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The collapse of the financial industry, which became publicly known during the presidential campaign of 2008, has been regarded as the worst financial collapse since the 1929 crash. While the last three years have been accompanied by much misery....in lost jobs, lost homes, depleted pensions, bankruptcies and a lower standard of living.....the last three years, thankfully, have not been like the Dustbowl Depression our nation experienced in the 30's.
One of the reasons we are not enduring our grandfather's depression today is Franklin D. Roosevelt. President Roosevelt, like President Obama, took office after a huge financial industry collapse which affected the entire nation. The '29 crash, like the '08 crash, came about because of speculation by paper and money shufflers in the banking industry. Reckless greed.
Now, as then, those who created the mess refuse to take responsibility for the mess they made....instead, seeking to blame someone else. Then, as now, those who created the mess, sought to blame a Democratic President for the results their reckless greed had produced.
However, unlike now, FDR didn't concern himself with the bruised fee-fees of high-powered corporate leaders who may have whined about being "alienated" by the mean old President.
In fact, the contrast today.....I think, is astonishing. Today, President Obama has been called on the carpet by oh-so-serious-media for daring to call the banksters responsible for collapsing our national economy....."fatcats." Obama has given the powerful in our country almost everything they could possibly ask for....low taxes, still "too big to fail" banks, private market-based national health care reform, a review of all corporate regulations, plans to reduce corporate taxes, a continuation and expansion of free and unfair "job killing" trade policies and a business-as-usual approach to the Wall Street Casino.
But the banksters still have sore fee-fees......Obama is a meany.
It's all disingenuous, of course......all for show....all to help prevent change in their Wizard of Oz kingdom, the one where they control the levers behind the curtain.
Franklin Roosevelt...on the other hand....did not kiss the ass of the powerful, nor worry about whether there were enough grief counselors or wa..a..a..mbulances to handle the avalanche of hurt feelings coming out of Wall Streeters when he called them names. And FDR sure-as-hell did not feel compelled to patch things up with the gangster-banksters of his era by sympathizing with them in a national speech...like Obama will do tonight.
Here in stark contrast is a portion of FDR's October, 1936 speech to the nation.....
We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace--business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.
They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.
Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me--and I welcome their hatred.
Here and now I want to make myself clear about those who disparage their fellow citizens on the relief rolls. They say that those on relief are not merely jobless--that they are worthless. Their solution for the relief problem is to end relief--to purge the rolls by starvation. To use the language of the stock broker, our needy unemployed would be cared for when, as, and if some fairy godmother should happen on the scene.
You and I will continue to refuse to accept that estimate of our unemployed fellow Americans. Your Government is still on the same side of the street with the Good Samaritan and not with those who pass by on the other side.
Two Democratic Presidents. Two tragic national financial collapses both caused by the financial industry. But two very different presidential responses.
FDR's response was unvarnished, straight forward.....defiant even. Fearless in his "looking backward" at the culprits, the very obvious creators of the collapse in 1929.....unafraid of "alienating" the leaders of industry...welcoming their hate.
Obama's talk tonight will be pragmatic, timid in word choice, mindful not to "look backward" for fear of injuring some very rich guy's self-esteem...and all with nary a hint of defiance. Far from welcoming the hate of industry schemers and outsourcers who have been crying us a river while their profits and prospects have been stratospheric......Obama will, instead, tell us about his numerous initiatives and meetings and appointments, all designed to be tokens of his loving, pragmatic embrace of the industry players most responsible for our recent demise.
Like I said.....this ain't your grandfather's depression.