Many people think this famous FDR quote came during the war. But actually, it was a line from his first inaugural address in 1932. The fear to which he was referring was the panic that had gripped the nation over the onset of the Great Depression.
During his speech, he also said this: “Our greatest primary task is to put people to work. This is no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously. It can be accomplished in part by direct recruiting by the Government itself, treating the task as we would treat the emergency of a war, but at the same time, through this employment, accomplishing greatly needed projects.”
While I appreciate the federal government’s rapid response to the economic exigencies caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, it seems to me we might spend some of those trillions of dollars getting serious about repairing our nation’s crumbling infrastructure or opening a factory to build 100,000 extra ventilators in case we need them or building homeless shelters or just picking up the trash on our streets.
Just as in 1932, there is plenty of work to be done in this country. And there are plenty of Americans willing to do it.