The Instigator
1Historygenius
Pro (for)
Losing
11 Points
The Contender
TheHitchslap
Con (against)
Winning
19 Points

The New Deal Prolonged the Great Depression

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Post Voting Period
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after 8 votes the winner is...
TheHitchslap
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/28/2014 Category: Economics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,773 times Debate No: 44758
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (8)

 

1Historygenius

Pro

Debate

In this debate, I will be arguing that President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal prolonged the Great Depression while my opponent will argue that it contributed to the end of it.

Rules

Round 1 acceptance only. No trolling or smenatics.

Format

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Both sides present arguments (no rebuttals)
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Defense of arguments and conclusions
TheHitchslap

Con

I accept my friend

I look forward to another great debate with my friend who I respectfully disagree with 1Historygenius.
Upon debate, I ask that 1) voters remain objective as does my opponent in their decisions. And 2) that the winner, be the new Historygenius! ;)

I kid.

Goodluck sir!
Debate Round No. 1
1Historygenius

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate.

Industry

President Franklin Roosevelt passed the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933, which acted as his main centerpiece for the New Deal. The plan of the act was to artificially raise wages and prices. The high wages were meant to allow people to have enough income to spend money. With more money, they could afford the higher prices and businesses would receive more capital that they could then use to expand their industries and higher more workers. This would decrease unemployment.

Immediately, several problems rose with the act. Higher wages increases labor costs and stops businesses from expanding. At the same time, higher prices discourages demand and less people were able to afford goods and services. The New Deal was a disaster. Not all businesses were able to achieve the NIRA requirements and this damaged the economy:

"The centerpiece of the New Deal was the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933. It created “codes” or cartels in more than 500 industries in order to limit competition. Businesses were told to cut output and maintain high prices and wages. Businessmen who cut prices were cajoled, fined, and sometimes arrested. Fortunately, NIRA was struck down by the Supreme Court in 1935." [1]

While it may have been struck down, that does not mean it still created major problems for the economy. The elimination of business was one problem. Businessmen were very concerned about expanding as Woods explains:

"Businessmen and investors, unsure of what the federal government would do next and what additional punitive members would be imposed on them, simply stopped investing.....long-term investment was particularly hard hit in the 1930s." [2]

On wages, Higgs explains:

"Minimum-wage laws proved a stumbling block to efforts by blacks to secure jobs. These laws prevented employers from undercutting unions by offering lower wages to nonunion members. Since blacks faced exclusion from many of the powerful unions, they were in effect frozen out." [3]

And further from Cole and Ohanian:

"We have calculated that manufacturing wages were as much as 25% above the level that would have prevailed without the New Deal. And while the artificially high wages created by the NIRA benefited the few that were fortunate to have a job in those industries, they significantly depressed production and employment, as the growth in wage costs far exceeded productivity growth." [4]

For example, with utilities and FDR's Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) as Shlaes noted:

"Washington sucked up much of the available capital by selling bonds and collecting taxes to pay for the TVA or municipal power plants in towns. In order to justify their own claim that public utilities was necessary, New Dealers also undermined private ulities directly, through laws - not only the TVA law but also the infamous Public Utility Holding Company, which legislated many companies out of existence."[5]

Agriculture

The NIRA version for agriculture was the Agricultural Adjustment Act. Under the AAA, farmers had to dump their surpluses of food in order to raise prices. The main problem of the government's intervention into the economy was that it was trying to solve a macroeconomic problem in a microeconomic format. The reason the AAA failed was because many farmers were finding it difficult to kill their main source of revenue. As Shlaes brings up:

"To larger farmers, the new AAA payments were welcome. Food and cash from another New Deal agency, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, reached many of the poorest farmers. Small-farm owners, however, found the AAA regimen challenging. And tenant farmers were stunned. Landowners had historically hired sharecroppers because they themselves made profits from their share of the crop that the tenants planted and harvested. That relationship had become more tenuous as crop prices came down, and there was less for landlord and tenant to share." [5]

Worse, it did not really do what it needed to. Prices still failed to go up and the country was left with major deflation. That's not all. Think about all the starving people during the Great Depression. Farmers were ordered to kill millions of crops and livestock while poor people starved and were not aided. Over six million pigs were killed as an example. A study was released on just how bad the policy was and how it ruined the American diet:

"Shortly after the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) was passed, the Department of Agriculture released the findings of its study of the American diet during these difficult years......It found that America was not producing enough food to sustain its population at the minimum (subsistence) diet. It took a special kind of mind to conclude that the best approach to this disaster would be to make more food expensive." [2]

