Noted for March 15, 2013
L'Esprit de l'Escalier: March 15, 2013

Did Stan Lebergott Implicitly Compare U.S. WPA Workers with Nazi German Labor Camp Inmates?

Screenshot 3 4 13 2 25 PM

Sure looks like it…


Eric Rauchway:

Louis Menand and New Deal Denialism in The New Yorker — Crooked Timber: Tyler, if you’d follow the link, you’d see, or possibly remember, that it’s Darby with whom I agree. It’s Lebergott to whose usage I object. I’ll quote him again here:

These estimates for the years prior to 1940 are intended to measure the number of persons who are totally unemployed, having no work at all. For the 1930′s this concept, however, does include one large group of persons who had both work and income from work—those on emergency work. In the United States we are concerned with measuring lack of regular work and do not minimize the total by excluding persons with made work or emergency jobs. This contrasts sharply, for example, with the German practice during the 1930′s when persons in the labor-force camps were classed as employed, and Soviet practice which includes employment in labor camps, if it includes it at all, as employment.