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

Updated: May 24



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).


Agricultural Adjustment Act (1933, Reauthorized 1938)

Armed Forces and National Defense Industries

Army Corps of Engineers (1802)

Art & Culture Projects of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) (1934)

Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act (1937)

Banking Act (1935)

Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) (1937)

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

Bureau of Reclamation (1902)

Civil Aeronautics Act (1938)

Civil Works Administration (CWA) (1933)

Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) (1933)

Communications Act (1934)

Emergency Banking Relief Act (1933)

Fair Labor Standards Act (1938)

Farm Credit Act (1933)

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) (1933)

Federal Emergency Relief Act (1933)

Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) (1933)

Federal Parks Reorganization (1933)

Federal Project Number One (Federal One) (1935)

Federal Art Project (FAP) (1935) Federal Music Project (FMP) (1935) Federal Writers’ Project (FWP) (1935) Federal Theatre Project (FTP) (1935) Historical Records Survey (HRS) (1935)

Federal Security Agency (FSA) (1939)

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

Federal Works Agency (FWA) (1939)

Fish and Wildlife Conservation Acts (1934)

Glass-Steagall Banking Act (1933)

Gold Reserve Act (1934)

Home Owners’ Loan Act (1933)

Indian Reorganization Act (1934)

National Housing Act (1934)

National Industrial Recovery Act (1933)

National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act) (1935)

National Youth Administration (NYA) (1935)

Post Office Department (1792)

Public Buildings Administration (PBA) (1939)

Public Works Administration (PWA) (1933)

Public Works of Art Project (PWAP) (1933)

Puerto Rico Reconstruction Administration (PRRA) (1935)

Repeal of Prohibition (1933)

Resettlement Administration (RA) (1935)

Robinson-Patman Act (1936) 

Rural Electrification Act (1936)

Rural Electrification Administration (REA) (1935)

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

Securities Act (1933) & Securities Exchange Act (1934)

Social Security Act (1935)

Soil Conservation Act (1935)

Soil Conservation Service (SCS) (1935)

Taylor Grazing Act (1934)

Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) (1933)

Travel Bureau (1937)

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

Treasury Relief Art Project (TRAP) (1935)

United States Housing Act (1937)

Virgin Islands Company (1934)

Wagner-Peyser Act / United States Employment Service (1933)

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

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