THE subjects discussed in this book have engaged the attention of thinkers ever since man began to reflect upon the social aspects of life. The ups and downs of commerce have long engaged the study of economists and business men. Various aspects of business cycles have been explored. Efforts have been expended, and wisely, in discovering the sequence of events and causes of the ebb and flow of business. In the main, however, these efforts have been applied to strictly economic phases of the cycle. Little time has been devoted to analyzing the social consequences of business cycles. Yet these consequences are of transcendent importance. For statesmen, business men, economists, and social workers, the connection between economic conditions and the quantity of the population is important. So, also, are the problems of marriage and divorce; and death is master of all. These subjects are being discussed as never before and in everwidening circles. This book deals with the connection between these vital topics and variations in business conditions.
The writer is under obligations to many who have aided him throughout the investigation, among others to Dr. William Trufant Foster, of the Pollak Foundation for Economic Research, and to Professor Allyn A. Young, who originally suggested the expansion of the topic and who aided throughout with much advice. Professor Young is a real friend to the young generation of students in this country.