JULY 2, 1946
HYDE PARK, Monday—With President Truman's veto of the extremely poor OPA bill—which, however, the legislative leaders said was the best they could get—we are faced with a situation which, I think, will very soon bring home to us just what Chester Bowles and the OPA really did for us in our daily lives. The people who live on fixed incomes and the poorer groups are, of course, those who will suffer most.
It was to be expected that the veto would be sustained by Congress. What has really happened, of course, is that the pressures brought upon individual Congressmen by various interests have been greater than the pressure of the public as a whole. The latter pressure is always a little further away, since it cannot really register until Election Day. The other groups send individuals who actually live in Washington and see the Congressmen day in and day out. They present their arguments well. The public is more or less inarticulate.
There are also groups who do not get together, even though their interests should be closely allied, and so you find them lined up on opposite sides in this type of question. For instance, labor sees little connection between the fact that the farmers, until recently, received no rise in price for their milk and yet had to pay far higher costs for labor and for whatever materials went into production. A better understanding of the interlocking of farm and labor interests, and better coordination between them, is one of the vital things which must happen in this country if we are to have intelligent public understanding of the problems of the future.
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Now we face a rise in prices and, I suppose, as a consequence, a new series of strikes by all those who are able to strike. Unfortunately, many of those who will suffer the most are quite unable to strike, since they are unorganized.
The public has lost in Congress. And with Mr. Bowles' resignation from the post of Stabilization Director, a fine, public servant is also lost, one whom we could trust to work in our interest.
If my readers have never read Mr. Bowles' book, "Tomorrow Without Fear," I hope they will get it now and read it. We are facing a period when fear is going to meet us on many sides. And one of Mr. Bowles' statements in this book is going to be vitally important to remember: "I do not see how any one can fail to see the tragic fact that where we have failed in the past has been through fear, and that if we are not to fail in the future, we must conquer fear."
The period before us is going to require courage. This book will help you to see the problem as a whole. Look at the chart on Page 7. The chapter, "An Inventory of America, 1940," is worth deep consideration. And perhaps you can get a determination to achieve the ends which Mr. Bowles argues for and which he shows us are possible, if you look back with him and accept his remedies and work for them.
(WORLD COPYRIGHT, 1946, BY UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE, INC.; REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR PART PROHIBITED.)