Sunday, June 15, 2014

The WPA and Father's Day

(The description for this photograph reads, "Mr. Amos Asoian, Armenian of West Andover, Massachusetts, works as a truck driver on WPA (Work Projects Administration) and helps his family on their small vegetable farm." Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.)

One can only imagine the pain of a father who is unemployed, especially on Father's Day. During the New Deal, policymakers tried to provide dignity through useful jobs in the WPA (and other work programs) for those who wanted them. Today, on the other hand, unemployed fathers don't have a WPA to apply to. But they do have an endless torrent of insults coming from those on the political right who are eager to demonize them as "lazy" and "takers" (thereby making it even harder for them to find jobs). Hopefully, someday, we'll return to an era of opportunities instead of insults. 

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