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2012 and 1936 Parallels, 76 year pattern

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posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 09:33 AM
Doing a little research on comparisons between FDR's New Deal and Obama's stimulus, I came across a good number of articles that say the 2012 election/scenario resembles 1936 in some manners. Of course, it's a much different world and many contrasts exist. But the parallels stack up.

The primary parallel is both FDR and Obama are running as incumbents who responded to severe economic downturn with federal expansion through spending programs that attempted to employ people and direct the economy toward recovery.

New Deal- 500 Bil (estimate, inflation adjusted) implemented over two terms.
article on historical federal program spending

During FDR's first term, GDP went from 56.4 bil (adjusted) to 83.4.

Unemployment from 25% to 17%.
great depression statistics

FDR won 1936 in a ridiculous landslide, 523 to 8 electoral college. The return of Christ is probably more likely than that type of outcome, but there are similarities.

The ideological fight today also revolves around the same issues, as in 1936. The Republicans are espousing, as they did 76 years ago, smaller government, deregulation, trickle-down economics, deference to the wealthy, pro-business legislation, hostility to more federal spending, and accusations that Democrats are pushing for "Socialistic" planning. The Democrats, meantime, are running on 1936-like financial regulations, preservation of social reforms (for Obama, health care; for FDR in 1936, Social Security), assistance to small business, help for the unemployed, housing recovery, and berating the rich who are trying to block change.

huffington post blogger

The similarity between the two speeches—both in tone and targets—is striking.

FDR: "Nine mocking years with the golden calf . . . "

Obama: "It was a decade . . . when profits for many of these companies soared."

FDR: "We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace—business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking . . ."

Obama: "Our entire financial system was nearly destroyed."

FDR: "I should like to have it said of my first Administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match."

Obama: "The share of national income flowing to the top 1% of people in this country has climbed to levels last seen in the 1920s. That is not fair. It is not right."

FDR: "Of course we will continue our help for the crippled, for the blind, for the mothers . . . "

Obama: "Two million mothers and young children would be cut from a program that gives them access to healthy food."

FDR: "Their solution for the relief problem is to end relief—to purge the rolls by starvation."

Obama: " . . . a cut that, according to one nonpartisan group, would take away health care for about 19 million Americans—19 million."

The article below argues that FDR was tough on Wall Street while Obama appeases, highlighting a difference. /

A side-by-side comparison of presidential records and the campaigns of 1936 and 2012 suggests how Obama might fare, too -- minus the landslide part. The resemblance starts, of course, with the poor quality of the underlying economy in those first four years.
The U.S. grew from 1933 to 1936, but neither the stock market nor the unemployment levels got back to where they had been at the market crash in 1929. Today, our data also sketch recovery, but neither the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDU) nor employment is back to pre-crash levels.

Parallels are not limited to American economy and politics.

The most concerning thing at this point isn't necessarily the similarity to 1936, it is the timing and current weather pattern. Now that drought takes up most of the country, heat waves will become more frequent.

Summer of 2012 has been record breaking, many of those heat records from 1936.

An unavoidable aspect of 1936 is the rise of Nazi Germany. In 2012 we have a similar threat of potential conflict.comparisons Ahmadinejad and Hitler

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney likened Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Adolf Hitler in a speech on Thursday to Jewish university students.
during '07.

SO a president running on an incomplete economic recovery record, a rhetoric battle between big and small government, an unprecedented heat wave, a threatening international regime.

Now, a closing observation. There seems to be a pattern in American history here. It's 2012 now, 1936 was 76 years ago. 76 years before that was the Abraham Lincoln election and the eve of the Civil War (1860). 76 years before that was the year America and Britain signed the Treaty of Paris to end the revolutionary war (1784).

