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Relief Administration figures for the total cost of relief during 1934 were $1,497,339,603 of which the Federal Government put up $1,069,333,771 or 72.3 per cent; State governments 12.6 per cent and communities 15.1. The contribution of the national government to the total expended in a state varied from 99.9 per cent in Florida to 45.7 in Rhode Island.
These two examples indicating the extremes of state dependence on Federal aid during the past year also point out correctly the attitude of the two sections of the country. While the six New England states nearly matched federal relief expenditure contributing an average of 45 per cent of all the money spent, the six Southern states, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana averaged a contribution of 3 per cent of all relief outlays.
If the argument that we can spend our way out of economic stagnation be valid, and if it is true that relief outlays such as this can be paid for when happy days return, it behooves New England communities to permit their destitute to be cared for by a method that will permit payment of the debt to be a national burden. We do not lose sight of the fact that one part of the country can not recover separately from the whole. Nor should sectional prejudice be raised at any time. But if the purchasing power of the unemployed be of such national concern as to justify such a large percentage of federal expenditure in the South and West, it is certainly unbusiness-like if patriotic for New England to go on creating, for relief expenditure a debt which it in the future must bear all alone.
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