Monday, March 17, 2014

Hoover, FDR, the Great Depression and American Business Leaders

As the nation plunged deeper into the Great Depression, Roosevelt, governor of New York State, went into action, believing that government has a social responsibility to provide when the chips are down.

During all of this time, a Roosevelt-for-President movement was gaining momentum.

What surprises me is how many of highest business leaders of the land were lining up behind Roosevelt. He was anti-tarrif, "damp" on the question of Prohibition (leave it to the States) and pro-active for moving the economy.

I can only think that the best heads of business understood that a healthy nation needed a strong government working on behalf of all the people.

Roosevelt created in New York State what was ultimately to become FEMA (1933), raised income taxes (graduated) and put people to work, and if work couldn't be found, helped them out to weather the storm.

What's good for all the people is good for American Business - Roosevelt understood this, and so did the nation's top financiers.

Sadly, Hooverism seems to have won the day for what is now the GOP, driven by the Koch Bros and other private-interest groups, who have little concern for America, and can only focus on their own private coffers.

As with Hoover's policies in 1931-32, a private-coffer driven economy can only spiral downward … to some ears, it sounds good - "sink or swim; you're on your own," and for those swimming, they're mighty damn proud of their achievement, even as millions drown in the murky waters of poverty. I guess they should've learned how to swim.

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