If you've decided to watch the documentaries on the Great Depression and the subsequent win by FDR and the installation of the New Deal, I'm sure you've seen many replication of ideas.
The Dustbowl hit about the same time as the crash of 29. When it hit, nothing would grow, and the government decided to have the Red Cross give out seeds. Kinda of ridiculous as of course while it was wonderful for people to be given the chance to garden, it aint raining, so those plants died to, utterly wasting the money.
People in these agricultural areas encountered remarkable hardship as crop prices plummeted and it hardly was worth bring in what crops they had. I recall a professor telling me that after his father's crops came in, and he paid all expenses, he made about 20 cents, so he ended up buying a flashlight for his son. That was it. Food was available in some areas, and at greatly reduced prices, but no one could afford to eat. Farmers in one area banded together and peacefully waited outside a grocery store since they're children hadn't eaten in three days. In the end, the government authorized $2.50 per family, and their hunger temporarily abated.
People lost their utilities first, then couldn't afford their mortgages, and after the judges rules in favor of the landlords, then of course they had more issues with people leaving, so it took further rulings and police involvement for eviction. You can imagine en masse evictions would play out today.
Many people lived outside by digging a hole, using what ever scrap material they could find, and living in them in all kinds of weather. In many cases they were made of cardboard. Sound like any of the information that I've been posting?
Things declined as less and less jobs were available. A bill had been passed that offered a small bonus to WW1 veterans, but that wasn't funded or was going to disperse those funds until 1945. Veterans from around the country began coming to Washington DC, first 3,000 plus their families, living in derelict abandoned buildings, then later a special camp where they erected similar shanty towns. At it's maxiumum, it swelled to 20,000 plus all of there family members. Although Gen Smedly Butler spoke at their gathering, and offered his support, the situation grew tense. In the end, the bill was passed in the House of Rep, but defeated in the Senate, and the politicians had to sneak out of Washington. A riot broke out, and the military called in with tanks, cavalry, and infantry. Tear gas was released, fires started, and with fixed bayonets, the infantry drove out the veterans. Don't imagine the same won't happen again. The generals in charge of the operation? None other than Gen. Douglass MacArthur and Dwight Einsenhower.
It cost Herbert Hoover the election. FDR campaigned on it, and won by a landslide. Days later, he declared a bank holiday for four days since there were bank runs. He began a series of fire side chats on the radio, and convinced people to deposit their money. Surprisingly it worked, and with the temporary victory, FDR began a series of public works programs to put people back to work and rebuild infrastructure.
Today, I doubt that would fly. We've been deficit spending on such a massive scale, that we've no longer have a working vehicle to create more money by creating Treasuries. For the last few years, the Federal Reserve has been buying these worthless securities, as well as investing in other government securities, so the only other option is simply increase the money supply. That will cause massive hyperinflation. Perhaps deliberately.
Within a year of starting these massive jobs programs, there were many complains by the opposing party. They began to see inflation spiking from the extra money supply, and 1/7 of Federal money was diverted to do infrastructure and jobs programs in NYC. People fought for these jobs, so if we did something like that today, you can imagine the terrible in-fighting. It ended up creating a lot racial division during that time period, with boycotts and legal action.
There's no free lunch. For years we've not only had massive deficit spending, but also a massive increase per year. The investors of the world are simply unwilling to buy more government debt, even if our government want to begin a similar New Deal.
After two years of the New Deal, portions of FDR's policies governing the hiring of employees and wages were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Even with them, they had bare held back the tide of the Great Depression, but they had temporarily helped some areas with an influx of inflated money for NYC.
A long standing feud between FDR and the Public Works administrator of NYC had been holding up crucial funding for a 63 million dollar bridge project. They settled the feud, and allowed it to go forward, but none of the jobs went to African-Americans. Recall the earlier tensions regarding public works employment, and economic boycotts of businesses who were receiving employment money to retain workers. Coupling this with rising cries of police brutality, in 1935, race riots broke out in NYC.
From that point on, FDR replicated the initial infrastructure programs and created the WPA, the Works Public Administration, creating 8 millions jobs over it's history, and massively spending ~ 7% of GDP out of thin air. It never could offer full employment, it was limited to 30 hours per week. Great more part-time temporary low skill jobs. It largely ended with the beginning of WWII. The same formula of diverted funds for infrastructure continues with 1/7 of all dollars going to NYC.
It ushered in a new era of public parks, public highways, funding for the arts, the school lunch program, a litany of all of the lasting programs we have today that exist because of tax dollar and not private investment.
In other words, during the Great Depression with the people unemployed and starving, the federal government created money out of thin air to employ and feed people. That persists today with the exception that those willing to pay for it through government securities are gone. This means that the only option to continue the social programs created by FDR and any new ones needed by the present administration is to create it out of thin air period.