News from 17 November 1930: “we face a winter of hunger and distress”

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This excerpt comes from the blog News from 1930 which gives us a day-to-day account of what was being reported in 1930 before the worst of the Great Depression hit.

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“The unemployment situation in New York is critical. Unless it is speedily met, we face a winter of hunger and distress for families whose bread-earners are without work and without funds. The great majority of family men now unemployed are asking not for charity, but for a job. In the richest city of the world, where the vast majority are at work, it is unthinkable that anyone should be permitted to starve. The Emergency Employment Committee is composed of New York business and professional men, formed at the request of experienced welfare organizations of the city. It is raising funds which will be used by these organizations to give temporary work to heads of families and to relieve distress caused by unemployment without regard to race, creed, or color.” Followed by endorsement from Pres. Hoover and appeal for funds.

Sen. Smoot denies tariff is retarding business recovery, says it has saved thousands of jobs and helped maintain wages and preserve farm purchasing power; points out only one country has increased its tariff since US adopted revisions; says question now is whether tariff is high enough, not whether it is too high.

I find the parallels to present day frightening to say the least. Let’s hope for some serious divergence.

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