"In a statement for the month of December, President Green of the Federation of Labor placed the number of unemployed at about 5,000,000; estimated that incomes of wage earners had declined over $6,000,000,000 in the past year and said about 50 percent of trade union members had had to lower their standard of living because of lowered incomes."
Unlike the CCC, WPA, CWA, or DRA, you can type FCA.gov into a search engine and actually make contact with one of FDR's multiple alphabet agencies. This 1937 article will tell you why it came into being - but it won't tell you why the agency wasn't done away with during any of the decades of plenty that followed.
In the Spring of 1935, as the world slipped deeper and deeper into the muck of the Great Depression, journalist Cedric Fowler noticed that both governments state and Federal were introducing legislation that was designed to muzzle free-speech and make the deportation of foreign radicals far easier. At first he thought it was a result of the spread of Fascism across the globe - and it had finally reached our shores. He also considered the possibility that the elected classes, realizing that they were unable to reduce the destruction of the Depression, felt emasculated and invigorated by picking on the radical minority. Either way, he feared for the nations future.
I always knew that I would one day find a reminiscence of the Great Depression - what I didn't expect is finding it in a magazine from 1937. As mentioned in another part of this site, 1937 saw some measure of economic recovery (until it didn't) and this reminiscence was penned by a fellow who wanted so badly to believe that the whole thing was finally over. He wished so earnestly that the Depression had ended that he listed just what he was missing about it already. Little did he know he had three more years to go.
A quick read about the return of prosperity by economist turned journalist Ralph Robey:
"Majority opinion among government economists at present, according to all reports, is that the current decline of business has another six or eight weeks to run and then there will be an about-face which will start us on an upgrade that by the end of the year will wipe out all the recent losses and bring production back to the high level of the final quarter of last year."
In 1940, when a defense plant moved into the Gulfport town of Freeport, Texas, the Great Depression came to a screeching halt. Within three months their population shot up from 3,100 to a whopping 7,500, and the economic blessing was not simply confined to that one region:
"In Corpus Christi they have a nice little plum in the form of a $25,000,000 naval air base. Houston is getting a $2,000,000 refurbishing of Ellington Field. Randolph Field at San Antonio is getting a costly going over."
Life in Freeport was good. When a local shoeshine lad had found that his pockets were flush with cash after three day's labor, he exclaimed -
"We're in high cotton now!"
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