Monday, February 11, 2013
Amity Shlaes has a new book out called Coolidge. It came out this morning. I saw her interviewed on BookTV last night, and enjoyed the interview. The author of the sentence, "The business of America is business," has been a perennial fascination for me.
What would Obama put into that sentence? What does he think the business of America is? Certainly it isn't business. I have no idea what he would put in that blank.
Obama remains a blank for me. He's not even a Rohrschach inkblot.
Shlaes' book restores to us business as the test of a country. Not just work, but effective work. Not just immediate profits, but sustainable profits. I've always felt that businesspeople were the real warrior-poets and theologians of capitalism. Not community activists, who are just dung beetles. Coolidge always said no to special interests. He brought up the government out of debt, and for the first time in history there was a surplus.
Wall St. wrecked his reputation with reckless expenditures. But would it have self-corrected without FDR? That was the thesis of Shlaes' book The Forgotten Man. I haven't read the new book. But I've long suspected that it wasn't either Hoover or FDR who had the right picture. It was the laconic Vermonter. I've always been a Calvinist.