Peter Christ’s Nov. 28 letter, “Return to programs like WPA,” implores Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, to follow FDR’s example of creating jobs. But data show that stimulus plans then, just like stimulus plans now, do not create the permanent jobs our region needs.
According to the American Federation of Labor, when FDR was elected in 1932 there were 11.3 million people unemployed and 1.7 million people on relief. Seven years later in 1939 after two failed “New Deals,” there were still roughly 11.3 million people unemployed and the ranks of those on public assistance had swollen to 19.6 million, an increase of more than 1,000 percent.
With the stimulus plan of 2009, Americans were told that unemployment wouldn’t go higher than 8 percent, yet national unemployment has hovered near 10 percent and Clark County has consistently been more than 12 percent. Herrera Beutler’s claim that money-for-work jobs will not fix the economy is correct and is borne out by history. She understands that a free market system that allows private businesses to thrive is the only longterm solution for our country’s current economic situation.
I thank her for fighting for the working class.