New Deal Data Gone Awry

Critics of the New Deal assail the consensus history that… FDR’s social programs helped the US out of the Great Depression.  Their objections are based on two faulty parameters of statistical analysis:

  • First, they use 1929 as a baseline for all New Deal data compiled by the Census Bureau.  —  WRONG. Any elementary study of economic policies in the 1920’s exposes the data as artificially enhanced by rampant speculation, unscrupulous trading, and predatory lending.  These statistics in no way represent typical American economic activity.
  • Second, modern economic indicators are used to examine the progress made during the 1930’s.  — WRONG. Post World War II employment patterns are radically altered by the baby boom.  The statistical sample is completely different from the 1930’s.  The average 5.5% unemployment figure following 1970,  cannot be factored against the data compiled following the grossly inflated figures from the 1920’s.

Skewed Data

The Great Depression presented a crisis never before seen in American economic history… and required measures beyond mere market correction to address the suffering.  The basic indicators of GDP and unemployment rates improve during the New Deal.  The so-called Roosevelt Recession of 1938-39 must be considered an effect of the budgetary restraints forced on FDR by the newly elected Republicans in the 76th Congress.


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