What we have been doing is not so much to give a picture of exploited America as to make test borings of its various strata. No one book can picture the way the 126,000,000 people of our nation live; that would take a whole library of Middletowns, and even so remarkable a study as that book presents, can only suggest what low wages, insecurity, and drab ugliness of environment, may mean to the human soul.
This we do know. In the second summer of the New Deal, if the army of those usually gainfully employed were massed in solid phalanx more than one out of every five would be unemployed. In New York, "the richest city in the richest country in the world," one out of every four of the whole population is on public relief while others make shift somehow, through their own pitiful savings or the help of their relatives, to escape starvation. The great textile strike was caused by the slavery of the stretch-out system but also because wages, in spite of some improvement under the code, still average as low as $I0 and go down to $6 and $7 a week on which no one can live in decency or comfort in the United States. And the answer of the employers is, in effect, that they can pay out no more because other employers, pleading like inability, pay so little that there is no money to purchase the goods the people want. Another school year is beginning and with a cut in appropriations already too low. But Army and Navy appropriations, twenty years after the beginning of the War to end War are