… The more they stay the same. Since George W. Bush has so much in common with Herbert Hoover, particularly in the areas of jobs and trade, and since I liked Obama’s speech so much, I decided to search for the 1932 Democratic Keynote speech and see if there were any interesting parallels. I couldn’t find it. However, along the way, I did find this quote in an FDR speech:
FDR on Trade (Commonwealth Club Adress, San Francisco, 9/23/1932):
The same man who tells you that he does not want to see the government interfere in business-and he means it, and has plenty of good reasons for saying so-is the first to go to Washington and ask the government for a prohibitory tariff on his product. When things get just bad enough-as they did two years ago-he will go with equal speed to the United States government and ask for a loan; and the Reconstruction Finance Corporation is the outcome of it. Each group has sought protection from the government for its own special interest, without realizing that the function of government must be to favor no small group at the expense of its duty to protect the rights of personal freedom and of private property of all its citizens.
… Our system of constantly rising tariffs has at last reacted against us to the point of closing our Canadian frontier on the north, our European markets on the east, many of our Latin American markets to the south, and a goodly proportion of our Pacific markets on the west, through the retaliatory tariffs of those countries. It has forced many of our great industrial institutions who exported their surplus production to such countries, to establish plants in such countries within the tariff walls. This has resulted in the reduction of the operation of their American plants, and opportunity for employment.