Unheard of, especially in this day and age.
“Darling, I can’t stand this any longer,” he said to Mae. “It just tears my heart into little bits to see you and the babies suffering for want of food and clothing. I’m going over to the relief bureau and see if they can’t make us a loan until I can get something to do.” That was late 1932.
“Excuse me, sir, you want to do what?” “I’m here to pay back my loan.” “What loan?” “Sometime back I came here, as I was down and out. My wife and babies had no food and me, no job. You, this office, gave me some money for a period of time; you gave me relief. Now I am here to pay you back.” “But sir, you don’t pay back that money, that was money given to you by the government to help you through the hard times.” “OK, then I am here to pay the government, or whoever, back.” And he did.
In my opinion James Braddock did two very unusual things. He defeated an existing world boxing champion, Max Baer in 1932 when all odds, ten to one, were against him. But even more impressive to me, during the time of this country’s Great Depression, he did the last thing he wanted to do; he took relief money, welfare. Then, when he won his next fight he went to that same office and paid back the money given him. He was a champion in more than one category.
(James Braddock 1933)
I recently read that today, 2013, in eleven states, there are more people receiving government support than people who are working in that state. One does not have to be very smart to see the outcome of that picture if that continues.
June 1, 2013