Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Disturbing Comparison

Walter Russell Mead sees similarities between Barack Obama and - not FDR or Lincoln but - Herbert Hoover.
The problem was not that Hoover didn’t try. He had long been known as a leading progressive, and in the face of the Depression he was ready to countenance a significant expansion of the government’s role. His Reconstruction Finance Corporation would be taken over by FDR; it lent money to distressed companies in an effort to jump start the economy. He proposed the creation of a federal Department of Education; he was willing to countenance significant budget deficits and supported important public works projects (like Boulder Dam) as a way of stimulating employment and rebuilding confidence in the economy.

None of it worked.
Ugh! Does that mean we'll need WWIII to get us out of the coming depression? Read it all.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Spencer: Thanks for providing this very clear picture of where we are versus where our predecessors were... It is indeed very uncanny that we are where they were in those years past, and, like President Hoover in those days, President Obama simply does not [or refuses to] understand where we are and what it will take to get us out of it...

June 16, 2011 at 10:20 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More like a superficial, uniformed comparison. Read the history, even better read the actual letters from struggling Americans to Hoover, and you will find that his error was not doing enough. What could he have done? Moved the Fed to an open money policy, take the US off gold, and temporarily maintain industries and jobs by substituting declining demand with government spending. Or...he could have empowered regulatory agencies to prevent speculative behavior without adequate capital reserves. Short of taking us of gold (oh sorry conservative pariah Richard Nixon already did this back in 1971) where is President Obama lacking in these responses?

June 17, 2011 at 10:23 PM 

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