Policy: Economy

Big retailers told FDR they wanted a longer shopping season in 1939 --- you won't believe what FDR did for them

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Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney,President,Economy,Minusextra

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was probably the most corporatist president we've ever had.

FDR loved him some Big Business-Big Government collusion. See the National Industrial Recovery Act, or the Export-Import Bank, which FDR created. Ask the Schechter Brothers or Roscoe Filburn about what it was like to be a small businessman in FDR's time.

This Thanksgiving, two of my five favorite Huffington Post writers, Arthur Delaney and Sam Stein, remind us of another corporatist highlight of FDR: when he tried to change Thanksgiving to please the big retailers (and would have hurt the small retailers):

In August 1939, Lew Hahn, general manager of the Retail Dry Goods Association, sent a message to Secretary of Commerce Harry Hopkins that although he didn't dare bring this to the president's attention, a late Thanksgiving might have a 'possible adverse effect on the production and distribution of holiday goods.'

Hopkins told Roosevelt anyway, and the president, sensitive to the needs of business, moved the date of the holiday.

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