Prohibition’s Repeal: What Made FDR Popular
For seventy-plus years, the case of Franklin Delano Roosevelt has vexed people of a libertarian bent. His policies, extending war socialism based on Mussolini’s economic structure, expanded the American state to an unthinkable extent and prolonged the Great Depression through the horrific World War II.
Normalcy did not return until after his wartime controls were repealed and the budget was cut. Lasting economic recovery began in 1948.
And the guy who made all that happen is a hero? His picture is on the (depreciated) dime.
Libraries of books have appeared about his presidency, most celebrating his cockamamie schemes, and this is the example that has inspired the whole of American political culture. Everyone tries to be like him, and the way they try to be like him is by ramming through even-more-cockamamie schemes using high-blown rhetoric. Bust the budget and be “great”: this is the lesson of FDR.
George W. Bush was a case in point. After 9/11, he did the best impersonation he could, but in the end he was completely discredited. Clinton tried something similar with his goofy healthcare plan, but he failed. Obama took some steps in this direction, but they never amounted to much.
The problem here is the example of FDR and the lessons that the American political class has learned from it. The big-government left loves the example, and urges everyone, go thou and do likewise. The neoconservatives have taken the approach that we should just stop fighting about FDR and learn to love the New Deal. Newt Gingrich and his friends have pushed the most implausible thing of all: heralding the greatness of the New Deal while also proclaiming their opposition to big government. Huh?
In the end, it turns out that everyone has learned
Article from Mises Wire