Remember The New Deal from President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) in the mid to late 1930s? Probably most of you reading this weren’t around to personally remember it; I’m talking about you remembering it from history class. That was one of the eras in history I most remember. My class put on a play centered on The New Deal. FDR promoted a series of domestic government programs, making broad sweeping changes known also as the three Rs: ‘Relief, Recovery, and Reform’ – which were designed to bring America out of its depression, create jobs, and re-instill hope in the American people. In essence, it was relief for the unemployed and those living in poverty, recovery of financial markets and the unstable economy, and reform of financial systems to thriving levels to guard against another depression.
Well, President Obama is proposing what sounds an awful lot like FDR’s plan. He will soon be unveiling his strategy, probably on Thursday. The purpose of Obama’s plan will be to create or revamp programs for the poor, close the pay gap, revive the economy, and renew his quest to raise the minimum wage. He’s calling it “promise zones” and from my own observations, this will be comparable to The New Deal because it is a radical change meant to help those facing the greatest financial hurdles. The difference being, these promise zones will be specific, targeted communities that will earn businesses added tax incentives and credits for operating there and helping residents deal with poverty. For the rollout, the first five zones are San Antonio, TX; Philadelphia, PA; Los Angeles, CA; Southeastern Region of Kentucky; and the Choctaw nation of Oklahoma. All of these areas have widespread economic challenges. The announcement is expected on Thursday.
More of these promise zones to follow later. I wonder if it will be well-received. Some people seem to dislike anything President Obama proposes, almost as if they hate it just because he’s the one that came up with it. Only time will tell. I’m eager to hear details of his plan.