Southern History Month 2019: Huey “The Kingfish” Long

Why are all of these White populists warming to Andrew Yang?

Most leftwing journos have no idea why populists would support Universal Basic Income. These people know very little about history or political science. We saw that in 2016 when the mainstream punditry was dumbfounded by Trump’s victory and blamed it on a Russian conspiracy.


The Wikipedia entry is quite good:

Share Our Wealth was a movement begun in February 1934, during the Great Depression, by Huey Long, a governor and later United States Senator from Louisiana. Huey Long first proposed the plan in a national radio address, which is now referred to as the “Share Our Wealth Speech”.

The key planks of the Share Our Wealth platform included:

1. No person would be allowed to accumulate a personal net worth of more than 300 times the average family fortune, which would limit personal assets to between $5 million and $8 million. A graduated capital levy tax would be assessed on all persons with a net worth exceeding $1 million.

2. Annual incomes would be limited to $1 million and inheritances would be capped at $5.1 million.

3. Every family was to be furnished with a homestead allowance of not less than one-third the average family wealth of the country. Every family was to be guaranteed an annual family income of at least $2,000 to $2,500, or not less than one-third of the average annual family income in the United States. Yearly income, however, cannot exceed more than 300 times the size of the average family income.

4. An old-age pension would be made available for all persons over 60.

5. To balance agricultural production, the government would preserve/store surplus goods, abolishing the practice of destroying surplus food and other necessities due to lack of purchasing power.

6. Veterans would be paid what they were owed (a pension and healthcare benefits).

7. Free education and training for all students to have equal opportunities in all schools, colleges, universities, and other institutions for training in the professions and vocations of life.

8. The raising of revenue and taxes for the support of this program was to come from the reduction of swollen fortunes from the top, as well as for the support of public works to give employment whenever there may be any slackening necessary in private enterprise.

… For most of his political career, he was endeared to the “little man,” which refers to the rural poor. The Share Our Wealth program was going to become the capstone project for Long’s populist agenda.

Have leftwing journos checked out Yang’s top three big policies? They are Universal Basic Income, Medicare for All and Human Centered Capitalism.

Wow, just wow … that’s classical populism.

Let’s read beyond pages 1, 2 and 3:

“Louisiana had a different experience. In 1920 the old Bull Moose leader, John M. Parker, returned triumphantly to the Democratic party, won its nomination for governor, and guided the state through a period of business progressivism. Parker’s program of constitutional and administrative reforms and expansion of schools and highways, however, seemed only to whet the appetite for more. When the state government returned to its wonted complacency after 1924 a number of issues remained open for exploitation by the colorful and vigorous Huey P. Long, Jr. Born in 1893 in Winn Parish, which had a long record of plebian insurgency – antisecessionism, populism, and socialism – Long carried the anticorporation rhetoric on into the 1920s. Starting as a door-to-door peddler, the youthful Long used his savings and money borrowed from an older brother to study law for a year at Tulane. He immediately took and passed the bar examination. In 1918, breathing fire at Standard Oil and other corporate interests, he won election to the state Railroad Commission (later the Public Service Commission), where he built a ten-year record of warring against the utilities, got reductions in telephone, electric, gas, railroad, and streetcar rates, and won the right to regulate Standard’s Interstate Pipe Line as a common carrier. In 1920 he supported Parker but later denounced him as a tool of the interests for making a “deal” with Standard Oil and other mineral interests to limit a new severance tax to 2 per cent.

In 1924, at the minimum age of thirty, Long entered the race for governor and although he placed third, showed substantial strength in the northern parishes and thereafter cultivated new contacts in the French parishes. In 1928 his time came. Running against an incumbent who was plagued by highway scandals and a nondescript congressman who represented the New Orleans “ring,” he exploited the issues left behind by Parker. Parker had got Louisiana “out of the mud,” but mostly onto improved dirt and gravel roads with a pay-as-you-go program: Long proposed a bond issue and free bridges. Parker had increased outlays for education; Long promised free textbooks. Parker had briefly upset the New Orleans Choctows; Long again warred on the “ring.” Parker had failed to get natural gas for New Orleans or to curtail gas wastage by carbon black plants; Long promised to do both.

His vivid portrayal of a standpat planter-business alliance with the “ring” contrasted sharply with his own folkishness. He “spoke American instead of bombast,” said a writer who at first supported him, “and I liked his similes and metaphors derived from the barnyard and the cornfield.” Moreover, his antic wit was compounded with a genius for melodramatic eloquence. “Evangeline is not the only one who has waited here in disappointment,” he told a Cajun audience at the Evangeline Oak. “Where are the schools that you have waited for your children to have that have never come? Where are the roads and the highways that you spent your money to build …? Where are the institutions to care for the sick and disabled? Evangeline wept bitter tears in her disappointment … Your tears in this country, around this oak, have lasted for generations. Give me the chance to dry the tears of those who still weep here.”

