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By 1932, many politicians, businessmen, and journalists started to contemplate the possibility of massive revolution in the United States.In fact, thousands of the most desperate unemployed workers began raiding food stores. A squadron of calvary was in front of this army column.Electricity put an end to much of the backbreaking work in the American home.
On the farm, electric tools such as electric saws, pumps, and grinders made farmers more productive.
By 1922, radios were common sources of news and entertainment for American families.
During this period, consumer spending declined 18 percent, manufacturing output dropped 54 percent, and construction spending plummeted 78 percent.
Eighty percent of production capacity in the automobile industry came to a halt.
In places like Harlem, the “sit-down strike” became part of the strategy during these relief demonstrations. Cox attracted 60,000 people to a protest rally; 12,000 of these followers later joined Cox in Washington to protest in front of President Herbert Hoover. Photo: National Archives National Archives Identifier 531102 “The police encircled them. They fixed their bayonets and also fixed the gas masks over their faces.
When 5,000 war veterans demonstrated in Washington in the spring of 1932, Hoover sent none other than General Douglas Mac Arthur and Major Dwight Eisenhower to break up the rally. At orders, they brought their bayonets at thrust and moved in.However, the American belief, as earlier expressed by President Franklin Pierce to Dorothea Dix, was that the federal government should not be involved in providing poor relief.But now the size of this national crisis required a national solution.Roosevelt (FDR) upon taking office that, given the present crisis, he would be either the worst or greatest president in American history.Roosevelt is said to have responded: “If I fail, I shall be the last one.” Americans who had grown up promoting the ideology of the “deserving and undeserving poor” and the stigma of poor relief were now standing in line for relief.About 25 million people signed petitions in support of Townsend’s plan!Consequently, the Roosevelt Administration established a two-tier federal system of insurance and relief programs.Private nonprofit organizations such as Community Chests, although valiant in their effort, were overwhelmed with requests, unable to meet the needs of their communities.State and local governments, ultimately responsible for their poor throughout American history, now looked for financial assistance.One of the more radical policy proposals to address the Great Depression was put forth by Senator Huey Long from Louisiana and a second by Dr. Long (who was later assassinated) proposed a “share the wealth” program where millionaires would be taxed to fund pensions for anyone over 60 years of age.The cost of the program, to be funded by an income tax, was projected to be .6 billion, a colossal amount of money at the time.