Sparks Tribune / 12-28-1997
better life today had President Kennedy lived
life would have been very, very different had President John F. Kennedy
not died in Dallas in 1963. Today, you would be making a lot more money
and living a lot better.
Last week came the revelation
that Oliver Stone got it right and the Oliver Norths of the world got
it wrong. Shortly before his murder, JFK had indeed put the wheels in
motion to remove American troops from Vietnam.
Don't think that affects
you? You would be dead, deadly, deathly wrong.
World War II pulled the
U.S. out of the Great Depression. The post-war Baby Boom was merely
a reflection of the optimism the country felt after the bloodletting
ceased. That rosy outlook fueled an economic flowering the likes of
which have never been seen before or since.
After the war, our tax
policies were progressivethe more you made, the more you paid.
The government spread the wealth through clumsy and often inefficient
spending programs, but the net result was the strongest economy ever.
Cold War fear had a lot
to do with setting our priorities. The interstate freeway system became
a great economic generator, but its origins had little to do with a
needed circulatory implant for a nation with clogged vehicular arteries.
The bill President Eisenhower originally signed created the "Defense
Interstate Highway System," sold to the public as military supply line
and nuclear attack evacuation route.
The U.S. was on a roll
when the dynamic young senator from Massachusetts won the presidency
in 1960. Had Kennedy lived, I think we would have erased our image as
"The Ugly American" around the world. The Peace Corps would have continued
to present a positive American presence, replacing our endless assault
on small, weak nations begun by the Dulles brothers in Guatemala
in 1954. (The war caused by our overthrow of democratically-elected
Guatemalan President Arbenz just ended earlier this year.)
[CORRECTION: These blackguards actually started planning the
1953 overthrow of the democratically-elected government of Iran in 1952,
before Dwight Eisenhower even took office. The roots of corporate imperialism
go back over 100 years. For more, see the 5-30-2004
Barbwire, "A Message from Washington George Washington."
Kennedy's 1961 experience
with the CIA during the Cuban Bay of Pigs invasion left the spy agency
little credibility with the president. A downgrading of third-world
adventurism by the cowboys at the CIA would have meant no Vietnam War
and thus, no President Nixon. Follow the dominoes: No Nixon,
no Henry Kissinger. No Kissinger, no direct White House pipeline
for the Rockefeller oil interests; thus, no 1973 OPEC oil embargo
caused by our stooge, the Shah of Iran. No OPEC crisis, no worsening
of inflation due to skyrocketing gasoline prices.
The Vietnam inflation
and Pres. Gerald Ford's pardon of Nixon made Jimmy Carter
president. Pressured by David Rockefeller and Henry Kissinger,
Carter granted medical asylum to the deposed Shah in 1979, causing the
Iranian hostage crisis and helping elect Ronald Reagan in 1980.
Reagan was also powerfully assisted by a recession caused by Federal
Reserve tight money policy imposed to fight the lingering inflation
started by Vietnam spending.
No Reagan, no redirection
of most of the nation's wealth to the already rich. More money in your
The buying power of the
American consumer peaked in 1968. Had the minimum wage been indexed
for inflation since then, it would stand at well over $7.00 per hour
today. The average worker in this country still does not earn at 1973
In 1966, Pierre
A. Rinfret, the highest-paid economist in the world, said that
through trial and error, we had acquired the rough tools for fine-tuning
our economy. War spending hurled a monkey wrench into the works.
"You may as well throw
dollars into the ocean," Rinfret said of buying military hardware for
the southeast Asian war. (The same applies today. The 1991 Gulf War
so severely disrupted the American economy that it killed a recovery,
put us into the third dip of a triple-dip recession and dis-elected
George Herbert Hoover Bush.)
While money spent on
a freeway generates both jobs and economic vitality, money spent on
a tank produces less than nothing. It not only plows no fields and produces
no crops, but also deprives the warring nations of the productive output
of millions of lives snuffed in the process.
All those deaths, all
that money, all the human, fiscal and psychological capital we wasted.
All the divisions in this country which have never healed. All the homeless
vets on our streets. The drugs of the Golden Triangle in our schools.
Now, a group of know-nothing
yahoos want to disfigure Mt. Rushmore with Ronald Reagan's face. I think
JFK would light a cigar and have a good laugh. And perhaps propose returning
the Black Hills to the Sioux.
Happy New Year.
Be well. Raise hell.
F. Kennedy's 2014 Inaugural Address
by Barbano / Expanded from the
11-21-2013 Sparks Tribune
F. Kennedy's 2013 inaugural address
Barbwire by Barbano / Daily Sparks Tribune / 11-22-2012
Jr.: Hope dies hard and yet springs eternal
by Barbano / Daily Sparks Tribune / 7-25-1999
1997, 2004, 2005, 2012, 2013 Andrew
Barbano is a member of CWA Local 9413. He is a Reno-based syndicated
columnist, a 29-year Nevadan, and editor of U-News.
Send an E-mail, especially
if you want to join NAGPAC, the None of the Above for Governor
Political Action Committee.
Barbwire by Barbano
has appeared in the Sparks Tribune
Reprints of the UNR
financial scandal newsbreaks remain available for the cost of copying
Nevada Instant Type in Sparks and both Office Depot Reno
Site composed and maintained by Deciding
and suggestions appreciated. Sign up for news and bulletins