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WAGES AND EMPLOYMENT Presidents Bush and Obama responded to the subprime crisis of 2008 with aggressive intervention. Bush and Obama believed that intervention could prevent a second Great Depression. More specifically, Obama intends to keep wages high. (1) Obama's position on wages can be compared to the policies of Herbert Hoover. To understand this comparison, we must examine two histories of the Great Depression. In the standard history of the depression, President Hoover adhered to a laissez faire, "hands off" policy, though he supposedly could have intervened to prevent the Depression. The standard history of the Depression also indicates that the unregulated nature of financial markets during the 1920s resulted in a stock market boom which led to the crash of 1929.