New Deal or Raw Deal?: How FDR's Economic Legacy Has Damaged America

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Simon and Schuster, Nov 4, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 320 pages
4 Reviews
A sharply critical new look at Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency reveals government policies that hindered economic recovery from the Great Depression -- and are still hurting America today.

In this shocking and groundbreaking new book, economic historian Burton W. Folsom exposes the idyllic legend of Franklin D. Roosevelt as a myth of epic proportions. With questionable moral character and a vendetta against the business elite, Roosevelt created New Deal programs marked by inconsistent planning, wasteful spending, and opportunity for political gain -- ultimately elevating public opinion of his administration but falling flat in achieving the economic revitalization that America so desperately needed from the Great Depression. Folsom takes a critical, revisionist look at Roosevelt's presidency, his economic policies, and his personal life.

Elected in 1932 on a buoyant tide of promises to balance the increasingly uncontrollable national budget and reduce the catastrophic unemployment rate, the charismatic thirty-second president not only neglected to pursue those goals, he made dramatic changes to federal programming that directly contradicted his campaign promises. Price fixing, court packing, regressive taxes, and patronism were all hidden inside the alphabet soup of his popular New Deal, putting a financial strain on the already suffering lower classes and discouraging the upper classes from taking business risks that potentially could have jostled national cash flow from dormancy. Many government programs that are widely used today have their seeds in the New Deal. Farm subsidies, minimum wage, and welfare, among others, all stifle economic growth -- encouraging decreased productivity and exacerbating unemployment.

Roosevelt's imperious approach to the presidency changed American politics forever, and as he manipulated public opinion, American citizens became unwitting accomplices to the stilted economic growth of the 1930s. More than sixty years after FDR died in office, we still struggle with the damaging repercussions of his legacy.

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Great book.
People can learn a lot of history reading this book they were never taught in school. Even if you already know the truth behind the government programs of the '30's and '40's, this book is still a great read with a lot of information.

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Burton W. Folsom obviously has a very conservative political outlook on the United States and it shows in his writing. He makes remarks on numerous occasions that not only show his true intent in writing this book (to discredit anything that regulates big business), but shows his intentions for the direction of this country. By making such distinctions on the welfare system and regulation of failed big business, Folsom fails to grasp the importance of the New Deal.
His attack on single mothers and the government subsidies that 'encourage women to have children out of wedlock' is as insensitive and out-dated then, as it is now. His further attack on Social Security and government subsidies for farmers should have died with President McKinley, but unfortunately still play a major part in our political outlook and legacy of the greatest President in our nation's history.


Introduction xiii
what Caused the great Depression?
why PriceFixing Damaged American
How It Hurt Farming
Did They really Help
manipulation of gold and silver
safety Net or Quagmire? minimum wage social
The burden of excise Income
The elections of 1934 and 1936
the Issue of race
tax rates and the tariff
for todays economy

The Air mail Act

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About the author (2008)

Burton W. Folsom, Jr., Ph.D., a professor of history at Hillsdale College in Michigan, is the author of several books. A regular columnist for The Freeman, he has also written for The Wall Street Journal, American Spectator, Policy Review, and Human Events.

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