THE SINGLE BASIC REASON for most of societies ills. However we are prohibited from even talking about it because words like socialism and communism get in the way. Learned economists can't agree on solutions and even raising an unrealistically low minimum wage is debated by legislatures. I've long pondered it since first learning of William Sloan Coffin's proposal to limit the salary of the head of an industry at some seven or eight times the lowest paid worker to John D Rockefeller's distributing his wealth by passing out dimes, to the continuing frustration of failing to pass legislation to raise the minimum wage, I even wonder why we speak of a minimum wage rather than considering A LIVING WAGE FOR ALL.
- Although the unemployment situation was far worse then, I remember a feeling of hope, that things would get better. I fail to see that today with the extensive bickering and almost half the country hoping our president will fail.
- Although there was a wide gulf between the rich and the poor, the great majority of people were commiserating together. While we bemoan the fate of the middle class today, at that time the great majority of us felt we were in the same boat together in a somewhat lower middle class.
- In the depression era our expectation of what were life's necessities were much reduced. Time was available to enjoy the simple things of life. We had more time than money and made do with simple things.
- With the situation so desperate the electorate supported and accepted change without the intense polarization I see today. Rather than embracing change we tend to fear it.
- The world scene is dramatically different today. Globalization presents untold opportunities and unimagined problems. The war presented many opportunities to expand the middle class through higher wages. The debate continues today: was it the alphabetic programs (WPA, etc.) of FDR or the war that ended the depression? Constant war today has changed from costing lives in huge numbers to taking fewer lives, but at an unbelievably high financial cost.