Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Barack Obama, You Remind Me Of Herbert Hoover | The New Republic

Countries that face economic or military decline have tended to look for solutions to those ideas and institutions that they associated with their past glory. The British in the 1920s looked to the gold standard as the solution to their economic slump. The Germans and Italians hearkened back to their authoritarian past. In the U.S., the specter of decline has revived arcane notions of economic and political individualism and pre-Keynesian economic theories. As Obama’s half-measures of spending and stimulation have failed to stem the rise in unemployment, many Americans have concluded that the fault lies with government intervention itself.

When Hoover failed to reverse America’s slowdown and was booted out of office in 1932, he was replaced by Franklin Roosevelt, who, unlike Hoover, was not hamstrung by a rigid anti-government ideology and anti-deficit economics. If Obama and the Democrats lose power to the Republicans in 2010 and then 2012, they will be replaced by a party that is mired in the idolization of past institutions and is even less equipped than the Democrats to deal with the challenges of the twenty-first century. Hoover’s defeat led eventually to America’s revival. Obama’s defeat could speed the country’s decline.

Barack Obama, You Remind Me Of Herbert Hoover | The New Republic
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