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What would FDR do? A Roosevelt speculates

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What would FDR do? A Roosevelt speculates

By Betsy Feldman, contributorAugust 4, 2010: 11:00 AM ET

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FORTUNE -- Despite the fact that just about everyone has an opinion on it, the jury's out on whether President Obama is a latter day Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Curtis Roosevelt, FDR's oldest living descendant, has his own opinions on the debate, and some advice for the sitting President. As a child, Roosevelt had a unique vantage point: he lived in or frequently visited the White House from age three to fifteen, during his grandfather's administration. He witnessed the Great Depression firsthand, and he even recalls seeing a Hooverville before learning the alphabet.

Roosevelt is retired from the United Nations, where he held various positions over the course of his career. Today, he is "on tour," giving talks all over the world, at venues like the Cosmos Club in Washington D.C. While he avoids comparing the presidents' personalities, he does point out the similarities and differences of the two administrations.

It has been widely noted that FDR and Obama faced similar economic environments upon entering the White House -- bank crises, faltering stock market, and trade disputes, to name a few examples. While FDR's arrival at the White House came during a much more bleak time -- unemployment neared 25%, versus 9.6% today -- comparisons are frequently made about the two economies and the legislative choices to stimulate them.

Fight back

But the similar circumstances facing the two administrations go beyond the economy. In particular, the younger Roosevelt points to Republican opposition, outspoken demagogues, and a business community that needed attention. These groups aided in setting two very similar stages for FDR and Obama.

In response to the critics, Roosevelt says that Obama should be as confrontational as FDR was, especially given his stated desire to be non-partisan. "He needs to pick a few enemies and have a go at them," says Roosevelt. "I think FDR did very well in his confrontation with the financial community in diffusing the anger." Obama, he says, should speak to the same type of anger emanating from the business and financial communities today.

Like Obama, FDR was fortunate enough to have a Democratic majority in Congress to expedite legislation being passed. But Roosevelt remembers his grandfather keeping close watch on his legislation, giving leadership to Democratic Party majority figures in Congress, and taking a strong stand against his opposition - something he wishes Obama would do more.

Accept that non-partisanship won't work

While the Republican opposition was substantially reduced in number in the 1930s, it was still very involved in trying to improve the nation's problems, something Roosevelt says is lacking in recent times. New Deal legislation was often passed by very few votes. (Sounds familiar, right?) He regards this as an effective challenge to the Democratic majority of the time.

Today, in contrast, he sees Republicans "just going down the road saying no to Obama." This, he says, is based on the theory that the more they can say no to him, the less he will accomplish, and the more they can point to him as an unsuccessful President. This tactic is not illogical to be sure, but Roosevelt finds it to be a destructive one. "How can we function as a democracy if we don't have the party in opposition as part of the game?"

Obama could do more to address this, Roosevelt says. "He does not attack the Republican National Committee as I think he could and should."

It seems as if the Tea Party has instead opted to be part of this game, but Roosevelt has not seen a natural leader emerge to lead the crowd, if it were to become an official political party. In contrast, he thinks it might have been more feasible for the demagogues of FDR's time (such as Senator Huey Long and Father Charles Coughlin) to form a third party, had they chosen to join forces.

Communicate better with an angry public

In tandem with the growth of the Tea Party, Roosevelt has noted a parallel growth in anger over a troubled financial community, something that is certainly not new. At the Democratic National convention in 1936, FDR spoke directly to that anger, arguing, "These economic royalists complain that we (the Democrats) seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power."

Obama, however, has neglected to confront today's version of this anger, and Roosevelt feels that the President's sympathy toward the American people is not being translated clearly enough.

"That is going to be a difference in the November midterm election, compared to the November election for FDR: the American people do not get the message that President Obama is really with them at a feeling-level. And that I think is a shame because his speeches indicate that to me, but it's not getting across."

http://money.cnn.com/2010/08/03/news/Curtis_roosevelt_FDR.fortune/index.htm

Edited by Heracles

According to the Internal Revenue Service, the 400 richest American households earned a total of $US138 billion, up from $US105 billion a year earlier. That's an average of $US345 million each, on which they paid a tax rate of just 16.6 per cent.

