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New Deal Assistance
President Roosevelt's New Deal Program failed to do enough for those hit hardest by the Depression: Impoverished Afro-American and white citizens working in the rural areas of the U.S., the elderly, and the working class. There are several reasons why these constituents remained outside the reach of the New Deal program. First, there had been in general very little focus on the needs of these constituents. The New Deal created a state brokering the competing claims of numerous groups, hence named a "broker state" (see New Deal, p. 17). Competition in political and economic life increased tremendously. To an amount never seen before, workers, farmers, consumers, and others now able to press their demands on the federal government in the way that in the past had been available to the corporate world only, competed with each other (see New Deal, p. 17).
The New Deal set up numerous agencies to help impoverished white and black farmers, but in the long run they had been forced to move to the cities to become economically better off. Many members of the Roosevelt administration worked hard to ensure that Blacks received at least 10% of welfare advance assistance payment which would eventually lead to some economic uplift. Nevertheless, the New Deal did not enough to undercut political segregation or change the second class political status of the black population in the South (see New Deal, p. 1, 19). As a result, there had only been very limited political impact on Blacks on the allocation of relief funds. In consequence, rural Afro-Americans received a disproportionate amount of monetary aid from the federal government and in contrast to the industrialist and middle class citizens in the cities had to endure suffered tremendously. From the perspective of rural Afro-Americans, the New Deal was a compilation of biased laws, failed relief programs and racism.
Early supporters but soon to be critics of the New Deal are quoted to see a further reason why the poor, the elderly, and the working class were widely kept out of the reach of the program in the fact that the Roosevelt administration had been "falling captive to American business interests" (see American President: Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Domestic Affairs, p. 1, 15). The program did not enough for the political rights of the white and Afro-American workers. The National Recovery Administration (NRA) was intended to establish codes of fair competition between business and labor succeeded in helping the poor white male, but did not much to relieve the situation of poor Afro-American workers because the labor provisions of the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) purchased support from the burgeoning ranks of the labor unions (see Higgs, R., The Mythology of Roosevelt and the New Deal, p. 1, 2).
Third, also numerous measures of the New Deal that had been implemented to help the recovery of American agriculture they failed to a great part to reach three millions of poor white and Afro-American tenant farmers and sharecroppers living in extreme poverty (see American President: Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Domestic Affairs, p. 1, 13). The Roosevelt administration launched a series of laws and relief programs to address the needs of the marginal tenant farmers and sharecroppers who lived on the land in severe poverty, especially in the South. In particular, the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) of 1933 was thought to relief the situation of rural and agricultural America. The Roosevelt administration believed that overproduction had caused gluts in the farm market, dropping prices, and, as a result, let farmers' incomes decrease. The AAA aimed at inflating famers' incomes by offering cash incentives to farmers who agreed to cut production. These efforts benefitted large farm-owners but left millions of poor white and Afro-American tenant farmers and sharecroppers out of the reach of the New Deal (see American President: Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Domestic Affairs, p. 13). These people did not own their land. In the immediate aftermath of the AAA, they got employment from farmers to destroy their crops. After this work had been completed, there was nothing more for them to do. As a result, many left the land and moved to the ghettos of…[continue]
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