THE QUEST FOR SECURITY
AMONG the things passionately desired by large groups of Americans are freedom of enterprise and initiative, including a man's "right to work when he wishes, where he wishes and at whatever trade he may desire," and protection against two major risks which make insecurity an ever- present threat in the lives of masses of people. The first risk is the disappearance, because the economic system as a whole gets out of balance, of the opportunity to do the work which a man has the right to do under the free enterprise system. The second is the appearance of those emergencies which form part of the life of every person and family because we are human beings who are born, fall sick, grow old and die. For these risks the free enterprise system makes the individual wholly responsible. He is free to provide against them, if he can, by thrift.
It has always been a characteristic of times of trouble and confusion that new ideas spring up and new advances are made in the field of economic thought. Our own time is no exception. Among the economists a fundamental issue has been joined about our traditional free enterprise system.
In the nineteenth century the idea was widely accepted