Most commonly we hear that FDR's public works projects and impositions of government programs saved a deteriorating economy, getting us out of the Great Depression. These assumptions are not so much deduced from factual evidence, as they are more infused by a society that clings to collectivist notions which are most evident in their effort of forcing upon the individual mind the vague delusions of a high and mighty group of government officials that look out for the "greater good." Little do these people that accept these false premises realize that FDR and government prolonged the Depression and in may respects made it worse.
This graph gives a more generalized view on how these government programs did not lead to a drop in unemployment, but a significant rise in it. Although the big stock market crash occurred in October 1929, unemployment never reached double digits in any of the next 12 months after that crash. Unemployment peaked at 9 percent, two months after the stock market crashed-- and then began drifting generally downward over the next six months, falling to 6.3 percent by June 1930. This is difficult to truly deduce from this graph, since this graph deals in years, not months, the point is that Hoover decided for government regulations that imposed higher tariffs, in the attempt to save American jobs by reducing imported goods. Within six months after this government intervention, unemployment shot up into double digits-- and stayed in double digits in every month throughout the entire remainder of the decade of the 1930s, as the Roosevelt administration expanded federal intervention far beyond what Hoover had started.
Reality is that during World War II, unemployment was lower than it's previous 20% peak because more people were brought into the work force, but even then, unemployment was still quite high at near 10%, and started dropping before WWII, due to broader market forces and market adjustment. FDR only made things worse with his short-term Keynesian attempts of stimulating the economy, most evident were the absurd price controls that kept Americans from having more options and being able to buy cheaper goods, which resulted still in high-double digit unemployment. It wasn't until these price controls were removed, and the audacity to cut taxes that created a huge boom in the economy. In the end, we are still left with the burden of all his social programs, that have left Government clambering to pay for these falsely generous things in a corrupt manner using Americans as their transient expedients; all of which these programs have proven to be fraught with waste and fraud.
Of course one should be inclined to cut government, because these lessons should show us that the individual is best suited to make the best decisions targeted at accomplishing their personal goals. Government has used their power to take from those who acheive, at the expense of those who desire. Never is satisfying desire at the expense of another just, and having a government that promotes these immoral tendencies, gives us ever the more reason to get them out of our lives. Keynesianism is an outdated attempt to "Socialize Investment," because Mr Keynes' The General Theory was simply a mathematical attempt to give justification to these detrimental neo-Marxist mechanics. Perhaps his models provided a new way of doing things, but surely his method is iniquitous and shows us the dangers of collectivism. Most assuredly less government wreaks much more economic prosperity.