These times are troubled times for the global economy and USA. In the United States the main challenge is neither greedy banks nor competition from China, but the underlying fear that prevails the society and economy. This country is built on everything but fear; bravery, boldness, passion, and energy. What Franklin D. Roosevelt, almost 80 years ago, depicted as a worst-case scenario is nevertheless sneaking into the streets and minds of people: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” (FDR, 1932). The most important job of the American Jobs Act is to remove fear. The most sustainable way to remove fear is to provide people with good and secure jobs.
These are not new thoughts. Nor is it the first time USA experiences a troubled economy. USA and the global economy will certainly overcome the current downturn, if only our contemporary politicians learn from the proven wisdom of earlier leaders. In an address, delivered by radio from The White House, Sunday September 30th, 1934, President Roosevelt spoke: “To those who say that our expenditures for Public Works and other means for recovery are a waste that we cannot afford, I answer that…
… no country, however rich, can afford the waste of its human resources. Demoralization caused by vast unemployment is our greatest extravagance. Morally, it is the greatest menace to our social order.” (F.D. Roosevelt, 1934)
This quote is engraved in a wall at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial at the Tidal Bassin in D.C.:
The popular President continued: “(…) But as for this country, I stand or fall by my refusal to accept as a necessary condition of our future a permanent army of unemployed. On the contrary, we must make it a national principle that we will not tolerate a large army of unemployed and that we will arrange our national economy to end our present unemployment as soon as we can and then to take wise measures against its return. I do not want to think that it is the destiny of any American to remain permanently on relief rolls.”
These quotes are backing why Congress should pass the proposed American Jobs Act. Not because it necessarily is the most brilliant answer to all challenges in the USA. But because it involves doing something, creating jobs and removing fear among many. Once again “the intervention of that organized control which we call government seems necessary” (FDR, 1934).