No one said: we will now establish a welfare state. The phrase “welfare state”—that is, a state assuming some direct responsibility for the socioeconomic welfare of its citizens—was not commonly used in the early 1930s. What characterized the Roosevelt administration was a readiness to improvise and occasionally listen to eggheads. The new president was far from certain where he wished to go, but he grasped intuitively that it would be disastrous simply to wait for those myste...
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