Gold Standard

FDR also confiscated as much gold as possible at the time in order to raise it and once again create inflation. Just like with the NIRA and AAA, this was to know avail. Higgs writes:

"Besides being theft, gold confiscation didn't work. The price of gold was increased from $20.67 to $35.00 per ounce, a 69% increase, but the domestic price level increased only 7% between 1933 and 1934, and over rest of the decade it hardly increased at all. FDR's devaluation provoked retaliation by other countries, further strangling international trade and throwing the world's economies further into depression." [3]

Cain and Lowrie note that:

"The United States went off the gold in 1933, and that year came in as badly as the Depression's trough year of 1932 in all the major economic categories. In 1934, the United States resumed the gold standard (if at a higher price), and the recovery got going. It was a mediocre recovery, in that going off gold and the dollar devaluation against gold had introduced a lack of clarity in the system." [6]

Jobs

Unemployment remained between 20% and 10% for most of the 1930s. The recovery was made worse by a second depression in 1937. The Great Depression included a series of smaller recessions and depression within it and FDR's policies were not able to fix the problem. Another program in FDR's "alphabet soup" was the Works Progress Administration or WPA. The job of the WPA was to hire people and give them jobs at public works, but it actually served to mainly Roosevelt's political benefit in order to get reelected. The adminsitration was riddled with corruption:

"A number of scholars, noting the rather curious preponderance of the WPA projects in western states where FDR's electioral margin had been thin in 1932, believe political considerations played an important role in how these projects were distributed." [2]

Even more specifically, if we look at the Federal Writers' Project (part of the WPA):

"Among the hires were 150 jobless newspapermen, whose new jobs had a circular aspect: they were to chornical the advances of the WPA. Hopkins picked Hallie Flanagan to create a theaer that would air plays about the social conditions in the country - and again, spotlight New Deal progress." [5]

It was clear that Roosevelt and Hopkins (head of the WPA) were strategically doing this to control the media of the country in order to create New Deal propaganda. That is why he won three elections, not because he was so loved.

World War 2

Finally, to prove the New Deal did not work, I will briefly go into FDR's policies during World War 2. It is generally believed today that the war ended the Depression. This is false. FDR continued his big government programs and interfered at a higher rate during it than during the Great Depression. Private investment collapsed completely while government investment increased:

Private investment and government investment during the Great Depression.

"An economy can’t prosper when markets are being overruled by command-and-control rationing. During the war, companies found it easier and more profitable to produce for government than to produce for consumers. Even companies such as Eastman Kodak, the film and camera company, began manufacturing rifle scopes and hand grenades for the military. GM stopped making cars for civilians and made military vehicles instead. Tires, gasoline, shoes, beef, sugar, coffee and much else were rationed. The standard of living in the U.S. during the war collapsed; conditions for consumers were much worse than in the ‘30s. Remember that the best definition of a depression is: A period of time when most people’s standard of living falls significantly." [7]

In the case of a war economy, we do not look at standard economic terms like unemployment (clearly declining due to the draft) and real GDP (clearly rising due to war production). We look at how well the private economy is doing specifically with investments and expansion. They were further killed with high taxes rates at 79% and higher.

Sources

1. Edwards, Chris. "The Government and the Great Depression." Cato.org. Cato Institute, 1 Sept. 2005. Web.
2. Woods, Thomas E., Jr. The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Pub., 2004. Print.
3. Higgs, Robert. "How FDR Made the Depression Worse." Mises.org. Ludwig Von Mises Institute, Feb. 1995. Web.
4. Cole, Harold L., and Lee E. Ohanian. "How Government Prolonged the Depression." Online.WSJ.com. The Wall Street Journal, 2 Feb. 2009. Web.
5. Shlaes, Amity. The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2007. Print.
6. Cain, Herman, and Rich Lowrie. 9-9-9: An Army of Davids. Herndon, VA: Velocity; Mascot, 2012. Print.
7. Casey, Doug. "Escaping the Great Depression - and Extending the Greater Depression." CaseyResearch.com. The Casey Report, n.d. Web.

TheHitchslap

Con

Seeing as per rules I am not allowed to rebuttal, I will simply make my case...

BOP:

Audience please note: if you find during the course of this debate that you agree with me, you must vote for me, but if you think that it had no impact, you must vote for me. You can only vote for my opponent if 1) he shows a causal link and 2) shows that all policies for the New Deal were bad. Anything short of this, I win. My opponent has massive BOP indeed!

