The Instigator
djussila
Pro (for)
Winning
35 Points
The Contender
ReganFan
Con (against)
Losing
20 Points

FDR's "New Deal" didn't fix the great depression.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/14/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 7,021 times Debate No: 9691
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (23)
Votes (10)

 

djussila

Pro

President Franklin D. Roosevelt is taught as a man who ended the great depression with his "New Deal." This is fallacious propaganda. FDR's policies hindered economic growth, while making unemployment worse. His failed policies, including:

(1) The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) or (NRA) of 1933
(2) The Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) of 1933
(3) The Works Progress Administration (WPA)

among many other programs, were wasteful, politicized, and exasperated existing problems. FDR, and his administration, never allowed the natural tendencies of the market to correct itself and, as a result, prolonged the great depression for years. The only major thing that ended the great depression was simply time.
ReganFan

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for this debate,and would like to start off by saying anyone who thinks it was solely the "New Deal" that lifted the world out of the Great Depression is, for lack of a better word, utterly insane. Now the debate becomes whether or not the "New Deal" made the economy worse.

So seeing as I am not an economist myself I find it is usually beneficial to ask the experts first. In 1995, economist Robert Whaples of Wake Forest University published a survey of academic economists that asked them if they agreed with the statement, "Taken as a whole, government policies of the New Deal served to lengthen and deepen the Great Depression." Fifty-one percent disagreed, and 49 percent agreed.[1] So as we see there is much divide between the experts which means that there is probably not concrete evidence that F.D.R.'s "New Deal" made the economy better or worse in terms of the market.

However when deciding whether or not the "New Deal" made the Depression worse it is important to take into account the human factor. If the depression had lasted for 6 years and 100,000 people died would you qualify that as better than if the Depression had lasted for 12 years and 50,000 people died? When asked whether or not the relief aspect of the new deal worked most economists are in agreement that it kept many people from starving and facing other perils.[2]

In closing in both circumstances when you look at both the market and more substantially at the human factor we see that FDR's new deal did in fact improve the Great Depression.

[1]http://www.usnews.com...
[2]http://www.usnews.com...=
Debate Round No. 1
djussila

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for participating in this debate.

Firstly, I would like to say that I am not debating the different aspects that might have brought America out of the Great Depression, I am debating on whether or whether not FDR'S "New Deal" policies were successful. The point that "anyone who thinks it was solely the "New Deal" that lifted the world out of the Great Depression is utterly insane" is irrelevant because it is not the debate. Many people do believe it was FDR's New Deal that solved the depression, just as many as people think it was WW2, or a combination of those and other things, but that is another debate and not this one.

Anyway, back to the issues.

My opponent quoted a survey done at Wake Forest University, to try to highlight the controversial matter regarding the "New Deal." As this paragraph was not a countering argument, or anything I could counter argue, reading this was a large waste of my time, and wasted my opponents time trying to find it. The purpose of being "CON" is to offer opposing viewpoints, and not insult the intelligence of the audience in an attempt to "explain" why we are debating the subject. The fact that we are debating is proof enough that this is a dividing issue!

My opponents second point is so full of holes it makes mozzarella look like swiss cheese. First my opponent tries to "take into account of the human factor." This isn't a human factor, this is a hypothetical factor. Lets stick to reality please. Then my opponent foolishly tries to make a case that most economists are in AGREEMENT that the New Deal helped! Well I read somewhere that, in a survey done at Wake Forest University, that almost half of the economists in the survey couldn't agree that the New Deal worked or not! I can't remember where I read that, remind me?

I am glad that my opponent took the time to Google search "New Deal" and found an article, that someone else wrote, that defended the New Deal and then linked it so we could all read the person's article. Thank you, I appreciate the effort. Thats why from now on I will refer to my opponent as "Matthew Bandyk", as I am no longer debating "Reganfan", I am debating on whoever wrote that article he linked to. His name is Matthew.

At inspection, Mr. Bandyk's article did very little to prove that the New Deal was a success story. In fact, the article seemed prove the New Deal was entirely a failure. But, of course my opponent (Reaganfan) surly realizes the error in my perception and will respond with, what will be an excellent rebuttal I'm sure. Let us examine this "evidence."

"The National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933, in particular, gets a lot of blame. The National Recovery Administration, a federal bureaucracy that limited competition in various industries by setting prices and wages above market levels."

"While it benefited some producers, the NRA's policies meant basic goods were more expensive for consumers and jobs harder to come by for people who were already in dire straits." (1)

Is this your proof?

"Relief policies from the Homeowners Loan Corp. actually put a greater burden on the backs of the poorest in society, the opposite of what they intended."

"Excise taxes on goods predominantly purchased by middle- and lower-class people were the main funding sources for these programs. "If you're just taking [money] from other middle- and low-income people, it's kind of a wash,"(2)

This is my opponents (Reganfan) proof? Remember, this is the source that HE made a link to! Matthew Bandyk, my real opponent, showed us evidence of the failures of the New Deal, not its supposed successes. My other opponent, Reganfan, showed me no evidence that New Deal was a success story, and that I am wrong.

