APRIL 30, 1946
NEW YORK, Monday—The blue sky returned to us yesterday and, luckily, cold as the weather was, it was not quite freezing, so our fruit blossoms and our plants are still unhurt.
As I walked through the woods, I noticed many more small violets hidden under the winter leaves, and my lilies-of-the-valley are pushing their little green shoots up through the ground. Fortunately, our dogwood is not so far out as some of the trees along the parkway. I would like to have it wait ten days or so for its full magnificence on the top of our hill, since my son and daughter-in-law, who are away on a lecture trip, will not be able to enjoy it until then.
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I am beginning to get letters from veterans and from people who have to live on fixed incomes, complaining about the high cost of living and the difficulty of finding inexpensive clothes. The manufacturers make more profit these days if they make expensive clothes, so people who can only afford the less expensive variety are having a hard time. In the old days, a man's suit could be bought for $35, but now it costs at least $50; and a woman's dress which could be bought for $15 now costs at least $30. Food prices have gone up too.
Yet the House of Representatives has passed a bill to curtail OPA and make it even less effective than it is at present! OPA is the only defense that the people have against the powerful interest lobbies, each of which is anxious to increase the price of its particular product, regardless of what happens to the people or to the prices of other products.
We can only hope that the Senate will stand firm and will not only reject the limitations in the House bill, but will really give OPA the funds to function properly.
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It has been a long fight to put the control of our economic system in the hands of the government, where it can be administered in the interests of the people as a whole. Now Congress, under the influence of powerful lobbies, is rapidly trying to return control to big business. It may be that individual Congressmen do not realize just what they are doing, but they are heading us straight for inflation and accepting the old "boom and bust" ideas, instead of sticking to the plan of ironing out the peaks and the valleys and trying to keep us on a fairly even keel.
Chester Bowles, Stabilization Director, and Paul Porter, Price Administrator, are doing their best but, without the support of the people, who are the ones most affected by what happens to OPA, these two men will be defeated by the representatives of the people.
Write to your Representatives in Congress. Writing to me is of very little use!