Is it Time for a New Deal?
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 by Frank Shortt
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President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a prominent Democrat, began the New Deal in 1933 in order to combat the results of the Great Depression! Unemployment was rampant, there was little money to be had, only by those who had buried money in a fruit jar in their back yards. Roosevelt needed to act, and act soon, which he did by beginning new programs that would benefit families by employing youths, helping farmers, and providing food for needy families! There are many families today who would be willing to do some hard work to make a living for their families if only given the opportunity!

The three Rís of the New Deal were Relief, Reform, and Recovery! How to implement the three Rís was another matter completely. Does this begin to sound like our country of the USA today? If so, It would behoove the Congress of our country to begin to take notice of what happened in 1933 in order to bring this country out of the doldrums of unemployment and a major pandemic!


One of the first things Roosevelt did was to establish the FERA act. It established the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, which was a grant-making agency authorized to release Federal aid to the states for relief of their citizens. Fera Distributed over $3.1 billion by Dec. 1935 and employed over 20million people. What is the holdup in Congress today as both parties blame the other for dragging their feet! It seems that politics got in the way! After all, why do we struggling middle class pay our taxes?


Rooseveltís New Deal recovery programs focused on stabilizing the economy by implementing more long-term employment opportunities, and helping homeowners pay their mortgages, staying in their homes and keeping the banks solvent.

The Civilian Conservation Corps, or CCC was established on April 5, 1933 employing thousands of young men to work on environmental conservation projects. What would happen if a similar program was instituted to have the homeless population work for their money in parks, etc. instead of lying around on city streets polluting the neighborhoods? Barracks could be provided for them, and their families if necessary, with supervision of course, until they were able to gain enough money for a place to live of their own!

The PWA was formed to build large-scale works such as dams, bridges, schools and hospitals. This provided employment for many out of work construction workers.

This program was designed to rebuild the infrastructure of the country. Starving artists were also included and some of the most famous murals were produced at this time in public buildings across America by the likes of Maynard Dixon, Jackson Pollock, Dorthea Lange, Diego Rivera, Ralph Stackpole, etc. etc. In all, $6 billion in 1933 dollars was spent on this project!

Any controversial program has its drawbacks as in the case of the Agricultural Adjustment Act, the AAA. The AAA intended to assist farmers by reducing the amount of farm production. This in turn would drive prices up for farm products. Farmers were paid for not growing certain crops! Does this sound like today when thousands of tons of produce is being dumped in the ocean so that farm prices can stabilize?


These programs passed legislation that focused on banks, labor, and labor unions. Each was to take their part in reforming the way that progress was handled in the labor market. With all working together, instead of separately as now, great strides were made to alleviate the problems of employment! It seems that Americans are not willing to work together for anything as the stalemate continues along political lines. To most folks if their particular party does not do the reform then it is completely the wrong thing to do.

What would President Franklin D. Roosevelt say about his Democratic Party today which has no semblance of how it looked in the Thirties and Forties? What would Theodore Roosevelt, who served from 1901 to 1909, say about the Republican Party of today? As a member of the Republican Party, T.R. became increasingly progressive in the later years of his presidency. Any leader of any country, who is sensitive to the needs of families under their leadership, will try any legitimate means to provide relief to families, some of whom have paid taxes faithfully for countless years. But no, we would rather build a bigger bomb to go into the ocean and kill all the fish!

I would like to take this opportunity to challenge both parties to begin thinking of someone besides their own political gains, their filthy lucre gains, and begin some legislation, lacking in the whole of 2020, to bring Relief, Recovery, and Reform as did their leaders in the past. What are they afraid of? Are they afraid that the other party will obtain a leg-up on them? Such a Shame and a Sham!