Saturday, September 8, 2012

Read this book !

Even if you didn’t watch either the Republican or the Democratic conventions, you’re probably aware of the fact that NEITHER party is entirely satisfied with the state of the economy. Both parties, of course, offer competing visions on how to fix the problem, but how do we actually know WHICH solution would work better in the long run?

Since none of us have a crystal ball, the answer is very easy. All we have to do is to look at similar situations in our nation’s history, and see how our ancestors solved the problem.

The decade of the 1930’s was the most dramatic upheaval in our nation’s history, and it very nearly brought our country to the state of collapse.

One of the best books that I’ve ever read about the Great Depression is a book titled “Nothing To Fear”, written by Adam Cohen. Although the DEGREE of economic crisis in the 30’s was much more severe than we face today, the PROBLEMS that the Roosevelt administration faced are remarkably similar to the issues that we face today.

Then, as now, the Democrats and the Republicans had very different solutions to the problems at hand.

By clicking on the link below, you can get a sneak preview of the topics covered in the book, but I would STRONGLY recommend reading the book in its entirely yourself before drawing any conclusions.

Nothing To Fear

Rather than giving my viewpoint on the book, I’ll leave you with three surprising facts:

1) Although many people today might consider him to be a socialist, FDR was actually a fiscal conservative. The second bill passed by his administration was the Economy Act of 1933, which slashed the Federal Budget of $3.6 billion by $500,000,000. He also made further cuts in 1937.

2) The vast majority of the ideas of the New Deal actually weren’t Roosevelt’s, but came from a woman that most people aren’t familiar with.

3) The book spends a great deal of time discussing the Gold Standard, which the United States went off of in 1933. Surprisingly, the 2012 Republican platform advocates a RETURN to the Gold Standard.

With the full cooperation of both parties in Congress (a situation that we DON’T have today) it took a full EIGHT YEARS before our GDP returned to its 1929 level. You can draw your own conclusions from there today.

Since Roosevelt was in office for slightly more than 12 years, he’s offered a LOT of compelling advice that can help us to move forward. Attached below are just TWO of his quotations:

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

“We have always known that heedless self interest was bad morals; we now know that it is bad economics.“

The slogan for Roosevelt’s 1932 campaign was “Happy Days Are Here Again”. If we can somehow figure out a way to work TOGETHER again for the common good, we’ll eventually get to the point that we can starting singing that old tune again.

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