New Deal Relief Programs Essay Samples
One of the most pressing needs that the Roosevelt administration faced when it assumed control of government was to offer some relief to those who were unemployed. In order to alleviate hardship of unemployed citizens and start economic recovery through increase in purchasing power and, consequently, in aggregate demand, Roosevelt administration created 4 major relief programs.
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) became the first anti-crisis relief program, created in 1933. It was intended for unemployed unskilled young men. It entailed manual work related to ecological projects, environment conservation, nature protection and minor infrastructure development. All employees in the program were provided with free shelter, food, clothing as well as small wage, most of which they were obliged to send to their families. So the CCC was established to provide young unemployed and unskilled men, mostly from rural areas, with opportunity to keep their families.
Establishment of the Public Works Administration (PWA) paved the way for the second major program, which entailed realization of large-scale long-term infrastructure projects. Public works, namely bridges, dams, schools and hospitals, were typically built by private construction companies and financed by the PWA. The PWA is widely credited with creating “multiplier effect”, since employing one worker on a PWA program lead to creation of two jobs indirectly. Therefore, the PWA gave momentum to economic recovery and unlike other relief programs, was equally beneficial for public and private sector. Furthermore, it was the only program, which was not criticized for creating inefficient jobs (“busy work”).
The Civil Works Administration (CWA) was short-term relief program, aimed at creating manual labor jobs. It was created in late 1933 and lasted to March 1934, when it was abolished and gradually transformed into more long-term WPA. Typical CWA projects included building of roads, schools, airports and minor infrastructure developments.
The Work Progress Administration was the largest New Deal agency, created to carry out projects of public works. This program was started in 1935 and entailed building wide range of infrastructure projects (roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, city halls, parks, gardens, playgrounds etc.). The primary aim of the program was to employ majority of the unemployed people, providing them with income until economic recovery. So this is crucial distinction of the WPA from the PWA, since the latter did not set a goal to employ workers directly and was more result-oriented in carrying out projects.