We hear the phrase “the greatest recession since the Great Depression.” There is a big difference between these two times.
And we know this, for we are the generation of the 1920s and 1930s (yes, we’re still here, although our numbers drop daily), and we remember because we lived it! We survived without food stamps, unemployment checks, free medical, low-cost housing or free lunches for our children.
How could that happen? We worked! We took agricultural jobs and any type of work. We shovel-spaded our gardens and sent our children to school after a breakfast and with a sack lunch. Gas was rationed, no home gyms; walking kept us in shape. We survived the Great Depression and won World War II.
Tom Brokaw honored us in his book “The Greatest Generation,” and praised us for our hard work, sacrifices and mostly for our self-reliance.
Now we hear that 46 million people are on food stamps, and 47 percent do not pay federal income taxes! The biggest difference between the entitlement programs that started during the Roosevelt administration (the CCC, WPA, NYA, etc.: with those programs, any able-bodied person had to work! We’re now giving entitlements to people who are physically able, but not required to work.
One might wonder how the pioneers crossed the country without handouts.