Boy, how things have changed in my lifetime. Not long prior to my birth, if an individual happened to get hurt at work, got fired, or the job was just lost, you were on your own. No unemployment insurance, no health care, no food stamps, only thing available might be the churches and other social networks within the country. If you got old, either you had money enough to live or your family helped or you worked until you died. The government did not have all these so called social nets to keep us from having to make due with what we had. We had a lot of poor in our country, as in the world, but those who were poor still seemed to have at least a modicum of self help and did what was necessary to exist. Yes, there were those who sold apples or pencils on the corner, but they did what they had to and gave up what they had to so they could live independently. No help from Uncle Sam, only what you and your family could do for you and your neighbors.
And speaking of neighbors, everyone who saw someone in a dire situation would immediately jump in and see what they could do to help. Many canned and did other things to preserve food of one kind or another. Joe Black is on hard times and needs help so you give him and his family some of your excess canned goods. You bake bread, so make a loaf or two more for your needy neighbor. Having a pig or cow butchered? Well, surely there will be some of that you can let your neighbor who is in need have, and you would seldom hesitate to so do. The Great Depression had started to end and World War II managed to pretty well take care of that little problem. Workers were needed badly so everyone who wanted a job got one.