American Elephants


FDR and the New Deal Love Fest by The Elephant's Child

Professor Burton J. Folsom Jr. is author of two books on Franklin Delano Roosevelt: New Deal or Raw Deal and with Anita Folsom: FDR Goes to War. Here is a speech he delivered at Hillsdale College on FDR’s energetic experimentation that did so much damage to the economy in the 1930s. The great myth has always been that FDR saved us from the Great Depression, and then it was ended by World War II. Wrong.

I have recommended Amity Schlaes The Forgotten Man.  It is a new history of the Great Depression, and a wonderful book, with a fascinating cast of very real characters, that reads like a novel.

President Obama constantly compares his problems to the Great Depression. To indicate how big the recession he “inherited from George W. Bush” is (not his fault) but he flatters himself. The comparison lies not in the extent of the Depression [ July 1927: Unemployment 3.3%; Sept 1931; Unemployment 17.4%;  Nov. 1933: Unemployment 23.2%;  Nov. 1934: Unemployment 23.2%;  July 1935: Unemployment 21.3%;  Jan. 1938: Unemployment 17.4%; Jan. 1940: Unemployment 14.6%] but in the misguided efforts to make big government heal the economy.

FDR’s plan to make people dependent on government was a clear effort to garner votes for the Democrat party [see approximately minute 35.00 on the video]. Obama is making the same effort to make people dependent on Big Government in his campaign for a second term.  I think most of us would prefer to see a recovering economy and recovering employment.  The video is very worth your time.  A lack of understanding of history may doom us to repeat it.

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