Until my opponent realizes that he is against me, being "CON" and all, and until he proves his point that he is correct and that I am wrong, I see no reason to continue this round.

Thank you.

(1) http://www.usnews.com...=
(2) http://www.usnews.com...=
ReganFan

Con

I would at this point like to point out something that my opponent stated in R1
" I would like to say that I am not debating the different aspects that might have brought America out of the Great Depression, I am debating on whether or whether not FDR'S "New Deal" policies were successful."
However the title of this debate clearly is "FDR's "New Deal" didn't fix the great depression." to which he has taken the pro position, I would recommend that before my opponent starts another debate he should at least know what his debate was actually about.

Now I would like to point to my opponents failure to comprehend the main idea of my opposing argument. Allow me to break it down for you. When deciding whether or not FDR's "New Deal" was "successful" you need to evaluate what the meaning of success is. My argument is when you look at the "New Deal" in terms of morality, it would be deemed successful, It saved many people from starving simply because the economy was in a slump.

I would like to at this point point out the poor conduct of my opponent. A careful reading of what he has written will show that he failed to offer up any arguments, and instead focused his efforts on attacking the evidence as well as myself personally

Thank You.
Debate Round No. 2
djussila

Pro

Thank you again, I will make my final argument.

My opponent obviously has a different interpretation of the meaning of the subject title "FDR's "New Deal" didn't fix the great depression." I will not waste the audience's time in trying to explain his interpretation, as it is unimportant, so I will continue with my argument that the New Deal was failure.

At round one I mentioned a few New Deals programs; I will show a sobering explanation why they failed. I expect my opponent to demonstrate why I am wrong with the examples I have given and, along with the New Deal in total, why they were successful.

(1) The National Recovery Act or NIRA.

Adam Smith wrote is 1776, "People of the same trade seldom meet together, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices." The NIRA (later shortened to NRA) was ultimately a program that encouraged the formation of monopolies. It made American employers of big companies sit down together and discuss "terms of fair competition", of which they discussed wages, hours of labour, and prices. Traditionally, companies would compete with each other to offer the better product to the consumer; the better company would earn more profit. But with this new act, that was ancient history. What they go out of this act was more than 540 new codes that had the tendency to raise prices, reduce working hours, and remove competition. (1) For example, when the big tire companies got together and decided the "fair" price of their tires, the price of tires skyrocketed. As a result, cars got more expensive and, thus, sales for cars went down. Car sales in 1933 where 1/3 of what they were in 1929. (2) And with artificially high prices for goods under the NRA, many smaller businesses could not afford to stay afloat, charging anything less than the "fair" price was illegal, and if caught the government could shut the company down. Also, there were many crazy regulations under the NRA. For example, when regarding on how to buy a chicken, the customer is not allowed to select the chickens he wants. He had to put his hand in the coop and take the first chicken that comes to hand. (3) The NRA was voted unconstitutional in 1935 and was revoked.

(2) The Agricultural Employment Act (AAA)

In line with the economists of the era's theory that low prices resulted in the Great Depression, the AAA worked as follows. The farmers would be paid NOT to produce food on parts of their land. Also, the prices of the farmer's products would be adjusted to the price of 1910. Artificially adjusting prices is never a solution, for anything. It always leads to negative consequences, no matter what you deal with. A price is an indicator of supply and demand and adjusting the price imbalances the economy. With millions of acres sitting idle, America had under produced in many crops, hurting thousands of families. People were starving, and FDR wanted to raise the price of food? This is nonsense economics. In 1936 the Supreme Court declared the AAA unconstitutional.

(3) The Works Progress Administration. (WPA)

The WPA was a massive government public works bureaucracy that gave jobs to millions of the unemployed. However the WPA was inefficient, wasteful, and politicized. The main purpose for the WPA was job creation, not capital creation. Naturally, many works projects created by workers under the WPA were so poorly constructed that they had to be rebuilt. (4) The WPA was also very political. A state by state comparison of spending showed that more money flowed to Democratic "Battleground" states. (5) You could make the argument that the money the workers made in the WPA was good for the economy, as they have more money to spend. This is incorrect however, as the money paid came from taxpayers. It is a simple case of "robbing peter to pay Paul". Simply transferring wealth from one to another doesn't create wealth, it only transfers it.

Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal" was a failure. It prolonged the depression and likely made it worse, rather than better. Unemployment during the 1933-1940 period averaged about 18% and was as high as 28.3% in March of 1933. By the end of 1938, on the eve of WW2, the U.S. unemployment rate still hovered at just over 18 percent and was higher than it was in 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's first year in office. Of course WW2 took a large chunk of that unemployed and shipped them overseas, but just because the unemployed was transfered to somewhere else on the planet, that doesn't mean the problem was solved. The New Deal was an inconsistent, wasteful, and political legacy of FDR that served as an expansion of federal power more than an aid to a country. The New Deal is an economic legacy that echoes even today, in wasteful spending and failed economic programs. I think Ronald Reagan put it best when he said "A government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life - we'll never see on this earth."