George B. Tindall, The Emergence of the New South: 1913-1945 (Louisiana State University Press, 1967), pp.236-237

Someone has done their homework.

I’ve noticed that Yang isn’t talking down to White populists in political correctness like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. The platform also includes a massive infrastructure plan, student loan debt reduction and postal banking which are all classic populist policies. The fact that he doesn’t come across as a shrill Boomer but as an actual human being is a significant advantage over Elizabeth Warren.

The real question is what Yang’s campaign could look like during the general election. Normally, candidates “move to the center” and now the center of the electorate is populist. It was anxiety over immigration and political correctness that won Blompf the presidency.

What if Yang simply jettisons the political correctness which 70% of the country resents and agrees to an immigration moratorium and building the border wall? We’re not going need all these millions of extra people anyway with robots taking over and the situation on the border is out of control. At that point, we would see Alabama, Tennessee and Louisiana coming into play as swing states.

Note: I will just observe that the larger the victory usually means the larger the mandate.

BTW, on the mechanics of Yang running in the Democratic Party as opposed to the Republican Party … a huge number of the people in the moderate or populist quadrant of the electorate are non-White Democrats like Asian-Americans, but they are divided from White populists by political correctness and identity politics, so we need an inoffensive, likable Asian guy to make a national populist majority coalition work and move us all beyond the polarization and into the 21st century.

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  1. The problem with Huey Long economics, in my opinion, is it doesn’t reward innovators. It does a little better than our system which outright steals from innovators, but in a ethical economy you would pay people that create.

    Example, the Wright brothers received very little money for freaking flying! Another example is Tesla who designed the grid to power all of America and ends up in the poorhouse.

    Just something to think about.

  2. Why did we abandon this populist genius and replace it with the dullard GOP (that everyone hates) and conservatism? Answer: civil rights.

    We should have stayed in the Democrat party and muscled for control rather than realigning with the GOP and get nothing in return for supporting their terrible neo-liberal economic agenda.

    What the hell have we gotten out of the GOP other than right to work laws and decades long empty rhetoric about social issues and immigration?

    • Huey Long – a great man that only springs up every so often.

      Murdered by a rat-faced little Jew in cold blood…

  3. I’ve thought for some time that it’s a waste of time for me to debate the politics of UBI either way, because UBI is inevitable.

    While it frustrates me to see so many in our sector prostrate themselves to a yellow man, I think in terms of nuts-and-bolts politics, Andrew Yang is twenty years ahead of his time. Remember, much of what Huey Long, Norman Thomas and Eugene Debs wanted in their days, which sounded radical at the time, came to pass, and became so popular in their enactment that even today’s elected libertarian-type politicians dare not oppose them or call for their repeal.

  4. @ Professional –

    Long’s arguments, not terribly dissimiliar from the economic ideas of non-usury “Distributivism” promoted by G.K. Chesterton and Hillaire Belloc, do reward the innovator but place a cap on the reward. That way we all still generally attend the same churches, schools and shop at the same grocery stores. Eliminating or at least manage extreme social stratification while in the process create a sense of community. Today there is essentially none. Note that in 1950 the average differential in pay between a corporate CEO and the average worker was 14-1. Today it is over 350-1.

    What do you want? Bezos, Gates and the like buying congress and calling all the shots? Lockheed, Boeing, etc? G.M. and the like? Bayer-Monsanto? Outsource-Offshore Inc.?

    You can certainly see why Huey Long was assassinated.

    • @John

      No, Bezos and Gates are not innovators. They stole and muscled their way to the top, just like J.P Morgan stealing Tesla’s ideas by threatening perpetual lawsuits. Business is not innovation. That’s the Republican mindset that business=innovation=prosperity=happiness.

      I am saying that the “capped income” you mentioned will actually still hurt real innovators. People that developed flying should have made royal amounts of money, they got peanuts instead.

        • Exactly.

          You build and design something like, say, safe 5G cell towers, and you get exempt from some of the regulations.

          But if you’re a desk parasite that owes everything to nepotism and corruption, time to share the wealth…

  5. Great topic. I really identify with the farming cooperative movements of the 1880’s – 30’s. I think we are going full circle. Time to break this one out again I guess (who?):

    BTW Tesla got jewed. Westinghouse was ruined and taken over by (((international bankers))). Tesla waived millions$ in options and shares to help Westinghouse just to end up ruined himself. Having a country without Jews would solve this problem for the future.

  6. It’s nice to see some reasoned debate about Huey Long; somebody I’d like to see mentioned more, is William Jennings Bryan.

    • He was a man that terrified the establishment, and a man whose ideas would literally disembowel Jewish power in this country.

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