The ABC of the NRA

By Charles L. Dearing; Paul T. Homan et al. | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

The President of the United States, when affixing his signature to the National Industrial Recovery Act on June 16, 1933, declared:

History probably will record the National Industrial Recovery Act as the most important and far-reaching legislation ever enacted by the American Congress.

It represents a supreme effort to stabilize for all time the many factors which make for the prosperity of the nation and the preservation of American standards.

Its goal is the assurance of a reasonable profit to industry and living wages for labor, with the elimination of the piratical methods and practices which have not only harassed honest business but also contributed to the ills of labor.

That the President should so appraise one law in a year which saw the passage under his urgent influence of so much remarkable legislation shows with clearness that the law is regarded as central to the Roosevelt Administration's program. The Administration thus indicates the magnitude of the problems to which the law is directed and the deviation from past lines of economic policy which it represents.

The occasion for the National Industrial Recovery Act was the desperate business situation which existed in the spring of 1933, and the failure of the expedients theretofore experimented with to halt the downward course of industrial activity. Deflationary developments had carried economic maladjustments to a point where the experience of earlier depressions appeared to many observers to furnish no guidance. Faith in the "self- generating" forces of recovery had almost completely

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