FDR

On Unemployment And Public Policy

“To those who say that our expenditures for Public Works and other means for recovery are a waste that we cannot afford, I answer that no country, however rich, can afford the waste of its human resources. Demoralization caused by vast unemployment is our greatest extravagance. Morally, it is the greatest menace to our social order. Some people try to tell me that we must make up our minds that for the future we shall permanently have millions of unemployed just as other countries have had them for over a decade. What may be necessary for those countries is not my responsibility to determine. But as for this country, I stand or fall by my refusal to accept as a necessary condition of our future a permanent army of unemployed. On the contrary, we must make it a national principle that we will not tolerate a large army of unemployed and that we will arrange our national economy to end our present unemployment as soon as we can and then to take wise measures against its return. I do not want to think that it is the destiny of any American to remain permanently on relief rolls.”

Via Brad DeLong.

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One Response to “FDR”

  1. I think any nation that refuses to help its poor and needy really needs to examine what the idea of a nation is. It should be more than just an area of land that a lot of people happen to have been born in. It should be a collective enterprise for the betterment of all its citizens, or it’s just the geographical boundary of a winner-takes-all social-darwinian struggle for existence.

    Blimey, that looks kinda pompous of me… :-)

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