The plan to redistribute wealth under the New Deal program was not successful at all. As a matter of fact, about one million dollars were made available from this initiative. It proved to be quite cumbersome to gather wealth through the proposed plan. According to the initiative, the government was supposed to pool resources together and later redistribute them to Americans who were deemed to be poor. As already mentioned, the plan managed to raise an amount that could not suffice the needs of the economically depressed American society.
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Worse still, the $5000 amount was not sufficient for each household bearing in mind that the purchasing power had already been weakened by the poor economy. It is interesting to mention that the call for shorter working hours was against the spirit of economic growth and development.1 At a time when the working population was supposed to double the working hours, the initiative proposed a significant reduction in working hours.
To a large extent, minimizing the hours of working was a misplaced priority in the fight against the long period of economic turmoil. In any case, the government was supposed to be more proactive in seeking and formulating ways that could to cut down the cost of living and generate additional income. For example, the shorter working hours would have been replaced by the creation of more job opportunities to the ailing population. Alternatively, the government could have injected surplus income to the industrial sector so that more job opportunities are created.
The vet benefits suggested by the government were mere talk shows because the larger portion of the affected population did not benefit from the proposal. Needless to say, the benefits accrued from the plan were mainly enjoyed by a small segment of the population at the detriment of the wider American public. This was the same case when the government put forward the plan to pay the elderly through pensions. The education payments also failed to meet the threshold of controlling the biting inflation that was rife during the depression years.
The radio shows that targeted a population of ten million Americans was meant to support and market the New Deal plan. The program hardly met its objectives since the targeted population was mainly interested in regaining their economic stabilities and not radio shows with messages of hope.
In yet another move to scuttle the New Deal program, a remarkable number of the business committee was opposed to the plan by arguing that it heavily interrupted the normal daily lifestyle of the American population. It can be recalled that Roosevelt’s administration hardly consulted the local administrators. Most of the adopted initiatives were forced to the people. On the same note, several businesses were interrupted by the New Deal program because the government instituted draconian measures that could not auger well with the natural growth in business.
The pensionable people were supposed to retire and leave vacant positions for new employees. According to the adopted resolutions, individuals under pension could still be found in employment. Therefore, several job seekers could not access employment in government. As much as the government asserted that it aimed to reduce the rate of unemployment, it failed to release people under pension from employment. Besides, the economy could have been spurred by allowing every pensionable individual to spend the availed income as soon as possible.2
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Berkin, Carol et al. Making America: A History of the United States, Volume 2: From 1865. Boston: Cengage Learning, 2011.
Cole, Harlod, and Lee Ohanian. “How Government Prolonged the Depression.” The Wall Street Journal.
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1 Alonzo Hamby, For the Survival of Democracy: Franklin Roosevelt and the World Crisis of the 1930s. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2004), 86.
2 Michael Bordo and White Eugene, “The defining moment hypothesis: The Editor’s introduction.”Harvard Journal Review 12, no. 2 (2000): 6.