In the discussion thread: Know FDR's New Deal? A two-question quiz that might surprise you. [View all]
Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)
Thu May 24, 2012, 08:55 PM
Bucky (46,269 posts)
6. Damn, that's good.
1. I know that unemployment was a wopping 24% by 1932. Frank was saving America from socialism--not the faux "help your neighbor" socialism that modern republicans spazz about, but out & out real totalitarian, government runs every corner of the economy and innovation killing socialism. Read Huey Long's plan for America.
IIRC, and I ain't lookin' it up on purpose, by the end of 1936, when the Second New Deal started to kick in, joblessness got down to about 15%, so that's a 10-point drop.
2. The formula for GDP includes, of course, federal government deficit spending. (spoiler: I'm a social studies teacher), but that spending may well have only offset the parts of the private sector that were continuing to collapse well into his second term. So I'm gonna guess 1%, because America has never really had a full on Keynesian spending spree the way ol' John Maynard intended. But here I'm just spitballin' cause for all I know there was still some growth going on during the Depression, even if it didn't keep pace with population growth.
Now give me the bad news.
(edited after seeing the answers)
I was right about #1. If unemployment dropped from 25% to 15%, then that's a 40% rate drop, or a drop of 10 percentage points. Damn statistics. (There's actually a way to count unemployment that shows it going UP during FDR's 1st term, but that's Goddamn Statistics).
Boy, was I wrong on #2. OTOH, I wonder how much of that 8% growth in GDP was government deficit spending. Spending billions on infrastructure (TVA, Hoover Dam, youth employment projects, reforestation, etc) isn't exactly wasted money, the way our Republican friends would have it. But neither is it a sign of a truly revitalized economy. We forget how naked the economy was before the days of a social safety net. But if the source of the spending is government borrowing rather than efficiently allocated private consumer power, the job still isn't job.
OTOOH, Wealth distribution is probably a bit worse now than it was in the 1920s. In which case, damn us.
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Replies to this discussion thread
|Woody Woodpecker||May 2012||#4|
|Pab Sungenis||May 2012||#13|
Damn, that's good.
|scheming daemons||May 2012||#19|
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