Amity Shlaes is an incredibly gifted researcher and articulate writer. Her original "The Forgotten Man" addresses the state of this country following the start of the Great Depression in August of 1929 and ran throughout the 30's, 40's, and until the mid-50's, and describes in an excellent analysis how the administrations and federal government did things which made the Depression worse and much longer through "The New Deal", which most Americans of all ideologies do not understand.
The New Deal was a series of domestic programs enacted in the United States between 1933 and 1936, and a few that came later. They included both laws passed by Congress as well as presidential executive orders during the first term (1933-37) of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs were in response to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call the "3 Rs": Relief, Recovery, and Reform. That is Relief for the unemployed and poor; Recovery of the economy to normal levels; and Reform of the financial system to prevent a repeat depression. In the "First New Deal" of 1933-34, programs, such as the National Recovery Administration (NRA), sought to stimulate demand and provide work and relief through increased government spending. The Roosevelt Administration reacted by launching a rhetorical campaign against monopoly power, which was cast as the cause of the depression, and appointing Thurman Arnold to break up large trusts. Ignoring the pleas of the Treasury Department, Roosevelt embarked on an antidote to the depression, reluctantly abandoning his efforts to balance the budget and launching a $5 billion spending program in the spring of 1938 in an effort to increase mass purchasing power. Sound familiar? It failed.
Roosevelt's declining popularity in 1938 was evident throughout the US in the business community, the press, and the Senate and House. Many were labeling the recession the "Roosevelt Recession". We are now in the Obama Recession, and our economy is getting worse, not better. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) (Pub.L. 111-5), commonly referred to as the Stimulus or The Recovery Act. Taxpayers were charged $831 billion. Obama stated that if ARRA was not enacted the unemployment rate would exceed 9%; but if ARRA was enacted it would never exceed 8%. After ARRA became law, the actual unemployment rate exceeded 8% in February 2009, exceeded 9% in May 2009, and exceeded 10% in October 2009. The actual unemployment rate was 9.2% in June 2011 when it was projected to be below 7% with the ARRA. The unemployment rate has fallen to 6.3% for two primary reasons: part-time jobs are included in "employment" and 9 million Americans stopped looking for work, which explains the historically low labor participation rate.
Our current president has made comments on numerous occasions that he "looks forward, not into the past". His policy failures and regulations, many of which are unilateral executive actions intentionally bypassing Congress, have prevented an economic recovery and has resulted in the lowest labor participation since Jimmy Carter blundered his way through the disaster of his presidency. With a revised GDP of -1% for the quarter Jan-March 2014, it's more imperative for Americans of all political ideologies to read "The Forgotten Man" or this version to understand we do, in fact, need to learn from the past so we don't repeat the mistakes made by our leaders which resulted in the Great Depression and extended it until the early 1950's.
This is an educational book, #1 in Amazon in its category, and should be given as gifts - especially the Graphic Edition. Children should read it and try to discuss the information with their parents. After all, who is going to pay the $17.3 Trillion national debt? Our children and grandchildren, and their children.
Our president must be taught to look backwards and learn from the past. This book should be his starting point. Graphic Edition of course.