Arnold lays down the following challenge for Brad:
[W]hat I think is relevant to ideological debates today is this: Are Social Security, farm price supports, Federal Housing programs, legalization of trade unions, securities market regulation, and other major legacies of the New Deal necessary for macroeconomic stability? What did they contribute to recovery in the 1930s? What do they contribute today? Over to you, Brad.
Brad enumerates many of the things he likes about Roosevelt’s steps and dislikes about Hoover’s, but falls short of addressing this specific list. Brad does offer a defense of the Securities and Exchange Commission and acknowledges the problems with farm price supports, but for the most part ignores the rest of Arnold’s particulars.
I much recommend this exchange by two smart people who try to explain why they see the world differently. But as someone who believed before reading this that Roosevelt made some very good moves and committed some real blunders, I must say that I came away feeling that these two scholars, despite their very different perspectives, are in basic agreement with each other and me on that general characterization.