WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

President Obama's standing in U.S. History: Very preliminary assessments

The comparative standings of U.S. presidents ebb and flow years, decades, even more than a century after that president occupies the Oval Office.

We may have a good idea, but we certainly don't know with any certainty how the presidents of our lifetimes will ultimately fall in the pecking order of leading historians.

Whether a president's seeming achievements have staying power can influence assessments of that particular presidency.

That said, it's interesting to read these very preliminary assessments of the Obama Presidency from a group of academics assembled by POLITICO---


Posted at 8:08am on February 17, 2014 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Mike from Delaware
Mon, Feb 17, 2014 9:03am
Interesting article. Obama will certainly be remembered for being the first Black President of the U.S. where both minorities and white voters supported his election in 2008.

Obama is the first President to get any sort of national health-care program successfully passed into law for all Americans, even though as of now, it's not working well [the DEMS have been trying to do this since Truman's administration]. In winning that battle, Obama will be remembered in how he out-maneuvered Republicans by using an old Republican health-care idea [first proposed by Nixon in the early 1970's, later brought out by the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation to be used against "Hillarycare" during Bill Clinton's Presidency in the 1990's] rather than the plan favored more by DEMS, a Single-Payer System like Canada's. Those are his legacies as of today.

One other legacy he may end up with, assuming he's successful in doing this during the remaining 3 years in his final term, would be the President who allowed over 12-million illegal immigrants to receive legal status with a pathway towards citizenship.

If successful, that one victory in making illegals into legal Americans could cause many changes in U.S. society, thus making it Obama's largest legacy. For example, as typically most Hispanic voters [other than Florida Cubans] vote Democratic, these new citizens who would eventually get to vote would give the Democratic Party a giant advantage in winning elections for the foreseeable future.

Another possible outcome from this last Obama legacy could be in how the price of food will rise dramatically, because those fruit and vegetable pickers who today get paid far below American minimum wages for their hard work will then have to be paid American wages, and taxed for those wages, with Social Security, etc., also being paid both by them and their employers. So on one hand, the price of our food is going to skyrocket due to their new living wage, yet there will be more tax dollars for the government as well as Social Security and Medicare tax dollars as these folks would no longer be being paid "slave wages".

Mon, Feb 17, 2014 10:28am
The Obama presidency is one of the most successful in history. He went in with the intention of destroying America and turning it into a police state, and has delivered on it about 98%.

Mon, Feb 17, 2014 11:55am
I think the first two comments above pretty well show that President Obama will be the best president in our lifetimes. Three very important changes were implemented during his rule. Couple that with the economy bouncing off of Great Depression II, you have him standing next to Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt on Mt. Rushmore...

Mon, Feb 17, 2014 12:08pm
Mike, your economics on food are mistaken. The price of food is determined by what the market will bear. Hence, when it is low and uncontrolled, we have the killing of pigs to drive up the cost, while people go hungry in the cities...

So if Americans stop buying lettuce, say, when it reaches $2 a head, it makes no difference over the nationality of those pickers. The price will be $2 a head. Likewise, the price will be as close to that $2-a-head no matter who picks the lettuce.

The point is the growers will absorb the cost... it does not get tacked on to the consumer. There is nothing wrong with growers absorbing the cost of anything...

Before you say as the usual rebuttal goes... then lettuce will disappear, because growers will stop growing...

Would you like an extra million dollars this year? Sure. How about 2 million? 30 or 40 million? Do you seriously think someone is going to stop making money, because they have to now pay workers more? Or they will say, I used to make a $100 dollars profit and now make $99. I guess I'll go out of business and let my fields lie fallow.

No, these aren't small farmers hiring migrant workers. These are $4--$5 billion dollar corporations. Losing 1-1.5% wouldn't hurt them one bit.

Mon, Feb 17, 2014 12:39pm
Babylon just keeps babblin' on.

Mike from Delaware
Mon, Feb 17, 2014 4:28pm
Kavips: I find it hard to believe any corporation is going to accept a higher cost to produce a product & not pass on that price hike to the consumer & other middle men. McDonald's buys one heck of a lot of lettuce each year to use in its burgers & salads. If McDonalds' supplier charges more, Mickey D's will pass on that increase to the Golden Arches' customers. Pathmark will experience the same thing & pass on that additional cost to its customers. That's just business.

Mon, Feb 17, 2014 10:28pm
No, Mike. Not true. Profit is never guaranteed. Profit is not an expense. Profit, by definition, is whatever is left over that you can't spend..

The idea that a business must make profit or go under is just not true. Most small businesses do well and never make a profit. If one owns the business and pays himself a high salary, his business will make zero dollars, and he's happy. Businesses cannot go in the red, but they don't need to make a profit.

A good profit in the 50's, 60's, 70's, and 80's was 5%. Now the expectation is 15%... During the past Depression II, a lot of businesses stayed open without making their projected profits.

McDonald's absorbs a lot of costs. McDonald's does not pass on every cost to the consumer... If you ever read the financials, quite often there is this notation attached to the business, "came in under projections"... If that was such a big deal, that would never happen. Prices would fluctuate with every California freeze or Salmonella outbreak...

Hey, Yo! Why's my Big Mac costing me 10 cents more? Ma'am, it's for the piece of lettuce we shredded to put on your burger." "Oh, okay, cool"...

Such a scenario never happens. Why? Because businesses eat costs ALL THE TIME.

I really don't know where the dumb idea that business passes everything on to the consumer, ever got started. It is fake economics....

On the flip side, if one's competitor raises its prices (as done with gas stations across the street, you raise yours as well). You don't wait for the gas to get pumped into your tanks, and get a bill of sale handed to you...

Businesses charge you based on what they think you will pay... If you won't pay $1.25 for a dollar burger, they will keep it at a dollar, and cut something else to keep from losing money...

Prices are mostly based on demand... If one had to make 25% profit, there would never be fluctuation in the stock market...

Tue, Feb 18, 2014 4:19am
Once again, Babylon just keeps babblin' on.

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