Marriner Eccles and Franklin D. Roosevelt

This is getting fun! I now have pictures on my blog!

My blog traffic has declined a lot in the past couple of years.

I used to have thousands of readers back when I posted articles every week on internet marketing and entrepreneurship. But my consistency wore off and my readership waned.

I heard recently (I think it was at the CrunchUp in Redwood City) that blog posts with images get like 3 times as many readers as posts without. I can’t find my source on that, so I don’t know if it is true, but I do know that I have almost never included images in blog posts because it took me too long to do it.

Not anymore. Now I can find an image anywhere on the web, click on the Share on Posterous link on my Google Chrome browser bar, add a few comments, and voila!–a new blog post with an image.

It looks like I can’t type comments above the image, but I imagine Posterous will address that flaw at some point.

But what I can do is start every blog post on any topic by finding a nice image from somewhere, in this case from Life Magazine’s excellent photo archive, and then I can write my post.

I decided to include this photo of Marriner Eccles with President Roosevelt because it illustrates in my mind how any blog post–even on some obscure topic like what the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department tried to do in the 1930s to bring the country out of the Great Depression–can become far more real and interesting by including a photo.

Marriner Eccles was a successful Utah banker who founded First Security bank in 1928. None of his banks ever lost a dime for their customers and none failed during the nationwide run on the banks.

Marriner started speaking out on what the government could uniquely do to lead the country out of the depression, and his controversial views got the attention of some powerful people in Washington, D.C. By 1934 he was appointed Chairman of the Federal Reserve and served in that role for 14 years.

He wrote his memoirs in 1951. I found a used copy on Amazon and bought it and devoured it. It is amazing to read his very honest and open account of government efforts to end the depression–and to learn which programs worked and which failed miserably.

As I read Eccles’ memoirs, I wished I could get a copy of the book to every decision-maker in Washington, DC, but the book is out of print and the Eccles family has so far declined from allowing me to create an electronic version that could be distributed to legislators and government employees.

You would kind of sort of think that if we are spending trillions of dollars to try to stimulate the US economy, that we might kind of want to go back to the 1930s and learn first hand from the people who were on the front lines back then, when the government was spending billions of dollars on all kinds of new programs, and get a close up look of what worked and what didn’t and at least one very smart man’s opinion of why various programs succeeded or failed. (Even if he and others like him in the 20s and 30s seemed to have somewhat socialist leanings partly because the Russian experiment seemed so promising back then–it hadn’t played out fully yet.)

There is currently only 1 copy of this book for sale on Amazon and it is more than $200 (and it is NOT my copy which I am NOT giving up!):

I wish we could tap into the experience of people like Marriner Eccles somehow and harness it in our current debates over the government’s role in the economy.

Which historical figure would you like to consult with most about our economic problems and what government should or should not do to intervene?

Posted via web from Paul’s posterous

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