Archive for Thursday, December 22, 2011

FDR achievement

December 22, 2011

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To the editor:

A recent letter to the editor, “FDR legacy,” makes some valid points regarding Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s omissions that made us vulnerable to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Also, the writer reminds us of other foreign policy flaws along with Roosevelt’s personal sexual peccadilloes. However, to assert that FDR was one of the most incompetent and damnable presidents is a dubious conclusion which overlooks Roosevelt’s greatest achievement.

When Roosevelt took office in 1933, America was well into its worst economic depression. Herbert Hoover’s passivity and belief that free enterprise somehow would fix itself was not helping. Thankfully, FDR understood the only remedy. Outside of aggressive government intervention and regulation, we could not be healed.

“There must be a strict supervision of all banking and credits and investments. There must be an end to speculation with other people’s money,” said Roosevelt in his inaugural address. He knew popular sentiment against institutions and individuals responsible for our nation’s malady: “Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion.”

Today, conservative politicians have enabled America to turn the clock back to the late ’20s, economically speaking. These “representatives” abhor regulation and government oversight. Why? Their benefactors, enriched by Wall Street and corporate lawlessness, guarantee ample financial fodder for expedient political longevity.

Voters face a crucial decision in 2012. Do we want a Hoover? Or do we need an FDR? I, for one, will choose the latter. Or his closest facsimile. 

Comments

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

"Herbert Hoover’s passivity and belief that free enterprise somehow would fix itself was not helping. Thankfully, FDR understood the only remedy. Outside of aggressive government intervention and regulation, we could not be healed."

That's complete BS, based on years of socialist propaganda blithely accepted by the gullible. Hoover actually tried various government interventionist schemes that didn't work, just as Roosevelt did. In truth, Roosevelt's two "New Deals" only prolonged the Great Depression. We were finally bailed out by WW II, emerging thereafter as the strongest nation on earth with every other former superpower, including the victorious nations, crippled by the war.

There are many similarities between the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the recent Subprime Crisis, but the one most significant common trait they share is greed: No, not Wall Street "greed," but the greed of those who wanted to get rich quickly by buying great quantities of stocks on the margin with virtually no equity in them (1929 crash) and buying expensive homes they couldn't afford with virtually no equity in them (subprime crisis). In short, even though separated by eight decades, it was the irresponsible personal conduct of people who believed that they could get something for nothing that caused both crises.

Our free enterprise system ultimately rescued us from ther Great Depression, after much unsuccessful government interference. The same can happen again, but only if Americans exercise their right to vote differently from the manner in which this letter writer advocates.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

You contradict yourself. Was it war or free enterprise system that rescued us from the Depression? Or are you saying war is free enterprise?

You can try and spin it any number of ways, but the truth is, FDR did get us out of the Depression. If it was all due to the war, how come our current and recent wars have only hurt our economy?

Peter Macfarlane 3 years, 4 months ago

"In truth, Roosevelt's two "New Deals" only prolonged the Great Depression."

Actually, you have no way of knowing that and that is BS.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

Au contraire. By the start of WW II, we were in worse shape macroeconomically than we had been at any time during Roosevelt's presidency. It's no accident that he wanted us in the war.

voevoda 3 years, 4 months ago

Liberty_One, You should get your information about Hoover and Roosevelt and the Great Depression from a reliable source, instead of depending upon the ideologically-driven, ahistorical notions of Murray Rothbard, as posted on the Mises and Rockwell anarcho-capitalist websites. The KU library has dozens of reliable books and articles written by scholars who have immersed themselves in mountains of original documents, and not a single one of them has confirmed Rothbard's old hypothesis. That's because Rothbard didn't actually research the topic; he decided what he wanted to say, and found 2 documents he liked--one campaign speech (we all know how reliable they are) and a brief passage in Hoover's 1951 memoirs (written well after the New Deal proved successful)--using them in place of all the other evidence. Only people who share Rothbard's ideology and his unthinking devotion to it would be convinced by what he wrote.

voevoda 3 years, 4 months ago

Rothbard wrote an entire book on economics, not on history. And I didn't call Hoover "passive." You call people "liar" and other names only when you don't have evidence to disprove what they say. What does that say about you?

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