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.
For GDP – this is usually taken as key pointer in a nation’s economic health – 1933 to 1939 witnessed a 60% increase; the amount of consumer products bought increased by 40% while private investment in industry increased by 5 times in just six years.
Those who criticise the New Deal claim that it never actually got rid of unemployment in America and that Roosevelt’s New Deal only had short term impact which lulled the unemployed into thinking that all their troubles were at an end.
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.The historian William Leuchtenburg believed that only World War Two got America out of the Depression.Arthur Schlesinger claims that the New Deal only got the wheels of industry turning but no more.Whether the New Deal was a success or not, depends on the definition of success. However, an analysis of whether the New Deal was a success or failure requires a larger scope of questioning than simply looking at economic statistics.Did the New Deal eliminate unemployment and turn America around? From the collapse of Wall Street in October 1929 to the presidential election in November 1932, to many Americans it appeared as if Hoover, the Republican president, was either doing nothing or too little.Poverty, unemployment and despair clouded the “American Dream” and intensified the urgency for solutions to address and control the nationwide damage.President Franklin Roosevelt proposed the New Deal to detoxify the nation of its suffering.That a president, Roosevelt, was actually doing something positive was a huge boost to the American public – they were not being left to fend for themselves.Some who had been badly affected by the Great Depression had labeled their cardboard box homes “Hoovervilles” in disgust of what Hoover was doing for them.In all three areas, there were significant improvements.Economic strength and development thrives on confidence and these figures give the clear impression that America now had greater confidence in her economic ability after the Wall Street Crash.