Originally posted by twhitehead
Whenever someone invokes 'tradition' they are lacking a better argument. There is no genuine reason for following tradition other than the often false belief that people knew something you don't when they started the tradition.
As for his other claims, lets see the evidence he refers to rather than taking his word for it (the word of a politician with a political agenda isn't worth much).
FDR is citing a tedious and unquestioned mantra of the Liberal tradition.
The question is why does FDR say this - in support of what policy proposals?
Neoliberals would think it was an attack on welfare programmes. Their solution to welfare dependency (which they represent in terms that are typically false) is to cancel welfare payments and let people suffer, as though their poverty is their fault.
I suspect without even looking into the source (I know it is a risk) that FDR is saying this in support of a programme of work creation, including some types of work (clearing the new national parks I think was one hobby horse of his) which do not result in a direct profit for capitalist owners or shareholders.
It is not necessary or reasonable to starve the poor until they will work as slaves. It is necessary to invest them into work, so that they can live with dignity.
It is the rich who are idle - they can afford to be. The poor struggle to live.