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
huffington post blogger
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.
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
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.
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.