Newstalgia Reference Room - "Do We Need Unemployment Insurance?" - a lively debate on the pros and cons of Federally subsidized Unemployment Insurance, as proposed by President Truman and debated by Secretary of Labor Maurice Tobin and Senator John W. Bricker (R-Ohio). Broadcast in January 1950.
May 15, 2012

Unemployment in 1950. Some states just couldn't deal with it, even then.

In 1950, President Truman introduced legislation that would increase the Federal subsidy on Unemployment Insurance in the U.S., guaranteeing Unemployment compensation for a full 26 weeks.

The proposal was debated and argued on the basis that the States could handle it themselves. Despite the fact that a lot couldn't, it was still argued this was a States Rights issue and the Feds had no business meddling in the affairs of what was going on locally.

One could only imagine, had the legislation not passed, what it would be like now. But in 1950 it was hotly contested.

This episode of American Forum Of The Air, from January 15, 1950 tackles that question. In support of the Truman Administration is Secretary of Labor Maurice Tobin. On the States Rights side is Senator John W. Bricker (R-Ohio).

Ironically, Ohio is now one of the states with the highest rate of unemployment, but in 1950 Sen. Bricker didn't think Ohio would need any help. How times change.

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