The FDR myth

We all grew up being taught that FDR was the nation’s savior.  He wasn’t.  He was a Progressive who prolonged the depression by an extra seven or eight years, inflicting tremendous damage on the nation.  The fact that Newt finds FDR an effective leader is somewhat worrying.

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  • Old Soldier

    Sometimes effective leaders are headed in the wrong direction.

  • poliwog

    This is OT but there hasn’t been a post lately where it wouldn’t be. 

    I’m interested in getting your book but have a NookColor.  Is there a way to get your book to download to other platforms than Kindle?

  • Bookworm
  • poliwog


  • Bookworm

    Not at all, poliwog.  I should be thanking you!

  • Mike Devx

    Book says:
    > We all grew up being taught that FDR was the nation’s savior.  He wasn’t.  He was a Progressive who prolonged the depression by an extra seven or eight years, inflicting tremendous damage on the nation.

    Amen, Book!  It’s so important to realize this.  As of mid-1940, New Deal policies had not solved any of the economic problems plaguing America.  It seems certain to me that they delayed the recovery.

    In mid-1940, alarm over Germany’s success in WWII had Americans extremely worried.  It was at this exact point that Roosevelt committed America to being the “arsenal of Democracy”.  Americans would not allow our soldiers to fight in the war, but they were willing to provide material support to our Allies in Europe, against Germany.

    Roosevelt also – with total correctness – saw that Germany’s continued victories would bring the war directly to us.  Our industrial infrastructure, and our military, were completely unready for this in mid-1940.

    What did Roosevelt do?  

    He took a look at his New Deal executive branch – AND HE GUTTED IT!  HE KILLED IT, like killing a vampire with a stake.  And then he cut off its head.  He sprayed it with acid.  HE NUKED IT.  In those six months ending 1940, Roosevelt destroyed his New Deal coalition with ruthless determination.  He went to businesses and hired two leading businessmen to head his economic team.  He left the New Dealists powerless against them.  They set up guidelines and programs that were extraordinarily friendly to businesses, to ramp up industrial production and war production.

    America had a loooong way to go to be prepared and ready.  But by Dec 7th, 1941, we were well on our way.  Still not ready, but due to Roosevelt’s amazing 180-degree turn, we had a shot.  And we pulled it off.

    Interestingly, this was a command economy, and it didn’t work completely well.  Logistical problems and inefficiencies plagued the system.  But so much effort and material was thrown into it that it worked to a certain degree.

    Then, after the war ended, Roosevelt – and then Truman to a magnificent degree – refused to reinstitute New Deal policies, and went with free-market concepts as they integrated returning soldiers into the working force and abandoned the wartime command economy.  The result, 1945-1948, was the Economic Miracle that fully shattered the lingering Depression.  A slight blip downward then lead into the economically prosperous 50’s.

    That’s my understanding, anyway.  I’d love to hear evidence to the contrary.

  • jj

    Knew too many people who knew him.  Was never exposed to the myth until I was at an age where it just bounced off.  

  • Ymarsakar

    The Leftist strategy for victory is deep, vindictive, unrelenting, and unflinching. If you think you can defeat a century old strategy born of blood, ruthlessness, and infinitely flowing capital with “elections”, you might want to think again.

  • Kate

    Could anyone recommend specific reading? It’s hard to continue the argument w/o facts, and I haven’t a clue as to where to begin? Thanks so much!

  • Ymarsakar

    The nice thing about propaganda is that it makes the target audience immune to facts. Let’s take magician tricks. Even if you could tell them the trick to it, they would still be stunned because their eyes are telling them something else is happening. If they were to risk being made a fool if they contradicted their first impression of the illusion, they might not even update their claim after the trick has been explained to them. Pride. Easy way to manipulate people, especially Ancient Greeks.

