The Omaha guide. (Omaha, Neb.) 1927-19??, May 20, 1939, City Edition, Page 7, Image 7

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Published Ev.ery Saturday at 2418-20 Grant St.
Omaha, Nebraska
Phone WEbster 1617
Entered as Second Class Matter March 15, 1927,
at the Post Office at Omaha, Nebr., under
Act of Congress of March 3, 1879.
All News Copy of Chrurches and add Organi
zations must be in our office not later than
6:00 p. m. Monday for curren issue. All Adver
tising Copy or Paid Articles not later than
Wednesday noon, preceeding date of issue, to
insure publication.
Race prejudice must go. The Fatherhood of
God and the Brotherhood of Man must prevail.
These are the only principles whil will stand
tha acid test of good.
James H. Williams & James E. Seay—Linotype
operators and Pressmen. Paul Barnett—Foreman.
Over a considerable period of time,
the factors influencing business are
almost purely economic—purchasing
power, abundance of credit, supply and
demand, labour conditions, taxes, etc.
But, as a private research service re
cently pointed out, over a shorter per
iod of time these economic considera
tions may carry weight than what may
be termed an emotional factor—that
is, the reactions of individuals to the
events taking place in the nation and
the world, and their fears and uncer
tainties as to the future.
That factor has been unusually
forceful of late. Rightly or wrongly,
many have become convinced that war
is inevitable. A considerable number
believe that eventual American parti
cipation is likely. This tragic outlook
has clouded all our acts and opinions.
It has lessened our faith in the world
of tomorrow. And the tremendous
wbrry and uncertainty involved has
cast a shadow over our economic and
commercial affairs.
This helps to explain the abnormal
shrinkage that has taken place in se
curity values. Every authority seems
convinced that industry in this coun
try is in nowhere near as unhealthy a
state as late stock and bond prices
would indicate. They feel that there
has been much unwise panic selling,
and an equally unwise disinclination of
potential purchasers to buy. Economic
factors dictate that point of view. But,
logical as they may be, they have little
weight at present when pitted against
the emotional factor. Many people as
sume that the outbreak of war would
send security values crashing down
ward, in spite of the fact that past pre
cedent indicates that for some months
at least they might soar, so far as many
manufacturing industries are concern
ed. And so the markets remain stag
nant. ‘ : i
The writer of this column has read
a considerable number of forecasts of
conditions in the business world, all of
them of a responsible character. Prac
tically all hjold that the longqMime
outlook for domestic industry is defin
itely favorable. And1 all of them are
sure that there will be no significant
drop in industrial producton for a rea
sonable period of time. It now remains
to be seen whether public sentiment,
which has been of a severely pessimist
ic character ever since the turn of the
year, will take another tack.
Some business briefs of interest fol
RETAIL TRADE: Outlook is
good. Recent business has been at ex
cellent levels, comparatively speaking,
and the March rise was better than
seasonal. There seem to be very few
sections of the cpuntry where trade
has declined.
BUILDING: Residential construc
tion is still one of the best of the good
business signs, and better-than-season
rises have taken place month after
month. Non-residential building, ex.*
cept for public works, has also shown
signs (of improvement. Public works
projects have been considerably under
past levels.
STEEL: Production has tended
down and consumption up, which
means declining inventories. Upshot is
a forecast of considerable improvement
this summer.
stry is still perplexed by its political
problems, notably that of just how
much farther government competition
will extend. There has been a consider
able amount of private expansion, how
ever, due to increased demand for
electricity by both industrial and resi
dential consumers. Big scale expansion
will depend on whether or not talked
about “peace pact” between the utili
ties and the Administration is effected.
RAILROADS: Car loadings re
cently took a sharp decline, due pri
marily to a sharp reduction in soft coal
production, as a result of labor trou
bles. The immediate future of carload
ings therefore depends on just how
long those troubles will continue.
MOTORS: Latest available fig
ures, for the end of March and early
April, show a sharp rise in sales, and
summer business, as figured now, will
be good.
Congress hasn’t been doing much
of late. European troubles have taken
most of the lawmakers’ energies, and
discussions of possible changes in our
neutrality law have kept Capitol Hill
busy. Many a solon is going gray try
ing to figure out a way to keep us out
of war, and at the same time to help
the much beset democracies across the
However, the sentiment of Con
gress toward domestic issues becomes
contantfy more clear. And the trend is
strongly to the right. Never was Mr.
Roosevelt’s influence at so low an ebb.
And those White House advisors who
used to write most of the major bills
and who threw a tremendous weight,
are far out of the limelight.
The attitude of the White House
is in itself proof of this. When the Pre
sident wants something done, he makes
requests which are moderate in tone,
and there have been no “must de
mands” for a considerable time. And
his plea to his party to keep internal
peace shows the way the wind is blow
The officers of one of the leading
public utility companies of the nation,
in their annual report to the stockhold
ers, recently said: “The problems fac
ed by the federal power program are
the most pressing now confronting the
industry and its investors.
“It is to be presumed that the ob
jectives of both government and the
utilities must be the widest possible use
of electric service at the lowest possi
ble cost—the achievement of this end
and the solution of the existing pro
blems of competition lie in cooperation
between the government and the pri
vately owned electric utilities and the
coodinated use of the existing genera
ting and transmission facilities of both.
We believe that such a program would
go far beyond the direct benefits which
would accrue and would be helpful in
encouraging general business expan
sion and increasing employment.”
