part of people in the corporation because by comparison they are doing so poorly, and by the public at large who cannot understand why a CEO could ever be worth such a sum. [00:30:25]

[Murray] Well, there is a reason for that...[edit]

[Murray] Well, there is a reason for that. There is a flip side to that. These guys won’t take the jobs because they know that their turn at the wheel is going to be pretty short.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] Because it is going to be determined by performance and if they happen to come on board at a time when there are financial factors that are running against the company which are beyond their control, they are going to be out...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] ...after the next shareholders meeting or board of directors meeting they are going to be out. So they become like sports athletes. You know, they hire star baseball player because he hits a lot of homeruns. Well, if the CEO doesn’t hit homeruns then they trade him to another team.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] Well, we have got to remember, too, that we believe in free market economics and if the government, civil government stays out of it, the market tends to adjust itself. And what happens, when you have all these inflated salaries, this... and this would be that way in... in sports, as a matter of fact. I think we are going to see in professional sports, especially three major sports some real changes over the next few years precisely because of that. I mean, people eventually will quit paying that sort of money. They can’t pay that sort of money. And so in time these things we are talking about tend to adjust themselves, I believe.

[Murray] Well, do you know how much it costs to go to a football game?

[Voice] Oh, It is just unconscionable. It is.

[Murray] Well...

[Voice] It is talked that that is one of the reasons it is hard to make money and, of course, some of them have come up with... with new rules about salary caps and so forth.

[Voice] Yeah exactly.

[Voice] And that is one of the reasons so many teams are trying to change locations, because some team that will... a city that wants them will say...

[Voice] The market has got to be big enough.

[Voice] Yeah, we will give you a new stadium. We will give you this. We will give you that if you will come here. So they go there because they are losing money.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Voice] So this is... it is a shot in the arm.

[Voice] That is exactly right.

[Murray] Yeah, but when the fans are out of a job or when the fans are working at a fast food restaurant and they are making barely alive to keep themselves alive and can’t afford...

[Voice] That is right.

[Murray] ... to go to these sports events. Then that is when the ...

[Voice] Absolutely.

[Murray] ... the deflation will take place.

[Voice] Absolutely. When the fans finally stand up and say, “We are not going to pay those prices,” fine.

[Murray] Yeah. You have got nothing but empty seats in these major stadiums.

[Voice] It is amazing how...

[Murray] ... {?} those big salaries.

[Voice] That will adjust those salaries very quickly. That is right. And this is true not only in sports, but in the rest of the economy. If we get rid of government regulation, if you just let the economy work.

[Murray] Well, they... they... they haven’t caught on to the idea, you know, it is funny. You watch them. They figure, ok, we will... we will pas these regulations and this will make it better. But the result is it gets worse.

[Voice] That is right.

[Murray] But they don't get the message.

[Voice] That is right.

[Murray] They say, “Ok, we didn’t pass the right regulation. So the second time we will pass a different set of regulations and this will fix the problem.”

[Voice] Yeah.

[Murray] And then till time goes by and it gets worse.

[Voice] The cure is worse than the disease. Yeah. [00:33:18]

[Murray] And they never ...[edit]

[Murray] And they never ... they never sense the... the direction of the trend.

[Voice] That is right.

[Murray] And nobody can reverse themselves. Nobody in government can admit that they have gone in the wrong direction.

[Rushdoony] Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] There are a lot of mad men.

[Voice] That is right. Well, government regulations are around in this area because like government subsidies because people want guarantees against failure. And I mean Chalcedon doesn’t have that. I mean, we have to rely on the gifts of... we have to... that keeps us on our toes all the time. We have got to put out a good product and help people and applying the faith in all areas of life. But that is a whole other topic, but that is something we need to... to recognize, too.

[Rushdoony] Well, we have looked at the problem. Let’s consider among other things some of the remedies. And here I have to go back in time to the Great Depression from 1929 on. It was only ended by our entrance into the war creating an artificial economic boom. And ever since we have postponed a return to that Great Depression by inflation. We keep adding free money to the economy.

