Christian Cherau Response to Berle and Hoover

I found it interesting how Hoover harkened to the virtue of freedom so extensively in his brief rebuttal to the ideas of the New Deal, however Berle does indeed acknowledge the need to preserve an idea of freedom in his opines on the New Deal and its potential. Berle’s ideal New Deal would see government taking a much increased role in the operations of the nation’s economy and industries, with that increased involvement wrapping up the American citizens as well. Berle references the chef who could potentially be forced to cook for others in order to get his hypothetic “food card” and support himself, even if he thoroughly dislikes being a servant for others. Berle admits that this nearly communist system would be “substantially the same as imposing sentence of death” if the worker does not enjoy his job. Most importantly, Berle admits that under his system of heavy government involvement, “a great deal of the grace of life and human values which we all of us hold dear, might very easily go out.” Berle basically concedes that while on paper, a plan that involves government involvement in every industry would be wonderful, in all reality government involvement in business has been observed to not exactly be a profitable venture, see the Berle referenced US Post Office or the ever in the red Amtrak.

These concerns are largely shared by Herbert Hoover in his rebuttal to the New Deal, who voices his concerns over the “economic planning” used to “regiment and coerce the farmer,” with the repeated concern that many New Deal programs would “shackle free men.” However, Hoover may be taking things to the opposite extreme, losing his point through too much use of metaphor at the conclusion. Man-made, or governmental, machines may not be the sole solution, as Hoover understands, however Hoover needs to acknowledge that some sort of government machinery is necessary by the government in order for the economy to be pulled back from palling into further recession. Total liberty and laissez-faire policies, as Hoover is desperate to return to, may not be the best policy as history should have taught him, however Berle himself admits that the high level of government intervention he champions may break down when confronted with human nature.

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