As we contemplate the obscene spectacle of economic profligacy emanating from Washington, it is worth reminding ourselves that we’ve been down this road before. That act of what Plato called anamnesis has two salutary effects: 1) it admonishes us about the dangers we face from the collectivists at the helm in Washington and 2) it gives us the confidence to resist, because we know from experience that our resistance, though arduous, can be successful.
Whence the reminders? Well, one can turn to the disabused literature on the Great Depression — to Amity Shlaes’s brilliant book The Forgotten Man, for example. One may also avail oneself of some past reflections on the subject–for example, this educational cartoon from the April 21, 1934 issue of The Chicago Tribune: