The proof is in the pudding.
"The Roosevelt enactment of Social Security was a moral revolution in our country: We were assured that we would never reach the very depths of poverty.
And to be told, that we are now going to gamble it, on Wall Street, is nonsense!" Arthur Hertzberg
"The importance of these timelines cannot be emphasized enough. Seeing the order in which events actually occurred dispels many myths about the Great Depression. One of the greatest of these myths is that government intervention was responsible for its onset. Truly massive intervention began only under the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt in 1933, who was sworn in after the worst had already hit. Although his New Deal did not cure it, all the leading economic indicators improved on his watch."
But don't take my word for it -- here is the raw data:
Timeline Of General Events
During World War I, federal spending grows three times larger than tax collections. When the government cuts back spending to balance the budget in 1920, a severe recession results. However, the war economy invested heavily in the manufacturing sector, and the next decade will see an explosion of productivity... although only for certain sectors of the economy.
An average of 600 banks fail each year.
Agricultural, energy and coal mining sectors are continually depressed. Textiles, shoes, shipbuilding and railroads continually decline.
The value of farmland falls 30 to 40 percent between 1920 and 1929.
Organized labor declines throughout the decade. The United Mine Workers Union will see its membership fall from 500,000 in 1920 to 75,000 in 1928. The American Federation of Labor would fall from 5.1 million in 1920 to 3.4 million in 1929.
"Technological unemployment" enters the nation's vocabulary; as many as 200,000 workers a year are replaced by automatic or semi-automatic machinery.
Over the decade, about 1,200 mergers will swallow up more than 6,000 previously independent companies; by 1929, only 200 corporations will control over half of all American industry.
By the end of the decade, the bottom 80 percent of all income-earners will be removed from the tax rolls completely. Taxes on the rich will fall throughout the decade.
By 1929, the richest 1 percent will own 40 percent of the nation's wealth. The bottom 93 percent will have experienced a 4 percent drop in real disposable per-capita income between 1923 and 1929.
The middle class comprises only 15 to 20 percent of all Americans.
Individual worker productivity rises an astonishing 43 percent from 1919 to 1929. But the rewards are being funneled to the top: the number of people reporting half-million dollar incomes grows from 156 to 1,489 between 1920 and 1929, a phenomenal rise compared to other decades. But that is still less than 1 percent of all income-earners.
The conservative Supreme Court strikes down federal child labor legislation.
lesson continues here: Timeline of the Great Depression