April 6, 1935 - Editorial - Can We Take It?, by George Lorimer
Under present conditions, anyone who criticizes, even mildly and tentatively, the many confused experiments now under way in placed in the position of being a defender of an unjust and outworn economic system. He is reminded that wealth is very unevenly distributed, that many millions of people are close to or below the poverty line, and the demand is made that he express himself constructively.
1. There is a fundamental error in thinking of present difficulties solely in terms of a particular economic order, or even as economic manifestations only. The American people are paying the price of a long series of social and political, as well as economic blunders. In the nation's capital, the city of Washington, one quarter of the population is Negro, but three-quarters of the relief cases are of that race. Our ancestors brought over slaves, and there are now 12 million decendants. Also we have many million foreign-born in this country and many millions more of foreign stock. Manifestly, no economic rearrangement , or even the adoption of a completely new or different economic system, can by itself go more than a little way in solving the racial and immigration problems. Even with the utmost in good will and patience, together with great expanded programs of health, housing and other social therapeutics, all of us have got to pay a tremendous price to raise the submerged groups. It is absurd to expect any quick remedy or solution of such conditions.
2. The economic system has been subjected to so many stresses, strains and disequilibriums since 1914 that the wonder is that it works at all. Too many of us have expected the necessary adjustments to be made painlessly; we have twisted and turned, hoped and wished and waited, instead of taking our medicine. Of course there is more poverty than there should be, but surely our trade and industry, both domestic and international, must operate more smoothly if the level of income is to be raised. That is not to be brought about by "sharing the wealth" or by panaceas of any kind, but by aiding the whole general machinery to function once more. (pg. 26)