There are two interesting plans that come to mind in American history, the “Great Society” founded by Lyndon Johnson and the “New Deal” ideas founded by Franklin Roosevelt. The longing for both social ideas grew from intense eras in history. The “Great Society” was a response to prosperity and the “New Deal”, which was a response to the Great Depression. In both instances, the government was used to enhance society and social welfare and improve the United States economically, socially, and politically. They founded government sponsored employment programs, gave government funding to the arts, provided federal encouragement to build housing and passed federal legislation to help the elderly.(3)
In the 1965, State of the Union address, President Lyndon Johnson outlined the goals of ”the Great Society,” which was a set of programs designed to advance civil rights and aid those in poverty. “The great society rests on abundance and liberty for all. It demands an end to poverty and racial injustice, to which we are totally committed in our time.”(1) He called for “new, improved or bigger programs in attacking physical and mental disease, urban blight, water and air pollution, and crime and delinquency.”(1)
The “Great Society” legislation included many programs created under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, which established jobs and youth volunteer programs as well as Head Start (pre-school education for poor children). Johnson’s social welfare legislation also formed Medicare and Medicaid, which offered health care services for citizens over 65 and low-income citizens for the first time in history.(1) In addition, the Great Society included the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Voting Rights Act of 1968. The program also addressed a wide range of societal needs, such as funding for the arts, environmental protection and urban development.(1)
Franklin D. Roosevelt's program was known as the “New Deal”. Under it, the federal government took responsibility for the economic welfare of the American people. When Roosevelt became President in 1933, the nation's economic system was almost at a standstill. Almost every state government had declared a banking holiday to prevent depositors from withdrawing all their funds and ruining the banks. Roosevelt declared a four-day national banking holiday and then, in one day, he passed legislation from Congress that permitted reopening of most banks under certification by the federal government that they were sound. Later the reforms included the insuring of deposits through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.(3)
The basic goal of the New Deal was to raise both wages and prices that had dropped lower and lower during the depression. The National Industrial Recovery Act called for the cooperation of labor and management to set prices, minimum wages, and working hours within different industries.The act also gave workers the right...