To the editor:
The Great Depression of the 1930's was a struggle - our people were hungry and desperate; soup kitchens abounded. I found one of my uncle's account books. He worked for 10 cents an hour building fence - hard work for less than a dollar a day. My mom said that her family of six shared a quart of milk for a week. The struggle was hard. It's easy to romanticize the depression when you aren't living it. it's not a time we should want to visit again.
Two economic conditions that existed before the depression were lax regulations and a concentration of wealth among a few. Two economic conditions that existed before our recent recession were lax regulations (the Wall Street collapse) and a concentration of wealth among the few. It is interesting that cornerstones of Romney's economic plan are relaxing regulations and giving even more money to the wealthy. As President Clinton said, "The same policies that got us into this mess in the first place."
One action that President Roosevelt took to get the country back on track was to create jobs for people. FDR put people back to work with agencies like the CCC and WPA. The WPA built Tama High School, and I believe the CCC planted trees between Tama and Toledo that are gone now. At any rate, he put people back to work, put money in their pockets so they could consume products meaning that companies had to hire folks to make those products and those folks could buy products --- and the ripple effect continued.
FDR's stimulus package was huge compared to Obama's stimulus. Obama's approach was to cut middle class taxes, putting more money into consumers' hands and to keep money in the hands of auto workers by saving their jobs.
The economic plans of Romney and Obama are starkly different. Romney is concerned about giving money to the job-creators. (Those job-creators had a tax break for some years, and we have high unemployment, so that does not seem to have been too effective. The trickle-down hasn't worked). FDR's and Obama's plans put money into the hands of the ordinary American because their philosophy is that we are a consumer-driven economy. When the American people can buy products, our economy prospers.
It is said that people who don't learn from the past are destined to repeat it. We have tried the trickle-down approach at least a couple of times with unhappy results. On November 6, we have the opportunity to try an approach that has had success in addressing economic problems. it is people like us - the American consuming public - that is slowly pulling us out of this mess, and that is the basis of Obama's plan.