Economic Facts:

I want to establish some objective economic facts before we continue. They are important for the basis of this case.
1) Supply and demand are NOT laws. Laws are always true, whereas supply and demand are only concepts, and are even contested by other economists as to their legitimacy. We have no idea if they even exist, and they make economists accept a generality over precision.
2) A good piece of evidence will be expert testimony but also expert consensus to prevent junk research and
3) incentives only influence actions. They do not GUARENTEE actions. So if I tell you if we drop capital gains taxes we'll offer incentives for more investment in the economy, it is entirely possible (due to the lack of guarantee) that this never happens.

-- http://en.wikipedia.org...;

Got it? OKAY! Now!

There are two major schools of thought for economics...1 is New Kenysianism, and the other is Neoclassicalism. The rest are outside mainstream economics. So to prevent fringe groups we'll assume that these two are most inline with economic thought today

Both Schools of Thought Concur, that the New Deal was not the Problem but Other Factors Were!

The most noted Neoclassical icon is without a doubt Milton Friedman, who faulted the inaction of the federal reserve for solving the issue. While Kensyians claim that a massive decline of income fixed a new equilibrium rate at a much smaller level, thus beginning the decline of the economy. How do they fix it? Spend more...
Monetarists seem to agree that state intervention in this case to stop Bank runs was justified. They simply would have issues emergency loans on the open market (which would have mean't the fed would intervene). Now, it is important to note, that the Fed does NOT in fact answer to the president, they make their own policies and respond as they see fit.

-- http://en.wikipedia.org...

They instead answer to Congress, while the President can approve/nominate those sitting in power in the fed, it requires Senate approval.

-- http://en.wikipedia.org...

For my final point, aside from the fact that for BOP to be met, causational data must be shown, and anything less than this means I win, I would like to point out to the general trend in what economists think of the New Deal and it's impacts ... and I quote:

“In a survey of economic historians conducted by Robert Whaples, Professor of Economics at Wake Forest University, anonymous questionnaires were sent to members of the Economic History Association. Members were asked to either disagree, agree, or agree with provisos with the statement that read:

"Taken as a whole, government policies of the New Deal served to lengthen and deepen the Great Depression." While only 6% of economic historians who worked in the history department of their universities agreed with the statement, 27% of those that work in the economics department agreed. Almost an identical percent of the two groups (21% and 22%) agreed with the statement "with provisos" (a conditional stipulation), while 74% of those who worked in the history department, and 51% in the economic department disagreed with the statement outright.” -- http://en.wikipedia.org...


In short, those who oppose the New Deal and claim it deepens and worsens the Great Depression are a fringe group. There is little evidence for this, economists agree this isn't true, and it's the one time Kenysians and Neoclassicals actually agree on something. I think that says a lot when to thoughts that are polar opposits kinda agree on something no?

Thank you!
Debate Round No. 2
1Historygenius

Pro

Let the refutations begin. As you all know, this debate is important to the economic history of the nation and it is important to understand if the New Deal was effective or not and if it should be a role model in public policy for today. That is why I did this debate, to prove that the New Deal prolonged the Great Depression overall and was a failure. I thank my opponent for taking such a heavy interest in this debate and I am glad to see an already great debate!

Both Schools of Thought Concur, that the New Deal was not the Problem but Other Factors Were!

This is my opponent's only argument for this debate. As I have stated before, the purpose of this round is to solely refute the opposing argument and not expand or defend on your own case. My opponent's argument here is that the New Deal is popularly supported to have worked. To prove this, he uses a survey conducted by a professor at Wake Forest University. The survery is quoted in Wikipedia, but my opponent never provided a full link to the survey. I cannot give you a link either since the information seems to be not avaliable. However, I downloaded the survery a while back and I am happy to say that I still have it on my iPad. After seeing this survey again, I have several complaints about how it was conducted. These are:

1. The data my opponent is using is old from 1995 and the survery is oudated. There should be a more recent one coducted to see where the opinions are today, but until then we have no modern survey or poll to see what the general opinion of economists and historians is. This information is too old.

2. Whaples, the professor who did this survey, only selected historians and economists from the 1993 Economics History Association Telecommunications Directory. This was not more broad to different areas and groups, just one.

3. The confidence level for the historians and economists who were polled was not 100%. This means that they did not have full confidence when answering the Great Depression question.

Thank you, I await my opponent's refutations.

Source: Whaples, Robert. Where is there Consensus Among Americans Economic Historians?. 1995.
TheHitchslap

Con

Okay Rebuttals:

This is my opponent's only argument for this debate. As I have stated before, the purpose of this round is to solely refute the opposing argument and not expand or defend on your own case.”

