Ordinarily this page is devoted to matters pertaining to the Used Machinery Industry—but the temptation to digress a bit overcomes us now and then, particularly when it comes to National affairs. After all, they are of paramount importance today.
Last week we attended the convention of the National Industrial Service Association held in Chicago. The organization is composed of firms specializing in the maintenance and rebuilding of electrical power equipment. The membership, which is constantly increasing, includes firms employing anywhere from ten to a hundred people.
The thing that impresses us about meetings of this kind is that the heads of these organizations drop everything pertaining to their immediate duties and travel from far and near to exchange ideas and experiences with the ultimate aim of improving the service to their clients. That’s what we call cooperation.
Contrast this group, and hundreds of others who similarly gather, with the great army of regimentation advocates who are on the public payrolls today. They gave us the NRA, the AAA, the PWA, the CCC, the TVA, and we don’t know how many more. A few of them have done some good, but the main fly in the ointment is simply that the theorists seem to have overlooked one of the fundamental characteristics of Americans. The American People cannot be regimented, goose-stepped, or dominated. We might be cajoled, hornswoggled, ballyhooed and kidded, but not for long.
Go back to the Mayflower, the Boston Tea Party and Nineteenth Century Immigration when the Germans, Irish, Poles, Italians, Russians and others left their native heaths to get away from too much regimentation. Who else but a bunch of theorists would expect to get away with a lot of cock-eyed rules and regulations for a people whose veins are surging with blood of such liberty-loving, pioneering ancestry!
Prohibition got a trial. The NRA was flop—the AAA is headed for trouble—the WPA gets off on the wrong foot, and yet the “regimentators” keep coming back with more. Maybe some of the “brass hats” in government really think all of these alphabetical agencies are cooperative. Our unbiased observations are the opposite of what we mentioned above about the National Industrial Service Association. If the present governmental form of cooperation could stay on the right side of the road, business, agriculture and the people would have fewer “headaches.”