On the subject of economics from the New Economic Foundation

This was a single instance of a wider phenomenon occurring in the US under Roosevelt’s New Deal, which was on one level a grand political exploitation of new technologies. FDR sought to rebalance the economy and rescue the country from mass unemployment through public works, which were only made possible by rapid technological advances – not just the advent of electricity, but the engineering techniques associated with highway-building, hydroelectric dams and other major infrastructure.


As Keynes himself pointed out the unemployment was caused by advancing technology in the first place.

And as to the underlying idea. We should be progressive by protecting Britain’s professions?

6 thoughts on “On the subject of economics from the New Economic Foundation”

  1. Much of the New Deal failed. And it wan’t all that new a deal anyway; Hoover – in spite of being a very intelligent fellow – was similarly corporatist and had introduced some of the policies that FDR boasted about. But Hoover at least was upright; FDR was rather a thug.

    There’s a word for 1930s thuggish corporatists. It escapes me for the moment.

  2. What is it with the left? They just consistently seem to want to turn the clock back (or just freeze it) – obsessed with it, they are. And they have the cheek to call us more sensible types ‘reactionaries’. They all doth project too much, methinks.

  3. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    There was plenty of new technology that helped solve the Depression: RADAR, computers, guided missiles, atomic bombs….

  4. It is all so weird and ungrounded in history. Roosevelt campaigned against Hoover’s policies, eg the big dam, and then enacted them with a Clintonesque lack of shame. The okies happened while he was Pres. The dustbowls dried when he was Pres. Pearl Harbour happened when he was Pres. If there had not been some carriers still out at sea when the raid took place, history would be different. I guess there would be a Pacific rim of Japanese; a flyover belt of Amurcans ; and everyone else would happily be speaking German or Spanish

  5. You can Google contemporary newsreels on various aspects of the New Deal. Probably the most overtly fascist aspect was
    the Blue Eagle scheme where participating businesses undertook to keep prices UP at officially approved levels. I haven’t viewed them for some years but, from recollection, the scheme was controlled by a retired general and all sorts of pressure were applied to coerce businesses into participating. I believe it was eventually ruled unconstitutional by the
    Supreme Court.

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