The year was 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to the oval office and confronted with soul crushing rates of unemployment, bank failures, and a widespread loss of confidence.
In his inaugural speech on March 4 he declared, “This nation asks for action, and action now. Our greatest primary task is to put people to work. I am prepared under my constitutional duty to recommend the measures that a stricken nation in the midst of a stricken world may require.”
This began an unprecedented period of government intervention into the economy, during which Roosevelt tried different methods to pull the United States out of it’s Great Depression.
If a policy proved ineffective, he tried something else. His unrivaled ability to secure congressional approval became the stuff of legend and established FDR as the most effective president in dealing with Congress during the first 100 days.
FDR faced a rather dire situation. Banks were shutting down. Depositors were losing their life’s savings. Businesses were running out of enough cash to meet payroll which resulted in at least 25 percent of American workers becoming unemployed. While I genuinely believe he was trying to help people in their time of desperation, the unintended (or possibly intended) consequences have reverberated to this very day.
We sit less than one week away from the midterm elections and the condition of the United States appears again to be dire.
Our economy is inflated with enough monetary helium to refloat the Titanic.