I ask that the audience look to round one and consider that my opponent has BOP. He never claimed that this was only for rebuttals. Rebuttals in fact implies expanding on points, otherwise it would be called a contradiction and not a rebuttal. You have to show more than disagreeing with an opponent and the opposite view; you have to show how your opponent is wrong in a debate, requiring expansion. My opponent is clearly trying to change the debate rules here, with all due respect. I think this point ought to be ignored. Audience, your choice.

Correlation is Not Causation:

First if all, my opponents entire case makes a causation fallacy. His entire case is negated by the fact that correlation is not causation. Recall that my opponents case relies on causation data, and instead cherry-picks evidence, and proceeds to Texas sharp-shoot why the New Deal was bad. He points out to minimum wage, agriculture, the gold standard, and then jobs Roosevelt created and WW2. I would like to point out, that the New Deal had more than just these elements within it. So even if he were correct that all of these elements within the New Deal were bad for the economy, that does not mean that the New Deal it's self was bad, or even worsening the Great Depression.

He fundamentally misses one point: Banking reforms and how they worked. Under the New Deal, Bank Runs practically ceased. This alone makes the New Deal a success. Before the New Deal, credit crunches would lead to people having a lack of faith in banks, bank runs ensue, and then the defaulting of a bank. It destabilized the economy, and was a massive source for the Great Depression's problems. The New Deal after it was passed (1933) had less than 10 fail per year. Before over 500 would fail, causing economic issues.

-- http://en.wikipedia.org...

Austrian Economics:

My opponent is espousing the Austrian School of Economic Theory. (Gold standard is NOT accepted in the doctrine of Neoclassical Economics nor Kenysian, Milton Friedman states "A real gold standard is thoroughly consistent with [classical] liberal principles and I, for one, am entirely in favor of measures promoting its development." and then stated Let me emphasize that this note is not a plea for a return to a gold standard.... I regard a return to a gold standard as neither desirable nor feasible”) My opponent implies in his rebuttal that the gold standard would have been a better solution with little/no government involvement.

Austrian economics is heterodox-ideology and is in fact rejected by most economists for it's rejection of quantitative analysis of any kind. It utilizes a priori assumptions that today are rejected (and in some cases outright false...their understanding of business cycles for instance)

My opponent also states: “In the case of a war economy, we do not look at standard economic terms like unemployment (clearly declining due to the draft) and real GDP (clearly rising due to war production). We look at how well the private economy is doing specifically with investments and expansion. They were further killed with high taxes rates at 79% and higher.” This is another indicator. While real GDP and Unemployment are certainly not perfect, they're the best measurements we have. My opponent claims GDP raises due to production, sure, but the War would have drained the economy as well, so GDP would be legit to still use here. Wars are costly things... You cannot look to investment because the markets in Europe and the War would also have an impact. Investors do not like to invest when the world is greatly unstable brought on by the war. My opponents stats are blatantly misleading. Again, correlation is not causation.

For more, see: http://en.wikipedia.org... and http://en.wikipedia.org...

**Note: I already pointed out that to prevent these fringe groups to prevent over-complicating this debate, we ought to keep to mainstream economic theory. This is not a mainstream economic theory, and if that is the case, why don't we add Marxists for instance into this debate? Because their ideology is rejected and not inline with what we observe in the economy today.

Jobs

My opponent concedes that jobs were in fact created by the New Deal. The fact that the administration was riddled with corruption does not in anyway mean that the Jobs themselves were illegitimate. It just means that the administration was poorly ran, which is a whole other issue entirely. In fact, he has to agree that jobs were created in the first place to even begin to criticize this administration in the first place.

He then talks about why Roosevelt was so loved was because of the WPA propaganda... this has nothing to do with the New Deal. This point ought to be ignored.

The only time the New Deal started having any problems was in 1937-38 with a “mini-recession” (see here: http://www.proprofs.com...) Otherwise the trend even after WW2 was in decline, and this occurred during the war as well. HistoryGenius makes a mistake here: if unemployment was caused by the war, then why the recession? If that was the case, this would have never of happened.) This does illustrate, along with my opponents points, that jobs were correlated with the New Deal. My opponent has to concede this first before even being able to make these points anyways!

And Finally, Economic Consensus:

-- In statistics, 95% confidence is the norm. This in no way means that the study is nullified. It just means that the standard error is within 0.05 points. (it's like saying “give or take a half point”). (see: http://en.wikipedia.org...) We do this in statistics when we take a sample, because it is unfeasable to ask everyone for their opinions and/or they refuse/do not want to participate.

