especially the 18-21 year olds. The built schools and bridges under the auspices of the WPA. They built trails and parks throughout the country, under the auspices of the CCC. This put money into the economy and gave the people a purpose in life. People were depressed.
it's not about WHAT jobs you give them. it's about giving them jobs, period. yes, there are plenty of jobs that could be created that are of the same ilk as back in the '30s, but there are also higher tech jobs that could be created as well.
moreover, if you sop up the unemployed, people will quickly rotate into the right jobs. there will be more competition for private sector jobs, and some people will more off the "ccc" jobs and into the private sector, and vice versa. eventually, the money that's being put into the pockets of the presently unemployed will reinvigorate the economy, and the "ccc" program can scale back.
38. in 1937, FDR veered slightly from his original programs...
as a result, the economy began to faulter again.
He began reinstating his original new deal concepts again, but alas, WWII came along and that changed everything.
I honestly believe that had not WWII happened, we would have had a much happier nation in the long run; socially, economically and philosophically.
But then again, WWII highlighted the segregation of our armed forces which led to it's desegregation which helped the civil rights movement. With combined social elements lead to the Civil Rights bill.
Dovetail all of that and meshing with the push for equal rights across the board for all people in the work place.
WWII brought numerous changes to our society, but I have always wondered what our nation would be like today if WWII never happened.
How would nuclear power be viewed? How would nuclear weapons be developed? Would we have gone to the moon? Would there have been a cold war? Would the soviet union still exist? Would there have been a hula-hoop?
The actions that FDR started in his "First 100 Days", arrested the headlong fall he had inherited, and` the economy began to turn around and make clear cut improvements. But "fiscal economy" was always a large part of his make up. So in 1938 he gave in to the criticism of his own "Blue Dogs" (southern Democrats, conservatives to a man, with more than a few outspoken RACISTS), and scaled back sharply on many of those programs. Soon after, the so-called "Roosevelt Depression" followed. War Keynesianism saved the day and WW2 was won, but the idealism of the New Deal had ended.
FDR has been frequently cited here lately to bum-rap Obama, but that is largely BULLSHIT.
29. Actually, I believe it was 1937 when FDR turned fiscal conservative.
The result was predictable: the decrease in unemployment disappeared and the economy took a turn for the worse.
Actually, as I saw graphed out on DU some months ago, the FDR years showed the greatest growth in employment of any comparable period in American history except for the WWII years, when everybody went to work doing something. You were either in one of the military services or doing something to support the services.
What FDR did worked, most of it anyway. It would work again. It will always work, when used.
36. My (aging) memory had settled on 1938 as the time
FDR's conservative/reactionary opponents within the Democratic party were in open rebellion, largely over his 1937 "court-packing" plan. So in 1938, he openly targeted them in the mid-term election. Most were in the deep south where corrupt racism prevailed, and their electoral victories was largely perceived as a devastating repudiation of FDR. My recollection was that FDR then went into defensive mode with with extensive budget-slashing. I have several books on that period, largely favorable to FDR, that mention his inherent "fiscal conservatism". But they're all spoken word books from Audible.com, so they're almost useless for the purpose. I'll have to Google.
Also,I'd be deeply grateful if you could point me to those graphs you mention. I participate in venues that are NOT as "liberal/progressive" as`DU, and can always use some extra ammo. (dum-dums would be fine!)
"Something from David's recent diary "Fox News: 'Historians Pretty Much Agree' That FDR Prolonged the Great Depression" really stuck in my craw, above and beyond the fact that the whole line of rightwing BS sticks in my craw. And that was the paper from UCLA that David referenced:
Now, it's true - back in 2004, two UCLA professors published a little-noticed report claiming the New Deal's government intervention prolonged the Great Depression. But that assertion has been subsequently eviscerated by, ya know, actual data.
