Working Wonders

There are 58 comments on the Hartford Courant story from Mar 8, 2009, titled Working Wonders. In it, Hartford Courant reports that:

Angelo Alderuccio, a 94-year-old retired public works employee from New Britain, might not strike everyone as an American hero.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hartford Courant.

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GreekChorus

AOL

#41 Mar 8, 2009
For what it is worth wrote:
<quoted text>
The reason why it rarely gets told is because it is fabricated from whole cloth. You realize that the unemployment rate in the spring of 1933 was 25% of the all workers and 37% of all nonfarm workers. That is upwards in the area of 13 million folks unemployed and no longer union members. The unions did not have much clout -- they now had depleted membership rolls.
Also if the unions were stifling the CCC why did the program exist from 1933 to 1942. It was the need for soldiers and workers for war production that lead to it's demise and disbandment.
And it must have been the pressure of the unions that lead congress, in 1937, to expand the age range of membership form 18-25 to 17-28. The unions must have also pressured for the dropping of the requirment that the member no longer had to be on relief. The ranks of CCC grew to nearly 600,000 by 1935.
And, it must have been against union approval that nearly 400,000 men were taught to read and write in the CCC.(which is pretty good job skill don't you think)
What skills would unions pressure against? In the 1930's the US was still almost an agricultural workforce. The CCC built roads and bridges for access into timberlands. They helped maintain over 84 million acres of drainage area vital for farming. They were used in disaster relief. They planted windbreaks for farming. They used and were taught skills for the workforce of the mid 1930s.
In 1936 a Gallup poll showed that 82% of the people were in support of the CCC -- where is the pressure from unions?
"And there were some difficult details. The attitude of the trade unions had to be considered. They were disturbed about this program [the CCC], which they feared would put all workers under a "dollar a day" regimentation merely because they were unemployed."

Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor under Franklin D. Roosevelt.

I suppose that if you're stupid enough to let a union take money out of your paycheck every week to support millionaire union bosses and their mafia buddies in a life of indolence you're stupid enough to believe what For What it is Worth wrote.
Hurley

New London, CT

#42 Mar 8, 2009
Nice attempt at a salute to the CCC.

This story is poorly researched and disorganized. Was an editor on duty?

Rocky Neck State Park did not make the list. How could that huge, empty, make work pavilion disappear?

In any case, The CCC did a nice job.

Maybe the New CCC can send some workers to Courant.
Martin

Manteno, IL

#43 Mar 8, 2009
Go Pro wrote:
Isn't this really welfare with a working component?
The 'salary' they receive is really our tax dollars; there's no company with a profit base paying them.
Are firemen all on welfare too?
HC Here

Alexandria, VA

#44 Mar 8, 2009
Cranky wrote:
<quoted text>
OK, sportsfan, by 1932, the GNP has dropped to about $58B and began climbing. By 1937, it was at $100B, which is the pre-Depression / pre-Crash level.
Now STFU and go get your GED. Having Rush Limbaugh as your source of all knowledge has left you mindless.
You left out that 1937 was the start of the second recession of the New Deal Era. You also left out the eroded dollar and hyperinflation of 1935 and 1836. What little had been achieved was lost. Unemployment never did come down from 1929 going into the War. Unemployment was 14$ pre-1937 and rose to 19% by the end of 1937, It wasn't until WWII kicked in that unemployment began.

Didn't Keith Olberman mention that part? Or were you too busy trying to solve the puzzle on Wheel of Fortune.

As for the welfare crowd, I am delighted you see yourself as one of them. Do you collect a check for doing nothin too? Are you a lazy sloth? Did you get screwed in life and now won't try to better yourself. Answered my own question by your silly references to "corporate monsters". Yep fool - every person in those big shiny buildings (except the janitor and the union electrician) wants to just screw you til you bleed, eh dude.

You cite the total welfare-related payments in terms of one welfare recipient. Take all the different services people richer than you pay for so others can sit back (welfare, housing, food stamps, utilities, remedial education, counseling, health care) AND MULTIPLY THAT BY EACH AND EVERY WELFARE RECIPIENT WHO HAS BEEN SPONGINF OFF OF OTHES SINCE L.G.J.(that's Lyndon B. Johnson, probably your firs tMessiah) and you will find that total epxenditure far exceeds $300 billion Bush ordered as part of TARP 1.

