Poverty and Politics: The Rise and Decline of the Farm Security Administration

By Sidney Baldwin | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XII
ARMAGEDDON AND AFTERMATH

There is no more forlorn spectacle in the administrative world than an agency and a program possessed of statutory life, armed with executive orders, sustained in the courts, yet stricken with paralysis and deprived of power. An object of contempt to its enemies and of despair to its friends.

NORTON E. LONG1. "Power and Administration"

As the difficult year 1942 came to a close, the leaders of the Farm Security Administration (FSA) were faced with a very portentous situation. Gone were the days of congressional acquiescence, the easy appeal to depression-based concern about poverty, the protective leadership of Henry A. Wallace and Paul H. Appleby of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the open door at the White House. As C. B. "Beanie" Baldwin and his assistants contemplated the forces massed against them, as they saw the budget cut of 1942 work its destructive effects upon their programs and performance, and as they witnessed the larger institutional foundation of the FSA dissolve, their inherently optimistic mood gave way

____________________
1.
Norton E. Long, "Power and Administration," Public Administration Review, Vol. IX (Autumn, 1949), p. 257.

-365-

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