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Kids Speaking Up: Time to Fight Recession — Again

President-elect Obama's radical policies, paralleling FDR's, may be the only hope for our failing economy.

Whether or not President-elect Barack Obama will carry Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidential legacy, Obama’s future administration already shows signs of parallels to Roosevelt’s policies.

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Andrew Hsu
However, unlike Roosevelt, Obama has the chance to enact legislation and improve the economy before the recession turns into another Great Depression. Having a New Deal mindset, Obama already plans to implement public works projects to spur an increase of national jobs and future benefits. Such future benefits include plans to improve energy efficiency in buildings, increase information technology in hospitals and at doctors’ offices, and upgrade the technology available at schools.

This is a necessary step for the United States given its economic problems. As more jobs dissipate (533,000 in November alone), the country needs to implement radical policies like Obama’s and Roosevelt’s that increase jobs, stimulate the economy and provide future stability. It’s true that much of the United States’ past successes with the economy are a result of the free market and capitalist policies — but we need to realize, as a country, that this is the worst economic shape we’ve been in since the Depression.

As Obama advocated throughout his campaign, it’s time for change. It’s too late for the halfhearted raising and lowering of interest rates, or small stimulus packages. Hopefully, Obama, like Roosevelt, will be able to bring around a nationwide economic upturn with the image of strong government intervention.

Interestingly, though, it’s not only the public works projects on Obama’s agenda that show signs of the national hero of the early 20th century. Obama’s newest venture seems to take after Roosevelt’s famous fireside chats. Roosevelt, in 1933, decided to speak “directly” to the American middle class through the easily accessible radio to personally appease and educate the public. Obama, on the other hand, is setting up video Webcasts to introduce his own New Deal. Striving to introduce a president-to-people connection that has been absent in recent years, the public hopefully will rally behind the president-elect’s goals and fresh legislative agenda.

I do realize that there’s a large chance Obama’s new legislation isn’t going to be as effective as Roosevelt’s were in the ‘30s. After all, most attempts to undo the economic crisis, subtle and drastic, haven’t made much of a change in the global recession that has hit in the past year. Whether or not you support the new president-elect, his radical policies may be the only thing that can save our falling economy.

Dos Pueblos High School senior Andrew Hsu is a member of Kids Speaking Up, a local group working to educate youth on social, national and political issues and inspire them to write.

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