The American people have faced with courage the most severe problems of all of our modern history.
The start toward a solution of these problems had to be made seven years ago by providing the bare necessities of life—food and shelter and clothing. The American people insisted that those obligations were a concern of Government; they denied that the only solution was the poorhouse.
Your Government assumed its proper function as the working representative of the average men and women of America. And the reforms in our social structure that we have achieved these permanent reforms are your achievement.
The New Deal has been the creation of you, the American people.
You provided work for free men and women in America who could find no work.
Idle men were given the opportunity on roads to be built, homes to be erected, rivers to be harnessed, power to be made for farm and home and industry.
You used the powers of Government to stop the depletion of the top soil of America, to stop decline in farm prices, to stop foreclosures of homes and farms.
You wrote into the law the right of working men and women to bargain collectively, and you set up the machinery to enforce that right.
You turned to the problems of youth and age. You took your children out of the factory and shop and outlawed the right of anyone to exploit the labor of those children; and you gave to those children the chance to prepare in body and spirit the molding of an even fuller and brighter day for themselves. For the youth of the land you provided chances for jobs and for education. And for old age itself you provided security and rest.
You made safe the banks which held your savings. You stopped, once and for all, gambling with other people's money-money changing in the temple.
You advanced to other objectives. You gained them, you consolidated them and advanced again.