Explain at least three reasons why Father Coughlin objected to the New Deal.
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Ironically, while many perceived the New Deal as the beginning of socialism, Father Coughlin, who supported the Unionist candidate William Lemke, did not believe that. In his Principles of the National Union of Social Justice, while Coughlin held that "the state should not dictate...my chosen avocation," he also contended that
- Every citizen willing to work...shall receive a just and living annual wage....
- I believe in nationalizing those public necessities...too important to be held in the control of private individuals. By these I mean banking, credit and currency, power, light, oil...natural gas.
1. Father Coughlin argued that the National Recovery Act which collected bargaining rights for unions, which could lead to labor unrest, did not offer the "just" wages he believed in, and it promoted the monopolies, thus it "rewarded the exploiters of the poor."
2. Father Coughlin wanted a nationalizing of banks, but under the New Deal this did not occur. The Federal Reserve continued much as before, and although the banks were insured by new regulations and supervision by the Federal Reserve which would prevent another depression, there was (and still is) no auditing of the Federal Reserve nor were there enough monetary reforms.
3. The New Deal and the Public Works Program, although putting people to work, Coughlin argued, cost the taxpayers money:
...with 70 billion laboring hours in the ditch, or in the factory...you and your children shall repay the debt which was created with a drop of in in less than ten seconds.
There were $55 billion of debt bonds, he says, that would have to be paid. Coughlin wanted "the money changers," the wealthy, to pay the tax bill rather than the middle class.