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Saturday, October 24, 2009

RE-EMPLOYMENT REALISM - The More Things Change...


Christian Science Monitor

President Roosevelt's radio address Thursday night expressed more of a conservative attitude toward the relief problem in the United States than he has yet voiced. In this respect, so far as the words are borne out by action, the present attack on the question of re-employment should be more satisfying and reassuring to those who believe the nation should get quickly back to reliance on private rather than governmental methods.

The points in which Mr. Roosevelt indicated this change of direction, or rather change of emphasis, toward retrenchment were these:

  • He hailed the increase of employment in private industry by 350,000 in September, bringing the total gain, to 5,000,000 since the bottom of the depression.

  • He hoped that the necessities of government relief furnished by funds received by taxation should decrease as rapidly as human needs will allow.

  • He appealed for greater support of local and private
    charities to assist in making it possible to turn back the care of the needy to the states and to these organizations.

  • He stressed the word "work" and added, "Neither private charity nor government relief wants to continue to help people who can work but won't work."

These all represent commendable purposes. Private business deserves a continued "breathing spell" from political heckling in order to show what it can do in keeping the recovery
ball rolling. Every bit of taxation that can be reduced or avoided by lightening the relief load will help in this process.

A measurable return of local, neighborly and personal responsibility for the legitimate demands, of charitable aid will be far better than a continued drift into the easy and lazy courses of governmental paternalism.

Sternness must be judiciously mingled with humaneness, but in the long run it has to be remembered that only work produces goods and only the willingness to work merits their enjoyment.

Evening Huronite, Huron, South Dakota, October 31, 1935 - Editorial Page


P.S. In 1935 the country is still right smack in the middle of the Great Depression.

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