Comparing the current economic situation of our nation to the Great Depression, I wonder how fully we have fallen prey to instant gratification.
Many blame President Obama for not fixing the economy after its plunge in 2008, four years ago. However, after the stock market crash of 1929, the U.S. didn’t fully recover for more than 10 years, after we started gearing up for WWII and Franklin Roosevelt was into his third term as president. Is it fair to blame Obama for not accomplishing in one term what Roosevelt couldn’t completely finish in two? (Roosevelt was eventually elected to a fourth term, but died shortly into it in 1945. Since then the Constitution was amended to limit presidents to two terms.)
Many citizens today were not alive when Democrat Roosevelt fought to right the country’s economic ship. Like Obama, he had determined Republican opponents. But our 44th president has the challenges of the 24-hour a day news cycle full of partisan blather, the Internet dispensing misinformation and outright lies, the judicial Citizens United ruling granting personal free speech rights to high-spending corporate entities, and an ideological gridlock in Washington that might have even FDR shaking his head in awe.
In the Nov. 2 edition of The Herald under the “Markets” briefs section, there were eight different headlines about positive signs in various segments of the economy. But, I guess slow, long-term improvement is hard to endure in a society where we can communicate halfway around the globe in an instant on a device that fits in the palm of our hands. We get from candidates what we apparently prefer: nifty, sloganized, attack sound bites and flip-flopping to satisfy different constituencies instead of detailed proposals based on truth and solid principles.