Did the New Deal fail?


Heavy Weapons Guy
So what do you think? Did the New Deal fail? Did we even need the New Deal? Did the New Deal programs have a positive of negative longterm effect on our country?

My personal opinion is that, yes, the New Deal failed. The popular misconception is that the New Deal brought us out of the Great Depression, but this is wrong and here's why. around 1936, 1937, the economy fell back into recession. Why? The stimulus for the economy had come from the government, not the people. The federal government realized it could not keep spending as much as it had been. When it stopped pouring money into the economy, the country fell back into recession/depression. The war was what ended the Great Depression.

Also, I believe the programs have had a negative effect. They have made people too dependent on the government. Look how much money we have spent on the programs since then. Now look at how large our national debt is. Also, they are the reason for our high taxes.

Anyway, what do you think?
..That there are two philosophies on that subject. One says that - at the moment, we're certain all conservative economic american history since Woodrow Wilson can be crammed into a single flowing narrative. Which goes like this: in order for the conservative economical agenda to succeed, there needs to be spending. Therefore, there must be tax- cuts, and less government programs at home, so people can spend more money. And there must be wars where contractors can reap the benefit of the ever booming economy at home, while helping build new markets abroad. I.e, the trick is to throw out as much money as possible from government, while having the fiscal responsibility to cut "non- essential" government programs at home (like schools), while pouring money into investing for the future generation's dependency of the military industry and chinese imitation goods.

Therefore, the new Deal was a failure - it didn't directly provide new and productive markets, and therefore was only a way to help pamper the underclass, while making the federal government more involved in (the wrong areas of) people's lives.

The other one says that it was an attempt to stop the uncontrollable unemployment, the abysmal working conditions, the non- existent unions. And following that, in essence be a way to make business dependent on an actual work- force with a rising life- quality and living standard. Rather than simply allowing them to crash and burn, since that in turn would affect business badly, etc.

Obviously, that wasn't all it achieved, and there's no doubt that it overreached and failed miserably on some things. It might even be possible to say that the reaction to the new deal, and the overreaches with the new deal, is what paved the way for the kind of control the government has over people's economy and life at the present. As well as the kinds of government programs that exist now, which are often little else but the senators' pet projects, where they try to scoop as much tax- money back to their state as possible, in return for votes and campaign- contributions.

But while that's questionable, it's no doubt that the acceptance for using government actively to affect the economy - like Bush does with the stimulus- package, under the first philosophy - and using government to rescue the middle class with magical reforms, like Hillary - was pioneered with the New Deal, and modeled after the overreaches and mistakes made during Roosevelt's administration.

But there's little doubt that what Roosevelt did, was to channel money onto business developing inside the US, rather than only sponsoring jobs through subsidising business into not sacking people right away, and increase their Bermuda- fund with that money in the meantime - and then trusting the free market to magically resolve labour disputes.

It's a question of degrees, is what I'm saying. It's just not possible to argue that "the new deal failed, because it didn't produce paradise". It's necessary to look at why it didn't succeed on certain things, and what the mechanisms were that caused.. depending on philosophy.. some positive results.

(And then as opposed to that, whether the alternative philosophy would've been able to provide it. It won't do to forget that there was a good reason for starting the projects in the first place, just as it was when inserting the minimum wage. It was a reaction to something more than just "a slowing economy" - and that should be taken into account when looking at whether the New Deal actually was a definite failure..).

..(and where's that "pensive, but suprised smiley, Hybrix" ;) )


Certified Shitlord


Heavy Weapons Guy
Fleinn, thank you for adding to the discussion.

You are right of course, it had it's failures and successes, but I would still argue that the successes were immediate and leaders lacked the foresight to see the ultimate consequences.

Now, if only we could actually learn from our history...


For a Free Scotland
Depends on what you determine success by.

It was the foundation of the post-industrial welfare state. In terms of social benefit, it worked remarkably well. In terms of economic benefit, the war did more for hte country than did the New Deal.
..anyone care to explain how the war benefitted the country? In ways that expanding markets the ordinary way, and pouring money into local pet projects like schools, and so on wouldn't?

I mean - why does it matter for the overall economy where the money is spent?


Heavy Weapons Guy
..anyone care to explain how the war benefitted the country? In ways that expanding markets the ordinary way, and pouring money into local pet projects like schools, and so on wouldn't?

I mean - why does it matter for the overall economy where the money is spent?
I think it was because the mass industrialization of WWII gave money to businesses, and through those businesses, to the people.
*nods* But that would be useless without actual trade spawning from it in the long run. It might be a spike on the steel- industry, and jobs for the "lower classes". But it would not be sustained without actual trade eventually taking over. I mean, who is going to pay for the tanks and the airplanes? It's not a permanent solution, even if we're in a perpetual state of war.

So I wanted to suggest that by the argument that was made, it would make exactly as much sense to simply pour money into schools and building houses and roads, instead of bloating the military - and expect it to automatically improve the economy.

But you can see that this doesn't follow right away - so why is spending on the military different?
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