The Corner

The New Deal, Cont’d

I’m getting lots of blowback from folks regarding my comments about the New Deal earlier today. Sorry, I stand by what I wrote. If you read Amity Shlaes’ The Forgotten Man, or wait for my book, you’ll see where I’m coming from. I can’t spend too much time on this now (I’m in Montreal and heading out the door), but quickly: The New Deal prolonged the Depression, hence the New Deal and not just the Great Depression exhausted the American people. The New Dealers exhorted people to make sacrifices, to bend to government control and to live “patriotically” in every facet of life. The least propagandistic, bullying, patriotic-fervor-whipping year of the New Deal was more propagandistic, bullying, amd patriotic-fervor-whipping than all the years of the Bush administration combined. The Republican congressional candidates in 1946 ran on the motto “Had Enough?” and they weren’t just talking about the war, they were talking about what the bureaucratic, elitist government that had been driving things since 1932. Of course the war was more exhausting than the New Deal, I’d never said otherwise. Of course, the New Deal and the Great Depression are different things. I never said otherwise. But conceding those obvious points doesn’t mean the New Deal wasn’t exhausting.

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