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Prolly put on a crown and call himself KING!


"I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."- Ayn Rand

“Your freedom to be you includes my freedom to be free from you.”

― Andrew Wilkow

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Prolly put on a crown and call himself KING!

I know you didn't read this, so why bother posting.


According to the Internal Revenue Service, the 400 richest American households earned a total of $US138 billion, up from $US105 billion a year earlier. That's an average of $US345 million each, on which they paid a tax rate of just 16.6 per cent.

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It was a different world and a different country in FDR's time.

Yet the same excuses from the wealthy. In fact, nowadays FDR would be able to use various countries like Canada and Australia that are absolutely killing it and illustrate his ideas are valid. Too bad America never stuck with them and reverted back to the old ways; thus, hello US in 2010.


According to the Internal Revenue Service, the 400 richest American households earned a total of $US138 billion, up from $US105 billion a year earlier. That's an average of $US345 million each, on which they paid a tax rate of just 16.6 per cent.

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I know you didn't read this, so why bother posting.

He created a nation of victims! He also created false hope with SSI. If there was no medicaid or medicare where would we be right now? without the two biggest entitlements. prolly in the black.

A nation of our size cannot and never will be able to satisfy everyone's needs. These programs have created the immigration mess!

The consistent bombardment of you CANT do it! because your skin is a certain color. All these things came about when ppl were desperate. Desperation is right where this clown in office wants us to be so we can be DEPENDANT! He's got our health in his hands or at least a few.

Hes got his financial rules in order. It all came about via the words of CRISIS! Sound familiar?


"I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."- Ayn Rand

“Your freedom to be you includes my freedom to be free from you.”

― Andrew Wilkow

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Yet the same excuses from the wealthy. In fact, nowadays FDR would be able to use various countries like Canada and Australia that are absolutely killing it and illustrate his ideas are valid. Too bad America never stuck with them and reverted back to the old ways; thus, hello US in 2010.

Australia is an insignificant player in the world. It may be a great place to live, but the world wouldn't miss it if it disappeared. Neither Canada nor Australia is killing the US in any way. Sorry.


R.I.P Spooky 2004-2015

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Australia is an insignificant player in the world. It may be a great place to live, but the world wouldn't miss it if it disappeared. Neither Canada nor Australia is killing the US in any way. Sorry.

I got two friends in Perth and they were told by the government home buying clown that it was best to go with a adjustable rate loan. six months after they bought, their payment went up 500.00.

Govy proggies are AWESOME! Their so pissed off!

Edited by Col. Lingus

"I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."- Ayn Rand

“Your freedom to be you includes my freedom to be free from you.”

― Andrew Wilkow

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At the Yalta conference, near the end of WW2, Roosevelt was deeply taken by Stalin while Churchill was very suspicious (rightfully so). FDRs attraction to Stalin was due, in part, to the American President's progressive world view. What I am getting to is this: Roosevelt and Stalin carved up Europe at that conference, while Churchill, who objected to the enslavement of Eastern Europe, was shut out. 50 years of slavery, including Poland, Chekoslovakia, Hungary, etc. were caused by FDR's agreement with Stalin. FDR gave his support to a fellow leftist. This is a stain on us as well as Russia and is a direct result of FDR's progressive beliefs.

Liberals revere FDR. We need to re-assess this progressive, who, in many ways is like the current President .


"I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."- Ayn Rand

“Your freedom to be you includes my freedom to be free from you.”

― Andrew Wilkow

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Australia is an insignificant player in the world. It may be a great place to live, but the world wouldn't miss it if it disappeared. Neither Canada nor Australia is killing the US in any way. Sorry.

I don't need to prove anything as you have been owned many times before, but I found these stats again and had a laugh.

The following stats prove FDR's policies work. In your opinion, where would an average Joe be happier and live a better Q.O.L.?

