September 1, 1934 - Editorial - To Fill the Gap, by George Lorimer

It is commonly understood in both public and private quarters that the purpose of many of the far-flung undertakings and much of the prodigious expenditure of the Government is to fill the gap until such time as private initiative shall take hold. Or, to state the case more strongly, it may be said that this expenditure is expected to stimulate or lead to a revival of private enterprise, and gradually but effectively dovetail into it..... The whole idea is to prime the pump, for all sensible people know that the Government cannot go on indefinitely living beyond its means Without the gravest economic consequences to the economic, political and social systems.

Yet the pump is rather slow in priming, and the reason os plain. It is because businessmen as a whole do not know what to expect. For one thing, they are confused by the sheer multiplicity of new commissions, boards and committees. Every new agency set up only seems to complicate and confuse the situation more, even though the announced purpose is to coördinate previous efforts. The Government has become so huge and overshadowing that most people have lost track of it. There is utter emotional fatigue and bewilderment as far as its new activities are concerned.

In the second place, the businessmen would like to feel more convinced that the head of the Government, in addition to his energy, promptitude and driving power, has complete certainty as to what he is doing or where he is going.

Yet these men, whose activities make for employment and pay rolls, are not unreasonable in their requests; they do not ask for miracles. They do not expect the President to be a prophet or a seer. All they ask is reasonable definiteness of fundamental policy and some moderate assurance as to the future. (pg. 22)

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