Tuesday, January 20, 2009

On FDR, the New Deal, and the Great Depression

I know that a lot of people out there are encouraging the incoming Obama administration to take heed of the example of FDR and the New Deal, some even encouraging a "new" New Deal. I caution against that approach to the economy, and I do so by eschewing the traditional economic debates on the issue.

Instead, I ask you to think of it this way. If Obama were to follow FDR's historical path and time line, then we will begin to claw our way out of this economic mess sometime in or after 2016, and then at least in part to a global conflagration that completely reorganizes the economy from a production footing to a 'destruction' footing. Does a seven plus year plan really sound all that appealing?

And that assumes that, after 70 plus years of deficit spending, we can even afford to respond to a global conflagration in the same manner we did then. Perhaps there is a better way than a "new" New Deal.

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