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FDR’s The New Economy: Stabilizing the Economy Essay Sample

FDR’s The New Economy: Stabilizing the Economy Pages
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Declining appeal of Hoover to the public led to the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932. Roosevelt’s extensive program to restore the economy made up the New Deal. Overall, these legislative measures dealt with assisting people financially, reform other systems and institutions, and recover the prosperity before the Depression. While not all were entirely successful, the various programs all contributed to the eventual, though gradual, recovery of the economy.

Age of the Radio: Radio reached its climax in the 1930s when millions of Americans listened to network news commentators, musical programs, and comedy shows. Also, the president and business companies utilized this resource to attract people, sell products, or to promote a political issue.

Fireside Chats: During the first hundred days of Franklin Roosevelt’s first term in office Roosevelt held informal radio conversations every so often that were dubbed “fireside chats.” The topic discussed was the economy that had been plagued by the depression, and the means that were going to be taken in order to revive it.

Roosevelt, Eleanor: Eleanor Roosevelt is portrayed as a U.S. humanitarian and displayed her politics and social issues as a wife of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She mostly fought for women and minority groups. Many of her books include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and This Is My Story and On My Own.

Perkins, Frances, Secretary of Labor: Being the first woman to be appointed to a Cabinet position (1933-1945), Perkins was also a social reformer. During her term, Perkins strengthened the Department of Labor, pushed for a limit on employment age, and developed the CCC, the Social Security Act, and Fair Labor Standards Act (1938).

Brain Trust: The term brain trust refers to the individual people outside the Franklin Roosevelt appointed presidential cabinet that helped in the decision making process of the president. The men most known are: Raymond Moley, Rexford Tugwell, and Adolph A. Berle. Moley was conservative while Tugwell and Berle were interested in reform.

Keynesian economics: Keynes looked at the economy in a wider sense: macroeconomics. He theorized that the relationship between supply and demand was critical: when the demand doesn’t meet expectations there is unemployment and depression while if demand surpasses production inflation occurs. The solution is to have the government spend while maintaining low taxes and when there is demand that a tight budget should be created.

Pump-priming: Supported by Roosevelt, this theory pumped governmental money to the poor so they could buy products. This would increase sales and cause a demand for that product. This demand in turn will produce jobs for the poor. Now that the poor have jobs they have the necessary income to buy products and this cycle occurs again.

Deficit spending: The manner in which the government spends more than it receives is refereed to as deficit spending. This is done to stimulate the economy through the rise in government costs or due to the decrease of taxation. On the other hand, deficit spending is also seen as inefficiency of government spending.

Monetary policy, fiscal policy: The policy gave government control of the money supply and created a high economic rate to stabilized prices and wages. Fiscal policy is regulation of trade between domestic or foreign goods. Import duties are still possible, but fiscal policy makes an exception because its purpose is to raise revenue.

New Deal: In light of the Great Depression, FDR proposed a series of relief and emergency measures known collectively as the New Deal. Through these measures, FDR intended to revive the lost prosperity of the economy by reforming other institutions and programs, by relieving the plight of the people, and thus recover the nation’s wealth.

Hundred Days: Measures taken during Roosevelt’s first days in office, from Mar 9 to Jun 16, enabled FDR to pass acts critical to stabilizing the economy. The Hundred Days symbolized the beginning stages of the New Deal because the measures taken focused on relief, recovery and reform: key phrases from the New Deal itself.

Relief, Recovery, and Reform: These three areas, relief, recovery, and reform, are the categories into which the New Deal was split. The Relief category was defined by the acts implemented in the area of aid to the unemployment. The Recovery category put forth measures that would help aid in the speedy recovery of areas hit hardest by the depression (i.e. agriculture and industry). Reform was a category in which the government tried to recreate areas that seemed faulty (i.e. banking system).

“Bank Holiday”: Franklin Roosevelt in 1932 called for a “bank holiday” which permitted banks that were hurt from the depression to close down for a few days in order to regain stability. Further help to relieve the problem of the foreclosing of banks was the Emergency Banking Act which was passed during the holiday to help open more banks.

Emergency Banking Relief Act, 1933: Implemented during the first hundred days of Franklin Roosevelt’s first term the Emergency Banking Relief Act allowed the reopening of healthy banks. The act provided healthy banks with a Treasury Department license and handled the affairs of the failed banks.

Glass-Steagall Act, 1933: In February of 1933 the Glass-Steagal Act was signed. The act itself made 750 million dollars that had once been kept in the governments gold reserves now able to be used in the creation of loans to private businesses and other major corporations.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC): This measure as the second of the banking acts enacted during Franklin Roosevelt’s first term in office, passed in Jun of 1933. The Federal Deposit Insurance Committee allowed all bank deposits up to 5,000 dollars; it separated deposit banking from investment banking.

