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The Great Depression and the New Deal

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Shana Collins

on 18 January 2013

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Transcript of The Great Depression and the New Deal

The Great Depression and the New Deal What impact did capitalism have on the Great Depression? How was capitalism involvedwith the causes and effects of the Great Depression?
Banks are the pumping stations or hearts of the capitalist organism. Not only do banks circulate money, they create new money through the making of loans. Bank-created credit represents the most elastic element in the supply of money. As hundreds then thousands of banks failed between 1929 and 1933, the economy's credit and in turn its money supply began to dry up. Also, as banks went down, they often took local businesses with them as they called in business loans in a desperate effort to stay afloat. All of this rippled outward in ever-widening circles of bankruptcies, job lay-offs and curtailed consumption. In what ways were the programs of the New Deal designed to influence capitalism? Noted author The New Deal (The American History Series) and historian Paul Conkin has noted: that the New Deal policies actually functioned in a probusiness manner. Conkin wrote: “The New Deal tried to frame institutions to protect capitalism from major business cycles and began in an unclear sort of way to underwrite continuous economic growth and sustained profits. Although some tax bills were aimed at high profits, there was no attack on fair profits or even on large profits . . . there was no significant leveling by taxes. The proportionate distribution of wealth remained. Because of tax policies, even relief expenditures were disguised subsidies to corporations, since they were in large part paid by future taxes on individual salaries or on consumer goods. Thus, instead of higher wages creating a market, at the short-term expense of profits, the government subsidized the businessman, without taking the cost out of his hide as he expected and feared.” Why were the programs controversial? What arguments were present in support and
against the New Deal programs?
Scholars tend to view the Depression and New Deal differently depending on their own ideological perspective.
Conservative historians place a high value on the ideal of laissez-faire.   Thus, the Depression was simply a painful but necessary market correction which would have corrected itself if left alone.  To conservatives, small government means maximum freedom; and, the New Deal means the beginnings of an irresponsible and/or over-regulatory welfare state.
For liberal historians the Depression represents the failure of laissez-faire, but not capitalism itself.  Liberals value capitalism and democracy, asserting that democratic governments must be responsive to the social needs of the people.  For many liberals the New Deal represents another American Revolution leading to the empowerment of previously powerless and oppressed groups and laying the foundation for a humane welfare state.
What were the ultimate results of these programs?
At the time these programs provided people with jobs at a time when it appeared there was no form of employment as far as long term is concerned Social Security, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation(FDIC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), National Labor Relations Board(NLRB)name a few of the New Deals that have remained features of American life from the 1930s until the present.
Shows the strength in capitalism by proving that the President did not have complete control over everything and some of new deals were stopped to allow for capitalism What Supreme Court decisions occurred during the Great Depression and New Deal that prevented further government involvement in the U.S. capitalist economy?
How did these decisions help define the role the government should have in the economy?
In what ways did these events demonstrate the strengths and/or weaknesses of
capitalism?
Schechter v. U.S. (1935)
The Supreme Court held that the Live Poultry Code was unconstitutional and that the conviction of Schechter must be overturned. First, the Court found that the president lacked the power to write the code, citing the U.S. Constitution, Article I, which states that all legislative power is to be vested in the Congress. Article I is thus violated if Congress grants its exclusive legislative power to the president. The NIRA allowed the president to write new codes, such as the poultry code, so long as they regulated "unfair competition." The Court found the phrase "unfair competition" too ambiguous to constitute an "intelligible principle" necessary to limit the president's actions in enforcing the NIRA.
What Supreme Court decisions occurred during the Great Depression and New Deal that prevented further government involvement in the U.S. capitalist economy?
How did these decisions help define the role the government should have in the economy?
In what ways did these events demonstrate the strengths and/or weaknesses of
capitalism? United States v. Butler
Congress undoubtedly has the power to tax the processing of agricultural products. Congress also has the power to use public funds to aid farmers, especially since the country is in the midst of a depression. Furthermore, Congress can limit those payments to only the farmers that reduce their crop production. Thus, there is no basis to make the Act unconstitutional because farmers have to promise to reduce their production.
Shows strength in the new deal and how it is able to help and provide for people
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