President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal

1531 words - 6 pages

On October 24, 1929, a day historically known as “Black Thursday”, the United States stock market crashed due to investors in the market starting to “sell off their shares, which resulted in a decline in stock prices.” (Dau-Schmidt, pg 60) This economic downturn in the market gave birth to financial ambivalence in the country, increasing unemployment, as well as other consequences on the landscape of international economics. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt took over as president in the year of 1933, “The country was in its depth of the Great Depression.” (Neal, 2010) Roosevelt’s New Deal consisted of implementing relief programs such as the Work Progress Administration and the Civil Works Administration, which aimed at revitalizing the U.S. labor market. However, these programs were short-lived due to insufficient funding. Although these programs were effective, their short life span only sought temporary remedy. The on again off again pattern of these programs existence caused a cyclical trend in the increase and decrease of unemployment. “John M. Keynes born on June 5, 1883 was one of the most influential economists of the Twentieth Century.” (Pettinger, pg 1) Keynes argued that the doctrine of the New Deal was a slow remedial procedure to restoring the economy. Although, Roosevelt’s efforts helped reduce unemployment in spurts, it was ultimately an ineffective plan because according to Keynes, to restore the economy during the Great Depression, there had to of been deep government spending and increased high taxes.
When President Roosevelt took office, he had to fulfill his ideas he had proposed to the citizens while campaigning for presidency. One of his ideas and that he fulfilled, was the Works Progress Administration, also known as the WPA. According to a scholarly article, “The Dynamics of Relief Spending and the Private Urban Labor Market During the New Deal” written by three Economics professors and affiliated with the National Bureau of Economics, they emphasize Roosevelt’s beliefs and intentions to restore the country. They write, “In response to the massive unemployment of the 1930’s, Roosevelt’s New Deal in 1933 introduced the first federal relief programs targeted at the poor and unemployed… he anticipated that the work relief jobs would boost consumer spending and thus increase demand for labor, which would then raise private employment and earnings.” (Neuman, Fishback, Kanton, pg 4) This quotes illustrates that programs such as these relief jobs, would not only be able to get the people back to work, but also get the economy up and running again.
Moreover, another method in which Roosevelt used to revitalize the labor market was through the Civil Works Administration also known as the CWA. Similar to the Works Progress Administration, the CWA was introduced in 1933. This relief program also allowed for the construction of bridges, roads, but mostly focused on inner city projects. Nonetheless like the WPA, the CWA only...

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