Wednesday, we wrote about how trash is spoiling our beautiful landscape in Newton County. We suggested numerous ideas on how to get it done, but we had one of our kind readers point out that asking people who were not working and who were collecting unemployment checks was unkind.
We are sure some other folks felt the same.
President Franklin Roosevelt back in the throes of the Great Depression created an alphabet soup of social programs. Many people over the years have given him credit for pulling us out of that depression by creating jobs and work programs and nationalizing relief efforts.
We now know that most of the programs not only did not pull us out of the Great Depression, but set us on the path of a social welfare state that runs unabated to this day.
But there were two programs that worked exactly like they were supposed to, the Works Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps. We still enjoy the benefits of their success.
These programs gave out-of-work people a chance to earn a living in order to support their families.
They worked because the unemployed people had a pride that motivated them to work for the money they were to receive.
The CCC and WPA work groups built highways, parks and dams. Hard Labor Creek State Park in nearby Morgan County is an example of the hard work of the CCC.
We are glad that there is a safety net set up for unemployed Americans today; we don't agree that it should be set up for 99 weeks, nor do we believe that checks should be given to people for doing nothing in return.
The American way is that you work for what you earn. It's only fair and it is the principal on which this country was built.
We see nothing wrong with requiring those who are unemployed to perform civic service or manual work like picking up trash from our county roads as a condition for receiving a check from the state.
It's the American way. It reflects the pride of our grandfathers and great grandfathers, and we need to re-capture more of that pride today.