Friday, January 8, 2016

Aubrey Williams defends the WPA against bankers

(Aubrey Williams, deputy administrator of the WPA, and head of the National Youth Administration. Photo courtesy of the FDR Presidential Library and Museum.)

In 1937, some bankers criticized the WPA as wasteful government spending. Aubrey Williams, deputy administrator of the WPA, said: "They did not deplore the government lending the banks $5,000,000,000 or $6,000,000,000, when 2,300 of their number defaulted with the savings and deposits of their then trusting but now disillusioned depositors," and said that America had turned away from "the bitter viewpoint of accepting as the fixed scheme of existence that the good things of life were not meant for the many, but were reserved for the few." ("Says WPA Must Go On: Williams, Aide to Hopkins, Strikes at Banker Critics of Spending," New York Times, October 17, 1937.)

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