What this immediately reminded me of was a UCLA "study" from 2005, (I wrote about at MyDD here), purporting to show that there really was leftwing bias in the media, a study that included, along the way, the identification of both the ACLU and the NRA as centrist think tanks. Since neither of them are either centrist or think tanks, there was an obvious problem with the study, and it seemed the height of irresponsibility for an academic institution of UCLA's stature to allow itself to be used to promote such obviously shoddy "research" with such an obvious propaganda value. Indeed, as I dug into it further--and others did as well--the total lack of effective peer review became quite obvious. It was "peer-reviewed", it turned out, in a journal devoted to a disciplinary approach that had no competence whatever in the field of media studies. "
When your "average joe" hears that "taxes on the richest" were at 94%, they think that every dollar was taxed at that rate. The 94% refers to the "marginal tax rate," meaning it's the rate on the last dollar earned, not the first.
Marginal tax rates work this way:
The first, say, $50,000 is taxed at 5% The next, say, $50,000 is taxed at 10% and so on.
So if you compare someone who makes a million dollars a year with someone who makes $50,000 a year, both of them are actually paying the same tax rate on their first $50,000. It's only the higher income that gets taxed more, and that rate goes up in increments and applies only to the dollars within that bracket.
As an aside, if you chart the top marginal tax rate on top of any graph that shows industrial output or middle class achievement, you invariably find that the two coincide. It's no accident that the US was at its peak in every measure imaginable when the top marginal rate was at its highest.
but if you delve into the historical details you will find that our policies towards Japan had a profound impact on their expansionism.
Arguably we goaded the Japanese into a fight. While I agree conflict with Germany was inevitable, the path Japan took was not. Japan's military leadership didn't want to go to war with us at all, they knew it was a no-win proposition to them.
16. Japan and the US had been on that course since the dust settled from WWI
They knew it and we knew it.
They were expanding.
The US put sanctions on them to stop their bloodthirsty rampage through Asia. So they needed oil.
The Japanese military leadership wanted the US gone from the Pacific Rim, that's why they struck Pearl Harbor and moved so quickly against the Philippines and UK/French/Dutch possessions.
Their planners knew they could never match the US in economic or manpower strength. So they developed a plan to to knock us back and force the US in a position were we would sign a non-aggression treaty and write-off Asia.
There was a healthy dose of cultural bigotry in their thinking. They thought the US were cowards and wouldn't fight. They miscalculated.
In 1941, they had been slaughtering people in China since 1932, had already attacked US vessels and men and were moving toward European possessions that couldn't be defended because of Hitler.
Our sanctions and policies were the right decision.
14. That was the War Tax. Yes, we used to pay for our wars.
He did many of the same things Obama Bernanke and Geithner have done. Hx tells us that he did not put the large amount of money needed in right away. Bernake, a scholar of the Great Depression has done the banks and kept them stable and it worked. The Stimulus was too small. Both Geithner and Romer wanted a much larger stimulus. The Deficit Hawks in Congress squashed that. It has worked well but if the stimulus had been the trillion asked for there would have been enough jobs that the employment rate would have been the 8% predicted. The Stimulus has worked--not large enough compared to job losses. The reason the Republicans say it has not worked is the unemployment rate did not drop as predicted. So they started Where are the jobs??? as a political attack. It worked. Instead of developing work programs, this ADM payed Unemployment and extended unemployment and put money into keeping Firemen, Policemen Teachers, on the job. Here in Columbus we had lots of stimulus projects --construction, street and highway repair,etc.
So far, in the first twenty months of his Administration, Obama, Geithner(Paulson)Bernanke stimulus for the Big Banks has used up close to three quarters of our GDP - and FDR didn't do anything close to that until we were actually fighting WWII. And of course,he had no choice whatsoever at that point. We didn't want to be conquered by the Japanese or the Germans.
So if you look around and use google, you will find (I think it was for 1943) that FDR used around 144% of the GDP but again that was mostly on account of the war, which we went on to win.
