FDR and the depression

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FDR and the depression

Do you think FDR helped America during the Great Depression? I can't tell you how many Republicans try and tell me he kept us in the Depression instead of fixing it. What are your thoughts?

 

 


iwbiek
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Observer wrote:Do you think

Observer wrote:

Do you think FDR helped America during the Great Depression? I can't tell you how many Republicans try and tell me he kept us in the Depression instead of fixing it. What are your thoughts?

 

 

it depends on who you include in "america."

if you include the rural and urban proletariat, i think FDR's measures were half-hearted.  they relieved the immediate suffering of a lot of people, and that shouldn't be ignored, but he didn't really get at the root of the suffering, i.e., the stranglehold of big business on the US government.  in fact, they tightened it.

if you only count the biggest of the big-time businessmen, the real policy makers in this country, then yes, they helped a lot.  i too laugh out loud when i hear republicans and neocons bash FDR, because, honestly, he was their best friend, and (surprise, surprise) they're too fucking stupid to know it.  what they don't teach in school is that, for the first three decades of the 20th century, the labor union and socialist movements in america were big.  REALLY big.  i would advise anyone to read the pertinent chapters in howard zinn's a people's history of the united states.  if unbridled capitalism had continued, the country might very well have erupted into pandemonium, and perhaps even socialist revolution.  even trotsky in his exile was aware of this, and agitated to the labor unions in the US both in person and through the pen.

whether a socialist revolution would have succeeded or not is moot: the bigwigs weren't going to risk it, and thus their savior was FDR.  FDR made ultimately meaningless concessions to the workingmen and small farmers of america, thus placating them enough to avoid a serious threat to the status quo (something trotsky had foreseen), while, in all reality, the richest of the rich only got richer, thanks to fat government contracts.  you see, the only people who hate ALL government meddling in business are usually small businessmen, but do think the boys at honeywell, lockheed, and dupont want free competition?  of course not! 

years after the cold war and all organized military danger to the united states have practically ended, our military is still eating up a CRAZY share of the taxpayers' money.  why?  to fight terrorism?  you can't use a fucking f-16 to fight one lone nut with a bomb strapped to his chest!  FDR messed with the free market just enough to pacify the workers and small farmers with peanuts, while the true leaders of this country made obscene profits, which then trickled down into the private sector, thus ensuring our country (and by that i mean the top moneymakers) continued to be rich, capitalist, and safe on its perch.  if there had been no FDR, the republicans might very well be horrified at the country which we live in today.

some of FDR's measures were illogical and blatantly played on the prejudices of those he was trying to placate.  for example, to this day our government wastes money in subsidizing small farmers to grow crops that make no real money for them or anyone else, just so they can continue being comfortable in their "down-home" mentality, while half their grandfather's acreage either has to be sold or mortgaged just to try to keep up with property taxes.  it's actually hard for me to call that out as totally illogical, since i come from a family of small tobacco farmers and am very well-acquainted with working in the fields, coming back to the house, and sitting down to biscuits and gravy.  shit, we even had a cast iron stove.  it can be an idyllic life, but it's a backward life.  it keeps the small farmers on the brink of poverty and places an unnecessary burden on the taxpayers: it's nothing more than government-funded stubborn pride, which sooner or later places the land squarely in the hands of either the bank or big investors anyway.   

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


Observer
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Thanks for the reply. I

Thanks for the reply. I never thought of it that way. Good comments!

 

I have a side question. You seem to endorse communism. How would you encourage productivity in an economy in which there is no profit?  I am not trying to argue here, I just really want to know how you would do that if communism was enforced and you were a government leader. Thanks!