U.S. banknotes in Washington D.C., March 2020
Liu Jie Xinhua / eyevine / Redux

Most Americans learned in school that the New Deal, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s sweeping response to the Great Depression, was a turning point in U.S. history. For 90 years, the progressive projects and reforms collected under its rubric defined the role that government could play in society and the manner in which government spending could be used to combat economic crises. The New Deal set the standard for big government intervention. Then came the pandemic of 2020.

In the past few weeks, the U.S. Congress and Federal Reserve have moved to inject more than $6 trillion into the U.S.

Finish reading this article for free.

Enter your email and we'll send a paywall-free link directly to your inbox.

In addition to your unlocked article, you will receive our flagship weekly newsletter Foreign Affairs This Week, as well as occasional updates and offers from Foreign Affairs. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, visit our user agreement and privacy policy.

Get unlimited access to all Foreign Affairs. Subscribe now.

Are you already a subscriber? Sign in.