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The New Deal, a Socialist Program That Saved Capitalism - Essay Example

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The New Deal, a Socialist Program That Saved Capitalism Instructor name Date The era of the New Deal in America is perceived by many to be primarily a social and works program designed to alleviate suffering caused by the Great Depression and confined to the 1930’s…
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The New Deal, a Socialist Program That Saved Capitalism
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Download file to see previous pages President Roosevelt (FDR) in conjunction with other supporters of the New Deal within the government looking for effective methods to renovate the country’s economic well-being considered two options. One, they could create programs from the bottom-up by creating federally funded jobs and issuing widespread welfare benefits therefore forming social contracts with the working class including labor unions and racial minorities or two, they could provide businesses the unregulated freedom to correct the market via expansion which, theoretically, would creating additional jobs, put money in people’s pockets and stimulate the economy. This is a fundamental economic debate that continues to this day. Contrary to prevailing historic perceptions, the nation was not moving towards socialism. The New Deal actually symbolized the capitalist cultural structure. Its policies continued the separation between what was deemed the ‘worthy’ poor, typically widows and their children and what were considered the ‘unworthy’ poor, which meant almost everyone else, who were ignored. The First New Deal (1933 to1934) unquestionably slanted governmental policies in the direction of large corporations.  The policies of the Second New Deal, beginning in 1935, appeared to be less pro-‘big business,’ but in practice continued to sustain the idea of top-down (trickle-down) economic growth.  Later during this second stage of reform, the federal government began to focus on stronger regulations on business and antitrust enforcement but ultimately, large corporations maintained influence on critical decisions involving production, pricing and investment capital. Additionally, the government assisted business by restricting competition much to the disappointment of “New Dealers” in Washington. “Rather than attempt to regulate businesses, New Deal advocates wanted to greatly increase the size and control of the government so that it could act as a counterbalance to private sector industries” (Yantek, 2003). When FDR took office; the government was comparatively simple in construction with functions principally limited to administrative necessities. After his reign, government had been changed into a multifaceted organization. Opponents then as well as now contend his administration began the era of an obtrusive federal government, controlling business operations and impeding on people’s civil liberties. “It is no exaggeration to say that he took the government when it was a small racket and made a large racket out of it” (Higgs, 1998). FDR, as he repeatedly argued, restored hopefulness to the people of American following their deep descent into misery resulting from the Great Depression and that his New Deal policies “saved capitalism.” Harry Truman attempted to complete the FDR’s concept of the New Deal by implementing the ‘Fair Deal’ following World War Two. It is often referred to as the “Third New Deal.” (Yantek, 2003) The primary mission of FDR’s New Deal program was to save the American version of capitalism. He was continually attempting to convince business leaders of this commitment to this mission while soliciting their support. He told industrialists who was against his policies that the New Deal was essential for the ‘farsighted conservative.’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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