Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Will History Repeat Itself?

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

1. World War II.

2. Needs to fix the disasters that had been left behind by World War I.

3. Attempts to fix the economy by applying the “New Deal”.

4. Stock market crashes before FDR comes into office.

5. Millions lose jobs before FDR comes into office.

6. Millions of homes foreclosed before FDR comes into office.

7. Attempts to fix the banks that are about to go out of business, creates the FDIC.

8. Created new jobs.

9. FDR applied the “New Deal” in his “First 100 Days”. This helped to ease the pains of the Great Depression and gave millions of people work.


Barack Hussein Obama

1. War on terror and the War in Iraq.

2. Needs to fix the disasters of War in Iraq.

3. Attempts to fix the economy by applying the stimulus package.

4. Stock market crumbles in 2008 before Obama comes into office.

5. Millions lose jobs before Obama comes into office.

6. Millions of homes foreclosed before Obama comes into office.

7. Attempt to fix the banks that are about to go out of business.

8. Will he create new jobs?

9. Attempting as of now to apply the stimulus package in order to help ease the pains of this economic crisis. Will he give millions of American jobs?

The American people elected Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932 because he promised the country that his candidacy would bring change and a promise of hope. When FDR made his inaugural address, he announced that, “[it is] my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance,” this was addressing the issue of the politicians and the economists that were too afraid or too careful to actually make any radical changes to the government. FDR also addresses that the American nation as of then was in a crisis. He addressed to the nation that we were not in a minor from of a crisis, but we were in a serious economic catastrophe.
The American people elected Barack Obama because he promised the country that he would bring change and a promise of a better future. Barack Obama, when he was addressing the nation, said, “we are in the midst of [a] crisis… Our nation is at war... Our economy is badly weakened… Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.” Obama also addresses the nation that the economic crisis we are in now is not such a light deal, and that we have to take it very seriously. Both of these Presidents are/were Democrats and have/had very similar situations tied to their belts. With these similarities, will Obama bring change? Or will history repeat itself and bring about another war? No one will know for sure, but until that time comes, all that we can do is compare and contrast both President Barack Obama and President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

War, economic turmoil, and the millions of people without jobs are few of the situations that Barack Obama, our new president, has to deal with. According to the Employment Situation Summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of unemployed Americans as of this year has been 10.3%, or approximately 15.7 million people. This, however, is not the first time America has gone through these times of serious economic turmoil.
Some 76 years ago, Franklin Delano Roosevelt became the new President of the United States when President Hoover ended his term with the Great Depression. Hoover, much like George W. Bush, had a very low approval rating when he left his seat at the Whitehouse. The times were tough and the Great Depression was taking a huge toll on the American economy. We can surely relate that both the presidents, Roosevelt and Obama, had a tight situation when they began their term(s) in office. President Obama has to deal with both the war in Iraq and the economic troubles in America, while President Roosevelt had to deal with the financial crisis after World War I, the rise of Nazi Germany, World War II, and the ever-endeavoring Great Depression.

A line for the unemployed. Where the unemployed went daily to get a cup of coffee and some bread.


Shows a mother and her children suffering through the Great Depression.


Roosevelt dealt with the Great Depression with his series of plans called the “New Deal”. Some of the programs created, such as the Agricultural Adjustment Act, National Recovery Administration, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, helped to settle the uneasiness in the American homes. President Obama has the same situation and plan when he is dealing with the economy of today. President Obama has promised the country a national stimulus package, in which the government would do whatever it could to revitalize the economy.
World War II had saved the American economy from crashing completely, and maybe the war in Iraq may do the same, but currently all it has been doing is creating a huge gaping hole in the American markets. Both back then and now, the stock markets have been fluctuating and people have lost their homes due to banks foreclosing on their property. When Obama was getting ready to come into office, the American stock market was plummeting, millions of homes were foreclosing, and millions jobs were being lost. As of today, according to USAToday, about 79% of homes in America are being foreclosed.


Home foreclosure is one of the most devastating things that can happen to a homeowner.


When Roosevelt was in office, banks were shutdown because thousands of people took out money in a brief period of time, the stock market was failing completely because of large number of margin buying, jobs were being lost because of overproduction of goods, and millions of homes were foreclosing due to unemployment in addition to no money being in the homeowners’ savings accounts. Getting back into the reasons for the stock market crashing, the markets crashed because of margin buying that most of the investors have done. The Republican controlled government that Hoover ran was a laissez-faire style government, which left the businesses to roam free without government restrictions and interventions. Hoover’s Republican ideas also consisted of low interest rates in banks; to one withdrawing money, it almost seemed like getting the money free of charge. This low interest plan is all well and good if the market stayed at the bull market, which is a stock market where the prices were expected to rise steadily. If the market stayed that way, no one would have lost any money, but because the people sold too low and lost money from margin buying, they lost their fortunes and the market fell to a bear market, which is the opposite of a bull market in which the prices are expected to fall. All of these economic problems that Roosevelt had are very distinctly similar to both then and now.


