Saturday, March 9, 2013


It was on this day in 1933 that newly inaugurated President Franklin D. Roosevelt called a special session of Congress and began the first hundred days of enacting his New Deal legislation. For the next several months, bills were passed almost daily, beginning with the Emergency Banking Act, followed by federal programs such as the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Public Works Administration, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

As part of the New Deal's cultural programs, grouped together as Federal One, the Roosevelt administration created the Federal Writers' Project, which employed more than 6,600 out-of-work writers, editors, and researchers — among them Zora Neale Hurston, John Cheever, Saul Bellow, Richard Wright, Studs Terkel, and Ralph Ellison — and paid them subsistence wages of around $20 a week. The main occupation of the Federal Writers' Project was the American Guides Series. There was an American Guide for each of the existing states of the time, as well as Alaska, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and several major cities and highways. Not mere travel guidebooks, they were also collections of essays on various subjects from geography and history to architecture and commerce.
Perhaps not these same programs, but the country needs similar stimulus to put people back to work, help them pay their bills, and put money in their pockets to buy stuff, all of which will help the economy recover.  Plus, our infrastructure is in dire needs of repair.  All the programs mentioned above left behind positive legacies.

The stock market is booming, and corporations are making record profits, but poverty in the country grows and grows.  Something is wrong with this picture, and austerity is not the answer, nor is the deficit a major concern at this time.  Those who constantly bray about reducing the deficit do not live in the real world.  If the economy recovers, the deficit will fall.

The present Republican Party is using the deficit as an excuse to meet their goal, which is to destroy social welfare programs in the country.  Of course, when their own areas are in need of federal help, the Republican politicians are first in the begging line.


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