FDR may have had one of the most difficult tasks when it comes to the economy but the socialist policies he implemented only made things worse and they are still harming the U.S. economy today. To begin, FDR was the only U.S. President in history to issue an executive order for a 100% income tax on all income over $25,000 which is about $350,000 today. Putting an income limit on the most productive U.S. entrepreneurs only incentivized those captain's of industry to exert minimal effort once that income cap was reached. Therefore, once their income reached that limit for the year they would stop hiring and expanding their companies after all they weren't going to see another penny of the profits. The already high unemployment rate was not made any better by preventing business owners from hiring. Furthermore, to fund the war, congress also broadened the base so that almost every employee was paying federal income taxes. Following shortly after was withholding taxes in 1943.
As if a 100% income tax and a new withholding tax wasn't enough, FDR created the biggest pyramid scheme that is still in play today called Social Security. Social Security has less and less citizens paying into it every year which is probably why the Supreme Court has ruled that citizens have no right to their Social Security contributions. Furthermore, it has now been proven that if you were to retire today you are not going to get back what you have already put into the system. Then there's the issue of the debt ceiling. If America ever defaulted on its debt which seems very possible at this point considering the U.S. has gone from about a $5T national debt in 2000 to $17T in 2013, then there is a chance that once again Social Security checks would not go out. So like I was saying we are now up to a 100% income tax, a withholding tax, a Social Security tax and a payroll tax which was put in place to fund the Social Security system which can be taken away at any time because we the American people have no control over the money that we put into it.
FDR not only prevented the unemployment rate from dropping with an enormous increase of taxes but he also stifled economic growth by telling businesses they could not hire as many workers by signing into law the minimum wage. FDR seemed to think that picking an arbitrary, artificially high wage would make everyone richer but instead it only caused a higher unemployment rate. Anytime a wage is set above the market equilibrium a surplus results. Even though surplus sounds like a very positive word, a surplus of labor is also commonly referred to as unemployment!
The last major mistake I want to point out is FDR's confiscation of privately held gold. This executive order that was issued by FDR demanded that gold was to be sold to the U.S. Treasury and the price of $35 per ounce. If any U.S. citizen was caught hoarding gold they were off to jail for 10 YEARS if a fine of $10,000 ($500,000 today) was not paid. This shows that FDR had not read or understood Article I, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution that states, "Only gold & silver can be used as legal tender." It wasn't until 1975 before it once again became legal to own gold.
I apologize if I have offended every teacher out there that thinks FDR saved the U.S. during the Great Depression but the truth is that if you value your economic freedom at all you will understand the great harm this President is still doing to our economy today. Without a minimum wage the unemployment rate would be lower. Without a socialist retirement system we may actually earn a little return on our money. Lastly, without the several tax increases FDR put in place we may actually realize that we should have the freedom to use our own money as we please. To each their own!