August 5, 1933 - Editorial - A Few Kind Words, by George Lorimer

It is fervently to be hoped that the era of indiscriminate and torrential abuse of business of business men is nearing an end. Only a comparatively few years ago, the country fairly wallowed in the opposite emotion. Any man who managed to scrape together a million dollars, or even a few hundred thousand, whether by legitimate industry, sharp practice, speculation, gambling or near theft, was proclaimed with loud salaams from the housetops. Personal success - meaning business success - was the one virtue. Whole periodicals were devoted to the theme, and America was regarded as a land filled with almost millions of business enterprisers, supermen all.

This was a rather sickening attitude, as well as being remote from reality. It never quite went down with persons of judgement, good taste and a sense of humor. But it was the prevalent emotion, and for a time swept all before it. For several years, however, the country has been going to the other extreme. Instead of business success, we hear only of business failure. The man of affairs and the business enterpriser have been held up to scorn. Their errors of judgement, their mistakes, their myopia, their greed and general imbecility - these had been the universal theme of all self-styled liberals.

No witch was ever burned at the stake with more illiberality and bigotry than has attended this damning of the business man. Nor is there any more sense in it than there was in the spell of ovation. Men of affairs were not so amazingly wise five or ten years ago, nor are so utterly dumb as of late. Many of them overestimated markets and the amount of their normal business. But journalists, professors and intellectuals in general went just as far astray in overhauling the prices of stocks and in cheering for the new era. Many of those who are now most voluble in depicting the evils of business were "in" on its spell of madness. It is true that countless blunders were made in high financial, commercial and industrial circles, but the initial and fundamental blunder was European and not American. Our American business men did not cause the World War, and the much-advertised depression, so often laid at their door, seems to have raged even more fiercely in Australia, New Zealand, Russia and other far-off places. (pg. 22)

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