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It’s not like war, it’s like the New Deal

Updated: Apr 4, 2023

In my last post, I argued that the language of war was inappropriate for talking about the coronavirus epidemic. When the Governor of New York tells us that ventilators are as necessary as missiles, what appeared inappropriate becomes a bit ridiculous. Considering not only the public health crisis, but also the economic crisis (and the environmental crisis), would not the language spoken during the Great Depression in the 1930s be a much better choice?

So, what were people talking about: Here’s a list of their programs (from The Living New Deal web site).

Bureau of Public Roads (BPR) (1918) – renamed Public Roads Administration (1939)

Federal Parks Reorganization (1933)

Federal Surplus Commodities Corporation (FSCC) (1933)– named Federal Surplus Relief Corporation (1933-1935), then Federal Surplus Commodities Corporation (1935-1940)

Fish and Wildlife Conservation Acts (1934)

Section of Fine Arts (1934) – >called Treasury Section of Painting and Sculpture from 1934-1938, then Section of Fine Arts from 1938-1943

Taylor Grazing Act (1934)

Treasury, Public Buildings Branch (PBB) (1933) – called Public Works Branch from 1933-1935, then Public Buildings Branch from 1935-1939

Works Progress Administration (WPA) (1935) – renamed Work Projects Administration (1939)

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