MAY 11, 1936
NEW YORK—My mail contained some interesting information this morning—food for thought! Figures were obtained from the Chamber of Commerce in a large industrial city where one of the heavy industries is the main source of income for the people.
This industry is at present producing as much as it did in 1929.
Ordinarily this would mean work for everybody, but since the depression, ten million dollars have been spent in modernizing these particular plants with the result that they are now using ten thousand fewer men than in 1929. Two million dollars more is to be spent shortly on further modernization, and much of the heavy work done in the past by men and skilled men, many of them, will be done by machinery. College and high school boys, who stand on a balcony somewhere and press buttons are preferred for this work today, and four men will do the work of one hundred men before long!
Can you blame the people in this district for looking hopelessly into the future? For wondering where their livelihood is coming from? They can see their jobs walk away from under them. Food for thought in all this. Is the machine which promises relief from arduous labor and a gracious living, going to mean no living at all? Obviously we can not stop invention or scrap machines. What then is the answer? Have the great leaders of industry found it?
Two evenings in New York and both at the theater. "Boy Meets Girl" is very light and amusing, but I'm glad my job isn't in the movies! "End of Summer" is perhaps more amusing and appealing to my age. One line will stick in my head for a long time—"At the end of every road you meet yourself." Good doctrine for young or old.
A great gathering of Democratic women in Brooklyn and all enjoying themselves! Saturday was their day and all the leaders came to do them honor.
Now for a quiet Sunday in Hyde Park after a drive when the Sunday traffic is over.