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Alberto Veronese

Who's Going to Pay for All That?

301 views 2 years ago
Edited Extracts form Historical Film Footage. Between 1933 and 1940.

Harry Lloyd Hopkins, Secretary of Commerce, was President Roosevelt's adviser and federal relief administer (1938--1940).

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States (1933--1945).

The Purposes and Foundations of the Recovery - Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jul 24, 1933
[...] If all employers will act together to shorten hours and raise wages we can put people back to work[...]

Over 90% of the people employed by the Hopkins programs were unemployed or on relief.

FERA (the largest program from 1933 to 1935 Federal Emergency Relief Administration) involved giving money to localities to operate work relief projects to employ those on direct relief.

The CWA (Civil Works Administration) in less than four months, the CWA hired four million people, and during its five months of operation, the CWA built and repaired 200 swimming pools, 3,700 playgrounds, 40,000 schools, 250,000 miles (400,000 km) of road, and 12 million feet of sewer pipe.

The WPA (Works Progress Administration followed the CWA) employed 8.5 million people in its seven-year history, working on 1.4 million projects, including the building or repair of 103 golf courses, 1,000 airports, 2,500 hospitals, 2,500 sports stadiums, 3,900 schools, 8,192 parks, 12,800 playgrounds, 124,031 bridges, 125,110 public buildings, and 651,087 miles (1,047,823 km) of highways and roads.

[...] Look at this great university. Look at these fields, these forests and rivers. This is America, the richest country in the world. We can afford to pay for anything we want. And we want a decent life for all the people in this country. And we are going to pay for it. (Harry Lloyd Hopkins, 1935)

Harry Hopkins brought with him to the White House the conviction that the ultimate responsibility for the welfare of citizens lay with the federal government.

"There is no need for any American ... to be reduced by the bondage of [unemployment and poverty] into either political or economic impotence"

Despite the amount of power Hopkins wielded in the White House, his particular blueprint for the American welfare state did not make it past the drawing board; his plan for a permanent government job assurance program did not become part of the Social Security Act.

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Uploaded on Aug 9, 2010

Archival footage from the FDR Presidential Library public domain.
fdr.archives.gov / public.resource.org
NLR 201-401-1-2 / NLR 201-29-5 / NLR 201-30-1 Show less
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