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In his first term, President Barack Obama played a cautious manager navigating the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression and cleaning up the messes left by President George W. Bush in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Great Depression, like most other periods of severe unemployment, was produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy.
My parents were children during the Great Depression of the 1930s, and it scarred them. Especially my father, who saw destitution in his Brooklyn, New York neighborhood; adults standing in so called 'bread lines,' children begging in the streets.
During the Great Depression, levels of crime actually dropped. During the 1920s, when life was free and easy, so was crime. During the 1930s, when the entire American economy fell into a government-owned alligator moat, crime was nearly non-existent. During the 1950s and 1960s, when the economy was excellent, crime rose again.
When I was in high school, I used to have breakfast with my grandpa every morning. He instilled a lot of values in me: hard work, loyalty. He grew up during the Great Depression in Philly in poverty - he didn't have enough to eat as a kid. Sometimes his family would get kicked out of their apartment because they couldn't pay the rent.