Huey Long’s Share the Wealth Program
I don’t know if many people remember Huey Long (he was before my time), but he was a thorn in FDR’s side because he kept pulling FDR leftwards. He was a populist.
On his website ( http://www.hueylong.com/programs/share-our-wealth.php ), there’s a list of things he’s credited with.
Share Our Wealth
(a.k.a. Share the Wealth) Proposal
Cap personal fortunes at $50 million each (equivalent to about $750 million today)
Limit annual income to one million dollars each (about $12 million today)
Limit inheritances to five million dollars each (about $60 million today)
Guarantee every family an annual income of $2,000 (or one-third the national average)
Free college education and vocational training
Old-age pensions for all persons over 60
Veterans benefits and healthcare
A 30 hour work week
A four week vacation for every worker
Huey Long never received credit for the government reforms that resulted from his Share Our Wealth movement. The Great Depression persisted for six years after Long’s death, and the federal government gradually adopted policies to regulate the economy and provide for the public good. Many of today’s federal programs address causes championed by Huey Long:
College Financial Aid
Works Progress Administration
FDIC bank insurance
Medicare and Medicaid
Graduated Income Tax and Inheritance Tax
Contrast this today with the Democrats who have adopted moderate Republican policies like tax cuts.
We’ve come a long ways … backwards.
Today, there are no elected officials championing Progressive ideas. Even our so-called Progressives.