FDR’s job creation programs the CCC, WPA, AAA, and a host of other institutional programs just could not generate enough employment. The unemployment rate never went below double digits for the duration of the depression. However, war was the motivator for millions and millions of Americans to join the workforce. American citizens flocked to help defend the nation by joining the military, which some 12 million men and women did, or by entering the industrial mobilization effort, which millions more Americans did. Combining the national workforce and the governmental controls on prices as well as federal mandated rationing of food and many other items FDR created a built-in inflation control mechanism that took America out of the Great Depression, and kept them out.
There is no doubt that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased during the war years. The manufacturing of planes, weapons, bombs, and ships created a sharp increase in the GDP of the nation. Government spending sharply increased even prior to America entering WWII. FDR’s Lend-lease program provided a...
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...her consumer driven goods fueled American consumerism. The need to consume was the death knell to the Great Depression. Soldiers who had seen the world came back with new ideas and innovations. Many wanted a better life now that they were home with their families.
Those who claim that WWII did not end the Great Depression need only read my earlier statement, the Great Depression ended at the end of WWII, not the beginning. Certainly, FDR foresaw a potential for another economic collapse and cut taxes and federal spending was paramount to ending any resurgence of the depression. Nevertheless, the advent of the Marshall Plan, and the rebuilding of Europe and areas in the Far East after World War II established America as a global provider of goods and services, and set the stage for America to become an industrial power like the world had never seen before or since.
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