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  Talk Elections
  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion
  U.S. Presidential Election Results (Moderators: Torie, ON Progressive)
  Who's your least favorite president from each party? (search mode)
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Author Topic: Who's your least favorite president from each party?  (Read 57614 times)
dazzleman
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Posts: 13,784
Political Matrix
E: 1.88, S: 1.59

« on: August 11, 2005, 08:00:29 pm »

You realize Herbert Hoover was to the left of Theodore Roosevelt, right? Almost the entire "New" Deal was based off Hoover's proposals.

He was a disaster.  That's all I care about.

I think you're oversimplifying it.  To a large extent, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and while he probably had the right personality and leadership style to preside over prosperity, he had the wrong personality and leadership style to lead a country through a disaster.

I think presidents get too much blame, and too much credit, as the case may be, for what happens economically during their presidency.  A president's effect on the economy is more subtle, and more over the long run than the short run, in my opinion.

I believe that while Roosevelt's policies took the hard edge off the depression through various relief and stimulus programs, his anti-business approach prolonged the depression and prevented a longer term cure of the problem. 

Roosevelt was forced to reverse many of his anti-business policies in 1940 in order to induce companies to invest in productive capacity for war materials, and it is really from these new policies that the post-war prosperity was born.
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dazzleman
Atlas Icon
*****
Posts: 13,784
Political Matrix
E: 1.88, S: 1.59

« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2005, 09:03:00 pm »

Here's what I've gathered

in mid-1932, unemployment hit its high at 33%.  It decreased slowly except for a rise around 1937ish.  The Depression ended when WWII started in 1939 and demand for war materials helped the US economy.

I have a printed page somewhere detailing US unemployment rates from 1930-1940, but don't ask me where it is.

Generally true, except that the depression didn't end in 1939.

In 1939, the US industrial base was still largely crippled.  There was almost no investment for a decade, and our production capacity was not high.  We were producing precious little war material in 1939, and unemployment was still around 17%.

Roosevelt started working with business leaders in 1939-40 regarding war production, and they told him they'd be unable to produce the material needed with their then-current capacity.  They also said that certain of his policies made it too risky for them to invest in expanding production, and said that he would have to change those policies if they were to make the necessary investment.  Roosevelt changed his policies, and effectively abandoned the class warfare of the New Deal.  It never returned as government policy.

It wasn't until 1941 that the depression really ended, once war production was in full swing.
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