National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA): Placed under the PWA, Jun 1933, the NIRA focused on the employment of the unemployed and the regulation of unfair business ethics. The NIRA pumped money into the economy to stimulate the job market and created codes that businesses were to follow to maintain the ideal of fair competition.

National Industrial Recovery Administration (NRA): Promoting recovery, the National Industrial recovery Administration was designed to administer the codes of “fair competition” brought forth by the NIRA. Such codes established production limits, set wages and working conditions, and disallowed price cutting and unfair competitive practices. The main focus of the NRA was to break wage cuts and strikes, both which stifled the economy.

Section 7a of the NRA: Developed by Senator Robert F. Wagner of New York, section 7a allowed the workers to organize and enabled them to bargain collectively. In addition, Wagner helped organized labor by not allowing employers from discriminating against union members.

“The Blue Eagle,” Johnson, Hugh: Hugh Johnson was the head of the National Recovery Administration who quickly created the organization and rallied support for the NRA by throwing parades in all of the main cities across the United States. “The Blue Eagle” was the symbol of the NRA.

Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA), second AAA 1938: The first AAA was rendered unconstitutional years after the Act of 1938. It tried to help mend the ailing problems that had plagued agriculture since the ending of the First World War. In order to stop the problem of “dust bowls” created by the overuse of soil, the government, under the AAA, granted subsidies to farms who did not continually use the same plot of soil. The government also tried to restrict the production of certain commodities.

Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC): Created under Franklin Roosevelt, the CCC aimed at men particularly in the age group from 18-25. This program created jobs that would try to conserve the nation’s natural resources. The CCC would take these men out of the workforce and place them on jobs that would reforest certain areas, teach fire prevention and soil conservation, and help to stop soil erosion. Between 1933-1942 3 million men were put to work under the CCC; each man would work for one year.

Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA): One of the most powerful social workers, Harry Hopkins, administered this program directed at local causes. Franklin D. Roosevelt created the FERA in May 1933 and as a part of the New Deal, this measure allocated $500 million to relieve cities and states.

Civil Works Administration (CWA): In Nov 1933 relief administrator Harry Hopkins convinced Franklin D. Roosevelt to create the CWA. The CWA provided temporary public works that allocated a billion dollars for short-term projects for the jobless during the winter but was demolished when the spring arrived.

Public Works Administration (PWA): Harold Ickes: Headed by Harold Ickes, the Secretary of Interior, who was cautious and suspicious, the PWA was a governmental agency which spent $4 billion on 34,000 public works project which constructed dams, bridges, and public buildings.

Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA): Senator Norris: Pushed for by Senator George Norris, the TVA was a governmental agency which ruled several federal programs of building dams, the construction of hydroelectric dams, and controlling floods. Created in 1933, the TVA was eventually curtailed in 1980 when nuclear plants were introduced.

National Youth Administration (NYA): As part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal plan, he set up the National Youth Administration to provide part time work for high school and college students. This agency served more than two million people and was set up because students were the most rebellious due to their exposure to new ideas.

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC): The SEC, established in 1934, protected investors, listened to complaints, issued licenses and penalized fraud. The SEC required the registration of all companies and securities and required disclosure of company information and registration of all company securities exchanged.

Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC): As part of the Hundred Days that understood the nation’s tragedy of foreclosed mortgages, the HOLC refinanced American home mortgages. This valiant effort allowed one-fifth of all U.S. mortgages to become refinanced which would prevent another Great Depression

Farm Credit Administration: During Franklin Roosevelt’s first term in office, an important federal agency was established; it was named the Farm Credit Administration. It was designed to help rural Americans refinance their farmland; it also helped to restore the livelihood that was missing in agriculture.

Federal Housing Authority (FHA): This agency forced small down payments and low-interest loans on home sales and thus stimulated the economy. This stimulation allowed a new market for private homes that accelerated the construction-industry through the utilization of technology to mass-produce homes.

Gold Clause Act, 1935: The Gold Clause Act stated that private contracts dealing with certain railroad bonds were unable to interfere in the coining of money. The regulation in the value of money for those areas defined were specifically the areas given to Congress when the Constitution was written.

Works Progress Administration (WPA), Hopkins, Harry, Federal Arts Project: Directed by Harry Hopkins in 1935, the eight year program employed 8 million people and provided $11 billion dollars to the economy in which 650,000 miles of roads, 124,000 bridges, and 125,000 schools, hospitals, arts, and post offices were built. The Federal Arts Project created positions for artists by making positions for art teachers and decorated posts for offices and courthouses with murals.

