The Great Depression, The New Deal & World War II

November 16, 2008 at 1:33 am | Posted in Economy, Office of the President | Leave a comment
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With all the chatter about whether we are entering a depression and what do we do, many people nod sagely in agreement that it was America’s entry into World War II which ended the Great Depression, some of those people argue that FDR’s New Deal was a failure, pointing in particular at the fact that unemployment dropped like a stone after America entered the war.

The war in fact did not end the Depression. Tremendous job creation in support of the war effort ended the Depression. Had there not been a World War II and the money spent on that war been injected into job creation and establishing a national healthcare system and social safety nets, as had been done in Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, instead of investing heavily in “the military-industrial complex,” the result would have been the same in terms of turning around the economy and we likely would not be suffocating under a defense budget as bloated and seemingly uncontrollable as we have now.

Unfortunately, we need to do now what we should have done then but we can’t, because we are trapped in two wars, both of which were completely avoidable had the Bush administration acted competently.

The New Deal didn’t fail because it was a bad idea, it failed because it was too small.

In addition to having the deaths of tens of thousands to their credit, George W. Bush and the Republican Party are responsible for this economic disaster and our inability to deal with it appropriately and effectively. Don’t ever forget that.


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