-- The information is not too old, it's the most up to date opinion survey I could find. Eventually, when expert consensus occurs surveys are generally stopped because it's literally telling the industry what it already knows. Claiming we have no idea what the expert opinion is in light of this survey is an appeal to ignorance and should be ignored. We do in fact know what economists think. (see:http://www.jstor.org...)

-- Finally, the Economics Directory is an International Organization uniting economic historians across the globe. It has operations in Africa, North America, Asia, etc... Over 1,000 people attend it's congresses, and even has other international organizations subscribed to it. They not only have historian economists, but economists themselves and the survey already noted this. There is no reason to claim that this was not a broad survey done. It was. (see: http://www.ieha-wehc.org... and http://en.wikipedia.org...) This shows that expert opinions of Friedman and Keynes, or even Paul Krugmen is legit evidence with consensus, this is the only reason why my opponent is rejecting this.

My opponents case is therefore rejected. The New Deal certainly did not prolong/extend the Great Depression.

I remind the audience, that my opponent put forth no causational data, which is what he needs in order to meet his BOP. He needs quantitative data, not qualitative data that Austrian Economics gives him. Otherwise, he makes nothing but bare assertions.

Debate Round No. 3
1Historygenius

Pro

Okay Rebuttals

Round 3 was simply supposed to be a rebuttal period. You were not supposed to defend the case you made in round 2, just refute the arguments of the opponent's case. Round 4's purpose would be entirely defeated, which is simply meant to defend the case of the argument. As evidence that this was what I meant, look at the rules:

Format

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Both sides present arguments (no rebuttals)
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Defense of arguments and conclusions

I presented why my opponent was wrong in this debate by showing that he is using old data for a consensus. My opponent then goes on about some banking reform argument that he never mentioned. If you go back to his case, his only argument was this:

Both Schools of Thought Concur, that the New Deal was not the Problem but Other Factors Were!

Never did he make an argument on the lines of this:

Banking Reform Act

He did say this:

"Monetarists seem to agree that state intervention in this case to stop Bank runs was justified. They simply would have issues emergency loans on the open market (which would have mean't the fed would intervene). Now, it is important to note, that the Fed does NOT in fact answer to the president, they make their own policies and respond as they see fit."

However, this is more to this consensus argument and not an argument only on bank reform. He tried to show that the New Deal worked by showing that monetarists like one aspect of it. This was to prove a consensus argument. He brought no real information as to why the banking reform act worked.

Also, my opponent only specifically picked one minor aspect of the New Deal, he did not look at whole thing. What I looked at was the most signifcant programs and features of the New Deal. Small ones had less and little effect in comparison of the more major New Deal programs. Some minor New Deal acts include:

Bank reform
Repeal of prohibition
Trade liberalization
Puerto Rico Reconstruction Administration
Housing Act

These parts of the New Deal are not popular parts of it because they were small and did so little when compared to the larger NIRA, AAA, TVA, WPA, and other ones. The important thing is to see the New Deal as a whole and how did it to spark the recovery as a whole.

Finally, the banking reform act did not spark a quick recovery. The stock market clearly did not recover. By the way this is quantiative data:

Coolidge holds the record for largest growth in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

As we can see here from a time period of 1920 to 1940, the stock market collapsed and the banking reform act did not bring the stock market back to higher levels, despite the supposed argument that it was good for the financiall well being of the country. The stock market actually did not recover until the mid 1950s.

Industry

No refutations, I win here.

Agriculture

No refutations, I win here.

Gold Standard

My opponent complains that I am going with Austrian economics and that it is reject by most economists. This is an argumentum ad populum and is not professional on a debate stage, thus this refutation is invalid. Using simple fallacies does make my opponent correct. FDR attempted to raise the price of gold in order to help create inflation, but his plan failed because the country saw little inflation increase than another dip into deflation in 1937. Here is some quantitative data that my opponent keeps calling for:


Deflation during the Great Depression.

War

Now we have war economy. Keep in mind that the only investing that was going on was from the government in order to keep big business afloat. This is pure crony capitalism. The only reason they did well was because of free money from the government which allowed them to produce. It does not show a rebirth in the private economy. FDR's economic policies, in war and peace, did not work at all. The porverty rate skyrocketed during the war because so many people could not afford simple goods. Wars are meant to destroy, not build. That is why the economy was faling under WW2. Once again, the stock market shows how discouraged the economy was:

DJIA chart

You might think our entry into the war would be the stock market's lowest point. This is incorrect and as we can see the stock market continued at a steady downpace until nearly mid 1942. Even with the US in full war it was still not recovering.

