I have some news for you, Murphy. That chart of yours is absolutely bogus. Your source there might claim
to have gotten their data from the Department of Commerce, but anyone with knowledge of the Great Depression ecnomic history can only conclude one of two things: either whoever did the research was very, very
poor at collecting information, or there is some deliberate distortion going on in the name of propaganda.
Whoever made it up obviously didn't do much background work with their historical research, otherwise they would have known to avoid some serious errors. For example, they seem to have been entirely ignorant of the fact that the highest rate of unemployment in the entirety of the Great Depression was 25.2%. Somehow, in this chart they have managed to bump it up to over 35%. It's also a bit funny that they claim that "New Deal, Part 2", began in the very year when the New Deal economic program was temporarily abandoned
(the Second New Deal had in fact been going for some time by that point.
Let's have a look at the real
unemployment numbers during FDR's first two terms, from the beginning of 1933 to the beginning of 1941:
Unemployment as a Percentage of the Civilian Workforce:
1933: 25.2% (inherited from Hoover administration)
1934: 21% (down 4.2%)
1935: 19.4% (down 1.6%)
1936: 16.2% (down 3.2%)
1937: 13.6% (down 2.6%)
1938 (New Deal temorarily abandoned): 18.3%
1939 (New Deal resumed): 16.5% (down 1.8%)
1940: 13.9% (down 2.6%)
1941: 9.2% (down 4.7%)
Altogether, in the pre-war years the Roosevelt administration successfully reduced unemployment from 25.2% to 9.2% - a drop of 16%. And when the numbers are crunched, it emerges that New Deal economic policies were directly responsible for reducing unemployment by 20.7%.
So in terms of unemployment, the New Deal was actually the greatest peacetime economic success story in the history of any industrial nation.
But unemployment is not the only measure by which we can judge the New Deal's success. What about the fact that under the pre-war New Deal, real GDP increased by 104%, again the largest such expansion in peacetime economic history. Or how about that real wages increased dramatically, as did production levels? What should we make of the fact that by 1937, the New Deal economy had already surpassed the economic performance levels of the pre-Great Depression economy in 1929?
All these numbers are sourced from none other than the U.S. Department of Commerce: Bureau of Economic Analysis.