The Ongoing Quest for Economic Equality

In the wake of an economic decline there is often a renewed energy for the movement towards equality.  These economic slumps have occurred throughout America’s history, generally creating rifts in the social structure of society.  In the aftermath of such events, there is a rising idea to create more equality so that this economic disparity may not reoccur.

Equality was one of the primary points in President Obama’s State of the Union Address in 2014.  Since the economic downturn four years ago, known as the Great Recession, he claimed that “Today, after four years of economic growth, corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher, and those at the top have never done better. But average wages have barely budged. Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled. The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by; let alone to get ahead. And too many still aren’t working at all.”  The Recession caused thousands of Americans to lose jobs and live in poverty.  In the following years, there has been a focus on repairing the country’s economy.  However, this is a task that requires continuous effort.  The President has planned to “reduce inequality in access to higher education” and “fix our broken immigration system” in order to repair the economy.  He also stressed that “women deserve equal pay for equal work”.  Finally, he proposed a balance between growing companies and creating jobs.  His focus on equality in the United States was constant throughout his speech.

Great Depression was an economic downturn far worse than that of the twenty first century.  There was widespread poverty and goods were rarely in surplus.  In his presidency, he developed the New Deal.  He wanted to help the national economy, so “the credit of the Government has been fortified by drastic reduction in the cost of its permanent agencies through the Economy Act.”  Roosevelt wanted to “build on the ruins of the past a new structure designed better to meet the present problems of modern civilization.” He wanted equality for everyone to balance the country.

Both speeches addressed the need for economic equality in the United States.  Without a balance, the economy could plunge back into a recession.  The presidents’ terms followed economic downturns and it was imperative for them to repair the economy.  They had similar ideas about creating equality for citizens socially and economically.  However, they differed in their attitudes towards the power of large companies.

President Obama and President Roosevelt

Sources:

http://www.salon.com/2012/10/26/too_bad_we_cant_re_reelect_fdr/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/full-text-of-obamas-2014-state-of-the-union-address/2014/01/28/e0c93358-887f-11e3-a5bd-844629433ba3_story.html

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/sou.php

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