Jobs

The jobs that were created during the New Deal were jobs that were not needed in order to help the economy. They did not an increase in the quality of the economy. This means that even the jobs made were not meant to make the country better. I wanted to get this point across to prove that government job creation did not work during the New Deal. Creating jobs for the sole purpose of spreading misinformation and satisfying politicians is not helping an economy, It is only used to buy votes. That is the point to get across. [1]

Overall, the New Deal was always a problem and just got worse in 1937. Here is how bad unemployment was according to Lebergott:

1933: 24.9%
1934: 21.7%
1935: 20.1%
1936: 16.9%
1937: 14.3%
1938: 19.0%
1939: 17.2%
1940: 14.6% [2]

These numbers are not the sign of a easy and quick recovery. These are the signs of a slow and disastrous recovery that could have been fixed faster had the government done nothing.

Conclusion

My opponent basically ignored my points on industry and agriculture. That alone should let me win arguments. He specifically focused on a weakn pro-majority argument. I used both quantitative data through charts and and qualitative data through information. He also used wikipedia quite often while used more respectable sources. I win arguments and sources.

Sources

1. Shlaes, Amity. The Forgotten Man: A New History on the Great Depression
2. Smiley, Gene, "Recent Unemployment Rate Estimates for the 1920s and 1930s", Journal of Economic History, June 1983, 43, 487–93.
TheHitchslap

Con

Rebuttals:

First of all, my opponent seems to be trying to fix the rules in his favour (again with all due respect), because extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and because of what I have shown earlier, he has BOP. Because of this, I am dependant more-so on his own argument as opposed to making my own. This should have been pretty apparent if he is claiming that not only was the New Deal a failure, but worse than that; it was part of the problem with regards to the Great Depression. I already noted this in the first round, and as such this claim is absurd. Again, voters, you decide. Please note, he never corrected what I outlined as BOP in round 2. Furthermore, if I countered in round 2 that “correlation is not causation” this would have been voiding the rules, and thus I would have lost. Obviously my opponent I don't think intentionally meant to do this, but denouncing this is kinda silly considering he does have BOP.

My Argument Concerning Banking Reforms

My opponent concedes that I did in fact note that Banking reform was critical in correcting the Great Depression. He completely dropped my other point, that before the New Deal over 500 banks went out a year, destabilizing the economy. After, less than 10 went out of businesses, preventing credit crunches. I noted this all earlier! He simply states I didn't, but I in fact did in round 3.

My Opponent Claims that Banking Reform was Only One Aspect of the New Deal:

It was, but it was the biggest part of the New Deal in determining it's success. Again, most economists agree that this was a major factor in re-stabilizing the economy, and preventing bank runs, my opponent completely dropped the fact that this is the one time neoclassical thinkers and Keynesian thinkers actually agree on something; the prevention of Bank Runs and credit crunches were essential to turning around the economy. In short, I made an explanation as to why this was most important, my opponent failed to do the same.

-- http://en.wikipedia.org...

My Opponent Claims We Have to Take the Big Picture Approach to the New Deal:

I agree .. stopping 500 bank runs/year is kinda a big deal. My opponent dropped this point.

He Claims That The Stock Market didn't Recover Quickly:

But my opponent does concede that it did in fact recover. Furthermore, his graph is deliberately deceiving, he's forgetting that the 20's were known as the “Roaring 20's” which was a time of unprecedented economic prosperity. Comparing the recovery, to the peak of one of the highest times in economic history is more than unfair; it's disingenuous.

-- http://en.wikipedia.org...

Even by his own graph, lets consider that the New Deal came into power 1933, it shows that the first hundred days were a success, and that by the year 37-38, even with the mini recession that happened, the economy was still doing better than the earlier part of the 20's era. In short, even his own graph shows it worked. It wasn't fast ... but no one said it would be, it just prevented the slide further into the depression.

Finally, this is a strawman anyways, because even though I pointed out that he made a causational fallacy, he never rebuttaled it, and instead revert to the stock market.

My Opponent Drops Arguments:

I noted with agriculture, minimum wage, and industry that he did not in fact win there, but made the causation fallacy the audience will recognize. I rebuttaled him with correlation is not causation, as such he should show causation. He has not, and thus he actually loses here.

Gold Standard:

No, this is not a fallacy of ad populum. If I had said “a majority of people support not going back to the gold standard” that would be. What I made was an appeal to authority (that economists rejected the gold standard together) as all expert testimony is an appeal to authority. The question is if it is appropriate or not, which being economists, and economic historians, I see no reason not to think they are inappropriate to consider their views, they are experts on this after all. My opponent is wrong on the ad populum fallacy. This is not it, at best it is an appeal to authority, the thing is this is a justified one. For more see: http://www.nizkor.org... and http://www.nizkor.org... if you do not believe me.

