Great Society Vs New Deal Essay

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This research paper compares and contrasts the approaches taken by reformers to civil rights and social welfare or income maintenance programs during the eras of the New Deal and the Great Society. New Deal reformers established for the first time a social safety net of minimum subsistence standards. They viewed their role more as one of extending temporary relief than of permanently addressing the needs of the poor. The civil rights record of the New Deal was poor; but blacks and other minorities benefitted from the greater opportunities its social welfare programs opened for disadvantaged groups. Great Society reformers made much more significant advances in the field of civil rights for minorities. Less planned progress was made in the…show more content…
First, was Social Security which was actually passed in 1935, a vast involuntary system of forced savings for retirement which would be administered by the federal government but which would be financed entirely by contributions from government and most employers. Part-time employees, domestics and farm laborers were excluded from coverage. This was a conservative program compared with the free old age program proposed by Francis Townsend in California. Second, a public housing bill was passed in 1937 but it merely provided for $500 million in government loans for the construction of public housing. The 1935 Rural Electrification Act brought the benefits of electrification to rural areas. It was supplemented by farm price supports under the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 and its successors and by the liberal extension of government credit to farmers by the Farm Security Administration. The final major New Deal bill was the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 which set the minimum wage at $.25 an hour and provided for later annual increments, established the 44 hour and abolished child labor in interstate commerce. By these and other measures, Leuchtenburg says "the New Deal assumed the responsibility for guaranteeing every American a maximum standard of subsistence" (Roark, et al,

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