Rural Electrification Administration (REA): The REA was an agency that provided low-interest loans to utility companies and farmers’ cooperatives to reach the 90% of rural farmers who lacked electrical power. This program was so successful that by 1941 40% of these farms had received electrical power.

Wagner Act, 1935: Supported by R. F. Wagner, the Wagner Act of 1935 established defined unjust labor practices, secured workers the right to bargain collectively, and established the National Labor Relations Board. As an integral part of the New Deal, it catalyzed the force of unionization. (Also known as the National Labor Relation Act)

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB): This agency was assembled by Congress in 1935 and oversaw the National Labor Relation Act (1935). As an independent agency, the NLRB controlled the secret ballot elections during collective bargaining and managed the complaints of unfairness by the employers or unions.

Revenue Act, 1935: This act allowed the government to raise a spectrum of tariffs ranging from personal taxes at higher income levels to rises in corporate taxes to having heavier levies on gifts and estates. As an expression of the class spirit of the Second New Deal, there were many loopholes.

Social Security Act: Created by the U.S. Congress on August 14,1935, this act supported old-age advantages by utilizing a pay roll tax on employers and employees. This originated from the Townsend clubs which pushed for a $200 pension. Soon the program was expanded to include dependents, the disabled, and adjusted with the inflation.

Resettlement Administration: As part of the New Deal and led by Rexford Tugwell, this agency created loans for small farmers and sharecroppers to buy their own farms. Even though the Resettlement Administration lasted two years, it satisfied the requirements of the governmental concern of sharecroppers.

Emergency Relief Appropriation Act: As part of the Second New Deal in relation to the high unemployment rate in April 1935, Congress was forced into passing the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act in which Roosevelt was granted five billion dollars, part of which he used to set up the Works Progress Administration.

Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act, 1936: The Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act was formulated to replace the Agricultural Adjustment Act. The act, by providing benefit payments to farmers who practiced soil conservation methods, helped to stem the overproduction in agriculture thus stabilizing farm prices.

Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenancy Act: The act created the Farm Security Administration and replaced the Resettlement Administration. This agency created low-interest loans allowing farmers and sharecroppers to buy their own land. By 1941, they had loaned 1 billion dollars assisting thousands of farmers.

Fair Labors Standards Act: maximum hours and minimum wage: This act was created by the Roosevelt administration of northerners to undermine the South’s competitive edge. It established a minimum wage for most workers while it concurrently created a forty-four hour work week and banned child labor.

Results of the New Deal: Several accomplishments of the New Deal contributed to the nation’s economy. For the first time, the federal government assumed responsibility in reviving economic prosperity, vastly increasing the power of the president. The legislative measures brought reform and reinstated confidence in the people.

Twentieth Amendment: Also known as the Lame-Duck Amendment the Twentieth Amendment in 1933 called for the ending of the “lame-duck” sessions of Congress from Dec of the even numbered years until the following Mar. The amendment also set the date of the President’s inauguration back to Jan 20.

Wikersham Convention: Officially named the National Committee on Law Observation and Enforcement, the Wikersham Convention in May of 1929 discussed the probing problems of prohibition, the treatment of juvenile delinquents, the cost of law enforcement, and other similar problems that faced society during that era.

Twenty-First Amendment: Ratified within the span of 10 months, the Twenty-First Amendment on Dec 5, 1933 repealed the eighteenth amendment which dealt with the passing of prohibition. The amendment also permitted states to levy a tax on alcoholic substances.

Good Neighbor Policy: Stated in 1933 by Roosevelt in his inaugural address, the ideology was that the U.S. would respect the rights of other nations. This policy was used on various occasions of armed troops being sent to Latin America to maintain political stability. Ultimately this resulted in support from Latin America during World War II.

Recognition of the USSR, 1933: The United States didn’t recognize Russia because of the betrayal when Russia withdrew from WWI due to the Russian Revolution in March of 1917. Also, at the treaty of Versailles, Wilson and the other Allies agreed to weaken Russia. Only until Roosevelt’s presidency did the U.S. recognize Russia.

Indian Reorganization Act, 1934: Authorized by the U.S. Congress, it allowed the Indians a form of self-government and thus willingly shrank the authority of the U.S. government. Enacted on Jun 18, 1934, it provided the Indians direct ownership of their land, credit, a constitution, and a charter in which Indians could manage their own affairs.

Coalition of the Democratic Party: blacks, unions, intellectuals, big cities machines,

South: Franklin D. Roosevelt relied on state and local Democratic leaders who pushed beyond the traditional Democratic base. Because blacks, intellectuals, big city machines, and Southerners favored these relief programs, they merged with the Democratic Party.

“conservative coalition” in Congress: Because of the combination of a majority in Congress and the agreeableness of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Congress was viewed as conservative. An example of this is that the Emergency Banking Act passed through Congress in one day.

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