New Deal was a domestic economic programs series in the U.S. that was enacted in the 1930s. The programs involved the presidential executive orders or laws that were passed by the congress during President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first term. The economic programs were meant to respond to the Great Depression, and focused on relief for the poor and unemployed, recovery of the economy, and reform of financial systems to avoid a repeated depression. The New Deal led to a significant shift in domestic policy and politics. For example, it led to economic federal regulations that were greatly increased and also marked the beginning of social programs that were complex. Nevertheless, the New Deal remains a source of debate and controversy among historians and economists.
The decade succeeding the Great Depression marked another significant event in world history. It was the decade of World War II. The World War II aftermath marked the starting of a rather new era; the old great powers declined followed by consequent rise of the two superpowers, U.S.A. and USSR, which resulted into a world that was bipolar. These two superpowers that were temporally friends during the Second World War ended up becoming competitors and got involved in cold war which focused on political subversion, espionage and wars that involved third party. The cold war saw a division of the world into a Soviet-led Eastern Bloc and an US-led Western Bloc, while some nations tried to keep off through forming movement that was non-aligned. There was also competition between the superpowers on nuclear arms. However, the U.S. administration supported authorization and containment of massive nuclear weapon buildup in the 1960’s as an effort to win the war. The U.S. vision of the 1960’s was carried over by Ronald Reagan’s administration in the 1980’s, and the Obama administration still has that vision.
Ronald Reagan’s vision has been transformed by the Obama administration. There is presence of both persona and policies of Reagan in Obama’s administration. For example, Reagan’s vision of a world that is free of nuclear weapons has today seen the U.S. deploy missile defense systems in response to threats from North Korea. The Obama administration has also advocated for a stronger military, lower taxes and an economic philosophy that is conservative.
In addition, the administration has brought into Whitehouse corporate executives and has further signed a surprising tax cut of $858 billion. The Obama administration has also implemented Affordable Care Act and Dodd-Frank Act, policies which borrow from Reagan’s vision. Dodd-Frank Act, for instance, proposes a freeze in discretionary spending, simplification of tax code and use of bipartisan efforts in order to repair the social security. These were some of Reagan’s vision. Nevertheless, the Obama administration faces a backlash from both the leftist and the rightists.
The bone of contention seems to be the best means to ensure social stability and achieve prosperity. For example, the right wing criticizes the affordable care act as a socialist law that has no place in a capitalist country. On the other hand, the left wing criticizes the Dodd-Frank Act for discouraging government expenditure on social issues that would bring equity. As a result, the administration is beleaguered by both sides.
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Domhoff, G. W., & Webber, M. J. (2011). Class and Power in the New Deal: Corporate
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Stanford University Press. p, 25.
Schultz, K. (2012). History 2nd ed. Stamford, CT : Cengage Learning. p, 603.