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What were the lasting social effects of the New Deal legislation?
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The major social effect of the New Deal legislation has been to change the relationship between Americans and the federal government. Before the New Deal, Americans generally did not expect the government to help them. After the New Deal, we have come to expect that the government will get involved in practically every aspect of the economy in an effort to help us individually and the economy as a whole.
Let us look at three examples. The New Deal has led to a situation in which we expect the government to provide subsidies to the agricultural sector. This came out of such legislation as the AAA. Second, the New Deal has caused us to expect the government to provide for our retirement (Social Security). Finally, the New Deal has led us to expect the government to make sure that we cannot lose our money if our bank fails (FDIC).
All of these programs and more have led us to a greater reliance on the federal government and a greater expectation that the government will be involved in most aspects of our economy.
There were several lasting effects of the legislation developed during the New Deal. One lasting impact was the creation of the Social Security System with the passage of the Social Security Act. Many people rely on Social Security as their primary source of income when they retire. This New Deal program is very important for many people today.
Another lasting impact is that people believe the government should act as a safety net when very difficult times arise. The government developed programs that created jobs during the New Deal. Programs like the CCC and the CWA provided work for unemployed people. We expect the government to help people in some way with employment during difficult economic times.
People have come to expect the government to protect us. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was created to protect savings accounts. People rely on this insurance today to protect their bank accounts. Reforms were also made regarding the stock market. Companies must provide investors with factual information. The Securities and Exchange Commission was created to monitor the stock market and to prevent fraud. These reforms continue to influence now.
In some states laws favorable to workers still exist. The Wagner Act gave unions the right to exist. It allowed for collective bargaining. It also prevented companies from interfering in union activities. The National Labor Relations Board was created to handle disputes and to certify union election results.
Many New Deal laws or programs still exist and still influence us today.
President Roosevelt’s New Deal had great economic and social impacts on both the people of America and the economy as a whole. Socially, the federal government was tasked with immediate management of people’s welfare, which was not the case prior. Through this mandate, the federal government developed and implemented several programs to help cushion people from the devastating effects of the Great Depression. Such plans included the pensions program and the school lunch program among others which were funded through deficit spending. To date, deficit spending is not an alien component to the federal budget.
In present day America, the federal government has rolled out numerous other programs with roots from the New Deal to help protect people in various spheres of life. Besides Social Security which is perhaps the most notable of the New Deal programs, other initiatives such as Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission among others also exist to ensure people’s interests and wellbeing are protected.
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