America Must Choose: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Nationalism, of World Trade, and of a Planned Middle Course

America Must Choose: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Nationalism, of World Trade, and of a Planned Middle Course

America Must Choose: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Nationalism, of World Trade, and of a Planned Middle Course

America Must Choose: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Nationalism, of World Trade, and of a Planned Middle Course

Excerpt

Youth is greedy and not much given to reflection. When hurt, the child bawls; then, smiling through tears, reaches hopefully for the first offered toy or cooky. Young persons or nations display characteristically a gusty temper, passing quickly into an ignorant hopefulness, an expansive optimism, which at its proper time of life is charming. But for a nation come of age to persist in infantile attitudes and habits of mind is unsuitable and perilous.

During the recent war period certain things happened which made it certain that the United States would never go back completely to the old happy individual sort of thing which had marked our expansion as a nation. If during the postwar years of "normalcy" we had made certain adjustments, we might possibly have regained some measure of that happy individualism. But we did not do so, and now we are fated for grave adjustments, with no chance to turn back.

Much as we all dislike them, the new types of social control that we have now in operation are here to stay, and to grow on a world or national scale. We shall have to go on doing all these things we do not want to do. The farmer dislikes production control instinctively. He does not like to see land idle and people hungry. The carriers dislike production control because it cuts down loadings. The processors dislike it because of the processing tax. The consumer dislikes it because it adds to the price of food. Practically the entire population dislikes our basic program of controlling farm production; and they will do away with it unless we can reach the common intelligence and show the need of continuing to plan. We must show that need of continuing if we are to save in some part the institutions which we prize.

Enormously difficult adjustments confront us, whatever path we take. There are at least three paths: internationalism, nationalism and a planned middle course. We cannot take the path of internationalism unless we stand ready to import nearly a billion dollars more goods than we did in 1929. What tariffs should we lower? What goods shall we import? Which goods? Tariff adjustments involve . . .

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