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] Well, one of the things that happened with the Depression was something that the banks are trying to avoid now. There were entire new subdivisions that were empty within a short time. Everybody lost their place. The banks took them. And this time, of course, the banks are saying to people, “If you can make any kind of payment, we will keep you on... in your home, because we don’t want a lot of property. We don’t know what to do with it.”

But with the Depression there were so many people who were jobless, who had no place to go except home to their parents. And so I knew a great many families in the neighborhood, through acquaintances and all where the son came home with his bride and children and another son then cam back so that they occupied their old rooms and the kids slept in the halls. And they somehow made do. [00:36:14]

[Murray] There is a very important lesson in that,...[edit]

[Murray] There is a very important lesson in that, a very important lesson in that, and that is the that the kids had debt and the parents didn’t have any.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] And so there was a home to go to.

[Voice] Absolutely.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Now the parents are in debt.

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] They have upgraded their housing too many times.

[Voice] Absolutely.

[Rushdoony] But at that time the net effect of it was a return to fundamentals. The people in this country started attending church more. The crime rate dropped surprisingly. Everybody expected it to go up. But at that time you could go out and do anything and nobody interfered with you. Any kind of work.

[Murray] And if you are working two jobs you haven't got time to get in trouble.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] But there were no regulations preventing people from getting jobs.

To give you a modern example, we all know him. One of our group used to be a construction worker for years and with preferential racial hiring he and others who were white could no longer work. Supposedly it was still fair. He and others like him would be rotated. But when their turn came up they would be sent out on a job that was half a day or two or three days. Whereas the minorities would get the long major construction jobs and be working for months.

Now what he could have done was to go out on unemployment compensation. But instead he took to peddling various things on the sidewalks and selling things also at highway crossings. And he has been hassled endlessly.

[Voice] They don't want that. They don’t want peddlers.

[Rushdoony] They don’t want that.

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] They don't’ want peddlers. One sheriff who had him arrested and put in jail I wrote to and I said, “Now here is a man and I said—you can check the records and I will help you check them and get them—who has... who could be on welfare, legitimately. But the doesn’t want to be on welfare. He wants to earn money and here he is out working. And you are preventing him from working.”

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] He is doing no ill. He is trying to have gainful employment.

[Voice] That is right. [00:39:17]

[Rushdoony] Well, that is what we are doing now...[edit]

[Rushdoony] Well, that is what we are doing now. What can a man do? At every turn he is hampered.

I recall in Detroit when the Depression hit there in New York and Chicago and elsewhere there were men on street corners selling apples to people who were coming out of the buildings to go to lunch. And they would sell a crate or so of apples for five cents a piece and they would make fair money doing that. Jobs were scarce. People were ready to work for next to nothing. I know here in California when we came back from Detroit to the farm, farm workers were working for nine and 10 cents an hour. Nobody was saying anything about that being unfair. The farm workers were glad to get it. And sometimes the farmers could not afford to pay that much so that the farmer and his children and his nephews and nieces all went into the fields together to work. Or they hired neighborhood children for a nickel or a dime a day just to help out.

I know that I picked grapes for my uncle one time when the grapes were selling for one dollar a ton, one dollar a ton. They were going to be used to make wine. They could not be sold any other way, either green or as raisins. So all of us in the family went there not to be paid, because we were doing it for nothing. And he was having to truck the grapes to the winery himself. But things like that could not be done today. There would be child labor laws preventing it and a host of other things.

So there were ways of seeing your way through the difficult times at that time that do not now exist.

[Voice] Most laws that... that regulatory laws that have some basis in ... in fact. They have some basis which they were intended at one time to correct a particular evil. But what regulatory laws usually do in regulation is they hamper freedom.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] And so ultimately trying to correct a wrong, they are trying to correct injustice, they create injustice.

[Voice] That is exactly right.

[Voice] And when men aren’t free that in itself is an injustice.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] And men aren’t free today.