Population

AUS : 22 million

USA : 310 million

~ US has 14.5 times the population

Population Density

AUS : 7 per sq mile

USA : 84 per sq mile

Unemployment Rate

AUS: 5.3%

USA: 9.6%

Debt as % of GDP

AUS: 14%

USA: 71%

Age as Independent Nation

AUS: 109 years

USA: 234 years

GDP - Out of 180 nations

AUS: 13th

USA: 1st

People dying from lack of health care

AUS: 0

USA: 45,000

Government's Net Debt

AUS: $16 Billion

USA: $12,000 Billion

HIV/AIDS Rate

AUS : 108th

USA : 67th

Minimum Wage - per hour:

AUS: $13.70

USA: $7.25

Mandated Vacation Time

AUS: 4 weeks

USA: 0

Murdered by means of Firearms

AUS: 59

USA: 9,369

~ US has 158 times the homicide rate by means of firearms.

Homicide rate - per capita

AUS: 1.2

USA: 5.4

~ Australia has 77% less murders per capita

Life expectancy

AUS: 5th

USA: 38th

International Education Index

AUS: 1st

USA: 19th

Corruption Index

AUS: 8th

USA: 19th

Legatum Prosperity Index annual ranking of 104 countries, according to a variety of factors including wealth, economic growth, personal wellbeing, and quality of life.

AUS: 1st

USA: 6th

Human Development Index - (Quality of life) which measures standard of living, in an attempt to quantify the options available to individuals within a given society.

AUS: 2nd

USA: 13th

Commitment to Development Index The Commitment to Development Index (CDI) rates 22 rich countries on how much they help poor countries build prosperity, good government, and security. Each rich country gets scores in seven policy areas, which are averaged for an overall score.

AUS: 8th

USA: 17th

Democracy Index

AUS: 10th

USA: 18th

Economic Freedom

AUS: 4th

USA: 5th

Global Peace Index

AUS: 19th

USA: 83rd

Failed States Index

AUS: 170th - 8th last

USA: 159th

The Economist's World's Most Livable Cities 2010

AUS: 4 in the top 10

USA: No City ranks in the top 50

Beer Consumption - Most important of them all

AUS: 4th

USA: 13th

Other points:

* Average household income in the USA: $44K

* Average salary per person in AUS is now: ~$53K USD

* To be considered in poverty in AUS, a family of two has to be making under $37,033 USD.

* To be considered in poverty in the USA, a family of two has to be making under $22,050 USD

Edited by Heracles

According to the Internal Revenue Service, the 400 richest American households earned a total of $US138 billion, up from $US105 billion a year earlier. That's an average of $US345 million each, on which they paid a tax rate of just 16.6 per cent.

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Population

AUS : 22 million

USA : 310 million

~ US has 14.5 times the population :rofl:

Edited by Col. Lingus

"I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."- Ayn Rand

“Your freedom to be you includes my freedom to be free from you.”

― Andrew Wilkow

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I got two friends in Perth and they were told by the government home buying clown that it was best to go with a adjustable rate loan. six months after they bought, their payment went up 500.00.

Govy proggies are AWESOME! Their so pissed off!

Dude you are making this up or confused because they would have been told what the normal rate would in six months. Furthermore, you need a decent deposit and must quality for the post adjustment rate to get a loan.

Population

AUS : 22 million

USA : 310 million

~ US has 14.5 times the population :rofl:

Is living in congested communities a good thing to you? If so, go live in Brazil then.

Dude, get out of the uber ultra blue state and move to Mississippi, then come talk about anything.


According to the Internal Revenue Service, the 400 richest American households earned a total of $US138 billion, up from $US105 billion a year earlier. That's an average of $US345 million each, on which they paid a tax rate of just 16.6 per cent.

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Dude you are making this up or confused because they would have been told what the normal rate would in six months. Furthermore, you need a decent deposit and must quality for the post adjustment rate to get a loan.

They put 150000 down big boy! Your governmental financial counselor totally fvcked them. Is this how your AWSOME country gets their money? By screwing the lil folk you so dearly care for? Oh I wonder how much your gov. is payin that clown to ** them.

LONG LIVE BIG GOV.

Edited by Col. Lingus

"I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."- Ayn Rand

“Your freedom to be you includes my freedom to be free from you.”

― Andrew Wilkow

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