Sunday, March 8, 2015

WPA Sculptures for Illinois: An example of what can happen when opportunities overpower insults

Above: The description for this undated WPA photo reads, "Illinois sculptors create works for schools, playgrounds and parks." It's hard to imagine something like this happening today, given the extreme cynicism that many of our politicians and opinion-makers have towards unemployed and low-income Americans. Indeed, instead of discussions about public job programs (like the one above), you're more likely to hear today's politicians, pundits, and radio show hosts scold those in need, calling them "parasites," "takers," "moochers," "lazy pigs," and "wild animals" - or perhaps even recommending that some of them should be sterilized. As for me, I'd prefer the sculptures, infrastructure work, historic preservation, park development, and so on, that a public employment program could produce. What about you? Photo courtesy of the National Archives and the New Deal Network.

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