Toward the Precipice
AS THE YEAR 1941 DAWNE, THE EXPERIMENTD OF ROOSEVELT HAD been under observation for eight years. There can be no dispute as to the commission he held from the people. He was not elected to substitute a new system of government and economy, to set up a socialist or fascist or communist system or any form of state-planned capitalism. His promise was to restore conditions under which the American system of free representative government and the free system of private enterprise could function at its highest efficiency.
The word "business" is well understood by our people. It refers to that collection of great and small enterprises which produce goods and services for the population. It does two things. It produces our food, our clothes, our luxuries and necessities; it provides, also, the jobs by which the people earn the income with which they can purchase these things. As Roosevelt came into power one might have supposed that business was some gigantic criminal conspiracy against the welfare of the nation. He began with a sweeping attack upon business and he kept it up until the war. Even during the war, in such moments as he could give to the subject, he was making Plans for further assaults upon business.
What the nation needed when he took office was more jobs-jobs at machines, in shops, in mines and stores creating and distributing goods that were needed and providing wages and profits with which these goods could be purchased. If there are to be jobs for all they must be jobs producing something--materials or services.
The clear call of duty to him was to lend the powers of gover-