New Foundation Built on a Failed Old One

Kyle-Anne Shiver & Lee Cary
Let's begin with this excerpt is from Charles Krauthammer, April 17, 2009, Washington Post column entitled “The Sting in Four Parts:”

“Franklin Roosevelt gave us the New Deal. John Kennedy gave us the New Frontier. In a major domestic policy address at Georgetown University this week, Barack Obama promised -- eight times -- a "New Foundation."  As it happens, Obama is not the first to try this slogan. President Jimmy Carter peppered his 1979 State of the Union address with five "New Foundations" (and eight more just naked "foundations").”

Now consider these words from Franklin D. Roosevelt:

Instinctively we recognized a deeper need -- the need to find through government the instrument of our united purpose to solve for the individual the ever-rising problems of a complex civilization…

By using the new materials of social justice we have undertaken to erect on the old foundations a more enduring structure for the better use of future generations…

We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics. Out of the collapse of a prosperity whose builders boasted their practicality has come the conviction that in the long run economic morality pays. We are beginning to wipe out the line that divides the practical from the ideal; and in so doing we are fashioning an instrument of unimagined power for the establishment of a morally better world. This new understanding undermines the old admiration of worldly success as such. We are beginning to abandon our tolerance of the abuse of power by those who betray for profit the elementary decencies of life…

In our personal ambitions we are individualists. But in our seeking for economic and political progress as a nation, we all go up, or else we all go down, as one people.” (transcript)

These words were spoken January 20, 1937.  Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Second Inaugural Address. Unemployment was 15.1%; Dow at 179. A year later, unemployment was 17.4%, the Dow at 121. This was five years into the New Deal.  

The long established failure to teach unbiased history in our public schools condemns us to repeat the grand failures of the past, over and over again, until we are bankrupt.

[Hat tip: Amity Shlaes, “The Forgotten Man: A New History Of The Great Depression”]


Let's begin with this excerpt is from Charles Krauthammer, April 17, 2009, Washington Post column entitled “The Sting in Four Parts:”

“Franklin Roosevelt gave us the New Deal. John Kennedy gave us the New Frontier. In a major domestic policy address at Georgetown University this week, Barack Obama promised -- eight times -- a "New Foundation."  As it happens, Obama is not the first to try this slogan. President Jimmy Carter peppered his 1979 State of the Union address with five "New Foundations" (and eight more just naked "foundations").”

Now consider these words from Franklin D. Roosevelt:

Instinctively we recognized a deeper need -- the need to find through government the instrument of our united purpose to solve for the individual the ever-rising problems of a complex civilization…

By using the new materials of social justice we have undertaken to erect on the old foundations a more enduring structure for the better use of future generations…

We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics. Out of the collapse of a prosperity whose builders boasted their practicality has come the conviction that in the long run economic morality pays. We are beginning to wipe out the line that divides the practical from the ideal; and in so doing we are fashioning an instrument of unimagined power for the establishment of a morally better world. This new understanding undermines the old admiration of worldly success as such. We are beginning to abandon our tolerance of the abuse of power by those who betray for profit the elementary decencies of life…

In our personal ambitions we are individualists. But in our seeking for economic and political progress as a nation, we all go up, or else we all go down, as one people.” (transcript)

These words were spoken January 20, 1937.  Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Second Inaugural Address. Unemployment was 15.1%; Dow at 179. A year later, unemployment was 17.4%, the Dow at 121. This was five years into the New Deal.  

The long established failure to teach unbiased history in our public schools condemns us to repeat the grand failures of the past, over and over again, until we are bankrupt.

[Hat tip: Amity Shlaes, “The Forgotten Man: A New History Of The Great Depression”]