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Were Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal Programs Effective? Essay

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New Deal Essay The effectiveness of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs remains a contentious topic among historians, with critics on both the right and left attacking the size of the program; the right calling it too large, and the left saying it didn’t go far enough. Though most of the criticism of the program at the time was from the right, from figures like 1928 Democratic nominee Al Smith and his American Liberty League, as well as influential Senator Robert Taft of Ohio, it is the criticism from the left which is most prevalent among today’s historians. However, modern historians remain split over how flawed the program was, with some, such as Alan Brinkley in The End of Reform, offering a limited critique, with others…show more content…
Roosevelt and the New Deal; in this specific instance, the AAA destroyed food, which raised incomes for farmers by raising the cost of food, a price increase which hurt the urban poor. However, the overall impact of these relief programs was positive for unemployed and suffering Americans, providing them with the jobs and relief that they needed at that time. Though the New Deal succeeded in helping people, it largely failed in helping the economy. The National Recovery Administration interfered with the natural workings of the market by setting prices and wages, and fostered cartels rather than supporting small businesses. These cartels set wages above the market rate, which makes labor more expensive and depresses employment. High prices and a high cost of labor also means that the unemployed are both less likely to be hired and also forced to confront a higher cost of living. These measures, when combined with Roosevelt’s other new labor laws like the Fair Labor Standards Act and Wagner Act, were instrumental in supporting his program’s relief efforts and helping the workers, but they didn’t work towards supporting the business community. After Roosevelt reduced federal spending on some jobs-creation projects and increased taxes in 1937, the economy entered another recession and unemployment rose again, demonstrating that the employment created by his New Deal
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