Source:The New Democrat
“Huey Long speaking with John A Simpson, President of the National Farmer’s Union, in 1934.
FORMER LOUISIANA GOVERNOR HUEY LONG, CALLED “THE KINGFISH”, SPEAKING WITH JOHN A. SIMPSON, PRESIDENT NATIONAL FARMER’S UNION, ON SHARE THE WEALTH MOVEMENT”
Governor Huey Long’s Share The Wealth Proposal
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.
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.
5. Veterans would be paid what they were owed (a pension and healthcare benefits).
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.
6. 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.”
I’m not saying that Huey Long both as Governor Long and then later Senator Long was the George McGovern, or take it up today and call him the Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren of his era, but only because Huey Long wasn’t so much a Democratic Socialist as he was just just purely a Socialist: someone who mixed both democratic and authoritarian views into his own politics. He was more like a Nicholas Maduro ( the President of Venezuela ) than Neville Chamberlain ( Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in the 1930s ) as someone who believed in democratic socialism economically, but had authoritarian views when it came to how he governed.
Governor Huey Long, was as close to a dictator that we’ve ever had in this country when he was Governor of Louisiana and had so much power over the government there and didn’t believe in checks and balances and separation of powers. But on economic policy he was someone who had strong populist tendencies and someone who wasn’t a big city leftist or populist, but someone who could appeal to rural voters in the deep South, because of how poor they were and that he spoke about their poverty and promised to get them out of it with his economic populism that we would call democratic socialism today. Which is what he has in common with Senator Bernie Sanders today.
What Governor Long has in common with Senator Sanders is what again what was called economic populism in the 1930s that we call democratic socialism today: Bernie, doesn’t call his economic agenda Share The Wealth, but that’s probably more for political reasons than ideological. He’s already a self-described Democratic Socialist and one of just a few in Congress today and doesn’t want to be confused with Socialists who are even to the Left of him. But ideologically Bernie’s vision of democratic socialism is very similar to Huey’s when it comes to money and wealth. They would both essentially outlaw wealth in this country and use that money for their social welfare agenda.
Huey Long in the 1930s, was talking about old age pensions and what we call today a national basic income where every American would be given a financial allowance in this country to make sure that they don’t have to live in poverty. Bernie Sanders, believes that every single American has a right to go to college and get health insurance and health care provide to them from the government. And that the wealthy should be forced to pay for all of these services for everyone else. What Huey and Bernie have in common politically, is that they’re both anti-wealth and economic independence. And see it as the role of the U.S. Government to guarantee every single America and basically national income and quality living in this country.