Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pawlenty vs FDR

Sustained five percent growth? One might ask when we could possibly find an example of that sort of growth in American history.

From "Pawlenty’s 5 Percent Growth Solution Makes Historical Sense"
"So, yes, the U.S. economy has indeed shown an ability to grow at an average of five percent over a 10-year period. The problem for Pawlenty, and for many other modern-day politicos who believe they know the secret to rapid growth, is that all this growth came under Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

In the 1930s, as Roosevelt and his allies saved American-style capitalism from its own gaudy excesses and pathetic failings, Republican opponents, business interests and trade groups stomped their feet. They accused FDR of being a Socialist, of burdening the economy with regulations, of scaring investors by fomenting uncertainty, of hampering investment by instituting a new safety net, of placing restrictions on a bankrupt Wall Street and banking system. These crazy Keynesian schemes would never work. Why, they would turn the U.S. into a weak clone of the U.S.S.R., unable to compete in global markets, lead, or stand up to external enemies. (Plus ca change. . .)

Of course, the exact opposite happened. In the 1930s and 1940s, the U.S. economy (and its stock market) got back on its feet, rediscovered its capacity to grow, expanded and then led the world to victory over Fascism."
Sadly, Pawlenty is no FDR. Despite all the Republican grumbling about President Obama, sadly, President Obama is no FDR either. But who knows? Maybe there's a chance we voters will get our act together in 2012 and elect a Congress full of FDRs in response to what the Republicans have been trying to do. That's the only way we'd be likely to see that sort of sustained growth any time soon.

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