AUGUST 11, 1938
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—I had just filed my column yesterday and was waiting for a traffic light to change, when two men stood unexpectedly at my car window. In unison they spoke: "We represent two great Metropolitan dailies and we want to know if you were disturbed by Father Divine and his followers on their arrival at their new home across the river from you?"
I am staying at my cottage, which is some three miles back from the river, so I had to confess to having no knowledge of anything which had transpired some six miles away. A look of disappointment spread over my questioners' faces. I felt sorry not to be able to give them some kind of a story, but one must be truthful.
I have a request from an unknown correspondent who wishes me to state in my column why the government is not dishonest in placing 3 percent government notes in the "old age reserve account" instead of investing, as a private bank or business would, in an income producing bond or stock. She says she would like to have domestic servants included in the Social Security Act if the Government did not spend the monies paid into this fund for current expenses and, by so doing, give no future security such as a private individual or a firm would give.
The answer seems to me obvious, though I have consulted no financial experts and realize that I may be wrong. If you believe in the solvency of your country and the ability of the people to pay the debts which the country incurs, then those government notes are as good security for the future as you can have. In any investment you gamble on someone's judgement. Many people know today that conservative investments made at one time may become valueless at some future time.
However, there is one thing we can be sure of—if every country cannot pay its debts, then no private investment will have any value either. So I would take a chance on those government notes, dear questioner; pay my taxes cheerfully and hope that government help to business and individuals may not be needed to so great an extent in the future. Then the government debt may gradually be reduced and a reduction in taxes will follow.
Today has been a glorious day. I haven't wanted to ride for days, partly because the flies and the mosquitoes in the woods were discouraging to horses and rider, and partly because the fog and damp heat made me wonder if anything was really worth doing. However, I feel today that I could enjoy even strenuous exercise.
What fun it is when one can have as gay a time with the members of one's family as with acquaintances who are intriguing because they have the lure of the unknown. We like to meet people because we don't know what they are like and I think as a family we enjoy each other because we are never quite sure that we know all there is to know about each other. My brother drove up from New York late yesterday afternoon for a swim and dinner with the Grays. Neither he nor I see as much as we want to of this aunt and uncle, for they have a rare gift of never losing touch and always are interested in other people's interests.