Refighting the Depression

SMU's Cox Senior Lecturer Mike Davis talks about how both sides are using The Great Depression to bolster their arguments.

By Jim Landers

 The arguments this fall about what’s wrong with the economy and what to do about it echo debates from the Great Depression.

 Gov. Rick Perry’s critique against government intervention in the economy covers not just President Barack Obama’s administration but castigates Social Security and other New Deal programs of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

 Obama, meanwhile, says the government needs to rescue the economy by picking up the slack left by consumers, banks and other businesses still shedding debt and licking their wounds from the financial panic of 2008. That’s very much in keeping with Roosevelt.

 “The interesting thing to observe is the way people are using the evidence of what went on in the Depression to bolster their arguments, one way or another, for various proposals today,” said Southern Methodist University senior lecturer Mike Davis....