This weeks entry marks the end of our reading of New Deal or Raw Deal by Burt Folsom, Jr. I felt like this book was very timely and had many points we should consider today. I had read about FDR before, and had a pretty low opinion of him. However, this book lowered that opinion further still.
I get the feeling FDR was primarily concerned with getting and holding power. Folsom outlines some of the lies he told the American public (such as running on reducing the size of government) and some of the lies he told his own staff (such as when he would play them against each other when they asked for funding). He did everything he could to reduce the strength of the other "equal" branches of government. When congress didn't vote his way, he tried to out Republicans AND Democrats through the use of federal funds in their districts. When the Supreme Court ruled some of his policies unconstitutional, he tried to pack the court by adding members to it.
However, this book is more than a simple attack of FDR's character. It is also a close examination of FDR's policies. Many of these policies have echos in today's world. FDR was elected during the Great Depression. He used massive government expansion and spending to attempt to cure the Great Depression. In our world today, President Obama has tried some of the same techniques to fix our own recession. Those techniques have worked no better than they did for FDR. This book is important because of the similarities to our own world. Once we recognize the problems with FDR's administration, we can try to fight them in President Obama's administration.
My Own Conclusion
This is also the last book I plan on leading for the Book Notes project. This started out as a guided "book club" for Red State by Eric. I picked up somewhere along the way. I hope someone is ready to jump in and take over for me. The book notes project has covered ten books to date. I have gained so much by reading these books. I have learned a lot about economics and conservative history I wouldn't have otherwise known. I also now recognize that conservatism, freedom, and faith are intertwined. In our lives, we must continually water all each of these.
If someone picks this up, I will follow. I will continue to be around the corners of Red State, and plan to write a little here and there. I have enjoyed my time here, and reading the comments of my own fellow travelers has guided me immensely.