[Voice] I was with Steve Schlissel recently and some of the streets in New York City, the only peddlers, I mean, besides prostitutes, permitted there on the sidewalk are book peddlers because of the First Amendment. Because it... but everybody else... everybody else will be thrown off, he said. But whenever some of the shop keepers try to... or others try to ... to get these book dealers thrown off, they just cry about their First Amendment rights. [00:42:54]

So I think that is a very telling point...[edit]

So I think that is a very telling point.

[Rushdoony] Yes, very sad, too.

[Voice] Very sad.

[Murray] Probably selling pornography.

[Voice] Well, various things, yeah.

[Rushdoony] Well, there used to be another remedy that was common in the Depression. The women would go and call at various places, for example, a walnut plant. And they would get several sacks of walnuts delivered to their home and they would then sit down and crack those nuts. They would do it at their rate and at their time. The idea was to get as many perfect halves as possible and you can be very efficient at doing that once you get the hang of it. Those were more prized, for various reasons. Although they would take the others at a lesser price.

And many years later, because that continued after the Depression and after World War II, that was outlawed on supposedly sanitary grounds. Never a problem that was created by that, but it was outlawed.

So one area after another where people function in their homes and in some instances handicapped people were able to do such things in their homes has been banned to the American people.

[Voice] I would like to introduce what may be a... a controversial topic. It certainly is among conservatives. How many at the table agree that jobs should not be shipped overseas, that is, they basically defend protectionism. Some people believe that that is one of the main causes of unemployment. Back in Ohio there was a large caterpillar plant that had problems with the union and eventually the management just said, “Hey, we can go to, I think it was Japan and get cheaper labor.” Do you think we should embrace protectionism or have a so... so-called global free market economy? What ... what are the sentiments here?

[Rushdoony] I am a strong opponent of the free market idea because it is a utopian idea that presupposes a world without sin. It presupposes a world without borders. After all, if we are a free market and other countries are protectionist,... [00:45:41]

[multiple voices]...[edit]

[multiple voices]

[Rushdoony] There is going to be a disadvantage.

[multiple voices]

[Murray] It is the Trojan horse of the ... what is currently called ... which is a buzz word term for Socialism is called economic democracy and it... it really is the Trojan horse of the Socialists who want to depress the economy in the United States by forcing so much regulation, for instance, on the mining industry, the mining industry now has moved out of the United States and gone to Central and South America. Through the spotted owl and, you know, all these particular species, so-called species protection, environmental species act, they have shut down the timber industry and now the timber in Siberia is now coming on to the world market.

They shut down the steel industry and that went over to North ... to South Korea. And they started South Korea is the major ship builder in the world. So all of these various industries that have left the United States as a result of regulation, I mean, it is just... I can’t believe that it is by happenstance.

[Voice] {?} free market economy.

[Murray] I can’t believe that this is just some accident of ... of political history. There has to be some intent behind this consistent move...

[Voice] Yes.

[Murray] ...to... to move industry out of the United States.

[Voice] The... Excuse me.

[Rushdoony] Go ahead.

[Voice] The reason a free market can... is... is... works, say, within the United States. Of course, we don’t really... we are talking how we don’t have a free market, but if you ... if we go back and... and basically that the freedom to go into business and ... and no trade barriers. The reason it works in the United States is because Californians know that what is good for California is good for New York and Florida. So to have no trade barriers across state lines is good for everyone in the United States. And what is good for one section of the United States, obviously is good for another, because we have the common interests of the people of our nation at heart.

If you take that same rationale, it doesn’t apply to foreign countries. Foreign countries do not have the best interest of the United States at heart. And there is no reason why we have to have the economic best interest of foreign countries at heart in our economic policy. [00:48:09]

[Voice] So that and ...[edit]

[Voice] So that and {?} or GATT and NAFTA, I should say, are bad ideas, right?

[Murray] Well...

[Voice] One way in which the ... we like to play our politics ... politicians like to play god is they like to... to manipulate other people. And we were on an echelon up here as far as our economy for a period of time and they have been trying to push us down and bring others up in the name of economic opportunity and one way they could do it is to make sure that as many of our jobs as possible go. And ... and their rationale is that we have ... if we have these economic ties, we are all going to get along and we are all going to be able to manipulate each other.

