IThere’s a nice but somewhat sarcastic anecdote going around in Washington right now. According to her, every American official under the death penalty should be forbidden from pronouncing the word: “Business Depression” without at the same time – as an excuse – adding the attribute: “worldwide” (ie: spread throughout the world).
Indeed, against a general world depression – that is the train of thought – it is difficult for a single government to fight, even a government which earlier so fondly boasted of being particularly rich in economic wisdom.
If it is actually correct that the deflationary phenomena on almost all raw material markets in the world, the stagnation in the international trade in goods as a result of the weakened purchasing power of European customers, the production restrictions and layoffs in all countries are at least in part the effects of global economic constellations the organization of which the individual national economy can only exercise a limited influence, it follows quite naturally that only an international exchange of ideas on these questions would be the logical way out.
On the way to the international business conference?
One of the most interesting reports that has come over from Paris of late is undoubtedly a suggestion for such an international conference of leading economic experts. Will one pursue this idea, which incidentally arose from JP Morgan and Owen D. Young’s trip to France and the meeting of the International Chamber of Commerce scheduled for December in Paris, and will the world opinion, which is currently particularly receptive to this, be mobilized in this sense?
There is truly no shortage of urgent problems, the solution of which can only be found through international understanding, and perhaps one can expect that the response that an exchange of views on the broadest basis would find in the world press would set things in motion For the time being, governments or their official and semi-official representatives do not dare to touch them for fear of domestic political complications. […].
According to an estimate by the metal trade chairman of the American Federation of Labor, there are currently about 16 million unemployed in the world. In the United States, the number of unemployed recently – certainly far too low – was 3.5 million. Here, where one generally recklessly dismissed jobs for reasons of profitability without social considerations, a large number of those dismissed are said to have lost their jobs in recent years following the introduction of labor-saving machines.
According to what appears to be a somewhat strict example given by the American Federation of Labor, four workers can today unload a lot of copper in three minutes that a hundred workers used to unload in four hours just a few years ago. The intensive expansion of American industry over the last few years has meant that such phenomena appear here probably more often and in a more conspicuous manner than in other countries. Even in normal times, layoffs were a difficult problem with the introduction of modern machines.