Obama and Geithner(Paulson)/Bernanke's Bail Outs have used to date eleven trillion bucks to the Big Banks and too Big To Fail crowd. And another quarter of a trillion bucks per year for the ungoing, unwinnable wars. There is simply no twenty month period in The FDR Administration when FDR did anything like that.
And he was only committed to having our troops on foreign soil after we were attacked.
56. I doubt that a single return showed income over $5 million for 1936
Edited on Mon Nov-15-10 04:38 PM by slackmaster
For 1933, maybe two or three individuals made over $1 million, and you and I could probably guess some of their names (Rockefeller, Morgan, Carnegie, etc.). The federal taxes collected for the top bracket in those years didn't amount to a hill of beans.
Raising taxes on the ultra-rich is great for the country!
It's great for the federal government and certainly doesn't do any real harm, but it doesn't automatically mean more jobs.
71. Start an Energy Advanced Research Project, similar to DARPA.
Edited on Mon Nov-15-10 11:29 PM by grahamhgreen
Rebuild American infrastructure. Create massive renewable energy projects. Build bike paths in all cities. Build rapid transit, bullet trains. Break up monopolies like walmart and the banks, big oil. Etc.,
57. That didn't happen till about 1944. Near the end of WWII.
The top bracket was already 63% before FDR became President.
"The Revenue Act of 1932 (June 6, 1932, ch. 209, 47 Stat. 169) raised United States tax rates across the board, with the rate on top incomes rising from 25 percent to 63 percent. The estate tax was doubled and corporate taxes were raised by almost 15 percent.
The provisions of the act applied to the taxable year of 1932 and all subsequent taxable years.
It was signed into law by President Herbert Hoover."
It wasn't JUST that he put people back to work, but most of his Public Works projects were aimed toward rebuilding and improving America's infrastructure. You can simply NEVER LOSE rebuilding infrastructure. The return on the investment is always large and long-lasting.
I think Al Franken is exactly right in that the way to repeat this process in the 21st century is to concentrate on upgrading to broadband technology nationwide. Broadband internet access is the interstate highway system of the new millennium. I've heard right-wingers cynically claim that spending on public works programs will only put people to work for a short period of time, until the project is completed, and then they're all unemployed again. Not true. Just think about the interstate highway system. When it was being built, did it JUST employ roadworkers until the road was completed? Or does it CONTINUE to keep people employed (i.e. truck drivers, businesses who need to ship their products, etc.) to this day?
69. My dad contracted rheumatic fever when he was working for the CCC in 1934
Edited on Mon Nov-15-10 06:23 PM by slackmaster
He was earning $1.50 per day plus room and board, building trails in the mountains of San Diego County.
He was 15 when he got sick. Because he was a federal government employee, they put him in the Balboa Naval Hospital for treatment.
I remember the way he'd look at the ground and shake his head when he told people that the food he was served in that hospital was the best he'd ever had.
He had his mom write a letter falsely giving the year of his birth as 1918 so he could enlist in the Navy and get out of poverty. He served four years and re-enlisted in 1938, planning to get out of the service and enroll in college.
Then the War hit. Dad served for the duration, and stayed on until he retired as a Senior Chief in 1956. He got a job in the defense industry as an electronic systems design engineer, and worked for the same company until he retired in 1987.
He died in 1989 from a heart attack that was probably a result of the rheumatic fever he contracted in 1934. The trails those young men built are still there.
FDR's make-work programs kept a lot of people fed and built some truly great things, but it was really World War II that finally got my dad out of a life of near-desperate poverty. His family was poor before the Great Depression. Your family's mileage may vary.
...I could make the argument that having a case of lymphoma "under control" is not the same as actually curing the lymphoma.
FDR did do a lot to fight the Depression, no argument there. But when World War II erupted, and especially after Pearl Harbor got attacked, there was no more talk of "depression." Unfortunately, this also inadvertently resulted in the genesis of the military-industrial complex.
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