Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Little Flower: still current today

With  all of the starchy resistance by Republicans to extension of unemployment benefits,  I ran across this heartfelt blast  from Fiorella LaGuardia during the Depression as quoted in Arthur Mann's  lively portrait, La Guardia A Fighter against his times (1959).  Reacting in 1931 to President Hoover's opposition to government assistance, the Little Flower  boomed (as only he could): :

"Dole! Dole! Dole! ...That is all that one hears at every discussion of an unemployment insurance plan...What is there so novel and radical about it?'

 He added that if Americans can insure themselves against fire,  theft,  assault, hurricanes, death and the like, then why shouldn't they, like every advanced country in Europe, insure themselves against the hazards of industry?

"The needy," he said, "are not interested in words.  They want food, clothing and shelter."

Anybody want to argue with that?

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