Scapegoating Trump for the Puerto Rico debacle vs. our collective and decades-long betrayal of the New Deal
For example, we've decided, very naively, that we don't need the unions the New Deal protected because owners, managers, and CEO's will look after us, out of the kindness of their hearts. The results of that decision? Stagnant wages, reduced benefits, and more precarious retirements. We've also decided, very stupidly, that we don't need to pay much attention to our infrastructure. The results of that decision? Millions of children drinking lead-contaminated water out of crumbling water mains, connection lines, and plumbing, and a quarter of a million water main breaks every year. We've also decided, very myopically, that a new and permanent WPA, CCC, and NYA are not necessary. Instead, tens of millions of us believe that private sector "entrepreneurs," "innovators," and "job creators" will employ everyone who wants a job; that there is no such thing as market failure, and that anyone who doesn't have a job must be a lazy S.O.B. The results of that decision and belief? Shattered finances, broken families, mass incarceration, and rising rates of suicide.
The following is from the Final Report of the National Youth Administration, 1936-1943, p. 142. Compare it to the needs and problems of post-storm Puerto Rico, for example, washed out bridges, no drinking water, lack of fuel, communication problems, etc.:
"Types of work done by NYA youth during such flood emergencies as the Ohio River flood in 1937 included rescue of families and stock from flood waters; evacuation of families from endangered areas; making and distributing clothing, hospital garments, and bedding for flood refugees; cooking, preparing, serving, and distributing food to refugees in emergency flood stations; assisting in emergency health stations, clinics and hospitals; assisting Red Cross, county and city health and welfare departments, and other agencies in clerical work; providing messenger service to community agencies engaged in relief work; recreational work in refugee centers [especially valuable for young, traumatized children]; repairing cars and boats used in flood relief; taking charge of registration in health clinics and commissaries; making boats; cleaning city streets and public buildings; repairing public records and public library books damaged by floods; transporting food, fuel, and clothing for refugees; cleaning and sterilizing quarters used by Red Cross and the refugees; constructing temporary offices, walks, roads, bridges; constructing and equipping refugee centers; assisting in cleaning and repairing water mains and emergency telephone lines."