The New Deal Programs From The Great Depression

1289 words - 5 pages

The New Deal programs from the Great Depression did not bring the United States out of its economic slump; they were not created to do so either. The New Deal was only created to facilitate the regrowth of the economy and standard of living. That is all relief programs are capable of doing. Although many New Deal programs did encourage citizens to work, they failed to create a large amount of demand which is what stimulates the economy. During a depression, the population appeals for a paycheck which only leads to a life of subsistence, and if someone has the ability to easily survive, he will not strive far beyond that. These programs established throughout the 1930s did as they were set out to do, and poverty did lower. However, the depression did not end until World War II when for the first time ever a war helped a nation's economy. An immense demand had appeared, so those that could satisfy it were granted a large sum of funds. This succeeded in the way relief programs could not because it gave people a reason to invest their work and remaining capital. These relief programs went through being repealed, reinstated, and reformed multiple amounts of times and eventually became the malnourished system that has become on life support itself. Most notably, welfare systems have been reformed constantly under the principle that allowing people a safety net will rejuvenate someone's prosperity (once someone is economically sound, they will supposedly stay so and properly reinvest in the economy, which in turn will benefit them again). However, welfare programs fail to do anymore than grant a small amount of assistance for most. Welfare programs are only successful to the extent for which they were originally founded, and they will fail at any attempt to do more because of the new found moral goals of welfare, the inability to meet the cost-of-living and amenity standards, and the inherent lack of any motivation to strive beyond subsistence.
As welfare programs age, they become much more restrictive of who can receive benefits. In order to receive federal welfare benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the applicant's household must be below all federal poverty guidelines. This means that if one guideline was not passed, those that do collect benefits become wealthier than those that earn more money. This is similar to how someone in a wealthier tax bracket will earn less at the end of the year than some in the bracket below them because both parties are close to the dividing line. The situation developed from this is one where it would be easier and more beneficial to not succeed. Similarly, a primary policy of the Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (TANF) is to “provide assistance to needy families so that children can be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of their relatives.” Since the government determines that one is needy based on income, those that earn less will receive more benefits regardless if they...

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