Thursday, September 10, 2015

New Deal Postage Stamps: Effective & Beneficial Policies

Above: President Roosevelt signed the National Industrial Recovery Act on June 16, 1933. The law created the National Recovery Administration (NRA). The first part of the act sought to regulate competition, but was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. The second part of the act created the Public Works Administration (PWA). The PWA funded tens of thousands of infrastructure projects across the United States, many of which we still utilize today. Image from personal collection.

Above: From 1921 to 1933, there were nearly 15,000 bank failures in the United States. When these banks failed, Americans lost their life savings. The New Deal ushered in bank reforms such as FDIC (bank insurance) and Glass-Steagall (a law regulating the type of money that banks can gamble with). After these reforms, there were less than 600 bank failures between 1934 and 1980 (you can look up bank failure statistics here). Further, "Since the start of FDIC insurance on January 1, 1934, no depositor has lost a single cent of insured funds as a result of a failure." Many conservative politicians, pundits, talk show hosts, and think tank "researchers" believe that the New Deal was a complete failure and are desperately trying to return us to the days of the "Roaring Twenties," where, if your bank fails, tough luck, you lose all your money - even if you had nothing to do with the bank's failure. Isn't that amazing? Image from personal collection.    

Above: Despite the fact that Social Security is arguably the greatest poverty reduction program in human history, many of the conservatives I mentioned in the previous caption want to reduce it, eliminate it, or give it to Wall Street - so their wealthy funders & donors can gamble with it and carve out a nice "management fee" from it. But, considering that corporate executives & investors are actively replacing strong fixed pension plans with anemic 401k's, and letting wages stagnate for millions of American workers, and engaging in all manner of civil & criminal wrongdoing, do you really trust them with your retirement security? President Roosevelt and his fellow New Deal policymakers created Social Security because of the malignant, selfish, and incompetent behavior of many of those who work on Wall Street. To now let those type of people steal from "manage" Social Security would be the height of irresponsibility - and, if it happens, we will suffer dearly for it. Image from personal collection.

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