FDR: Agencies

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FDR modeled his business recovery on what the Fascists of Europe had been doing.
Many assume that because it sounds so vitriolic that it must be wrong -- but if you doubt it, study the policies. Remember, that the Fascist were not as unpopular at the time as they later became. They believed in: cooperation between Govt. and Business (crony capitalism), nationalized mega-unions, centralized control, price & wage controls and everything FDR copied. The NRA, AAA, WPA, were all ways to socialize, control and centralize many industries and control business and workers.

When FDR created the NRA (National Recovery Administration) in 1933-1934 and created a central planning commission, the stated objective was "to model American liberty after the great economies of Russia, Germany, Italy and Japan". Of course the NRA was quickly ruled unconstitutional (exceeding the powers of granted to congress within the Commerce Clause), so they went around it using regulatory powers of following agencies anyways. The point being that FDR’s dreams of utopia turned out to be the same ones that the Fascist, Communists and Totalitarians dreamt of. And that we had to go to war with to stop.

Most of his programs were later declared flops or were ruled Unconstitutional by the Supreme Court -- but there is no doubt what he tried to do, or where he got the models from. In his usual ironic way, FDR (and New Dealers) tended to use the term "fascist" very derogatorily (when the term became more unpopular) -- and he accused many who didn't follow the New Deal of being a "fascist" (pot meeting the kettle).

Partial list

To give you an idea of how far his ideals switched from reducing bureaucracy to creating them, one only need to look at a partial list of the new "bureaus" created by his administration:

  • AAA - Agricultural Adjustment Administration
  • AMA - Agricultural Marketing Administration
  • AOA - Administration of Operation Activities
  • BCD - Bituminous Coal Division
  • BCLB - Bituminous Coal Labor Board
  • BEW - Board of Economic Warfare
  • BIR-T - Board of Investigations and Research Transportation
  • BOB - Bureau of Budget
  • BPA - Bonneville Power Administration
  • BWC - Board of War Communications
  • CAA - Civil Aeronautics Authority
  • CCC - Civilian Conservation Corps
  • CCC - Commodity Credit Corporation
  • CPA - Council of Personnel Administration
  • CPRB - Combined Chiefs of Staff
  • CEA - Commodity Exchange Administration
  • CES - Committee on Economic Security
  • CFB - Combined Food Board
  • CMB - Combined Munitions Board
  • CPRB - Combined Production and Resources Board
  • CRMB - Combined Raw Materials Board
  • CSAB - Combined Shipping Adjustment Board
  • CWA - Civilian Works Administration
  • DLC - Disaster Loan Corporation
  • DPC - Defense Plant Corporation
  • DSC - Defense Supplies Corporation
  • EIBW - Export-Import Bank of Washington
  • EHFA - Electric Home and Farm Authority
  • EPCA - Emergency Price Control Act
  • FCA - Farm Credit Authority
  • FCC - Federal Communications Commission
  • FCIC - Federal Crop Insurance Corporation
  • FDIC - Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
  • FERA - Federal Emergency Relief Agency
  • FFC - Foreign Funds Control
  • FFMC- Federal Farm Mortgage Corporation
  • FHA - Federal Housing Administration
  • FIC - Federal Insurance Corporation
  • FLA - Federal Loan Agency
  • FNMA - Federal National Mortgage Corporation
  • FPA - Food Production Administration
  • FPHA - Federal Public Housing Authority
  • FRC - Facilities Review Committee
  • FREB - Federal Real Estate Board
  • FSA - Federal Securities Administration
  • FSA - Farm Security Agency
  • FSCC - Federal Surplus Commodity Corporation
  • FTC- Federal Trade Commission
  • FWA - Federal Works Agency
  • HOLC - Home Owners Loan Corporation
  • LOPM - Liaison Office for Personnel Management
  • MLB - Maritime Labor Board
  • MRC - Metal Reserve Company
  • NBCC- National Bituminous Coal Commission
  • NHA - National Housing Authority
  • NHPC - National Historical Publications Commission
  • NIC - National Insurance Board
  • NLB - National Labor Board
  • NLRB - National Labor Relations Board
  • NMB - National Mediation Board
  • NPPC - National Power Policy Committee
  • NRA - National Recovery Administration
  • NRAB- National Railroad Adjustment Board
  • NRB - National Resources Board
  • NRC- National resources Committe
  • NRPB - National Resources Planning Board
  • NWLB - National War Labor Board
  • NYA - National Youth Administration
  • OBCCC - Office of Bituminous Coal Consumers Council
  • OC - Office of Censorship
  • OCD - Office of Civilian Defense
  • OCIAA - Office of Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs
  • ODHWS - Office of Defense and Health and Welfare Services
  • ODT - Office of Defense Transportation
  • OEM - Office of Emergency Management
  • OES - Office of Economic Stabilization
  • OLLA - Office of Lend-Lease Administration
  • OPA - Office of Price Administration
  • OPCW - Office of Petroleum Coordinator for War
  • OSRD - Office of Scientific Research and Development
  • OWI - Office of War Information
  • PAW - Petroleum Administration for War
  • PCD - Petroleum Conservation Division
  • PIWC - Petroleum Industry War Council
  • PRA - Public Roads Administration
  • PRP - Production Requirements Plan
  • PRRA - Puerto Rico Reconstruction Administration
  • PWA - Public Works Association
  • PWRCB - President's War Relief Control Board
  • RA - Resettlement Administration
  • RACC - Regional Agricultural Credit Corporation
  • REA - Rural Electrification Administration
  • RFC- Reconstruction Finance Corporation
  • RRB - Railroad Retirement Board
  • RRC - Rubber Reserve Company
  • SA - Sugar Agency
  • SEC - Securities and Exchange Commission
  • SCS - Soil Conservation Service
  • SMA - Surplus Marketing Association
  • SSB - Social Security Board
  • SSS - Selective Service Board
  • SWPC - Small War Plants Corporation
  • TNEC - Temporary National Economic Committee
  • TVA - Tennessee Valley Authority
  • UNRRA - United Nations Relief & Rehabilitation Administration
  • USES - United States Employment Service
  • USHA - United States Housing Authority
  • USMC - United States Maritime Commission
  • WDC - War Damage Corporation
  • WEPL - War Emergency Pipe Lines, Inc.
  • WMC - War Manpower Commission
  • WPA - Works Progress Administration
  • WPB - War Production Board
  • WRA - War Relocation Authority
  • WSA - War Shipping Administration