I strongly urge the audience to reject the "New Deal" and its purported successes. On this note, I end my last argument. Thank you.

(1) Butler Schafer; In Restraint of Trade: the business campaign against competition, 1918-1938
(2) Allan Nevins and Frank Ernest; Ford: Decline and Rebirth.
(3) Hadley Arkes; The Return of Georg Sutherland
(4) Olsen, Historical Dictionary of the New Deal. Pg. 549
(5) Gavin Wright; The Politics of the New Deal.
ReganFan

Con

Extend all arguments, my opponent completely dismissed my entire argument.
Debate Round No. 3
23 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by comoncents 5 years ago
comoncents
Agree to disagree sounds good...

Now referring to the claim that america is going to die was more metaphorical then actual.

"it was putting a band-aid on an arterial bleed... worked for some time and the band-aid is soaked and the bleed is just worse... now it looks like america is going to die."

You should realize that if we spread ourselves too thin around the world, eventually we will bankrupt our country, which is something Osama Bin Laden wanted us to do, and that's what the Soviets did.

Thats why i equated america with death... it was metaphorical.
Posted by wjmelements 5 years ago
wjmelements
Das Kapital lies in a false theory of value inconsistent with Division of Labour and utilitarian free transaction.
Posted by djussila 5 years ago
djussila
Well I am glad that Volkov agreed with the fact that destroying capital goods is bad for an economy. But I am still correct when I said that war is bad for the economy. He is correct when he says that war increases production; we need tanks and bombers after all. He is correct when he says the money will "stimulate" spending, this is all true. But he wrong, in a mistake easily made by even professional economists , when he claims that all this new production is good for the economy. Take for example the apple farmer: An apple farmer buys pesticides for his crop (with the money he made last season) to grow a competitive crop for his consumers. The consumers then buy what they need of his crop, with the money that they made with their own businesses or labors. This is basically how an economy works, after all. But when a government makes a tank, or has a contract with a private company to make a bomber, the question appears: who is the consumer in this economic equation? There isn't. There is no consumer because no one wants tanks, nobody pays for bombers or anti-aircraft guns. An apple business can thrive because there is a market for apples, but there is no free market for war toys. (The black, underground terrorist market is a different story) War uses up resources and capital, that would have otherwise been directed to where consumers wished them to go, and instead is shipped overseas to be blown apart and wasted. Also you could make the argument that the paychecks the workers received for their labor in participating in these war games would benefit the economy - as they have more money to spend. This is another simple mistake. I ask you, where did the government get the money? From taxpayers. This is a classic example of 'robbing peter to pay paul'. You are not creating new wealth, you are simply transferring it to someone else. So, the government creates 'stuff' that no one wants, and paying for the labor with the worker's own money? And this is a good idea?
Posted by studentathletechristian8 5 years ago
studentathletechristian8
Volkov - according to the political compass graph, I am a conservative. However, there are several instances in which I am dead opposed to that conservatives support. I just make jokes about liberals because I either have nothing better to do or just need to express my anger. But, all of the liberals I talk to that live around me sound ignorant and insane in the claims/accusations they make. Like I have stated on my profile, I tend to lean to the Right in most cases, but things like capital punishment I strongly oppose.
Posted by EmyG 5 years ago
EmyG
Actually, they don't teach that FDR ended the depression with the New Deal. We just finished a chapter on it, and we're starting WW2 now. Our teacher told us the war was really what ended the depression, not the New Deal. It just depends on the teacher and book, I suppose.
Posted by JBlake 5 years ago
JBlake
That is all well and good. Certainly we can agree to disagree on that topic.

However, you sidestepped your claim that it looks like America is going to die. Please expand upon and support this claim.
Posted by comoncents 5 years ago
comoncents
you and will always differ on this... it is just how it is...

people think fdr was the greatest thing ever...

i think that he produced some of the problems we have today... some of the reasons we are in a deficit... social programs cost money and have been bleeding my pocket since i started paying taxes.

i do not like him as a president and think that him being there for almost 13 years was ridiculous.
Posted by JBlake 5 years ago
JBlake
What makes it look like America is going to die? Your statement is overly vague and lacking in support.

Try again.
Posted by comoncents 5 years ago
comoncents
it was putting a band-aid on an arterial bleed... worked for some time and the band-aid is soaked and the bleed is just worse... now it looks like america is going to die.
Posted by comoncents 5 years ago
comoncents
It only help give us the depression we have now.
and
make the president feel like he has unlimited power
10 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Wallstreetatheist 2 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
djussilaReganFanTied
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Total points awarded:51 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro had solid arguments, evidence, and reasoning. His dissection of the three New Deal programs was cogent and thorough (although they were technically sliming, because they came up in the last round). His rebuttal to Con's argument was devastating, so Con didn't really respond. Pro needs to be more courteous next time debate decorum!!
Vote Placed by 1Historygenius 2 years ago
1Historygenius
djussilaReganFanTied
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djussilaReganFanTied
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Reasons for voting decision: COn didnt use sources, he insulted people and failed to respond
Vote Placed by comoncents 4 years ago
comoncents
djussilaReganFanTied
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