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  1. #1
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    Question Franklin D. Roosevelt's First Fireside Chat

    I want to tell you what has been done in the last few days, and why it was done, and what the next steps are going to be. I recognize that the many proclamations from State capitols and from Washington, the legislation, the Treasury regulations, and so forth, couched for the most part in banking and legal terms, ought to be explained for the benefit of the average citizen. I owe this, in particular, because of the fortitude and the good temper with which everybody has accepted the inconvenience and hardships of the banking holiday. And I know that when you understand what we in Washington have been about, I shall continue to have yourcooperation as fully as I have had your sympathy and your help during the past week.
    Source: Franklin D. Roosevelt's First Fireside Chat.

    Hi! Could someone please answer the questions as below for me?

    Q1: Why did Roosevelt said Americans had fortitude and good temper because they accepted the inconvenience and hardship of the banking holiday? Doesn't some Western countries, like the UK, have banking holiday too?

    If Americans don't like, why don't they abolish it in the interests of millions of Americans?

    Q2: Why did Roosevelt mention both 'State capitols' and 'legislation' here? Doesn't State capitols' refer to the legislation institution?


    Q3: Why was Roosevelt's speech called Fireside Chat? I think it might refer to a sincere speech to ordinary people. And do most American houses have a fireplace?

    Many thanks!

    P.S. I knew there were two US presidents whose surname were Roosevelt.
    Last edited by thedaffodils; 10-Dec-2008 at 14:16.

  2. #2
    SUDHKAMP's Avatar
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    Re: Franklin D. Roosevelt's First Fireside Chat

    Dear thedaffodils,
    the answer for above is as follows:
    1. This address is from the radio broadcast of 12th March 1933.

    2. The term Fireside chat was coined by a journalist to indicate that it was an informal chat. During those days when there were no TVs, cables, Internet or i-Pods, Radio was found in every home.

    3. President Franklin D. Roosevel used this medium to talk with common man of USA explaining his views on Radio for 31 times from March 1933 to June 1944.

    4. As you would be aware, that USA faced the financial crisis and its repurcussion continued for some years. In 1933, many banks went bankrupt, as rumour spread about their going bankrupt and people started withdrawing cash.
    Just to avert a total collapse of the banking system due to rumours, on 6th of March 1933, President F.D.R declared a banking holiday, i.e., an order to close the banks by a government order, till the rumours died down. He addressed the whole country through Radio on 12th or March, which you have quoted above, and it had a positive effect and the economic system survived the crisis. The banks being closed by government of USA caused inconvenience to people, though it was a preventive measure.
    This forceful closure of banks has been termed as banking holiday(and it does not mean the usual bank holidays on a fiscal year end - 1st of April in India and 31st of December in other parts of the world and again half yearly holiday on 30th of Sep in India and 30th of June in rest of the world).

    In your second question, legislation here means a statute or law(ex. The government moves a legislation to regulate banking).

    The series of talks by President FDR on Radio, were termed as fireside chat, as they were informal, though literally FDR never sat beside a fireplace(though the situations were real hot!) but was surrounded by microphones.

    I cannot say whether all houses in USA have fireplace. Some desert places like Arizona would rather have some fountain in place of fireplace(are they holding house warming ceremony there?)!

    I thinks I have

  3. #3
    Ouisch's Avatar
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    Re: Franklin D. Roosevelt's First Fireside Chat

    The state capitals have executive power over their individual state, but each state still must follow the legislation handed down by the federal government in Washington, D.C. For example, some laws such as the rules of gun ownership and how late restaurants/taverns may serve liquor is left up to each individual state. Other laws, such as the legal voting age and the collection of income tax is mandated by the Federal Government in Washington and cannot be changed by an individual state.

    As for fireplaces, not every home has one, but it is still a universal American symbol of a cozy, relaxing place and many residences will install one (even in very warm climates like Arizona or New Mexico) just to add to the "value" of the dwelling. (That is, a fireplace will automatically add $$ to the retail selling price of a house or condominium/apartment.) They even sell artificial fireplaces in hardware stores so that houses not originally constructed with a real fireplace can add one after the fact.

  4. #4
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Re: Franklin D. Roosevelt's First Fireside Chat

    Thank you very much for your help, Ouisch. :)

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    Re: Franklin D. Roosevelt's First Fireside Chat

    FDR's quick action to stop a run on the banks and calm the American people stands in sharp contrast to Bush's inaction. Bush let a former banker (Paulson) at Goldman Sachs ask for a blank check from the American taxpayer. In addition, there was no oversight as to how the money will be (or was) spent. Americans are still fuming over the "golden parachutes" that these Wall St. execs got and the lousy deal the taxpayers got.

    My only consolation is that I'm in China making about what I would make as a full-time ESL teacher and my tax rate is 20 percent. Compare that with the 40 percent tax in the U.S. No wonder Americans don't save.

  6. #6
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    Re: Franklin D. Roosevelt's First Fireside Chat

    Quote Originally Posted by hinomura View Post
    FDR's quick action to stop a run on the banks and calm the American people stands in sharp contrast to Bush's inaction. Bush let a former banker (Paulson) at Goldman Sachs ask for a blank check from the American taxpayer. In addition, there was no oversight as to how the money will be (or was) spent. Americans are still fuming over the "golden parachutes" that these Wall St. execs got and the lousy deal the taxpayers got.

    My only consolation is that I'm in China making about what I would make as a full-time ESL teacher and my tax rate is 20 percent. Compare that with the 40 percent tax in the U.S. No wonder Americans don't save.
    But the tax is applied on Income. Do the US law exempt expenses from the Income.
    In India, all the Income is charged, less some allowable investments like Insurance, National savings and some government approved mutual funds.

    Also, the present Global crisis is due to the fact that the Auditors failed to notice the bad debts and the credit ratings also never signalled about the brittle status of these Banks and financial institutions. Bush alone cannot be blamed for it alone.

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    Re: Franklin D. Roosevelt's First Fireside Chat

    I wasn't blaming Bush, I was just contrasting his inaction with the swift decisiveness of someone smarter.
    But it's nice to see India step up and take some of the blame for this mess

  8. #8
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    Re: Franklin D. Roosevelt's First Fireside Chat

    Quote Originally Posted by hinomura View Post
    I wasn't blaming Bush, I was just contrasting his inaction with the swift decisiveness of someone smarter.
    But it's nice to see India step up and take some of the blame for this mess
    India has not gone that global yet! And Indians reach to clean-up the mess.
    We have so much of our own, we cannot afford to meddle in others.

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