Well over a hundred new bureau's to help reduce the tax load that was burdening the nation and bankrupting investment.

The consequences

FDR-OliverTwist.gif

How many of these Bureaucracies came into existence is almost as bad as that they existed at all. There was fear in the nation over the depression, and the public and congress decided to let FDR try to fix things: we had one of the most cowardly, complacent (democrat controlled) congresses in history. They stopped being the legislative branch of the Government, and became the rubber-stamp one.

Congress passed an unconstitutional carte-blanche law that gave the President (the RFC - Reconstruction Finance Committee, which he appointed and controlled) the authority to borrow whatever money desired. They borrowed over 20 Billion Dollars, and just made new committees, departments, commissions or administrations without congressional approval. The RFC would buy out a corporations stock and then just own them.

Of course congress and the President couldn't oversee all these new agencies, and most of them were created by yanking power (unconstitutionally) away from States and delivering this power to the Fed (and FDR). Thus Congress was violating Article One, Section 1 of the United States Constitution, which says, "Congress cannot delegate its power to anyone else" (called the non-deligation clause). They violated the Constitution both by delegating them to the President and RFC, and again when the RFC created the sub-agencies.

Each of these new departments (and people that used them) were indebted to FDR, and FDR controlled many of them directly (through their purse and because many of their jobs were "appointments"). And FDR abused powers that were far beyond what a King of that era had.

Most of these "agencies" took on second duty as campaign managers for Roosevelt and the New Deal. Government agencies owed their existance (and budgets) to FDR, and they were going to support him and their own interests!

Millions, if not Billions, were spent on the propeganda that was FDRs unofficial reelection campaign -- the New Deal was spending a lot on FDR as well as the other way around.

FDR knew about these abuses, and of course did nothing to stop it. In fact, he encouraged it:

  • During the war he use censorship powers to censor things that didn't reflect well on him
  • He mixed nationalist propaganda with promoting him, his policies, and the New Deal
  • You wanted the FCC to renew your radio license? Don't talk bad about FDR or you might lose your license.
Most of his agencies were hand-appointed by FDR, reported to him, and were only given to registered democrats. The same for many of the jobs under those appointments. To help with that, many agencies would help you "re-register" to the proper party (as part of your job application). And many republicans or non-FDR supporters would lose their jobs when discovered. These programs were part of FDR's secret police.

McCarthy

This later had serious ramifications in that many of these agencies turned out to be corrupt, or were infultrated by "Reds" and "Pinks" (communists and socialists) who realized that they didn't have to control the majority if they just held enough key positions. The bigger the government, the more the lure for the corrupt to be attracted to it and abuse it.

This organized infiltration and abuse was covered up by FDR and Truman, and is what lead to the backlash in the McCarthy era. People seldom remember (or are taught) why McCarthy's purges got started in the first place (and out of hand) -- but it was the abuse and failures of the FDR era that lead to the communist infiltration's. Which were supposed to have been purged before and during the war. But instead of doing so, the administration covered up the problem and obstructed justice: and that's what Joe McCarthy exposed, and why he was destroyed. Rampant organized abuse/corruption was ever present around FDR.

Conclusion

It was not a good time for Freedom -- empowering bureaucracy has costs.

High School History texts sell it as there was a, "everyone pitch in" attitude, but that was the sales pitch. In truth, there was much more, "do what we say, or get crushed under the wheels of progress".

We were on a death spiral, fortunately for us, the War pulled us out (and changed the tone), otherwise, we were going to become the USSA.