Every politician seems to agree that this country needs jobs. Both Democrats and Republicans seem to agree. Jobs, jobs, jobs! They chant. Yet no jobs seem coming. Nobody seems to know how to create jobs. American corporations are sitting on trillions of dollars but will not spend any of it to create jobs. Not surprising because corporations is in the business of creating profits for their shareholders. Spending money to hire people cost money and they are not in the business to spend money that might reduce their profits. That is the capitalist way. The United States Supreme Court may think corporations are people just like you and I, but corporations do not have patriotic allegiances to the United States. Capitalism has nothing to do with patriotism, only profits.
How are we going to create jobs, the politicians ask. Tons of bailouts and stimulus funds may have helped banks, Wall Street, automakers, and the like, but did not help the working people of this country, which is the backbone of this country. Trickle down from the Republican Party’s “job creators” has not trickled down to working people regardless of what Ronald Reagan and their party contend.
Not enough has trickled down to working people to allow them to afford to live, keep their homes, or care for their families. Trickle down does not and has not worked.
I do not understand why these politicians or even why President Barack Obama has not remembered what did work during the Great Depression. I do not understand many things. Perhaps it is simply because they were not alive during those days.
However, I do remember the Great Depression. Born in 1933, I was raised on a farm in Oklahoma. The high school I attended, Moss High School, was built during those depression years. It was built of stones among which proclaimed the building the school was built by the Work Projects Administration (WPA). So were our gym, and our outdoor privy and coal bin. [See WPA]
The WPA built parks, public buildings, roads and bridges we crossed, and numerous other public projects. My school was a rural school. The school’s district was located in an area of family farms. (Corporate farming was unheard of in those days; they have replaced most family farms in this “modern” age.) Those of us that attended that school lived on those family farms, some as owners, and others as sharecroppers. The WPA benefitted rural and western areas of the United States.
The WPA came about during the tenure of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a Democrat, can you believe. Unemployment during the Great Depression was rampant nationwide, just like now, only worse. If you have ever read the book or seen the movie, The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck, told of those depression years, the Great Dust Bowl, and the migration of millions of Okies, Arkies and others that fled from their homes to travel the now old Route 66 to California looking for work. Hobos rode the freight trains traveling to California seeking work. I personally know families that made that migration to work in the farm fields of California doing farm labor, following the crops.
The WPA hired millions of unskilled workers. Between 1935 and 1943, the WPA provided almost eight million jobs. [See Colorado Archives]
The cost of the WPA program cost a whole lot less than the cost of Bush’s borrowing of money to pay for the invasion, war, and occupation of Iraq. To my knowledge, the cost of the WPA did not harm a single human being. Americans were not killed. Innocent civilians were not killed. Nothing was destroyed. On the contrary, things were constructed. People had jobs.
I know that the Republican Party is paranoid about government, socialism, and all that. I also know that working Republicans need jobs too. The Republican Party seems determined to convert what we know as the American Government into a private enterprise for the corporate “job creators” to run. That will not work. Maybe another WPA will.Tweet