Man's physical universe

xanabras

798 MAN'S PHYSICAL WELFARE

it is up to them to organize, and so even the relief workers and. the

WPA workers find it necessary to organize and pool their "strength."

Our country is run by pressure groups, and our votes are too often

controlled by the interests of the pressure groups to which we belong.

Under the above system of large-scale "rugged individualism,"

dire poverty walks hand in hand with the most extravagant living the

world has ever known; overproduction is accompanied by underconsumption.

We are literally whimpering in wealth, crying because

we are hungry because there is too much food. Can we bring the

machine under the control of society? Can we organize our means of

production and distribution and still maintain the freedom of thought

and action that are essential to scientific research and to democracy?

Do we have to follow the footsteps of Russia or Germany in order to

bring about planned production and distribution? Must we sacrifice

all other values in order to obtain economic security, and if so, would

it be worth while to do so? We can and must organize in such a way

that clever foreign propagandists will not be able to attack us at our

weakest point by playing one pressure group against another, thus

interfering with production and distribution and weakening our national

unity.

The Government in the United States Is Experimenting with the Problems

of Distribution.

For the ten-year period 1918-1928, the wealthiest 10 per cent of the

population received an average of 33 per cent of the total income, but

since that time graduated income taxes and excess-profits taxes have

changed this picture; the wealthiest 10 per cent still get as much

money, but they do not keep as much of it as they did twenty years

ago. The government has taken the money from rich individuals and

corporations and has borrowed billions of dollars to provide work,

food, clothing, and housing for the unemployed people.

The United States Government has sought to gain control of the

marketing of stocks and bonds and of banking. It has made loans

available to farmers and home-builders at reasonable interest rates.

It has developed recreational programs, recreational areas, and national

monuments and parks to replace commercialized recreation. It has

made education available to the masses through the greatest system of

public schools the world has ever known, supplemented by special

instruction by the C.C.C. and N.Y.A. organizations which reach young

people not reached by other educational institutions.

The United States Government is no longer chiefly engaged in

keeping order at home and defending the nation against foreign foes;

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