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Re: New Tea Party?

Started by Chuck Cunningham, 02/19/2009 03:46PM
Posted 02/19/2009 03:46PM Opening Post
"Obama's plans will do more harm than doing nothing."

I think that's just about what Herbert Hoover said. Apparently a few people still believe him.
Posted 02/19/2009 04:20PM #1
Charles Cunningham said:

"Obama's plans will do more harm than doing nothing."

I think that's just about what Herbert Hoover said. Apparently a few people still believe him.

Hi Charles

There is variance of opinion. One can find plenty of academic ammo for "New Deal was better than sliced bread", so here is a sampling of alternate opinions. Am not claiming that this is the only way to look at it.

Something which has been quoted a lot lately:

"Treasury Secretary, Henry Morgenthau, angry at the Keynesian spenders, confided to his diary May 1939: "We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. And I have just one interest, and now if I am wrong somebody else can have my job. I want to see this country prosper. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises. I say after eight years of this administration, we have just as much unemployment as when we started.[49] And enormous debt to boot.""

Other tidbits:

Public opinion polls in March and May 1939 asked whether the attitude of the Roosevelt administration toward business was delaying recovery, and 54 and 53 percent, respectively, said yes while 26 and 31 percent said no. Fifty-six percent believed that in ten years there would be more government control of business while only 22 percent thought there would be less. Sixty-five percent of executives surveyed thought that the Roosevelt administration policies had so affected business confidence that the recovery had been seriously held back.

According to Gene Smiley, "a number of economists" believe the New Deal delayed economic recovery.[55] A 1995 survey of economic historians asked whether "Taken as a whole, government policies of the New Deal served to lengthen and deepen the Great Depression." Of those in economics departments 27% agreed, 22% agreed 'with provisos' (what provisos the survey does not state) and 51% disagreed. Of those in history departments, only 27% agreed and 73% disagreed.

UCLA economists Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian are among those who believe the New Deal caused the Depression to persist longer than it would otherwise have, concluding in a study that the "New Deal labor and industrial policies did not lift the economy out of the Depression as President Roosevelt and his economic planners had hoped," but that the "New Deal policies are an important contributing factor to the persistence of the Great Depression." They claim that the New Deal "cartelization policies are a key factor behind the weak recovery." They say that the "abandonment of these policies coincided with the strong economic recovery of the 1940s."[57] Cole and Ohanian claimed that FDR's policies prolonged the Depression by 7 years.

Lowell E. Gallaway and Richard K. Vedder argue that the "Great Depression was very significantly prolonged in both its duration and its magnitude by the impact of New Deal programs." They suggest that without Social Security, work relief, unemployment insurance, mandatory minimum wages, and without special government-granted privileges for labor unions, business would have hired more workers and the unemployment rate during the New Deal years would have been 6.7% instead of 17.2%.
Posted 02/19/2009 10:06PM #2
Charles Cunningham said:

"Obama's plans will do more harm than doing nothing."

I think that's just about what Herbert Hoover said. Apparently a few people still believe him.

I don't pretend to be a historian, but apparently Herbert Hoover HARDLY did nothing. He did quite a lot of meddling to try to fix the problem. The meddling was simply ineffective. He had been advised to do little-or-nothing, but he did not take the advice.

His programs were new-deal-like, and were grandfathered into the New Deal. The Hoover-written bank reform legislation was adopted and passed by the new Roosevelt admin.

Ain't defending Hoover. Am ignorant of history and I do not care whether he was a saint or criminal. It is just an 'accuracy check'. Hoover did not persue a 'hands off' policy. He was a can-do feller convinced he could roll up his sleeves and fix about anything. A technocrat perhaps somewhat similar to a Michael Dukakis, except with a set of balls .

"Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon advised President Hoover that shock treatment would be the best response: "Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers, liquidate real estate.... That will purge the rottenness out of the system. High costs of living and high living will come down. People will work harder, live a more moral life. Values will be adjusted, and enterprising people will pick up the wrecks from less competent people." Hoover rejected this advice, and started numerous programs, all of which failed to reverse the downturn."

"Franklin D. Roosevelt blasted the Republican incumbent for spending and taxing too much, increasing national debt, raising tariffs and blocking trade, as well as placing millions on the dole of the government. Roosevelt attacked Hoover for "reckless and extravagant" spending, of thinking "that we ought to center control of everything in Washington as rapidly as possible," and of leading "the greatest spending administration in peacetime in all of history." Roosevelt's running mate, John Nance Garner, accused the Republican of "leading the country down the path of socialism".

These policies pale beside the more drastic steps taken later as part of the New Deal. Hoover's opponents charge that his policies came too little, and too late, and did not work. Even as he asked Congress for legislation, he reiterated his view that while people must not suffer from hunger and cold, caring for them must be primarily a local and voluntary responsibility.

Even so, New Dealer Rexford Tugwell later remarked that although no one would say so at the time, "practically the whole New Deal was extrapolated from programs that Hoover started."