Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A different and needed perspective on FDR's good

A father figure of mine delivers a kind rebuke to my lessening of FDR's role during the Great Depression.

As any father, he is most kind in his rebuke. But he nonetheless is direct. And I appreciate his perspective, along with his incredibly positive impact in my life and professional career:

The country was on the verge of collapse when he became president, banks were closing and people were making a run on them, hungry people were living in the "Hoovervills," and some desperate people were seeing communism as a solution.

While the unemployment rate didn't decline drastically until World War II approached, much was done to offer relief from the suffering. Banks were saved through the firmer foundations, the FDIC and other measures. People were put to work on countless projects, many of which we still enjoy today. Social Security was enacted, a measure of great worth. School lunches were started.

FDR, through these and other means, restored hope where there had been none. We have no way of knowing how much worse conditions would have been had it not been for FDR.

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