ate system of social security was in existence providing unemployment insurance, old age survivors insurance, and aid to such unfortunate persons as dependent children and the blind. Historians are in disagreement over the meaning of the New Deal. Some think that it undermined the capitalistic system. It is my belief that the New Deal did more to strengthen capitalism than to weaken it. Capitalism had broken down in many foreign countries, and its collapse was a major factor in the rise of totalitarian governments’ which completely subordinated business to the state. The system was on the verge of falling apart in the United States during the Hoover administration, and if the collapse had occurred, an economic system basically different from capitalism probably would have taken its place. The New. Deal, despite its many contradictions and mistakes, improved the system by eliminating its greatest faults and making it more humane and responsive to the public interest. Such New Deal 12 The Texas Observer Classified Join the only party dedicated 100% for civil rights, peace, and social welfare. Write to Socialist Party, U.S., 1182 Broadway, N.Y., N.Y. Locals in major cities in Texas. measures as minimum wages, unemployment compensation, farm price supports, social security payments, served as “builtin-stabilizers” to help prevent future crashes like that of 1929, History may eventually look on Franklin D. Roosevelt as one of the greatest conservatives that America has produced. Thus, the economic health of the country became one of the major concerns of the government during the 1930’s. In 1946 Congress recognized this new responsibility by passing the Employment Act which specifically states that it is the responsibility of the President and the Congress to use all practical means to “promote maximum employment, production, and purchasing power.” The act, directs the President to send an annual economic report to Congress reporting on economic conditions in the country with recommendations on what should be done to reach the economic goals set by the law. This law remains on the statute book and the principles embodied in it seem to have the support of most Americans. IN MY OPINION, the most significant thing about the Eisenhower Administration was the acceptance of a substantial part of the New Deal and Fair Deal measures. Although many conservatives hoped that the first order of business of the Republican Administration would be to repeal the New Deal legislation, they were destined to be disappointed. The Eisenhower Administration left intact most of the New Deal economic measures and in some cases like social security even expanded them. When President Eisenhower was confronted with the recession of 1953, he announced that he would make use of all the powers of his office to combat it. This conservative acquiescence in the new economic role of the U.S. government demonstrated that laissez-faire capitalism was a thing of the past and that regulated capitalism gained acceptance in American society. When judged by its total performance, this changed economic system, variously called the Mixed Economy, Welfare Capitalism, and State Capitalism, is the most successful in recorded history. Never before has a nation achieved such a high level of production. Never before have the goods of an economic system been so widely distributed that only a small fraction of the population is in dire need. Most of our people have never known poverty as it exists in other parts of the world or as it existed in this country several decades ago. At the same time, democratic government and civil liberties have been preserved. This does not mean that we have achieved utopia in America. The shortcomings of the system are numerous and conspicuous. Its problems and injustices are many. One of the most serious is that of economic slumps. Although there has been no major depression since 1945, the country has had four recessions. During the past 17 years, the economy has spent a total of seven years regaining previous peaks of industrial production. In two months out of three, four percent or more of those able and willing to work have been unemployed. The solution of this problem of unemployment and lagging production is one of the major challenges offered the American people. There is no doubt in my mind that the people will call on their government to follow policies which will keep the economy operating near full capacity. Some people will say that government intervention in the economy to maintain full employment and maximum production is bad public policy and that those who advocate it are taking us down the road to totalitarianism. I maintain that if there is any lesson to be learned from the history of the twentieth century it is that democracy has disappeared in several nations, not because the pe6ple of these nations disliked democracy, but because they grew tired of unemployment and insecurity, while democratic government stood by and failed to solve the economic problems. In desperation, these people were forced to give up their democratic governments and submit to dictatorships in the hope of getting food to eat. Given a choice between democracy and bread, men will usually choose bread. I think that most Americans have learned this lesson, and that is why they look to their government to use its regulatory and fiscal powers to promote maximum AMERICAN INCOME LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY OF INDIANA Underwriters of the American Income Labor Disability Policy Executive Offices: P. 0. Box 208 Waco, Texas Bernard Rapoport, President
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