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Roosevelt was one of the first Presidents to earnestly fight for the rights of the average worker.
The free food handouts they got were nick-named “Hoover Stew”.
Those at the bottom end of society had no faith in Hoover and the new president gave them exactly this – faith and hope. If the 1928 figure is used as a baseline figure for a study as to whether the New Deal was a success or not, then in all three important areas, Roosevelt did not get back to the 1928 figure.
Economists who attacked the New Deal claimed that all the acts introduced by the New Deal were short-term policies and that there was no long term planning for America’s future.
In one sense, they felt, that those who had come to rely on the New Deal were being conned as all the evidence pointed to the fact that at some time in the near future, they were likely to be made unemployed once again – after all, there were only so many trees you could plant and lakes in which to stock fish.
Firstly, Roosevelt set up the National Recovery Administration, or NRA, to assist labor unions in their struggle against greedy corporations.
The NRA, for the first time in American history, guaranteed the right for labor union members to choose their own representatives in bargaining.
However, America was at itseconomic peak then and after such an economic catastrophe as the Wall Street Crash, it would have bordered on the impossibility for Roosevelt to have got back to the 1928 figure.
If the 1933 figure is taken as a baseline figure – the year Roosevelt took office as president – then a different pattern emerges.
He started by creating the Civilian Conservation Corps, or CCC, which provided employment in government camps for three million young men.
These men served doing useful, but (some would say) unnecessary tasks like reforesting, firefighting, draining swamps, and controlling floods.