MAY 17, 1954
HYDE PARK, Sunday—I felt a little sad on Thursday as I went on the air with Mary Margaret McBride to realize that it was the closing of an era for her. After 20 years she is going to take a vacation from her radio program. She does not know exactly what she will do on her return in the autumn, but she says she will not resume what she is doing now. I feel her tremendous following may allow her a holiday, but they will certainly demand that in one way or another she return to her contacts with the public in the autumn.
I have known Miss McBride for many years, and I don't think you can really know her without being touched by her warm personality. There are times when her enthusiasm over her "products" has made me smile, but I am far more impressed by that measure of enthusiasm which in every program has enabled her to give something worthwhile to her audience. I think she has brought the weight of her tremendous popularity to bear on a great many interests that would never, without her help, have reached the wide public she commands. All of us will wish Mary Margaret a very happy holiday, and I for one hope for a return in the autumn to her public with greater zest and interest than before.
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Bernard Baruch's speeches are always read with the greatest of interest, and when he tells us we cannot go against the law of supply and demand he gives us very wise advice. He also tells us, however, that we should make these natural laws our friends and work with them rather than against them. Whenever we have had inflation, Mr. Baruch points out, we must of necessity come back to normal—and that may mean a recession. Recessions or readjustments are always painful for some people, and if they affect too many people we may find ourselves in real trouble.
I wonder, therefore, if it is not possible to find out how we can make these natural laws our friends and how they can be made to work for us. Up to now I have felt that the only way this could be done was through some rather careful planning. As certain demands become less pressing, perhaps we could through economic planning develop new demands and such changes in production as would make it possible to fill these demands.
Mr. Baruch said nothing about this, and I know that planning anything is supposed to be a dangerous doctrine. We do plan about many things, nevertheless. Women, particularly, are accustomed to planning rather carefully in their own lives, and they find it difficult to understand why it is not reasonable to plan on a larger scale where so many more people are affected. When you talk in purely economic terms about recession and unemployment they can be made to sound like dry academic subjects; but in reality they touch the daily lives of people, and to those people, unfortunately, they are very far from being academic. Those of us who deal with people wonder whether profound students like Mr. Baruch could not go one step further and tell us just what we should do to make these natural laws work for us all in friendly fashion.