In Kennedy’s opinion Franklin Roosevelt took viewed the approach to the Depression as an opportunity to take a broader look at the issues that formed an inequality in the human life. His believes were that Roosevelt not only addressed the issues of the Depression, but used these approaches to truly come to a conclusion of a theory that economic life, and the standards of living for each class, could be improved upon by the theory or coming together as a nation. He urged the country to come together as a nation and emphasized the strength that each person can have as standing together.
Roosevelt’s addressed the issues of financial failure in banks, lack of economic growth through lack of work, a need for an equal balance through proposing a minimum wage, security for the elderly, and those who were not able to work due to sickness. Roosevelt believed in taking a chance in order to get an effect. He used this same approach when he came into office during the time of the Depression. He knew he had his hands full, yet rolled up his sleeves and started addressing concerns that were affecting the people.
Similarly, he rolled up his sleeves in solving the banking crisis. It was a time when people had lost their homes due to not being able to pay their mortgages. Money was lost during the times that the banks crashed and people were left without any insurance and without any money. Roosevelt put his opinions and labels aside and worked together with Hoover to solve the banking crisis. This was an example of his theory of coming together, that he himself used to solve the banking crisis. It pulled through in 8 days.
Kennedy supported this theory. He also supported his next project which was to create a minimum wage for workers to ensure compensation. He agreed with the unions that were formed to protect laborers, and to support workers rights. He felt this was affective, as were the other efforts of the New Deal. The New Deal in Kennedy’s view offered opportunities for everyone, and it brought people together. Ultimately, in Kennedy’s opinion, the New Deal took a long look at the problems that caused the Depression, solved these problems, as well as put plans into place that would continue a long lasting effect of the New Deal. To this day, many of the programs that the New Deal represented are still in place. The New Deal was able to accomplish objectives without compromising the Constitution.
Bernstein had a different view on the New Deal. He felt that it did the opposite of what Kennedy offered it to do. He felt that it was ineffective and it only threatened small businesses and industries.
Bernstein believed that Roosevelt made promises to the people and gained their interest, only to leave little result. He felt it operated under avenues that were safe, and which thrived off what was already in place, and offered very little new growth. He also believed that it did little to solve poverty, or to address the inequality of people. He felt it experimented very little and lacked one direction for motives. Instead it had a mix of motives. Bernstein’s view is that the depression got worse from the New Deal as it only worked on immediate goals and did not address future goals.
Bernstein felt that the New deal was created merely for a political purpose and charitable purpose, and lacked the intention to increase economics. Through doing so, it excluded too many people. It sacrificed small industry through offering incentives to middle class and upper class.
Roosevelt failed to see the big picture in Bernstein’s eyes. He argued that Roosevelt supported racism by refusing to sign the “anti lynching bill”. Ultimately, Bernstein felt that Roosevelt promised to support the lower class, and in turn assisted the middle and upper classes by protecting these classes at all costs, even the cost of hurting the lower class.
I agree with Kennedy’s opinions concerning the New Deal and Roosevelt’s intensions. Roosevelt had a burden of coming into office at a time of economic crisis. He had many issues to face at one time. People were out of work. People had no money. People lost their homes. The country was very poor. Not to mention the fact that there was not an economic structure put into place to help any of these issues. Bernstein spoke of the fact that Roosevelt focused on the system that was already established. How would he be able to do that if there was not a system already established?
The words of Bernstein were harsh. I have to put myself into the shoes of Roosevelt and ask myself what the solution would be to approaching a severe economic crisis like the Depression. The first avenue to look at is the fact that there was no money. People did not have enough money coming in to live off. Not only this, there wasn’t a safe avenue put into place to even protect whatever money that people even had to begin with. Their money that they made at a less than adequate rate was being lost in the banking system because there was not a system put into place to ensure the money. This was the first thing that Roosevelt took on and successfully completed.
Secondly, people were not being paid an adequate wage. There needed to be an approach to guarantee some compensation for work. This was what Roosevelt did after he addressed the banking problem. He created a minimum wage.
Next, there was a need to protect people from being out of work due to illness, or injury. There was also a need to ensure compensation to the elderly. This was needed in order to pull all the economic pieces together and he successfully put into place a Social Security system.
I agree with Kennedy’s views on Franklin Roosevelt for the fact that he was able to take a look at the Depression as the whole picture. He was able to see that Roosevelt took the approach at looking at the contributing factors to the Depression and gradually created solutions. The country did not become rich as an equality balance due to these efforts. The country did not have all of its prayers answered due to the New Deal, yet the result was a structure being built. There has to be a foundation before a home can be built. In Roosevelt’s efforts, there had to be a structure in order for the country to continue to build and reep it awards from together. He created a foundation. People had a place to begin. They had programs in place to protect them along the way of their personal journeys of growth. People had the confidence to continue and to rebuild their lives. They knew that if they were not going to be rich, they would at least be guaranteed a certain amount of money from minimum wage. They also knew that if they got hurt, and they could not work, they would be supported. This provided a back up for them, and a confidence that their lives could build prosperously and if they did not achieve their American dreams they would at least receive what was created for them to ensure that they were able to live and survive.