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View Diary: Abbreviated pundit roundup: A new year, a new deal (144 comments)

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  •  This may be heresy for a liberal... (4+ / 0-)

    ...but I wish people would quit trotting FDR out to make a point. The economic catastrophe of the Depression was obviously greater than the Great Recession, but it occurred against a much less complex backdrop:

    * The country was a third the size that it is now
    * The country was 90% white (1)
    * Minority groups had few rights (none in the south) and there was no immigration issue
    * There was no transglobal economy, no military-industrial complex (there was barely a standing army), no health care complex, no high technology industry
    * Modern communications was just underway. Virtually no one had a television set, and personal computers were no more conceivable that mainframes
    * Political parties were aligned most along regional lines that served white constituencies -- coalitions could be built without complicating factors of race or sexual identity. (Don't get me wrong: I'm glad those factors exist now.)

    I won't go so far as to consign Roosevelt to history, but the conditions in which he operated were vastly different.

    (1) Latinos weren't counted separately, but they didn't have the demographic significance that they do now

    "There is no room for injustice anywhere in the American mansion." Lyndon Johnson

    by pkgoode on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:41:18 AM PST

    •  What's Your Point? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The country's different and...?

      The economic crises the affecting the people in the country are very similar.

      If I was a communist, rich men would fear me...And the opposite applies. The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

      by stewarjt on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:15:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Which is half the story (0+ / 0-)

        The political, economic, social, and diplomatic environments in which the president must operate are more complex by a degree of magnitude.

        For example, it was no problem for the New Deal to segregate or restrict employment programs to whites-only. It's a critical distinction because the overwhelmingly white electorate believed that its taxes funded programs to benefit itself. FDR never had to contend with a virulent, influential nativist faction that stoked racial resentment into an anti-government fervor.

        Manufacturing was reaching heights that peaked during WW2 and extended well into the 50s. Labor was a powerful liberal constituency and the thought of manufacturing jobs being exported to China and other countries didn't cross anyone's mind any more than the thought of China being a world economic power did.

        "There is no room for injustice anywhere in the American mansion." Lyndon Johnson

        by pkgoode on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 11:44:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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