SEPTEMBER 28, 1946
HYDE PARK, Friday—The more I read the papers and look at the world situation, the more I realize that both labor and capital in this country have an equally great responsibility for the economic recovery of the world. If this country does not get on a stable economic footing, no other country is going to be able to recover.
The papers today state that our farm income has reached an all-time high. That is good news. But our farmers should not hold back meat or sell animals before they reach maturity in order to get a higher price, for that is undoubtedly one of the reasons for our present meat shortage.
We were warned last summer that we were eating meat which should not have been on the market until autumn. Prices were good, so the meat was sold. Now we are short. And we have to keep the price ceiling on meat, in spite of all the pleas which individual interests are making, because only those people who could pay very high prices would profit by the removal of the ceiling.
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On the industrial side, Alfred P. Sloan, head of General Motors, has made a speech indicting workers for their indifferent attitude toward their work. I have heard this from several sources and, if it is true, I hope the workers will soon realize that they have a stake in the economy of the country and that it can only be saved by full production.
On the other hand, management has an equal obligation to correct the situations which cause the workers to be indifferent. It is not in human nature to enjoy doing a bad job. If your job is worth doing and if you feel that the conditions surrounding it are fair to you, you will want to work hard.
We talk about the need for cooperation among nations. But cooperation has to be begun among the people in each nation. And it seems to me that management in this country would do well to show its superior ability by finding ways and means to cooperate with labor. The workers can be shown how it pays to do a good job. And they need to be educated to the realization that they have an equal interest in the prosperity of the country, and an equal interest in seeing that the world does not go under because the United States can't learn how to manage its own economy.
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On a visit to New York City this week, I was conscious of the bad traffic situation! I thought perhaps the order for no parking between 23rd Street and 59th Street would mean greater speed in getting about, but the streets seem to have just as much parking as they did before! Someone with imagination must get to work on planning how motor vehicles can get around our big cities! I think it might be a good combination if we could put engineers, architects and artists together and tell them to produce a plan.