My opponent drops that economists universally reject Austrian economics ideology of the gold standard. Furthermore, FDR NEVER confiscated gold. He prevented people from exchanging fiat bank notes from the Reserve for Reserve Gold instead. Not the other way around. My opponent is actually factually wrong here, and it in fact alleviated the credit pressure put on the reserves in the first place

See here: http://en.wikipedia.org...

In fact his source makes no sense, he claimed deflation occurred in 1937, his source claims it happened in 1931-32 .. wut? This is cherry-picking evidence. He didn't even find evidence that supported his point.

War:

I'm not even sure of what my opponent is even arguing here, my last rebuttal to him wasMy opponent claims GDP raises due to production, sure, but the War would have drained the economy as well, so GDP would be legit to still use here.... You cannot look to investment because the markets in Europe and the War would also have an impact. Investors do not like to invest when the world is greatly unstable brought on by the war. My opponents stats are blatantly misleading. Again, correlation is not causation.”I agree with him that the war is draining, but that GDP is still fine to use, he never countered this and just continues on about how the war did nothing for the economy .. If anything his source proved my prior point: investors do not like to invest during war, so this is unfair to claim as part of the New Deal. This simply does not make sense and has nothing to do with FDR's new deal.

Jobs:

Correlation is not causation (he dropped this point)

and he even admitted prior to this that FDR did in fact create jobs anyways to “buy votes” even if he hates corruption, he still has to admit in the first place that he made some kind of employment opportunity, which undermines his own point.

Conclusion: I used economic consensus (dropped), with experts (Friedman, Keynes, etc) to prove my point. My opponent espouse a heterodox ideology rejected in economic. Overall, I remind the audience that this extraordinary claim that the New Deal was so bad it worsened the economy means he has extraordinary evidence, causation evidence in the form of a causation test. He failed to provide one at all. As such correlation is not causation, and my opponent failed to meet BOP. He even got his fallacies wrong when naming them.

Thought experiment that my opponent never answered. Why is it then, that this one time the neoclassical ideology and the kenysian ideology, which is otherwise polar opposites, AGREE with one another on this issue? It has to be because my opponent is simply wrong, the New Deal didn't deepen the economic problems of previous lives.

I'll let the audience decide what they think!

Good day fella's!

Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by 1Historygenius 2 years ago
1Historygenius
@bsh1 you can read their vadility. The studies can be found online. The books get reviews. It is simply more proper to debate in a bibliography format that just show links.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
This debate had a lot of pieces, so I'm not going to go through them all. However, I will address the major reasons behind my vote.

First and foremost, I don't find the "correlation vs. causation" argument strong here. Pro spends sufficient time warranting the causality of various pieces of the New Deal causing harms. If Con wants to argue that these aren't causative, he needs to do more than just say it's not causative. He needs to present alternative explanations and warrant them. This happens only in a couple of points, so the rest have causal analysis.

I don't find Con's arguments about economists agreeing with him very appealing either, as he goes to few lengths to explain why they agreed.

So now I'm left with who had the best analysis. Much of Pro's argument is well-warranted, and pieces of it go dropped. Con's argument about banking comes up late-ish in the debate, and it's big, but I'm never given any sort of idea of how to weigh it by comparison to the harms that Pro's citing, nor do I get from Pro a solid reason to disregard this or reasons he outweighs. So that forces me to do the weighing for them.

The main problem I had with Pro's arguments is that he assumed a lot in terms of whether contentious policies today are good or bad. I see an argument against the minimum wage, one against the creation of more jobs (which I never really understood by the end of the debate), and one on the gold standard. I find none of these very persuasive for either side. Analysis of NIRA and the AAA are the strongest points on Pro's side. So now I weigh that against shuttered banks. Since I get more analysis behind those two, and since their impacts are deeply examined, they get the most weight in the round from what I can see. I might have bought the argument that shuttering banks has a bigger impact on the economy, but I don't get that analysis from Con, and I'm not going to assume it.

Pro was also far more extensively and appropriately cited.
Posted by Mikal 2 years ago
Mikal
I am going to re read this again later and the points could change. I am stuck on the fact of the BOP though. I respect pro for always taking hard positions to defends, I just felt it came back to bite him on this. A strong claims requires a great measure of direct evidence. Pro did provide this but con was able to raise enough arguments and stats to cast doubt on pros premise.