One of the wforst phases of the
whole federally subsidized government
ownership movement has been the ram
pant, unnecessary duplication of faci
lities which already existed. Towns
have applied for and have been given
federal grants and loans for the pur
pose of building municipal systems in
spite of the fact that adequate, up-to
date private companies had abundant
generating an ddistributing equipment
to serve their needs. Down in the TV A
area in the Southeast, the government
has built transmission lines which vir
tually parallel existing lines more than
capable of carrying the load. And out
in the Pacific Northwest, it is propos
ed to build a costly federal transmis
sion network to carry Bonneville and
Grand Coulee power—a network which
will actually blanket a territory which
has been served long, well and cheap
ly by the private industry.
Responsible utility executives have
signified thier willingness to cooper
ate with the government 100 per cent.
They have offered to buy and distri
bute the power generated at the gov
ernment dams, at rates to be approved
by government officials, and to be re
gulated by government bureaus. Yet
the wasteful duplication goes on—to
the destruction of private enterprise,
and at the expanse of every taxpayer
in America.
Is it any wonder that the thinking
public is becoming weary of the drive
to socialize the electric industry—and
that the opinion is growing widely that
fair treatment for this great industry,
which under favorable conditions
would spend billions of private dollars
(not tax dollars) for expansion, is es
sential to orderly recovery?
The Supreme Court’s decision that
government employes may be taxed,
in the opinion of a number of well
known, opens the way to stopping the
issuance of any additional tax-free
government bonds, if Congress will
pass a bill to that efFect. According to
the legal experts, the principle is ident
ical and there is no constitutonal obli
gation which holds that government
securities must always be tax free.
Various high government officials
including several Presidents, have at
times spoken of the desirability of tax
ing government bonds. At present,
government issues are a haven for
those who wish to escape taxation of
income. In many cases, where large
sums of money are involved, the net
r eturn to the investor on a government
bond paying three per cent is larger
than on a private security paying five
or six. Two unfortunate results follow
this. First, the nation is deprived of
tax revenue from the billions of dollars
worth of government issues now out
standing. Secondly, the acttractiveness
of tax-free bonds deprives private in
dustry of capital it sorely needs.
Certainly there is no reason why a
man with an income in five figures
from government bonds should entire
ly escape taxation, while a man with
an income from private sources is tax
ed to the hilt. And, as matters stand
now, when private industry goes into
the money market for the capital need
ed for expansion and improvement, it
cannot compete with the tax-fr^e is
sues. More and more of the nation’s
wealth is going into non-productive
channels—at the expense of private
employment and opportunity.
The court decision making possi
ble the taxation of government work
ers on the same basis as private work
ers is a long step in the right direction.
The next step should be a refusal by
Congress to permit the issuance of any
more tax-free securities.
Booker T. Washington’s body lies
a-mouldering in the grave but his phil
osophy goes marching on, as we have
found in the fact that your freedom
and America’s freedom have become
one and indivisible.
Last week’s news columns carried a
story in which a Louisiana district at
torney called in unmistakable termp
for Negroes to not only on petit juries
but on grand juries. Why?
Well, it is, as one might expect, be
cause as a nation we have reached the
place where we are observed by all the
world—even to how we treat our peons
and other all-but-enslaved citizens. Our
international complications at this time
have grown to such proportions that
our potential enemies abroad are pick
ing flaws in a social system which we
have been able to keep hidden in the
past to the extent that when we shed
crocodile tears and reached sympathe
to hands across the sea to the disad
vantaged Jew, Herr Hitler, Japan and
Mussolini not only told us to stay in
our own back yard but asked us to con
sider the beam in our own eyes.
The powers that be in Washington
see the effect of this and are calling on
our Federal courts—even those bran
ches that operate in faraway Louisi
ana of the “deep” South, to lay the em
phasis on the Law rather than on the
local custom of going lax where Ne
groes are concerned. It is so much so
cial or legal reform; it is not a situa
tion which at all approaches the mile
nium:—it is merely a matter of self
defense where the skeletons in our na
tional closet are being aired interna
This is but another straw that
shows which way the wind is blowing.
It is also an indication that we of a mi
nority group should stand up and do
our part toward meeting the new chal
lenges that will come to us as a result
of new points of view and the oppor
tunities for us that grow out of them.
These opportunities will arise out
of the army, navy and air service situ
ations, which steadily improve in our
favor; out of the educational situation
in which we have not only the. recent
decision of the supreme court favoring
our full opportunity in the schools of
all the country but the increasing ac
ceptance of our scholars in scientific
fields and in positions of responsibility
the country over. The economic advan
tage, as well as the intellectual recog
nition that these advances carry
are not to be accepted lightly. One door
of opportuniy easily opens another, so
that we may confidently look forward
to seeing those who are beneficiaries
of this position show that in many a
way our destiny is tied up with that of
the other citizens of this country, and
that the great problem is to get all con
cerned to see that fact clearly.
We’ve all heard the jokes concern
ing the persistence of the life insur
ance salesman. And we’ve all been an
noyed by him personally.
But, as many a man has learned
eventually, that quality of persistence
performs a tremendous public service.
Most of us dislike to spend money for
things that bring us no immediate plea
sure or return. It has to be dredged out.
of us. We admit life insurance is good
and necessary—but if it weren’t for
“super-salesmanship” not one of us in
ten would buy it.
A life insurance salesman’s persist
ence has saved many a man from a
poverty stricken old age—and many
a family from want when the bread
winner died.
An El Paso man bought a second
hand flivcr which he soon took back
to the dealer.
Seller: “What’s wrong with it?”
Owner: “Every blamed part of it
makes a noise but the horn.”
“Since I met you, I can’t eat, I can’t
sleep, I can’t drink.”
“Why not?”
“I’m broke.”