The Great Depression and New Deal taught us that capitalism without some degree of regulation can lead to disaster. Unfettered capitalism can lead to large downturns in the market, which can in turn affect the ability of democracy to function well. Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal regulated capitalism through such means as insuring bank deposits, legislating the way stocks are sold, and through many other means. In addition, the New Deal established safety nets by which the government provided assistance to the poor and elderly. The New Deal injected the government into people's lives in an unprecedented way and forever changed the nature of American capitalism to make it more regulated. The government became more of a watchdog over the doings of banks and Wall Street. The theme of difference is an interesting one. To some degree, the Great Depression reduced the differences between people of different races, classes, and backgrounds, as people of different backgrounds suffered during the Great Depression.