Eisenhower himself deserves a good deal of credit for this economic growth.
He found the right combination of low taxes, balanced budgets, and public spending that allowed the economy to hum along at a steady clip. He also benefitted from steady growth in spending on new homes and consumer goods as citizens turned away from older notions of thrift and began to buy on credit. Inflation, which had wreaked havoc on the economy immediately after World War II, was minimal, in part because of Eisenhower's persistent efforts to balance the federal budget. Except for a mild recession in and a more serious one in , unemployment remained low, bottoming at less than 4.
Many factors came together to produce the '50s boom. The GI Bill, which gave military veterans affordable access to a college education, added a productive pool of highly-educated employees to the work force at a time American businesses were willing to pay handsomely for engineering and management skills. Cheap oil from domestic wells helped keep the engines of industry running. Advances in science and technology spurred productivity.
To Thrive In The Recession, Be A Cockroach
At the same time, potential competitors in Europe and Asia were still recovering from being bombed into smithereens during World War II. Eisenhower steered a balanced course economically. Some Republicans called for rolling back the New Deal , but the president realized that many of Franklin D. Roosevelt's libeal social programs were both popular and effective.
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Instead of getting rid of Social Security, for example, Ike actually expanded it to cover another ten million people who'd been left out of the original program. Instead of turning away from big public works projects, he instead invested federal money in the Interstate Highway System, one of the largest public spending projects in the country's history.
The main economic goal that Eisenhower pursued through both his terms in office was to achieve a balanced federal budget. The government ran a small deficit in and , then registered a surplus for each of the next two years. As the nation went into a recession in and , Eisenhower allowed the federal deficit to grow in order to stimulate the economy. By , he managed to return to a surplus.
To achieve a balanced federal budget was a balancing act in itself. Democrats were clamoring for increases in defense spending in order to counter the Soviet threat. Congressional representatives from both parties pushed for tax cuts.
Eisenhower used his credentials as an experienced military leader to reassure the nation that the defense budget did not need to be increased as much as some wanted. I hope I never feel like that again and I hope that I can help others to get out of debt and to live a frugal, thrifty life.
I have built this website as a labour of love as I am recovering from a long-term illness and it has really helped me to find a focus and to feel useful again.
As I recover, I am on a very low income and I am trying to create my own opportunities to bring a little money in once more. As well as writing articles about thrift and sustainability I will also, from time to time, include a link to a website or a book that I recommend and some of these links will earn me a few pence to a few pounds if you click through and place an order or buy a book.
Please note, this will not make the product or book more expensive for you, it just means that the company or book company will give me a commission if I pass on a customer to them. This will help me to continue to run this website. So thank you in advance, if you do end up doing this. June 9, 5 min read. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. More from Entrepreneur.
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To Thrive In The Recession, Be A Cockroach
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