The National Recovery Administration: An Analysis and Appraisal

By Leverett S. Lyon; Paul T. Homan et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XL
CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS

In bringing to a close this review of NRA activities no attempt will be made to restate the detailed conclusions reached in the several parts of the volume. For these the reader is referred to those parts, especially to the concluding chapters thereof. The object here is merely to add certain final observations that emerge from the study as a whole.

No one can fail to approve certain general social objectives which were avowed in the act, such as the restoration of prosperity, the improvement of industrial relations, and the improvement of trade practices. These are proper goals of government action. Nor is there any ground for criticizing the NRA merely because it employed somewhat novel governmental methods; indeed ingenuity in devising means to achieve ends of public policy is desirable.

The law granted to the President an unprecedented amount of power with vaguely defined objectives under a unique set of political circumstances and with reference to issues which had not been subjected to extended public discussion. The law moreover was directed to varied objectives, some concerned with stimulation of recovery, others with significant changes in the organization of American economic life. In administration also attention was divided between the primary objective of stimulating recovery and the promotion of long-run changes. Though the general social objectives, and in particular the recovery objective, had widespread public support, the pursuit of them affected powerful groups whose spe-

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