FEDERAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR
MEETING RELIEF NEEDS
THE FEDERAL government, especially since 1933, has accepted more or less responsibility for aiding needy persons of many types. While disclaiming responsibility for certain kinds of need, it claims to have assumed a special degree of responsibility for aiding needy persons who are employable. Yet, the federal government has neither met effectively the need of the employable unemployed nor has it maintained a completely aloof attitude toward relief needs for which it has disavowed responsibility.1
ASPECT OF THE CHANGING ROLE OF THE FEDERAL
Federal responsibility for relief cannot properly beunderstood apart from consideration of the increasingly important role of the national government in a number of fields which vitally affect the American people. As Aubrey Williams once stated, the development of a national program of public work for the unemployed was but one result of the belief that, since our economy is national in character, problems growing out of that economy should be solved by federal action.
The recent growth in the importance of the federal government, so greatly accelerated during the 1930's, got its start soon after this nation was founded.2____________________