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"For the Softies" editorial from the Greenfield Recorder-Gazette newspaper reprinted from The Holyoke Transcript
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The New Deal's work relief programs were very popular during the Great Depression but they did have their critics. They were frequently attacked as useless "made work," leaf-raking," or "boondoggles." They were also criticized as political, providing jobs for those who supported the New Deal and the Democratic Party. Here, the Holyoke Transcript recounts the story of a local farmer who tries to find a "hired hand" among the city's unemployed. Although he offers $30 per month with room and board, no one wants the job. The Transcript blames the New Deal's work relief program, the WPA, for providing "soft jobs" (easy work) at higher pay. Such programs, it is claimed, lead to "the deterioration of the fibre of American Manhood."
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