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“Interviewed on unemployment.”

This December, 1930, edition of the League for Industrial Democracy’s The Unemployed satirizes three common business perspectives on the unemployment “problem.” Diagnoses of the causes of the Great Depression varied, but many people emphasized the role of personal responsibility in ending it. President Herbert Hoover believed that federal relief would strike at “the roots of self-government” and destroy the “character” of its recipients. Only eight states had any form of unemployment compensation, and few workers received retirement pensions from employers. Worse, many relief agencies treated the poor as if their plight was the product of personal failings, and applicants for relief had to submit to humiliating interviews for tiny relief benefits.

Source: Art Young, The Unemployed, December 1930—American Social History Project.