Generational Dynamics is based on the observation that although a society or nation may go to war often, these crisis wars, wars that create a visceral feeling of anxiety, terror and fury throughout the population, occur only occasionally. In particular, a crisis war occurs only when the generation of people who lived through the terror and anxiety of the last crisis war retire or die. This results in a cycle of crisis wars: Since the human lifetime is about 80 years, crisis wars tend to occur every 70-90 years in any society or nation. This chapter presents some basics to show how nations go from one major crisis war to another in roughly 80-year cycles. The number of years is approximate; it's usually 70-85 years, but some cycles run as little as 60 years or as many as 100 years.

Generational Dynamics

I noticed, though, in my 76 year theory, that maybe the origin point is four years off. 1788 was the constitution, 1864 the end of the civil war, 1940 full blown WW2, and perhaps it is 2016 and not 2012 that will be the critical year many are expecting.

posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 04:45 PM
FDR's speech at 1936 DNC: link

For out of this modern civilization economic royalists carved new dynasties. New kingdoms were built upon concentration of control over material things. Through new uses of corporations, banks and securities, new machinery of industry and agriculture, of labor and capital - all undreamed of by the Fathers - the whole structure of modern life was impressed into this royal service.

Against economic tyranny such as this, the American citizen could appeal only to the organized power of government. The collapse of 1929 showed up the despotism for what it was. The election of 1932 was the people's mandate to end it. Under that mandate it is being ended.

The royalists of the economic order have conceded that political freedom was the business of the government, but they have maintained that economic slavery was nobody's business. They granted that the government could protect the citizen in his right to vote, but they denied that the government could do anything to protect the citizen in his right to work and his right to live.

Today we stand committed to the proposition that freedom is no half-and-half affair. If the average citizen is guaranteed equal opportunity in the polling place, he must have equal opportunity in the market place.

Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.

There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.

In this world of our in other lands, there are some people, who, in times past, have lived and fought for freedom, and seem to have grown too weary to carry on the fight. They have sold their heritage of freedom for the illusion of a living. They have yielded their democracy.

I believe in my heart that only our success can stir their ancient hope. They begin to know that here in America we are waging a great and successful war. It is not alone a war against want and destitution and economic demoralization. It is more than that; it is a war for the survival of democracy. We are fighting to save a great and precious form of government for ourselves and for the world.

posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 06:53 PM
I've thought about this a little bit myself, but not to the depth you have.

Very interesting, for sure.

I think there is a definite correlation and part of that comes from my own observations that the present adult generation has not served in times of war like the generation before us and the one coming after...our parents and our children.

Also, my mom was born in 1925 and she was just starting out as a young adult to make a family when WWII was in full swing. FDR was the President when she was in her teen's...she graduated high school in 1943 and so she was 2 years into the real world when his time came to an end, and Harry Truman took office and the hot seat for the decision regarding the atomic bomb and ending the war with Japan.

In fact, she was living with her parents while her husband was completing his tour of duty in the US Navy in the summer of 1945...near Socorro, New Mexico. On the 16th of July, when they got up to milk the cows at the usual pre-dawn hour...the sky was lit up as if the sun had already rose...even though their watches and their senses told them it just should not be. They didn't find out until mid-August what really happened that fateful morning to light up the sky like it did.

My mom also told me that when FDR started up the CCC, her dad went to apply...wearing a new coat...the first new coat she ever knew of him even having as new...buying it from the store and everything...he was in dire need of a coat and that year they scraped up enough money to buy him one. And so it was cold that day and he wore it to the place where everyone was applying. And they sent him away without a job because he had that new coat on...if he could afford a new coat, then he wasn't as in need as some of the others, was the reason given. A couple of weeks later, though, he had another chance with CCC and needless to say, he did not wear his new coat...and he got a job.

So my mom knows first hand what it was like to be the poor of FDR's day as well as just an American during times of sacrifice because of a war reluctantly entered into for concrete and apparent least on the level of the civilian public. And she has said, about Obama, that he has done more for this country than anyone else in a very long time.

A lot of people loved FDR but many people hated him with a vengeance...and many people criticized him without ceasing for extravagant spending, etc. If the effects he suffered as a result of polio had been revealed to the public at certain times during his administration, I can see how that might have been the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back...thinking he was already questionably incompetent and reckless at a time most felt prudence was the only viable way to proceed...and then to top if off, he was a 'cripple' on top of's obvious just how narrow a line he had to toe in order to pull this country out of the pit it was dangling over.

