Economics

Recently at Reason.tv: Obama's New New Deal—as bad as the old New Deal?

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Nobel laureate economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman says he wants President-elect Barack Obama to enact "something like a new New Deal." Historian Douglas Brinkley has said that Obama could come to office with a "sweeping legislative agenda which will be Johnson-like or New Deal-like." An aide close to Obama told New York magazine that "A lot of people around Barack are reading books about FDR's first hundred days."

On the cusp of a deep economic recession, and with a staggering amount of bailout money being offered to struggling industries, pundits and political advisers are advocating that the incoming Obama administration construct a new New Deal. 

But is the popular narrative about the old New Deal-that Keynesian economics and top-down planning rescued America from the Great Depression-accurate? Reason.tv's Michael C. Moynihan talks to UCLA economist Lee Ohanian, who argues in work written with colleague Harold Cole, that the New Deal's massive intervention into the economy actually prolonged the economic crisis by seven years. 

"Obama's New New Deal" is written and produced by Michael C. Moynihan. Director of Photography is Dan Hayes.

Go here for audio podcast, downloadable version, related materials, and more.

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  1. “But is the popular narrative about the old New Deal-that Keynesian economics and top-down planning rescued America from the Great Depression-accurate?”

    No – and that’s that.

  2. Under new management continuing the same old lousy service.

    H.F. Wolff

  3. Oh, God, if only we could privatize everything and let wise plotocrats run the world, how happy we would all be!

    Merry Christmas to all you market fundamentalist zealots. Keep the faith!

  4. Faith is only required from those who believe that government can allocate capital more efficiently than the private sector can.

  5. On a plus note, the Supreme Court probably won’t be throwing any roadblocks up like the pre-switch-in-time court did under FDR.

  6. Since the old “New Deal” is still largely in effect (ask yourself, what has been repealed, recently?) a truly new deal would . . . repeal the old?

    The old New Deal’s major institutional changes, such as Social Security and the regulation and subsidy of agriculture, etc., are very much alive, what does a new New Deal really mean? Put more of American life under government control, as retirements are? Yes. Starting with medical care.

    And if the deals are structured so that their bite is postponed (Social Security started out taking paltry amounts from wages; now FICA takes more than the income tax, for most working Americans — some “supplementary” retirement system!), then we can expect it to become entrenched before its promises are repudiated enough so that even the inobservant will notice.

    It’s hardly a “new deal” if all you do is more of the same.

    As for me, I not only want a new deal, I want a new deck.

    My slogan: “Less of the same, more of something different.” (Interpret that as “Less government, more voluntary co-operation.”)

  7. Hopefully the SCOTUS will come to it’s senses and invalidate Obama’ election. Why? BECAUSE HE’S NOT A NATURAL BORN CITIZEN! Why? Because, to be a natural born citizen, as understood by the Founding Fathers, you must be born in the country and BOTH of your parents must be citizens! Obama freely admits his father was a British citizen and he even admits the HE WAS A BRITISH CITIZEN AT BIRTH himself! Now all you people who say if you are born in the US you are an n-b-c. YOU’RE WRONG! If you’re born overseas and are a citizen under the 14th amendment you’re not an n-b-c either. You’re a “citizen-by-law”. In 1758 Emerich de Vattel wrote a treatise called “The Law of Nations”. Under section 212 “Citizens and Natives” it states …”The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens…”. This is the definition of n-b-c as the FF’s understood it. The FF’s used the n-b-c phrase beacuse they didn’t want the POTUS to have ANY divided loyalties or allegiances. They even had to grandfather themselves in because they were not n-b-c’s themselves. Forget about the Kenyan birth and the time in Indonesia and how he went to Pakistan when it was closed to Americans and whether the COLB is forged. Barack Obama is not a natural born citizen solely because his father was not a US citizen at the time of his birth. He is therefore INELIGIBLE to be the POTUS.

  8. More caps means more true!

  9. Shorter bill:

    No way no dirty nigger oughter ever be no president.

  10. Boy you must have a lot of hate in your heart. I make a reasoned constitutional argument and all you can do to rebut it is call me a racist, anonymously. At least don’t be such a coward and add a name. BTW John McCain was ineligible also since he was born in Panama. Does that make it better? On a final note, the last time I had a roommate he was black and we lived together for 3 years. So go fuck yourself.

  11. bill

    If you don’t want to be called a racist don’t join in racist crusades and spout racist misinformation. Like about how pure you have to be to be a pure citizen. Its easy to get misinterpretted.

    If you read the COTUS you will find that Congress gets to make the laws about who gets to be a citizen and what kind of citizen they get to be.

    Guess what, right now according to the laws passed by Congress BHO is a NBC.

    Likewise for JSM.

  12. Anyone noticed that noone ever seriously questioned a presidential candidate’s citizenship until someone of a darker persuasion aspired to it.

  13. Actually the ones who get to make the rules about who is a “natural born citizen” are the guys who wrote the Constitution. Look at the 14th amendment. No where in it does it say anyone who falls under it is a “natural born citizen”. It only calls them “citizens”. Actually there was serious discussion about Chester A. Arthur when he became VP and then POTUS because, just like Obama his father was a British citizen. Chester A. Arthur was a usurper. I can tell neither one of you bothered to read the link I provided which explains the whole issue. If Obama is seated then any baby born in America to an illegal alien can become President. Imagine this. A Mexican woman crosses the border illegally has her baby here and as soon as she get the COLB she goes back home. 40 years later the guy returns lives here for 14 years and then is elected VP. The President dies a week after the inauguration and this guy becomes President. His parents are foreign nationals and he’s only lived here 14 years. That is exactly what the Founding Fathers wanted to avoid. Now change the nationality to Chinese or Iranian or Russian or North Korean. Is this really how you want things to work? The facts are that a natural born citizens must be born here and BOTH his parents must be citizens. You can ignore these facts but you can’t deny them. If you find my post racist it’s only because you’re projecting. You’re like a closeted gay who goes around calling everyone else faggot.

  14. Tell you what post your email I’ll send you my address and you can come call me a racist to my face.

  15. bill, you are full of shit.

    If you think i’d give my email addy to someone whose so clearly mentally unbalanced you’re stupider than I canm even imagine.

    Tell you what. Cite one, that’s it, just one, single source for your bizarre legal and constitutional therory.

    Sources like VDare and the Klansmen wannabees over at LGF don’t count.

  16. Just as I thought you’re nothing but a coward. I can see that yellow stripe down your back from here.

  17. bill, it’s the fucking internet, you fucking moron.

    Ok, so my real name is Abner McGillicuddy and my email is youare@fuckingidiot.com

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