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Why did the New Deal arouse criticism from both the right and the left?

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simonamihaela | Student, Kindergarten | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted May 26, 2011 at 4:51 AM via web

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Why did the New Deal arouse criticism from both the right and the left?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 26, 2011 at 4:58 AM (Answer #1)

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The New Deal aroused criticism from the right for being excessively "socialist" and from the left for not being liberal enough.

Before the beginning of the New Deal, the federal government had never really done much to get involved in the economy.  Conservatives liked this because they believed in laissez-faire economics.  When President Roosevelt started the New Deal, they felt that he was pushing the US towards a socialistic, centrally-planned economy.

On the left, critics felt that the New Deal did not do enough.  They felt that the government should do more to directly help poor people.  Two examples of this were Huey Long's "Share the Wealth" proposal and Francis Townsend's proposal to give money to retired people to spend.

Thus, Roosevelt's policies were simultaneously attacked for being too extreme and not extreme enough.

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