I often have thought that it was the stress that killed him before his last term was over...12 years in the hot-seat has got to be the most life-zapping experience possible, or at least close to it. No one has ever had to repeat that long of a time in service in the Oval Office so I guess we'll never know if it is survivable. And that is probably a good thing in the sense of it being humane.

I also find it more and more profound that we remember some famous words of his, still...yet somehow have yet to collectively grasp the true meaning and undeniable truth and wisdom in those words:

We have nothing to fear but fear itself.

The war that is eating us up now is not a world war but a war against 'terror.'
Our fear of fear threatens to consume us...and we no longer have the common sense and prudence that the generation that preceded us did...knowing that wars cannot be fought on borrowed money and even though it might be unavoidable to engage in wars we were provoked into...that we still all have to give something toward the effort and that as soon as possible, return to peacetime and try to make it last.

We don't have reminders to buy war bonds on every corner...we don't have to recycle our cooking grease for munitions...we don't have ration booklets and victory gardens and we don't eat chocolate cake made of mayonnaise because we don't get enough eggs to go around.

That is one of the biggest differences between now and then, I think..and a HUGE source of our collective troubles.

posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 07:06 PM
reply to post by queenannie38

Thanks for the insight, loved the anecdote about the new coat.

We have nothing to fear but fear itself.

I was surprised to find this idea, made famous in the post Peal Harbor speech, in the speech I quoted above from the 1936 DNC.

America will not forget these recent years, will not forget that the rescue was not a mere party task. It was the concern of all of us. In our strength we rose together, rallied our energies together, applied the old rules of common sense, and together survived.

In those days we feared fear. That was why we fought fear. And today, my friends, we have won against the most dangerous of our foes. We have conquered fear.

edit on 6-9-2012 by PatrickGarrow17 because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 07:09 PM
It's fitting to use FDR as a comparison to Obama. Obama has the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression. Keep up the good work.

posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 07:10 PM
You deserve a S & F!

posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 09:08 PM
reply to post by PatrickGarrow17

I erred in a detail!
It was the WPA, not the CCC...I was thinking that I was getting it wrong...they lived in Pietown, NM at that time....a place that no longer exists but there are some interesting photos in the Library of Congress of a family there that I think were taken just after my mom's family left...or maybe before...LOL...they are notable in that they are early examples of color photography.

We have a handful of things here in my town that the CCC and WPA had a hand or two somewhat strange seeming nowadays...but I don't know the details, so who knows.

I find that quote from the 1936 speech ironically haunting.

We did NOT overcome fear...not yet, anyway...we are maybe just waking up once again to who the real enemy is...

Gotta watch the DNC right now!
Be back later.

posted on Sep, 6 2012 @ 10:03 PM
There is an earlier post with excerpts from FDR's acceptance speech at 1936 DNC. Right now, Obama is speaking and I will try and highlight some of the similarities.

-Student loan program gets rid of billions wasted in previous bank lending (Obama). FDR was full of anti bank rhetoric.

-Higher taxes on the wealthy. FDR actually implemented a tax bracket of 79% that applied to people with over five million dollars. At the time that was one person: John D. Rockefeller.

- Emphasis middle class, citizenship, government economic responsibility.

- Encouraging charities.

-No bailout for banks that break the rules.

-Obama talks about hope, FDR conquering fear. Very similar.

-Reject the notion that government is beholden to the highest bidder.

-Everyone gets a fair shot, plays by the same rules. FDR talked about equality of opportunity.

The primary contrast is that Obama inherited a war, FDR did not. So he has military points where in 1936 this was absent. Obama mentioned the threat of Iran, FDR made no mention of Hitler. Hopefully the higher awareness of threat will lead to higher probability of preventing conflict

edit on 6-9-2012 by PatrickGarrow17 because: (no reason given)

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