IS BUSINESS HEADED FOR SKID ROW?
Every large city has its Skid Row. Walk a block in that section and you will be put on for handouts by any number of stumblebums.
Begging for handouts is not limited to bums, however, because there are a lot of businessmen who are also looking for handouts from Uncle Sam. We are sure that most of them are not aware of where this socialistic practice is leading them, but there are still enough farsighted men throughout the Nation to check this trend.
Comparing the shortsighted businessmen with the Skid Row moochers may sound rather drastic, but the commissars and the gauleiters made bums out of the bourgeoisie after they took over in Russia and Germany.
The majority of businessmen are sincere Americans, but they are being taken by degrees everytime they accept a government dole or other phony seductions of a controlled economy.
Herbert E. Smith, Chairman of the United States Rubber Company, sounds a note of warning and gives some practical advice to business in an article written for the March issue of Dun’s Review. He warns business about the fallacy of accepting subsidies or sponsoring them.
To quote Mr. Smith, “most Americans today acknowledge that free enterprise is the best friend they ever had. Yet few are prepared to stand up for it. Few have the character to refuse a free handout today for the sake of a higher genuine standard of living tomorrow. It is too easy to let someone else stand up and champion the cause of free enterprise.”
After pointing out why the average politician must promise something-for-nothing and how this philosophy has ruled most of our strongest labor unions, Mr. Smith states, “We might perhaps expect our educators to be the ones to spell out the truth—to reveal the dangers of socialism and the importance of the free enterprise system, but they have been fed with too many horror stories about the downtrodden workers and too few facts about the modern business world.”
If you talk to the idealistic college professor today you will find that he has been bombarded with information from government and union leaders, but he hears very little from business which has been content to sit back and hope its good deeds will speak for themselves.
“We are now slowly awakening to the realization that the average American no longer looks upon the business man as the leading authority on economic matters,” Mr. Smith adds significantly. “People have transferred their trust from the old doctor, so to speak, to the new political soothsayer.”
“Leaders are needed who can make people understand and believe that a little socialism only leads to more, that people can consume only what they make, that handouts can come only from the individual’s own pocket, that big business is an essential part of an efficient economy, and other important truths about our economy.”
Business foolishly took the blame for the 1929 crash; and in the minds of the public, government “saved” the country from a financial panic. From that turning point until this day, the tendency to look to Washington for guidance and subsidies appears to be the generally accepted practice, the latest sop being a supplemental loan channel for small enterprises.
“One of the first steps toward guarding free enterprise is for businessmen to gain back the faith of the people,” Mr. Smith says. “It is our job to convince the majority that their only hope to keep their high standard of living is to rededicate themselves to the basic principles of free enterprise.”
Mr. Smith’s advice is sound.