Kennedy Steel Dbq

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During the early 1960’s America faced a “rolling recession”, a recession that is focused on a few specific industries, which had hit the automobile industry particularly hard. The US gross national product was falling and so was the US economy and many Americans had fallen on hard times. On April 10, 1962, to make matters worse, the United States steel corporation executives had simultaneously raised the price on all steel by 3.5 percent. The rise in cost would ignite severe backlash among many Americans who saw the rise in price as a crippling blow the general prosperity of the United States. As a result President John F. Kennedy decided to address the working class citizens in order for them support him in convincing the executives to lower …show more content…

Kennedy first starts off in paragraph 2 by highlighting that America is “devoting… to economic recovery and stability” and then follows up in paragraph 4 by mentioning that the increase in price would result in an extra “one billion dollars” (Sorenson 160, 161). As a result, Kennedy is able to demonstrate that the actions of the steel executives are against the needs of the nation because while “Americans” are hard at work focusing on fixing the economy, the steel executives are jacking up the price of steel making everyone’s lives miserable. Kennedy, however, not only attacks the executive’s lack of upholding their American responsibility, he also hammers their failure to contain any sense of moral obligation. In paragraph 7 Kennedy mentions that steel profits have “exceeded 600 million”, he then goes on to question if the executive’s profits are already so high why bother continuing to raise the prices (Sorenson 161). Not only is the raising of prices illogical it also hurts the American family that Kennedy mentioned earlier in his speech, “it would increase the cost…for every American family” (Sorenson 160). Kennedy traps the steel executives into looking like cutthroat business people that are out to hurt Americans, regardless of the consequences. The audience, as a result, will begin to look for someone who can protect them, someone who can lead them out of this supposed dark time. Kennedy answers this call by turning the harm of price raising into a way for him to show that he is trying to protect that interests of the people. By mentioning that the “Members of the Congress” are investigating into “these price decisions” becoming “legislative safeguards...to protect the public interests”, he is able to turn the trust of

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