People gathering in the streets when the stock markets crashed in 1929.


The New York Stock exchange today


Roosevelt’s Emergency Banking Relief Act created a four-day banking holiday, which stopped all activities of the Federal Reserve System and other banks, credit unions, and loan associations. Over 5,000 banks reopened within three days. This banking holiday helped to give FDR a huge boost of support from the American people. When the bailout started with the Bush administration, many Americans disagreed, questioning whether it was really necessary. The Bush administration claimed that the companies were too large to fail and this caused billions of U.S. dollars to go into the already huge multi-million dollar corporations. As of today, the credit crisis is not getting much better. The bailout plan was supposed to help the American corporations to recuperate, but it looks like all it has done was temporarily create a safety net for the large companies. Loans and interest keeps going up due to the credit crisis that had started in 2007.


Graph of Wall Street and credit markets drying up due to the shortage of money and the financial crisis.


When Roosevelt promised change in his presidency, he created administrations to help the development of jobs in the American society. The Works Progress Administration, or the WPA, helped to give out jobs to unemployed Americans. By the spring of 1936, about 3.5 million Americans were on the WPA. Some of the workers were laborers, writers, musicians, actors, and clerks, whom were all given jobs according to their own work fields. Much like times today, many critics reviewed these actions as pointless and that much of the employment was useless work. However, the WPA built roads and public buildings, which helped to create jobs and renew the American society. The WPA employed about 8.5 million people at the cost of about $11 billion after its initial creation. Will this happen with the Obama administration? We can only find out after the President makes his decisions about the economy and the millions upon millions of jobs and homes lost. Will history repeat itself once again? Or will the new frontier of American economy bring about change without drastic warfare? President Obama announced on Monday, February 09, 2009 that the plan that he came into office with is not set in stone. He mentions that he did not plan on spending billions of dollars to start off his administration, but due to the circumstances, the ideas and the plans that he administrated, he had to change by the ebb and flow in order to fit the situation. We can only hope and demand for change, but in reality it is all up to the President to decide what the needs and desires of the American people are.


Note: I will update this post as the Obama administration goes on.


  1. Well, overall good work my friend. But, I disagree with some basic points. 1) I don't think the stimulus package was anything more than a Pork Barrel Legislation for special interests and not for the greater good of the American people.I.E. millions spent on Global Warming research. What pisses me off the most about this is that socialism (I know it's not that yet) is supposed to be democratic, and yet this is anything but. Now, I know I've gone off on a tangent separate from your article. Anyway, 2)I don't think he is trying to fix the banks because he is their puppet. The big banks nationalized by Bush control everything now, well maybe not everything. 3)When you say FDR had to "deal" with Nazi Germany, what do you mean? He supported it and looked the other way, while American businesses funded Nazi Germany and profited from Hitler's success, amongst other dictators. FDR didn't lift a finger until later on. 4)Ohh, believe me there was government intervention in business during the Hoover years, just not the kind you and most people are thinking of. There's always been big gov't, just a nanny state for Big Business. This was true back then and still is. You are right of course about no regulation.And, what sucks the most today, is that Obama is placing the people that initiated this financial meltdown back into power. It was during the Clinton years when deregulation began. But, like you say we shall see what happens next. I certainly hope Barry doesn't rely on more warfare to bounce the economy back, but I would not rule it out. He is very hawkish, a point sadly so many fail to point out.

  2. Thanks for the input Chris. I always appreciate any comments. It helps me become a better writer and a better understander :D, so thanks again.

    If anyone else has something they'd like to add, feel free, I will do a better job writing next time.

  3. I liked it Ryan. Good job comparing the two. I fixed a little grammar, I hope you don't mind.

  4. No problem Ryan, but you can look up the points I made because of course as with anybody, I am biased, and also it's good to question anything you hear.

  5. Going off on what Chris was saying about Hoover not being laissez-faire, check this out:


Your comments are valued greatly. Please adhere to the decorum on the "First time here?" page. Comments that are in violation of any of the rules will be deleted without notice.

3/11 Update - No Moderation

*Non-anonymous commenting is preferred to avoid mix-ups. Anonymous comments are, at the behest of management, more likely to be deleted than non-anonymous comments.