By Donta T.
Should the government have control over us? If so to what extent? Let’s talk about The Great Depression and The New Deal. What are those you might ask? The Great Depression took place from 1929 to 1939 and was an long lasting economic downturn, which happened soon after the stock market crash in October 1929. The New Deal was basically a bunch of programs and policies made up by FDR that attempted to address the issues of the Great Depression. Those programs and policies benefited the US and also tore the US apart. Again I ask you, how much control (as in power over economics) should the government have over you. Personally I believe the government should have control to a certain extent. For example, I feel that FDR was right to strike a middle ground between Huey Long and the American Liberty League and that he provided necessary jobs and infrastructure through the TVA. However, he overstepped his authority when he put Japanese Americans in internment camps.
FDR was right to strike a middle ground between Huey Long and the American Liberty League. I couldn’t have sided with Huey long because he wanted too much out of the wealthy. His “Share the Wealth” plan “included a 100% tax incomes over $1 million and allowed the government to redistribute fortunes over $5 million” (class notes). Although I support helping those in need, the individuals who put sweat and tears in for their pay should be paid their fair amount. I didn’t side with the American Liberty League because they thought that they were already being taxed too much. The American Liberty League also thought FDR’s plan was “betraying his social class by providing too much support for the poor” (class notes). That’s why I came to an conclusion that FDR was a perfect example for my certain extent on government’s control.
FDR’s New Deal also provided necessary jobs and infrastructure through the TVA. For example, “the TVA provided over 9,000 jobs in the Tennessee Valley,” which shows that the TVA had a positive effect because at the time the Tennessee Valley was a very poverty stricken area so the TVA uplifted it (class lecture notes). The TVA also created dams to reduce flooding. So that’s another positive outcome for the TVA. Some critics may argue that long term residents of regions like the Norris Basin were removed (payed off) from their homes and private property in order to build the dams, since “farm owners were given cash settlements for their condemned property and received help in finding new homes” (Doc D). But I still agree with the FDR’s decision to create the because the homes nears the dams could have been on the verge of flooding anyway.
The only thing holding me back from giving FDR’s big government my full support was the fact that he put Japanese Americans in internment camps during WWII. I believe that was completely unjustified. It was a act of discrimination and cruelty again a certain race. I believe it was just a act of fear, since “widespread ignorance of Japanese Americans contributed to a policy conceived in haste and executed in an atmosphere of fear and anger at Japan.” To me that is no way to take care of fear by putting others in fear because of their race!
I’ll ask you one last time, how much control should the government have over you as a citizen and to what extent? My opinion is 50/50 economic wise. I know some might argue a different fraction but they would be wrong. For instance gun control if the government have no control over the distribution of handguns crime rates might increase. At the same time if they have too much control over who purchase them, people might not be able to buy one and that will leave disabled or vulnerable elderly persons unequipped to protect themselves. At the end of the day it’s all up to you vote to change at least what you feel is right that’s why you should consider how control should the government have over you as a citizen of the US.