Economic and Social Security
Early in 1934 Harry Hopkins began formulating a new program for the nation’s unemployed. He emphasized the importance of work, not only as a relief measure but as an integral part of the national recovery effort. Direct relief was no curative for the individual or for the nation, he declared, and the government had to “stop pouring relief into an unfillable void.” The unemployed needed the opportunity to work for wages and industry needed consumer dollars. He admitted that government jobs programs were expensive, but direct relief was “repugnant” and took an enormous toll on the nation’s psyche. The cost of assuring workers a job became irrelevant when measured against the survival of American ideals.1 Hopkins was convinced that a permanent, national program of employment assurance, working in concert with unemployment insurance, would lead to economic recovery for the nation, ensure real security for American families, and preserve the nation’s democratic values. All he needed was the right occasion to talk it over with the president and he was sure he could convince him of the efficacy of his plan. Many months passed before he found this opportunity.
KeywordsDepression Europe American Ideal Income Assure
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- 6.See Basil Rauch, The History of the New Deal, 1933–1938 (New York: Creative Age Press, 1944), 156–159, for a discussion of this policy.Google Scholar
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