In late August 1932, George Foster Peabody, a major figure in railway and electric-power development, wrote a letter to the New York Times, criticizing President Herbert Hoover's response to the Great Depression. Peabody’s conclusion was stark: “I am thus thoroughly convinced that Mr. Hoover is incompetent.”
In economic circles, no slight stings more than being compared to Herbert Hoover. The 31st U.S. president, who helped make the Depression of the 1930s great, ranks among history’s worst growth killers.
As we approach another general election, it will be interesting to see how the economic performance of Democrats is judged. If voters borrow the preferred method of John Kerry and other Democrats from 2004, Barack Obama will be revealed to be among the worst presidents in history.
This year is supposed to be like 1932. That’s what you would believe after reading commentators who compare current patterns in the Dow Jones Industrial Average to those at the end of Herbert Hoover ’s presidency.