[multiple voices]

[Voice] So there is a sort of internationalism underlying this.

[Voice] Yes.

[Murray] No matter what you call it, it all boils down to Socialism.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Murray] Whether it is economic democracy or whatever it is. And GATT, the NAFTA, these are all Trojan horses...

[multiple voices]

[Voice] And they use conservative terms such as free trade to ...

[Voice] ... to basically manipulate.

[multiple voices]

[Murray] They are sleeping tablet buzz words that are used to keep people asleep thinking that everything is ok, that the government is taking care of them.

[Rushdoony] see tow motives behind all of this. The first is the one world order. We are going to open up the whole world so that every nation is open to all others. And then, second, not all together in tune with the first, but held by the same people. These advocates want environmental purity for America. They want us to be a virgin country again with the forests growing freely and untouched by loggers and so on so that while we have a vast area of forest land in this country and the forest lands have increased steadily for the past 100 years and the laws require that when you cut certain types of trees you replant so much, in some cases two for every one cut.

That doesn't satisfy them. Somehow they are going to make the United States a virgin area again. So let those people overseas whom we regard as a lower breed, cut down their forests for us. It doesn’t matter to us who are wealthy if the poor can no longer afford to build homes. After all, whatever they have is good enough for them.

[Murray] Well, they see it as a win, win situation. The Russians don’t have to ship the logs so far. They ship them over to Japan so Japan can make boxes out of them to ... to ship the VCRs back the United States in. They just don’t have to haul those timbers so far. [00:51:21]

But they, you know, we are talking people ...[edit]

But they, you know, we are talking people ... it is too easy to become hypnotized by the symptoms. You know, unemployment is a symptom. It is a symptom of all of the government regulation, the green movement are simply a group of people who are being used and manipulated as a tool to gain the ends of the international Socialists who want to enforce this economic democracy on ... on everybody.

[Rushdoony] It is a symptom of all that and also of a fraudulent money.

[Murray] Well I see that the... this week they have begun introducing the new 100 dollar bill. No big fanfare, but the new 100 dollar bill is coming on the market and it is... it sports a larger picture of Benjamin Franklin on it. And it is, you know, we get all of this baloney about, well, it is going to cut down counterfeiting and it is going to make it more difficult for the drug lords to launder their money.

[Voice] Oh, brother.

[Murray] That is baloney.

[Voice] Yeah.

[Voice] Because the game here is to flood... how do we know how many hundred dollar bills are being put into circulation? You never get the numbers. Is it one for one? Do they take an old hundred dollar bill out and replace it with a new hundred dollar bill? They don't say anything about that. So here is a very easy way to inflate the money supply without anybody catching them.

[Rushdoony] It is also creating a crisis in Russia in that a great many Russians have kept their savings in hundred dollar bills which they buy. And now they are afraid that as with Russia’s past history, we are going to disown the hold hundred dollar bills and they cannot believe any statement to the contrary. So it is creating havoc with the economy there.

[Voice] Remember the Susan B. Anthony dollar.

[multiple voices]

[Rushdoony] About a year or so ago they talked about trying to recirculate that, but I haven't seen a one.

[Voice] No.

[Murray] Melt it down. They jammed up a lot of parking meters with those things.

[Rushdoony] Yeah.

Well, our time is about up. Is there a last comment or so that any of you would like to make? [00:54:04]

[Voice] I will make one...[edit]

[Voice] I will make one. Get out of debt.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Voice] Debt is evil in most circumstances, except for emergencies and that sort of thing. And Christians, of all people, should be those who are not debt living people, but are free men and free women.

[Murray] And if you are...if you are not sure whether or not you are in trouble or not, the yardstick is if you can’t pay off your credit cards every 30 days...

[Voice] That is right.

[Murray] You are in trouble.

[Voice] Absolutely.

[Rushdoony] Yes, and I have been saying for a good many years since World War II to a great many people, “Get out of debt.”

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] As a religious effort.

[Voice] Absolutely.

[Rushdoony] And I am glad that some have.

[Voice] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Well, our time is about up. Thank you all for listening and God bless you.