Great debate you two, I am also going to post this in my vote teams list to look at .
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by phantom 2 years ago
phantom
1HistorygeniusTheHitchslapTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I don't agree with the heavy BoP that Con put on Pro, but since Pro didn't object, I have to assume he accepted it. This makes Con's job all the more easy. Appeal to authority is not ad populam. At certain points it does become a factor that Pro's economic views were not supported by experts, especially when he needs to provide a link to the economy. Pro did not respond to the fact that after the New Deal many less banks crashed and that most economists agreed that this was a major factor in re-stabilizing the economy. Roosevelt did not "steal" gold as Pro claims. Pro also compares the recovery to the state of the economy with the roaring 20's, which is not a fair comparison. Corruption is irrelevant so long as it's helping the economy, and questionable creation of jobs does not equate to economically useless creation of jobs.
Vote Placed by Contra 2 years ago
Contra
1HistorygeniusTheHitchslapTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This debate covered an interesting topic. Overall, although Pro presented stronger arguments, he didn't get the category because it didn't fulfill his BOP. Pro's arguments regarding economic theory, agriculture, industry, and a background of the Great Depression and the responding policies was useful. However, the main disadvantage of Pro's argument was the lack of empirical evidence and facts. If Pro had shown perhaps measures of GDP per Capita (which more broadly measures median income compared to the DJIA), it would have helped. Second most importantly, Pro should have articulated an opposing position, like what would have happened in the absence of the New Deal. Perhaps saying something like higher unemployment would have reduced prices and allowed the markets to re-adjust, whatever he felt was adequate. Con's central problem was that he didn't create much of an argument. A stronger argument (even though he had a lower BOP) would have helped, a study is inadequate.
Vote Placed by Magic8000 2 years ago
Magic8000
1HistorygeniusTheHitchslapTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con pointed at Pro is using fringe views of economics. To me, this heavily reduces credibility for Pro. Pro tried to argue this is a fallacy, but Con showed he was mistaken. It was a valid appeal to authority. Con pointed out Pro's entire argument is based on correlation and inferring causation. Which is fallacious. Pro ignored this and claimed Con ignored it. Which was a misunderstanding, because Con was pointing out a huge general flaw in those arguments. Con brought up that the new deal stopped a run on the banks. Pro agreed but said it was only one part of the new deal. Con showed it was a huge part of the new deal because that's why it was a success. Furthermore, I would give sources to Con. Pro uses unclickable biased sources whereas Con used unbiased wikipedia sources. I know people think every word on wikipedia is false, but wikipedia has been shown to be more accurate than britannica. It is a much better source than a book from a fringe bias.
Vote Placed by thett3 2 years ago
thett3
1HistorygeniusTheHitchslapTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Close. I vote Con because Pro failed to uphold BOP--I'm given good reasons that the great depression was harmful (agricultural adjustment act, NIRA, consistent unemployment) and reasons to think it was good (economic consensus, and stopping bank runs). Pro has the BOP and since neither side did a particularly good job of weighing their arguments I don't have any way to weigh them as a judge so I swing con by default. I'd also further what Stephen_Hawkins said. It was practically too close to call
Vote Placed by bsh1 2 years ago
bsh1
1HistorygeniusTheHitchslapTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro has a ton of evidence, but without links, I cannot asses their validity. I award sources to Con. Pro brings in a ton of evidence showing some downsides to the Great Depression, but does this show that the Great Depression necessarily was prolonged by the New Deal? Ultimately, I feel that Pro failed to show causation sufficient to uphold his BOP. I award arguments to Con. Pro had a better format and better s/g, and so those points will go Pro. Thus, I vote Con. Good round.
Vote Placed by Stephen_Hawkins 2 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
1HistorygeniusTheHitchslapTied
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Reasons for voting decision: History had a hundred times better opening argument, but collapsed slowly over the next few rounds. As such, it's too close to call, really.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
1HistorygeniusTheHitchslapTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.
Vote Placed by Mikal 2 years ago
Mikal
1HistorygeniusTheHitchslapTied
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Reasons for voting decision: These points could possibly change in the near future. I read through this prior to this, and re read most of it just now. The actual issue is the burden that is presented. Con types this as well in R2 if I am not mistaken and he is somewhat right. Pro has a massive BOP. He is taking a stance saying that "the new deal prolonged this". Cons job is to provide reasonable doubt. If he manages to do this, he would win arguments. Right off the bat I feel obligated to award sources to Pro. His sources were way more numerous and was cited with graphs and articles alike. I usually don't give out sources like this is such a close debate, but it was awkwardly noticeable. Pro did a very good job in this debate, and had the BOP and resolution been different he would have possibly won. Taking the position of "in fact it did", is hard to defend in almost any scenario. I think Con made a strong enough point with causation =/= correlation that he provided reasonable doubt and held his end.