Colby on the 1% (article two)
Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of articles examining the history, activity, secrets and identity of the 1% in the US. See the first article here.
Today’s Democrats and progressive reformers often turn to the New Deal of the 1930s as an alternative model to the bankrupted policies the Republican Party has embraced since the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan. Their thinking is that if President Franklin D. Roosevelt could pull the country out of a Depression in the 1930s (and save capitalism along the way), then surely the Obama Administration can do it again, even by applying some of the same principles. Take for example Thomas Geoghegan’s “What Would Keynes Do?” (The Nation, Oct. 17, 2010), a strong defense of the deficit budgeting in times of economic crisis championed during the New Deal by British economist John Maynard Keynes. President Barack Obama’s stimulus spending on public works was inspired by the New Deal’s Public Works Administration, and even though Obama’s spending package did not match the New Deal’s, Keynes’s economics has become “The GOP’s Latest Whipping Boy,” as headlined in The Washington Post recently. Here I take a closer look at FDR’s reforms, especially the economic reforms, to see if a new New Deal has any merit.