If you are so opposed to bailing out businesses, I trust you are mad at Obama for ordering TARP 2 funding, helping AIG, and helping Fannie MAe and Freddie Mac.

I bet you think every person who signed a lmortgage they now find they can't afford is a victim, so that' OK with you.

I will side with those supposedly evil corporate mosnters you are so afraid of over the welfare kings and queens any day. How many jobs did welfare queens create IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR?(That is an important differentiation because taxpayers weren't FORCED to pay those salaries fo rall the state workers to maintain the welfare folks in high style.

Why don't you go find a UAW buddy and raise a beet with him over how the world has screwed both of you.

But please go back and watch the rest of MSNBC - Keith is going to say "BUSHHHHHHED!" I know that gives you a hard on.
HC Here

Alexandria, VA

#45 Mar 8, 2009
Rick From Texas wrote:
<quoted text>
Good luck trying to explain things to HC Here.
He'll make it a race issue if you give him enough time, I've seen him do it before.
He's just another angry right wing bigot and now he's even angrier, since the right wing just jumped en masse into the toilet, the whole bunch clinging desperately to W's leaky water wings.
The neocons have done a far better job of ensuring their defeat than the liberals ever could have.
And now they're pissed and looking for someone, anyone, to blame for their failure.
I do enjoy hearing from folks like HC Here though, it's entertaining to see just how crazy crazy can get.
What can I say, I just love watching them freak out.
But hey, don't worry, I heard Rush Limbaugh's gonna save the Republican Party.
Yeah right.
Welcome back Rick. We missed you, Do you still have some of my parodies of welfare recipients archived. Re=pringting them here may reinforce the inanity of the Obama mortgage bailout plan. the Obams "stimulus" plan which has most spending beginning in 2011 and thereafter, and the simple pleasure of knowing that there is no longer a limit on how long you can collect welfare.

While you were gone, some Democrats in MIchigan woke up and realized the quadrupling of electricity costs under "Cap and Trade" could shut GM down. Sorry guys - it's good for the environment. And there was a fine woman of 60 or so who said she didn't understand an "adjustable rate mortgage" changed rates after an initial period.

I hope you took my advice and went to a KKK rally and voiced your opinions directly to some real cross burners rather than having a big hissy fit because I used ebonics in a parody. What did the KKK guys say to you? Did you win them over?
HC Here

Alexandria, VA

#46 Mar 8, 2009
HEY CRANKYl
You didn't include what the profit-to-earnings ration was in 1937 when you spewed your little rant at me earlier.

Remember, Obama said we need to focus on the profit-to-earnings ratio. So, to be fair, what was it in 1937, which you claim was so great.
Distant Observer

Virginia Beach, VA

#47 Mar 8, 2009
My grandfather worked for the CCC during the 1930's. He said it was good work for the times. I remember him mentioning a dollar a day plus a food coupon. I've also heard folks from that generation mention the WPA. It may be the right time to restart some of these programs. It's a better use of tax money than the billions of corperate welfare sent to AIG!!! I've been noticing Fox News and the NeoCons trying to rewrite history lately calling Roosevelt and the New Deal a failer. I wish they would someone like Mr. Alderuccio on their network for a real perspective instead of their usual one sided propaganda. My grandparents always spoke very highly of Roosevelt and his programs.

Since: Jul 07

Canton

#48 Mar 9, 2009
The story (though at times poorly worded and researched) tells about life during the Great Depression and the CCC, which is a very interesting story, especially for those of us who had parents growing up in those years and knew about the program or the WPA and this story provided more details.

