What is the comparison in the New Deal era and of current times?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that you will find in both time periods a belief that government can do more for people in order to assist in severe times of economic challenge.  The New Deal's premise was that government can provide relief and set the stage for recovery in times of stagnant or devolution in economic progress.  This is a premise that is believed today, to a great extent.  The use of government bailout money for banks and businesses is a reflection of this.  The use of government funds to sustain and even rescue businesses and financial institutions that have suffered great challenge during the economic recession of the last five years is an extension of the New Deal ideas.  Another comparison of both settings is that financial pressure and economic challenge is experienced by the lowest of society.  The regular person in both time periods experienced the brunt of economic challenge more than anyone else.  In the New Deal time period, "regular" people were feeling the economic pinch and this is the same today.  The interesting element out of this would be that regular people were not the ones who brought on either set of economic challenges.  It is here where another parallel is evident in that risky economic practices and not sound strategies brought on both time periods.  The New Deal was triggered by the Great Depression, an economic situation that was brought on by purchasing stocks on marginal credit and not having sufficient funds or investments to substantiate it.  The current economic times has parallels to this with examples such as the subprime mortgage lending crisis as well as other fiscally irresponsible actions that brought about economic pain for all.  Even if one wanted to argue that "regular people" bought in to the subprime mortgage crisis, I think that it can be asserted that banks and lending institutions were not vigilant in approving loans that they had to have known could not and would not have been sufficiently paid.

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