Finally got around to watching and listening to some political rhetoric at the DNC last night. Glad I did. My favorite line came from Joe Biden not Barak Obama. During his speech, Vice-President Biden reminded us that "A job is a lot more than a paycheck, it's about dignity, it's about respect". This cuts to the core of the problems facing our country today. Unemployment fosters a deterioration of values. Not only because it does not put food on the table but because it eats away at one's self respect. Without self respect there can be no dignity. Without dignity there cannot be a gentle society.
Neither party thus far has committed to concrete programs for putting people back to work and that's too bad. Everyone should get up in the morning feeling like a productive member of society. Would that someone would come forward with an aggressive program such as FDR's Works Project Administration (WPA). The WPA was the largest and most ambitious New Deal agency, employing millions of unskilled workers to carry out public works projects including the construction of public buildings and roads.
I remember my father coming home after a days work with a pick and shovel at the height of the Great Depression. I remember him coming home with soiled clothes and frozen ears. The WPA had provided him with work. In spite of all the cruel remarks and jokes made about someone working for the WPA, the WPA had provided dignity for him as well as work. Dignity working with a pick and shovel? Of course - he was improving his country's infrastructure. More importantly, he was earning the respect of his family.