America Must Act

America Must Act

America Must Act

America Must Act


The cry of "America for the Americans" fires the imagination. It readily lends itself to eloquent bursts of political oratory. So disastrous to the United States have been the consequences of the breakdown of international trade and of our loss of foreign markets that many are seriously questioning the advisability of continued dependence upon foreign trade. They propose a policy of economic self-sufficiency.


The growing movement for such a policy is one to be reckoned with. Economic self-sufficiency appeals to men's reason as a plausible means of making American business secure against foreign disturbances and against arbitrary measures over which we have no control. It commands the powerful support of influential groups of domestic producers who seek freedom from foreign competition. What, they ask, has America, with its matchless riches and widely diversified resources, to gain by promoting a foreign trade which serves only to place it at the mercy of hostile foreign policies and alien intrigues?

With nothing to oppose it except cold logic based upon an expert comprehension of complex economic laws and comparatively obscure business relations, economic nationalism is today sweeping the world like a prairie fire. Since the depression, this policy is urged with a fervor and with an insistence unparalleled in recent history. The evident sincerity and conviction of many of its advocates compel its earnest consideration.


All but the most extreme of the economic nationalists would admit that in spite of the diversity of our resources any sweeping program of complete economic self-sufficiency is impossible in the world of fact.

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