New Deal

New Deal Utopianism

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Back to the Land: Arthurdale, FDR’s New Deal, and the Costs of Economic Planning by C.J. Maloney (Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley, 2011), 292 pages. Drive south from Morgantown, West Virginia, and you soon come to the little town of Arthurdale. At the outskirts of town, there is a roadside plaque informing those who stop to read it that Arthurdale was ... [click for more]

Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms Fraud

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President Obama has succeeded in seizing new power over health care and other swaths of American lives in part because previous presidents muddied Americans’ understanding of freedom. Most of the past century’s debates over the meaning of liberty have featured one politician after another who promised people true freedom, if only they would submit to increased government power. In the ... [click for more]

Bursting the Myths of the Great Depression

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The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal by Robert P. Murphy (Regnery, 2009); 272 pages. Government of all kind depends on elaborate mythologies to keep the people complacent in the face of constant attacks on their liberty, their property, and even their lives. Kings used to proclaim that they were divine or at least ... [click for more]

New Deal Charades

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New Deal or Raw Deal? by Burton Folsom Jr. (Threshold Editions, 2008); 318 pages. The New Deal rescued the United States from the terrible depression caused by the instability of our capitalist economy. Thats the standard line peddled to gullible Americans by most history books, historians, and politicians. It was not surprising when Republican Speaker of the House Newt ... [click for more]

Obama’s Link to “Old Iron Pants”

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Since Barack Obama pledged a “New New Deal” for the American people, he has been favoring a combination of more government spending, more government regulations, and more power for labor unions. This has led some observers to conclude that he might be drawing inspiration from “Old Iron Pants” — the hard-drinking, fast-talking Gen. Hugh Johnson, Time magazine’s 1933 “Man ... [click for more]

Roosevelt’s Crusade against Gold

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Early in the New Deal, Franklin Roosevelt became convinced that to get America out of the Great Depression, the federal government must gain total control over money. The Federal Reserve seemed to have been powerless during the contraction, so Roosevelt asserted the power of the presidency. He began demonizing gold. Why gold? For centuries, people have viewed gold as the ... [click for more]

FDR’s Biggest Mistake During the Depression

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FDR didn’t know what to do about the Great Depression he inherited from Herbert Hoover, so he tried everything. He hiked taxes, spent more money, established monopolies, enforced cartels, filed antitrust lawsuits, promoted compulsory unionism, multiplied business regulations, denounced investors, and started welfare programs, public works projects, a big ... [click for more]

FDR and Compulsory Unionism Destroyed Jobs

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For decades, labor unions struggled for power, but until the 1930s they had made little headway. Unions were based on force and violence, which repelled a substantial number of employees as well as employers.  The aim had been to raise the wages of members above market levels, but this was only ... [click for more]

FDR’s Anti-Business Crusade

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In 1938, after having spent many New Deal years signing laws that banned discounting and established cartels, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt denounced “the concentration of economic control” that many of his laws promoted. He went on the attack against big employers, even though, with unemployment still in double digits, ... [click for more]

How the New Deal Soaked the Rich, Middle Class, and Poor

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The New Deal was paid for mainly by the middle class and the poor. This was because excise taxes were the biggest revenue generators for the federal government. They applied to beer, liquor, cigarettes, chewing gum and other cheap pleasures enjoyed disproportionately by the middle class and the poor. Until ... [click for more]

How FDR Promoted Price-Gouging

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During the Great Depression of the 1930s, Americans desperately needed bargains. But President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed laws that forced businesses to charge above-market prices for everything. He made discounting a crime! FDR did this even though antitrust laws provided penalties for private individuals who acted in ... [click for more]

How FDR Promoted Racial Segregation

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President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had a reputation as a friend of black people, yet he signed laws that promoted racial segregation throughout the United States. The laws were supposed to promote “affordable housing.” Until the 1930s, buying a home required making a down payment equal to a quarter or a third of ... [click for more]
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