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FDR & Radical Change in the U.S.

The NRA would later usher in many measures that are today taken for granted: child labor laws, minimum wage protections, and shortened workdays (Polenberg 10). A significant setback, however, would soon devastate the NIRA. In 1935 the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the NIRA was unconstitutional, citing that big business had abused its authority in drafting codes. As a consequence, it was observed that by drafting provisions that kept productivity low and prices high, big business had effectively consolidated its power over the market economy, putting the hurt on small businesses and labor unions alike (Polenberg 10).

The fate of the NIRA and the NRA brings into focus a useful example concerning the formulation and execution of New Deal policy. Drafted in the spirit of broadening the scope of government so as to benefit the common man and jump-start a depressed economy, the measure was at once both highly beneficial and highly damaging. Its strengths, encompassing the indispensable worker protection rights listed above, could not help but be offset by its weaknesses, which compromised the ability of the common worker to wriggle out from under the weight of big business.

Another attempt by FDR to make good on his vision for economic recovery came in the form of the Agricultural Adjustment Act, which incentivized farmers to better balanc


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