Richard Nixon gets it

Full employment should be the standard.

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We should take no comfort from the fact that the level of unemployment in this transition from a wartime to a peacetime economy is lower than in any peacetime year of the sixties.

This is not good enough for the man who is unemployed… We must do better for workers in peacetime and we will do better.

[…]

I ask the Congress to accept… the concept of a full employment budget.

Richard Nixon: 1971 Annual Message to the Congress on the State of the Union

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For me, this speech is the clearest demonstration of what 40 years means in terms of national priorities and the general mindset. This is not the guiding ethos of today.

Nixon said a lot more in his statement than this, but I have stripped it to its essence to demonstrate the intent behind his comments. He was saying that low employment is not enough. Full employment should be the standard.

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