- Jun 2012
- At present SD, USA
And you've conveniently ignored the rest of the sentence. The point was that he was doing BOTH nothing and something. He did try certain infrastructure projects, like the Hoover Dam, but at the same time, he wasn't providing direct relief or reform with the banking or farming industries... largely in the basis that the reforms necessary would have more heavily involved the Federal government in the economy than what Hoover promised to do in 1928, which essentially to carry on Coolidge's policies, as they'd worked so "well" prior to 1928 that there was no perceived need to change anything... and then came the 1929 crash.In post 2?
"Admittedly, Hoover did try some things to alleviate the affects of the Depression, but he tied it too much to the argument of "let the market heal itself" which in the end is doing nothing at the same time, and in a sense contributed to the problems that came out of the 1929 crash."
Hoover was caught in a very tight pickle in which he knew he had to do something, but generally operated in way that essentially limited how much he could really do. The argument of "let the market fix itself" was there at the time. Even if Hoover wasn't chanting it himself, there were various people that WERE, and among the more educated of them, they would point to previous economic crashes where the direct response by the government was limited, and often on the side of business, and the recession at those times proved relatively short. In this, Hoover wasn't on the sort of ground where he could propose for a massive Keynesian program the way Roosevelt would once in office.
Which is essentially both doing something and doing nothing at the SAME time. It'd be like saying you want to build a skyscraper with 100 floors and you demand that the builders follow ALL the safety guidelines, but you only provide enough money and material to build 50 floors and continue to insist that they build a 100 floor building. Yes, there would have been a lot of work done, but if you're not going to allow the building to be completed at 50 floors, what's been done is pretty much worthless until you can get the money/material to build the last fifty floors.
More with quotes without context.More from FDR, accusing Hoover of doing too much:
“...but more important, are the reckless policies of the Hoover administration at home. The federal government for the past four years has been guilty of spending to the point of danger, to the verge of bankruptcy. Not for one, but two, and now three years, the nation has spent more than it earned.”
A lot of the issues that relate to how the government will respond to crisis, particularly after events like the Great Depression, will relate to how and what the money is spent on. If all that money is spent on military procurement, which won't benefit the country unless there is a war, the way Nazi Germany did in 30s or the way the Soviets did in the Cold War, that nation risks economic trouble and the money was wasted. Now, historically the Germans avoided the economic trouble by starting a war in 1939 which then raised the demand for military hardware to replace the equipment lost in the war. In contrast, the Soviets didn't have a war, and by the 1980s to early 90s, it'd reached a point where the member states of the Soviet Union no longer wished to be part of it, and it collapsed under the economic strain.
If one spends it solely on infrastructure projects, that may provide a short term boost, but without addressing the issues that were at the heart of the economic collapse, all that is done is providing a short term band-aid that won't reverse the effects of the economic crash in the long term. Which is where Hoover was and reflects the do something and do nothing at the same time response. He provided projects here and there that would be helpful in the short term in those areas, but nothing that would be beneficial in the long term, unless it's expanded and increased. And if you're not going to do that... you're essentially wasting money that won't come back.
The proposed solutions in the New Deal offered many of the same infrastructure projects, but they were to be spread across the country, giving that sort of help and hope to a much larger group of people while in theory also addressing the reform issues that were intended to stabilize the economic situation to a point where it would sustain itself, which was the main mission... and through which, Roosevelt had to be careful in dealing with Southern Democrats that might not support the far more progressive reforms that Northern Democrats like FDR and Wallace supported.
In a sense, it's very much like what Futurist pointed to in that it wasn't so much about the fact that money was spent but what it was spent on. Politics, at least with regard to democracies, is not something that favors simplicity.
That really depends on WHAT is done. A big part of the collapse of credit and banking from 1929 to 1932 was in relation to the fact that Hoover never put in place anything like the reforms that FDR put in place in 1933 with the New Deal. If Hoover had done more to directly stabilize the banks, even if it meant getting the Federal Government MORE involved in the economy than in the past... perhaps he could have made a claim of responding to the heart of the problem that would put him in a better position. But, it's in that specific instance where Hoover really didn't...FWIW, I believe whoever was the incumbent in 1932 would have lost, even if he did "more" than Hoover. The government can't overcome that level of dissipation of bank credit: from $40B in June 1930 to $22B in June 1933. It's like Rothschild said - as long as I own the money, I don't care who makes the laws.
Whereas FDR WOULD once in office, even if it meant an expansion of the government's power from where it was in the past.