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Opening Arguments

Big Deal

Here's a Hillary Clinton speech on "Solutions for the American Economy" from January. I assume what she will say in Fort Wayne won't be substantially different. Here she explains the genesis of her "bold" approach:

Think about President Franklin Roosevelt. Faced with a Depression, grave threats to America's freedom, he responded with bold solutions. Yes, they were sometimes controversial, but we rose from economic chaos and despair and at the time he died we were months away from winning a World War. He didn't paint a rosy scenario. He didn't ignore the tough challenges. He urged us to confront them. "We have a great many problems ahead of us," he said. "And we must approach them with realism and courage." He believed we could tackle our greatest challenges, and I believe exactly the same. We have to overcome the fear and fatalism that President Bush has used to divide us and set us against one another.

A good case can be made -- indeed, has been made by many economists -- that Roosevelt's New Deal not only didn't "bring us out of economic chaos and despair'; it actually deepened and lengthened the Depression. World War II, not FDR's boldness,  got us out of economic trouble. Thanks to FDR, we have a fundamentally bigger, different government, for no good reason. A look at Clinton's proposals -- bailing out borrowers, universal health insurance, jobs through government infrasturcture spending, protectionism, income "fairness" -- does not exactly inspire confidence. At least John McCain admits he doesn't know much about the economy. 


Thu, 03/27/2008 - 3:37pm

Because many economists have made a case against the New Deal doesn't make it a good case. It is revisionist history, at best, and outright lying, at worst. Of course, lying is what economists do best. That's because there are lies, damn lies, and statistics, and we all know how economists love statistics. And this comes from an MBA.

I don't have strong enough words to express my utter contempt for those who feel that doing nothing in the face of economic disaster is the best course. For them, it's OK to sacrifice John Q. Public, if only their Libertarian dogma can be kept pristine.

Ben Keeler
Thu, 03/27/2008 - 6:48pm

Clinton and/or Obama would expand govt. No way around that. McCain, though his own comments, undermined his economic standing, though he woudl certianly be better than either Democrat.