Is FDR's expansion of the power of being President a good thing, or a bad thing? Cite specific examples of the changing role of the Chief Executive during the New Deal to justify your answer.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) had the longest tenure as the president of the United States from March 1933 to April 1945. His twelve-year stint as the most powerful man in the United States remarkably change the American Society and one of the most challenging country-wide problem was battling the Great Depression. FDR believed that his power came from the people and by virtue of his election by the people, therefore, he have faith that he could take actions in approach that will benefit the whole nation. Under the expansion of the power of being a President, the American government takes on new and commanding roles in the nation’s economy.
This expansion of power had its advantage and disadvantage to the nation in response to the Great Depression, World War II and the Cold War. This power protects the nation’s corporate life, welfare and health and the well-being of its citizen. The New Deal that FDR instigated took control of the economy of the country. The catastrophe was so ruthless that the citizens wanted the government take actions. Under the New Deal, the development of several programs granted numerous jobs for public word compensated by the government. Among these programs include Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Work Progress Administration (WPA) and Public Works Administration (PWA). The CCC, being a public work relief program, assisted the unemployed and unmarried men with jobs to support their relief family as part of the New Deal. The WPA employed millions of unemployed and unskilled men to carry out work that concerns public work projects. The PWA, on the other hand, was huge public works construction agency that provides jobs for the unemployed men to build large-scale bridges, dams, hospitals and schools. With this program, the federal government spent $6 billion in contract to private firms that did the concrete work .
Moreover, the federal government extended rules for businesses that include production amounts, payments and working hours by the workers and prices. The government also made moves to control farm production. During this time of Great Depression, the Social Security instituted a retirement program, benefits for the unemployed and assistance for the needy families. During the WWII, FDR used his expanded power to provide support to the allies. He also used his authority to make decisions which industries would shift to defense production. The federal government controlled the wages, rent and prices to prevent inflation. There were rations of goods by the government that include gas, sugar, meat and coffee each week. Also, the federal governments guarantee labor rights; however, there were limitations with other rights. Unfortunately, people cannot make actions and strike against the government, otherwise, the federal government had the right to take over certain industries. Another adverse effect of the war, topped by the expansion of power by the President, allowed the government to take control of many industries to support the requirements of fighting the war.
With the spread of authority and power of the President, it appears that somehow the nation benefitted from how the government takes control of the decisions for the betterment of the country. This, however, also causes imbalance in terms interfering in making decisions with other sector of government unit including the Congress especially during the time of the war .
Higgs, Robert. FDR Goes to War: How Expanded Executive Power, Spiraling National Debt, and Restricted Civil Liberties Shaped Wartime America. 3 October 2012. <http://fee.org/the_freeman/detail/fdr-goes-to-war-how-expanded-executive-power-spiraling-national-debt-and-restricted-civil-liberties-shaped-wartime-america>.
Marshall, William. "Eleven Reasons Why Presidential Power Inevitably Expands and Why it Matters." Boston University Law Review vol.88, no. 505 (2008): 505-521.