  • jj

    I’m unaware of Newt’s comment, but think about it for a second.  There is no denying the FDR was an effective leader – but that’s not the same thing as calling him a good one.  I don’t think Newt would refer to him as a good leader, or a smart one, or one to emulate.  (Kind of like Time’s person of the year – it says nothing about the value of the person, just about the amount of noise they made.)
    FDR was plainly effective.  Obama’s been plainly effective.  Stalin was plainly effective.  So were Hitler, Mao, LBJ, Pol Pot, Churchill, and Jawaharlal Nehru.  Effective implies nothing beyond that they made changes and got things done.  It doesn’t speak to whether they were changes anyone with a brain would want, or they were good things to do.  As I look at American history, I personally wish that someone had drowned FDR before he attained his majority – but there’s no denying the son of a bitch was effective.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Mike D, FDR did not survive the war. Harry Truman tried to continue FDR’s “New Deal” policies (re-dubbed the “Fair Deal”) but was thwarted when the 80th (Republican) Congress was elected in 1946 and began rolling back the FDR policies.

    That’s when the economy took off. 

    Truman, Republican Congress – economy rebounds
    Clinton, Republican Congress – economy rebounds

    Today, history repeats itself as farce. 

  • Ymarsakar

    And that’s why propaganda makes its subjects immune to facts. Danny may have described some facts, but what people perceive is that socialism worked and was certainly “sustainable”, precisely because the Republican Congress increased the income and economic level.

    The best strategy against enemies are catch 22. Either you fail to counter the strategy, and you just lose power straight up. Or you counter the strategy, and still lose just later on due to people thinking socialist policies work. 

  • Mike Devx

    > Mike D, FDR did not survive the war. Harry Truman tried to continue FDR’s “New Deal” policies

    Yeah, I have my timelines confused.  I’d thought Roosevelt was still President on VE day, but he’d died about a month earlier.  I always knew Truman completed the war in the Pacific.  My impression is that Truman didn’t try very hard at all to resurrect New Deal policies after the war.  Perhaps it was just a case of the writing being on the wall, and he knew he couldn’t win that battle.

    But if you look at the changes within his Administration from mid-1940 on, I still think it is clear that he abandoned the New Deal and Fair Deal policies – in particular their extreme hostility towards business.

    I’m not saying I’m in favor of what FDR did.  What you have is a 180-degree turn from complete hatred of business, to complete love of business interests.  But it was still a command economy, and the President’s team was responsible for choosing winners and losers.  It was classic crony capitalism x a million.  It had nothing at all to do with free market economics.  What was notable to me was how the New Deaiists and Fair Dealists were sent to pasture from mid-1940 on.  The world had gotten seriously deadly, and the time for foolish economic pointy-headed leftists was over.  Examine the men Roosevelt appointed to head his economic team, to control the entire US economy during its transition into the “arsenal of democracy” in mid-1940, and you’ll see the start of what I’m talking about.

    I’m still viewing that period that way.  I could add all the usual blah-blah caveats each time I post: I’m willing to change my mind, I know I could be wrong about this, history can be so subjective…  but it gets boring to repeat the boilerplate, no matter how true it is.  Of course I’m reasonably open to change, given a convincing argument!


  • Ymarsakar

    What you have is a 180-degree turn from complete hatred of business, to complete love of business interests.

    There’s no difference between fascism and communism. Both are command economies. If you admit that roosevelt was still commanding the economy, then it is totally irrelevant whether he was commanding it for business or commanding it for New Dealists. The New Dealists were making money off the rocks, either way. 

  • Bookworm

    As pithy a summary as I’ve ever heard, Ymarsakar.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Ymarsaker: “And that’s why propaganda makes its subjects immune to facts. Danny may have described some facts, but what people perceive is that socialism worked and was certainly “sustainable”, precisely because the Republican Congress increased the income and economic level.”

    How true! It was always frustrating to me how Clinton got credit for the tech boom economy when it was the Republican Congress (two years in) that blocked Clinton’s massive tax hike plans and pretty much limited his impact on the economy, which would have been similar to what Obama has been attempting today.  That’s what happens when the Left controls most of the media. 

  • Ymarsakar

    The whole reason why Churchill got kicked out was because after the war, the Brits wanted command economy socialism writ big. Why? Because they saw how command economies worked so well for pride and social justice during the war… run by a Conservative. So you see. Even if Churchill could kill Goebbels and execute him, Churchill couldn’t do much against his domestic propaganda opponents.