Now, speaking to the conversation about the CCC replacing DEP staff may or may not be a real one and only time will tell. It'd be tough to lay people off from DEP positions, saying the State doesn't have the financial means to employ them, then hire people for the CCC. Perhaps the CCC will replace the DEP seasonal employees (some of whom have been "seasonal" for 5 yrs. or more) with many of those people simply changing a job title. But the cynic in me suspects that if there is a Retirement Incentive Program in the offing, those people who take it will be replaced by the CCC hires. I can't imagine that the Union who represent s the DEP employees will be thrilled at this prospect, nor should they be. It'll be interesting to see how this all unfolds, if indeed it does happen.
Konnecticut_Bett er_Yet

Norwich, CT

#49 Mar 9, 2009
Martin wrote:
<quoted text>
Are firemen all on welfare too?
Well, I'd say yes since volunteers can put out the same fire a paid fireman can.
Reality Check

East Hartford, CT

#50 Mar 9, 2009
Konnecticut_Better_Yet wrote:
<quoted text>
So who's hiring? Seriously.
I would check the union halls! All trades, carpenters, laborers, operators.
Distant observer

Moscow, Russia

#51 Mar 9, 2009
Konnecticut_Better_Yet wrote:
<quoted text>
Well, I'd say yes since volunteers can put out the same fire a paid fireman can.
I'm a soldier in Iraq. The government pays my salary. Does that make me a welfare receiptiant also by your mentality?

Since: Mar 09

Wallingford, CT

#52 Mar 9, 2009
GreekChorus wrote:
<quoted text>
"And there were some difficult details. The attitude of the trade unions had to be considered. They were disturbed about this program [the CCC], which they feared would put all workers under a "dollar a day" regimentation merely because they were unemployed."
Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor under Franklin D. Roosevelt.
I suppose that if you're stupid enough to let a union take money out of your paycheck every week to support millionaire union bosses and their mafia buddies in a life of indolence you're stupid enough to believe what For What it is Worth wrote.
Facts and context are two words some should remember before they start to rewrite or spin history

Unions raised concerns about the CCC after the plan was announced by FDR in 1933. FDR took their concerns under advisement for about a minute (if that long) FDR knew that he had to get farmers farming again. He knew that nothing was keeping the soil in it's place. The Great Dust Storms started in 1930. Windbreaks needed to be built and drainage need to be attended to. If farmers were not bring larder to the market the country was going to fall quickly back to a developing country --not a country on the verge of becoming a dominant world power.(The military raised concerns because they were going to be tasked to get the labor pool from east to the worksites which were predominately in the west)

The plan was never changed by any union pressure. FDR envisioned it as peactime army that would help solve the problems of erosion and destruction of natural resources. And the CCC stayed that way until 1942.
wojar

Southington, CT

#53 Mar 9, 2009
JAJ wrote:
<quoted text>
Not exactly welfare...but governments are huge "non profit" organizations...employees don't make money directly for anyone ...
So all organizations must be "for profit" to be legitimate?
lnm

Albany, NY

#54 Mar 9, 2009
Konnecticut_Better_Yet wrote:
<quoted text>
Well, I'd say yes since volunteers can put out the same fire a paid fireman can.
Do you know this to be true from your service as a volunteer fire fighter?
wojar

Southington, CT

#55 Mar 9, 2009
Do-Right wrote:
Never gonna, happen, Kids.....no skills, no ambiton.....those 1930's guys, were workers, without work.....todays slackers, are just that, lazy slackers.....
I know people with skills and ambition, but who are over 50, and they are not seriously considered.

So that makes them slackers?

“Hang up the Phone in the Zone!”

Since: Nov 07

United States

#56 Mar 9, 2009
Distant observer wrote:
<quoted text>I'm a soldier in Iraq. The government pays my salary. Does that make me a welfare receiptiant also by your mentality?
Hoorah, Go army beat navy!

Thank you for your service to our great nation!!!
bam bam

Manchester, CT

#57 Mar 21, 2009
"More than 75 years after the CCC was created as the first plank of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, as both the new Obama administration and Gov. M. Jodi Rell consider reviving the program to meet our own hard times, the accomplishments of FDR's "Tree Army" seem staggering."

That's because you'd never get a modern "Tree Army" to camp out in the woods for meager wages. They'd all be whining about not sleeping in a bed, or getting union wages. The unions would raise a huge stink that they weren't getting the work, and the lawyers would be suing for inhumane working conditions. The days of the CCC working & sleeping in the woods are long gone, never to return.
Terrie Zawasky

Crownsville, MD

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