The New Deal Essay, Research Paper
New Deal Essay
Some people argue that theforward thinking policies of the New Deal did not radically alter U.S business,but instead conserved and protected it. This statement is extremely valid. Roosevelt developed his New Deal policies to help to bolster Americaneconomy not to reshape the capitalistic economy that America had adoptedhundreds of years ago. Rooseveltbelieved, however, in very active government interaction and in some casesintervention with big business. Roosevelt believed so heavily in the government getting involved withthe economy in order to assist the average American, the forgotten people, thathe created associations and organizations that got the United States governmentinvolved in industry and utilities. This was criticized by some as being socialist, but in fact Rooseveltjust wanted to offer up fair competition in order to help many Americans. Despite somewhat putting the government snose where some felt it did not belong the New Deal as devised by Roosevelthelped to conserve and protect the ideal American economy and not change itdespite its horrible depression.
TheTennessee Valley Authority, or TVA, is a prime example of extreme governmentintervention in business but in no means altering the way business was carriedout it merely offered competition to private businesses and in turn helped thepeople. The TVA was so influential andhelpful it has carried over to this day from the days of the New Deal.
TheTVA was an organization set up by the Roosevelt administration as part of theNew Deal. The TVA was created to damthe Tennessee River, thus bringing hydroelectric power to the Tennessee Valleyarea. This area was a large farmingcommunity but without electricity the farmers were unable to make a living andthe area became completely destitute.
TheTVA s goal was to give the people cheaper hydroelectric power than the privatemulti-million dollar electric corporations. The organization was highly criticized by the private corporations andother wealthy Americans as being socialist, but in fact the TVA merelysucceeded in creating a fair competition to the private corporations that inturn helped the consumers. The TVA wasa carry over from progressivism in the fact that it did not completely alterthe American system but just gave it a hand to get out of the doldrums that iswas stuck in. The difference in the TVAand the progressive ideals is that it did not by any means have anything to dowith strong government regulation over private corporations. This New Dealpolicy kept the American system in tact in fact preserved the ideal of faircompetition while at the same time helping the forgotten people of the country.
Oneof Roosevelt s other economic alphabet agencies was the NRA which withcooperation of the industries developed minimum wages and minimum and maximumhours for workers. Roosevelt s NRA hadgovernment monitoring of industry. This organization had the heads of industryget together and discuss a standard of a minimum wage, minimum hours, and child laborregulation. The NRA did not directlycontrol big business but it did in fact make it better for the Americanpeople. To insure that industry did nottake advantage of its employees as part of the NRA ( this part was laterremoved when the NRA was found unconstitutional) the Wagner Act gave employeesthe right to unionize and strike against unfair treatment. With a minimum wage set and minimum andmaximum hours set more people got jobs and theses jobs paid enough based on thecost of goods for the quality of life for people to drastically increase. The NRA, although found unconstitutional,did not in any alter the American system of private capitalistic enterprise butmonitored it and jump-started the economy so that the American economy couldrebound from depression.
Besidesthe NRA the New Deal gave rise to other alphabet agencies concerned withbusiness and industry. The WPA and CCCgave jobs to thousands of Americans doing community work and what someconsidered giving alms to citizens. Roosevelt wanted to keep people working and keep American morale highwhich has always been a business goal in American society. People were given jobs in reforestation,firefighting, painting, dog catching and other jobs. Because of Roosevelt s highly pro-active approach to helping theAmerican people both the economy was minimally bettered and many jobs weregetting done.
Roosevelt sNew Deal had many organizations and regulations that were created that werecriticized by his contemporaries but they did not drastically alter theAmerican business, in fact they did more to conserve the American ideals offree enterprise by building competition, giving people jobs, and monitoringwages than most presidents before him or since his.