October 31, 1936 - Editorial - Are You Ready for the Question?, by George Lorimer
Reduced to its simplest terms, this question is now before every voter: Do I want the Government to regulate my affairs and to regiment and run the business of the country?
The voter should consider how recent tendencies and acts have affected him personally, and decide just which of our major problems, the New Deal has solved. It has not solved the unemployment problem - in fact, it bids fair to make unemployment a vested interest. It has not solved the farm problem, unless limiting production and flooding the country with foreign farm products that we should be raising ourselves can be called a solution. Today, we are a wheat-raising country importing wheat; a corn-raising country importing corn; a dairying country importing butter; a stock-raising country importing cattle, and so on down a long list of farm products. Some of this is due to the drought, but a good deal of it goes back to plow-under subsidies, when the small farmers who needed them most were getting least, while the big benefits, up to a million dollars or more, went to the big-time farmers and corporations.
The New Deal has not solved the problem of balancing the budget, unless burdensome taxation, with the certainty of more to come if the present high-powered spending continues, can be called a solution.
The New Deal has not solved the problems of the investor, unless a cut from a half to a third on the return from his savings can be called a solution. Today, he is getting on an average 2 instead of 4 per cent, paid in 60¢ dollars - a miracle in reverse - turning wine into water - on his savings-bank account; he is getting from a half to a third less interest, paid in 60¢ dollars, when he reinvests the proceeds of his called or matured bonds, provided he wants new bonds of equal security; and he has been receiving smaller dividends, paid in 60¢ dollars, from his insurance policies. When all is said and done, capital is worth what it can earn, and if the yield on a man's or corporation's holdings is trimmed down from 4 to 2 per cent, his capital has, for all practical purposes, been cut in half as the lower rate holds. There are compensations in the low interest rate for the Government and the corporations, but for the first it has largely meant more money to spend on panaceas and experiments; and for the second, more money for its common stockholders.
About the only problems that the New Deal has solved are political problems: How to keep more politicians on the pay roll than ever before in the history of the country; how to build up a national political machine at the expense of the taxpayers; how to cover up the wrecking of the civil service with pious phrases; and how to break all world records for spending. (pg. 22)