How would you judge Franklin Delano Roosevelt as a president and his social policies?
I believe with any president you have to take into account what was going on with the country at the time they were in office.
This so called "great recession" we recently had is NOTHING compared to how bad it was during the "Great Depression". The unemployment rate exceeded (20 percent) at its highest point. When people held out signs stating "Will work for food" they meant it!
During Franklin's time in office a national welfare system, unemployment insurance, minimum wage, and social security, were created.
The "New Deal" faced a lot of opposition at the time but all of the aforementioned programs are considered political sacred cows today!
The "New Deal" goals were to stabilized the banks and cleaned up the financial mess left over from the Stock Market crash of 1929.
It created a number of special agencies that provided jobs for millions of workers and wages that saved millions more in their desperate families. It also recognized the rights of workers to organize in unions.
Investment in public works built hundreds of thousands of highways, bridges, hospitals, schools, theaters, libraries, city halls, homes, post offices, airports, and parks across America—most of which are still in use today. The New Deal, 1933-1943, inspired a civic, cultural, and economic renaissance. http://livingnewdeal.berkeley.edu/resou … -new-deal/
Whether one agrees with those social programs, calls them "spending" or "investing" the result led to an overall improvement of the nation's "psyche" at (that) time. The war is also credited with helping to lead us to a booming economy.
Of course back then we did not "outsource jobs" to increase profits and "Made in America" was every buyer's preference. When the stock market was high it meant companies were hiring people (here), selling products, and those employees were spending money.
Today the stock market is hovering at "all time" highs, unemployment is down to 6.3%, interest rates for home loans are low, housing values are on the rise, and very few people feel positive about the economy.
Much of the so called "middleclass" was built on high paying blue collar (manufacturing jobs) that no longer exist. They've been outsourced to other countries and we've signed some Bad Trade Deals over the years. We've gone from being "producers" to "consumers".
Service industry jobs pay a lot less than manufacturing jobs.
Franklin D.Roosevelt was the right man for the job at (that) time.
Mr. Roosevelt CERTAINLY WAS! the right man to get America out of the Depression. He was one of THE BEST presidents ever.
FDR was elected 3 times! However today if any president attempted to launch those types of programs they'd be braded a "socialist"! The way our global economy is set up today a "New Deal" wouldn't help. Certain mfg. jobs are never coming back.
FDR was most likely a well intended President, but more of a failure than anything on an Economic front. There is this extraordinary misconception that he helped lift the US out of the Depression which could not be further from the truth, and not consistent with economic data. In fact most of his policies likely prolonged and created a depression, not unlike what we are experiencing today. Federal Reserve policy brought on the initial shock of 1929, and FDR's administration did almost everything wrong. He put up all kinds of road blocks to capital investment and implemented the most bizarre forms of price fixing to combat deflation. There were so many bumbling policies that lacked any cohesive strategy, it was an utter disaster.
A couple of basic examples was the Agricultural act of 1936 under which the Federal gov't ordered the destruction of perfectly good farming crops (10 million acres and 6 million farm animals were destroyed) in order to prevent price deflation in agricultural prices while there were literally millions of people starving all over the country. They actually paid farmers not to grow food during this time.
Most of the projects the gov't spent money on were targeted towards swing states for votes, and only included union labor. Since many people, particularly minorities were not permitted to join unions...they were total locked out. Outside of the TVA project which had a lot of longer term benefits, his approach to combating deflation is likely why it took nearly two decade to exit the depression. There are frankly too many mistakes to explain in limited space. This was well chronicled in "The Forgotten Man" by Amity Shlaes, as well as "FDR's Follies" by Jim Powell.
Yet the largest economic contraction in US history by any economic indicator took place a decade before the Depression in 1920-21, far worse than 1929. The policy responses were almost the exact opposite, and the contraction ended in 18 months...followed by the most prosperous decade in US history.
On a foreign policy front, FDR was a very strong President. He basically lied to the American people in his campaign speeches for re-election about avoiding any foreign military engagements. Yet, he had to...and all the while was preparing to face the Nazi threat. He knew he couldn't get elected talking about it, and yet understood that the American people didn't really appreciate the threat of Nazi Germany.
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