2009-02-12

FDR Did More than Worsen the Great Depression...

... he started it. So says Rep. Austria, Republican from Ohio:
"When (President Franklin) Roosevelt did this, he put our country into a Great Depression," Austria said. "He tried to borrow and spend, he tried to use the Keynesian approach, and our country ended up in a Great Depression. That's just history."
Some will remember that the Depression started in 1929, while FDR wasn't President until 1933. Oy. Your Republican Party at work!

And for those that think FDR worsened the Depression, or that the New Deal didn't work, eat chart, suckers:


Or how about unemployment?


Yeah, cuz 15% unemployment is no better than 25%.

5 comments:

Jim Ga said...

Sorry but you have read this completely wrong.

First, lets look at the uptick in unemployment happening from 37-38. This was when the goverment had backed off on all its spending, in response to fiscal conservatives (some of those were Democrats). It was proof that the new deal had no lasting effect on creating true, sustainable growth, resulting in a "depression within the depression." On an interesting note, Roosevelt blamed business for intentionally ruining the new deal by purposely causing another depression. He even went so far as to have the FBI investigate for a criminal "capital strike". Of course they found none.

Also you have missed a little history here. The spending on war didn't start with Americas entry into war on Dec 7th, 1941. Everyone was rapidly arming themselves for all they were worth even before 1938. Massive orders for planes, ships, and eveything else it takes to kill better than the other guy were already well underway. So its clear that the improvement DID result from the war (or war to be, if you must)

In summation, the statements about the ineffectiveness of the new deal still stand.

Jim Ga said...

For the record, Roosevelt wasn't elected in 33, he was elected in 32. So you are off as well.

Look at the bright spot, you and the estemed reprsentative from Ohio did no worse than our Vice President.

Kepler said...

Oh jeez, Jim. There's a simple question here, one which takes into account your various points (although the point about military buildup prior to WWII is arguable - we only had 120,000 soldiers before Pearl): Is over 25% unemployment no worse than 15%? Either it is, and the New Deal succeeded, or it isn't and you're crazy. :)

Kepler said...

Unless, of course, you define "success" as a perfect solution, completely eliminating the problem. Excepting governance by the divine hand, however, the New Deal did pretty well.

Jim Ga said...

The point is not whether 15% is better than 25%, of course it is. However, the point i made was that while unemployment improved during the new deal, no lasting change in the economy occured as evidenced by the huge uptick in unemployment when government spending went down.

I will concede that some of the unemployment improvement in 38-40 was due to the 'second new deal'. What the heck, it worked some once even if the effects weren't permanent. However, you truely underestimate to size of growth related to war efforts. the US navy recieved a paltry 71 ships betweem 30-36. That number was raised to 106 in just 38-40. Production on all 8 modern battleships used in world war two started before the war, employing several thousands, not counting a further 6 large fleet type carriers. Yes the army was small, but the axiom is build the navy in peace and the army in war, since it takes years for a single battleship to be built. Twards the end of 38 Roosevelt asked congress to budget for the building of 6000 aircraft. 3600 of those were built between july to dec in 1940 alone. Also, don't forget about our stalwart allies who came to America with open checkbooks to buy planes by the bucketload and whatever else they could get. I could easily go on about this but you get the point.

And to finish, let me make a statement. I'm gonna go on record on this one, so quote me anytime.

"If in 8 years your massive amount of spending, social engineering and court packing, all with the backing of a rubber stamping congress, only improves unemployment by an abysmal 10%, you can hardly call it a success"