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The Great Depression, 1929. The Great Depression. At the lowest point of the Great Depression (in 1933), the national unemployment rate was: 4% 10% 15% 25%. The Great Depression. The Great Depression, which really began in 1929, lasted for: 2 years 4 years 12 years 15 years.

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the great depression
The Great Depression
  • At the lowest point of the Great Depression (in 1933), the national unemployment rate was:
    • 4%
    • 10%
    • 15%
    • 25%
the great depression1
The Great Depression
  • The Great Depression, which really began in 1929, lasted for:
    • 2 years
    • 4 years
    • 12 years
    • 15 years
the great depression2
The Great Depression
  • Between 1929 and 1931, what fraction of the nation’s private charity agencies were forced to close due to lack of funds?
    • 5%
    • 10%
    • 20%
    • 30%
the great depression3
The Great Depression
  • At the lowest point of the Great Depression (in 1933), the national unemployment rate was:
    • 4%
    • 10%
    • 15%
    • 25%
the great depression4
The Great Depression
  • The Great Depression, which really began in 1929, lasted for:
    • 2 years
    • 4 years
    • 12 years
    • 15 years
the great depression5
The Great Depression
  • Between 1929 and 1931, what fraction of the nation’s private charity agencies were forced to close due to lack of funds?
    • 5%
    • 10%
    • 20%
    • 30%
the great depression6
The Great Depression
  • In 1933, one-quarter of the US labor force was unemployed
  • The Depression lasted for 12 years, until the beginning of WWII
  • Between 1929 and 1931, 30% of nation’s private charities forced to close
  • GNP dropped from $103 billion in 1929 to $55.6 billion in 1933
what was the great depression
What was the Great Depression?
  • Speculation of 1920s led to sudden and severe stock market crash in Oct 1929
  • Banking panic
  • Also severe drought throughout the 1930s devastated agricultural areas – known as “The Dust Bowl”
initial response to the great depression
Initial Response to the Great Depression
  • President Herbert Hoover slow to respond
  • Distrust of Federal government
  • Thought crisis would be short-lived
a changing view of poverty and of government
A Changing View of Poverty and of Government
  • Catastrophic scale of the Depression shifted views of many to see that one could be poor as a result of a problem with the system rather than as a result of an individual character flaw
  • Only the Federal Government seen as able to respond to crisis of this magnitude, and criticism of Hoover was sharp
franklin delano roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
  • In 1932 election campaign, FDR ran on the promise of a “New Deal” for the American people
  • Elected in a landslide victory and began to implement a set of programs that came to be known as the “New Deal”
new deal programs
New Deal programs
  • Financial reform and regulation
  • Price controls in agriculture and industry
  • Federal provision of direct relief
  • Large scale public works programs
  • In 1935, Social Security Act passed to provide permanent social safety net
the new deal
The New Deal
  • Financial reform and regulation
    • Emergency Banking Bill (1932)
    • Retreat from gold standard
  • Price controls in agriculture and industry
    • Agricultural Adjustment Act (1933)
    • Labor laws to further limit child labor, maximum hours to workweek
  • Federal provision of direct relief
    • Federal Emergency Relief Administration (1933)
  • Public Works Programs
    • Tennessee Valley Authority (1933)
    • Civilian Conservation Corps (1935)
    • Works Progress Administration (1935)
why federal intervention
Why Federal intervention?
  • Scale of crisis overwhelmed local and state authorities as well as private charities
  • Despite prevalence since the Poor Laws of seeing poverty as rooted in individual failure – this crisis led to a shift toward understanding systemic causes of poverty
premises of new deal policy
Premises of New Deal policy
  • Belief in efficacy of the market system
  • Importance of balanced budget
  • Keynesian theory of effective demand (as opposed to supply-side economics)
social security act 19351
Social Security Act, 1935
  • Old Age Insurance
    • Funded by designated tax pool
    • Universal safety net for all workers
  • Unemployment Benefits
    • Funded by employers
    • Time delimited relief to those who left jobs involuntarily
  • Aid to Dependent Children
    • Based on “Mother’s Pensions” programs in states
    • Intended to provide relief to families who had lost a “breadwinner” father
    • Basis of what we most often call “welfare” – a very small part of the whole system of social welfare – reformed by FSA
world war ii and postwar prosperity
World War II and Postwar Prosperity
  • Full employment due to war effort marked real end of depression
  • Elimination of New Deal work programs such as CCC and WPA
  • G.I. Bill of Rights, 1944
postwar prosperity attack on public welfare
Postwar Prosperity: Attack on public welfare
  • Shifting perception of adult recipients as unworthy
  • Shift from cash programs to service approach
  • Public Welfare Amendments, 1962
1960s battles for rights and war on poverty
1960s: Battles for Rights and War on Poverty
  • Economic Opportunity Act, 1964
  • Community Mental Health Act, 1964
  • Food Stamp Act, 1964
  • Social Security Amendments to add Medicare and Medicaid, 1965
review of history
Review of History
  • Civil War: First federal intervention in Social Welfare Policy
  • Progressive Era (1900-1930): Regulation to protect people from the risks of industrial work
  • New Deal (1933-1935): Immediate relief and work programs for large scale systematic problems; continuation of regulation
review of history1
Review of History
  • Social Security Act (1935): Creation of a permanent safety net to protect people from risks of industrial society
  • War on Poverty (1960s): Creation of system of services to address individual deficiencies of the poor
review of history2
Review of History
  • Reagan Revolution (1980s): Limiting role of federal government to avoid negative consequences of individual dependency and economic stagnation
1970s 1980s economic stagnation and the reagan revolution
1970s-1980s:Economic stagnation and the Reagan Revolution
  • Shift to seeing government as the problem rather than the solution
  • Reagan fiscal policy based on tax cuts for wealthy and increased private investment (supply side or trickle down economics)
  • Overall diminishing role of federal government in social welfare provision
  • Retreat from rights based language
1990s bill clinton
1990s: Bill Clinton
  • Attempt to create universal health care coverage failed
  • Personal Work Opportunity and Responsibility Act (1996)
    • Work requirements
    • Time limits
    • Shift from grant-in-aid to block grant
barack obama change or more of the same
Barack Obama: Change or More of the Same?
  • American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (2009)
    • Tax cuts
    • Federal relief, especially unemployment
    • Infrastructure projects – contract system rather than public works per se
barack obama change or more of the same1
Barack Obama: Change or More of the Same?
  • Affordable Care Act (2010)
    • Individual mandate
    • Expanded public options
    • Employer mandate
    • Insurance companies required to cover people with pre-existing conditions and expand to young adults
today
Today?
  • How do we see the role of the federal government in social welfare provision? Do we see government as the solution or the problem?
  • What are the major social problems of our time?
  • Do we think of poverty as rooted in individual character flaws or in systemic problems?
  • Which groups do we see as deserving of help?
  • How are gender/race/class ideologies connected to our social policy debates?