Thursday, March 10, 2016

Andrew Young on Bretton Woods: He Was There

Andrew Young was interviewed By Tavis Smiley on his show, and finished with Andrew Young.  It is a remarkable interview.   I've said if something is not true in all places at all times, then it is not true.  What I teach, what I learned, what I have found reliable in just about every field, Andrew Young finds true in freedom movements.

When you have 30 minutes, give a listen here...

At 31:12 on the timer into the show,  Cornell West asks Andrew Young about MLK’s critique of capitalism and imperialism.  Young said he never heard King talk in those terms of the problems they faced.  Young said King's analysis was Biblical, not economic.  Young quotes King as saying communism needed more freedom, capitalism needed more responsibility, or words to that effect.

To my mind problems are solved on levels other than they are experienced.  Economic (physical) problems are addressed on a religious level, mental problems addressed physically, etc.

I've argued you decide the field you want to enter, the customers decide what you will sell.  as to the freedom movement:  Young wanted jobs movement, the people wanted back of the bus to the front of the bus movement.  So that was the program they had to offer.

Appealing to government never got them anywhere.  It is when the civil rights leaders met personally with business leaders and business defied the (Jim Crow) law, that the South finally integrated.  Here again, government is never the solution, business always is.  In his book, The Walls Came Tumbling Down, Dr. Abernathy chronicles the same point.  I'll say it again, if you want to be a revolutionary, start a business.

Amb. Young also talked about political power, and the disappointments regarding movement politicians of African heritage who were either co-opted or sold out.  Two points: the progressives targeted preachers of African heritage to advance their causes contrary to the flocks interests, and to some extent successfully, and who does not sell out of those who go into politics?  Does anyone expect  people of African heritage to be less corrupt than anyone else?  It's why they call it politics, because it is corrupt.

At 33: 08, Young talks about one of his first votes as a new congressman.  The 1971 vote was on ending the Bretton Woods compact in which the dollar was tied to gold.      Young admitted his ignorance of economics as a new congressman, but had the wit to ask the salient question, if "the dollar is not tied to gold, won’t people play politics with money?"

The panel testifying as to the wisdom of ending Bretton Woods consisted of Paul Volcker, Arthur Burns and George Schultz.   Arthur Burns replied “young man you’ll soon learn the dollar doesn’t need you to protect it.”

Young experienced the rebuke as  “shut up colored boy.”

The committee voted to end Bretton Woods on a voice vote.  Andrew Young was right, they were wrong.

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