To guard against any possible misunderstanding, we repeat what we said in Chapter XXXI: that since the NRA was designed to promote both recovery and reform no final judgment of its accomplishments can be made without weighing its effects in both fields, and that we have attempted no such appraisal here. Our problem has been the net effect of the NRA program on recovery, a term which we have defined for the purpose as the expansion of the aggregate production of goods and services. However difficult this problem may be it is nevertheless a comparatively limited one, and whatever judgments and opinions are reached in its exploration should not be taken as conclusions applicable to the NRA program as a whole.
Since we have expressed our views at length in the course of the foregoing analysis, no extended restatement is necessary. The principal findings and the main line of the argument may be briefly recapitulated as follows:
The NRA expected to promote recovery by enlarging the real purchasing power of certain classes of labor. This was to be accomplished by raising wage rates ahead of the prices of good and service. Because of the delay attending the inauguration of codes and the speculative anticipation of their effects, prices rose on the average ahead of wage rates. Even after the latter had been raised by the codes, the gain, when averaged out over all employees in the country, proved to be about the same as the increase in the cost of living attributable to the program.