[Marxism] how successful was the New Deal?

Dbachmozart at aol.com Dbachmozart at aol.com
Wed Dec 24 08:01:45 MST 2008

from portside.org - Committees of
Correspondence for Democracy and  Socialism
Learning From the New Deal's Mistakes

The New Deal was, for the most  part, phenomenally
successful, but there are many ways it could have  gone
further or been better organized -- failings it is
critical we avoid  this time around.

by Eric Rauchway

The American Prospect -  December 22, 2008 - web only

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Any smart historian of  the 1930s is a New Deal critic.
The Obama administration unquestionably needs  to
respond more effectively to the current crisis than the
Roosevelt  administration did to the Great Depression.
But not because the "New Deal  didn't work," as
conservative pundits are now frequently saying -- it
did.  It didn't go far enough fast enough, and it
included some other mistakes from  which we can usefully
learn, but ignoring its successes will only make  things

The most important thing to know about  Roosevelt's
economics is that, despite claims to the contrary, the
economy  recovered during the New Deal. During
Roosevelt's first two terms, the U.S.  economy grew at
average annual growth rates of 9 percent to 10  percent,
with the exception of the recession year of 1937-1938.
As  economist Christina Romer (now director-designate of
the Council of Economic  Advisers) writes, these rates
were "spectacular, even for an economy pulling  out of a
severe recession."

Thus, at the very least, the New Deal did  not prevent a
"spectacular" rate of recovery. More, we have reason  to
believe some of Roosevelt's policies enabled it.

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