Their Unemployment is Lower Because Men Are Drafted Into Armies and Labor Corps
THE dictatorships boast that they have a shortage of labor while the democracies suffer the miseries of unemployment, but in the New York Times Magazine, a London writer, Geoffrey Crowther, shows that actually the democracies are better off economically. Replying to Herr Hitler’s argument in favor of Nazi economics, he states:
If there is anything in his claim, it ought to show on a comparison of the grxxl Nazi year, 1937, with the gcxxl democratic year, 1929. Let us make the comparison between these two years, using the democratic economics of Great Britain as a comparative test. Here are some of the more important figures, showing increase or decrease of economic activity in the two countries in 1937 as compared with 1929:
Great Germany Britain Industrial production .... +16 9", + 22.7% Coal output .............. i 0.2'. 6.1 % Electricity generated..... +49 0% +122.5% Steel production ......... +18 3". + 19.2% Automobile production .. +89,9% ■+ 112.6%e Employment ............. + 3.0% + 12.4%
On the score of mere industrial achievement, then, democracy can turn in 39 gcxxl a record as Nazi dictatorship -indeed, a slightly better record.
Now’ let us turn to the specific issue of unemployment, upon which the Nazis base their strongest case. The official German figure of unemployment averaged 1,892,000 in 1929 and as much as 5,575,000 in 1932. In 1937, under the Nazis, it had fallen to as little as 912,000. The comparable British figures are 1,212,000 in 1929, 2,756,000 in 1932 and 1,413,000 in 1937. Thus, Germany’s 1937 unemployment was less than half the 1929 figure and less than one sixth of the depression total.
Unemployment in Great Britain, on the other hand, was still, in 1937, one sixth higher than in 1929 and more than half the crisis figure. Moreover, while unemployment has been further reduced in Germany in 1938. it has been rising in Great Britain. At first glance, then. Nazi policies seem to have an advantage over democratic methods as a cure for unemployment.
The major explanation is that the Nazis have discovered a way by which hundreds of thousands of men can lx? neither employed nor unemployed. The German standing army is from 600,000 to 700,(XX) men (at least) large r than it was before the Nazi era. In addition there are 300,(XX) men in the compulsory labor corps, and perhaps another 300,000 in the S. S.. or Black Guards. The aír force and navy have about 200.000 men between them, and there are several more scores of thousands of men kept busy in the various Brown Shirt formations, additional police, fortification buildings, etc.
There are thus at least 1,500.000 men in Germany today—and probably many more -who are not unemployed, but are equally not employed in useful industry. From the economic point of view, there is absolutely no difference between the
soldiers or Brown Shirts or labor conscripts of Germany and the WPA workers of America. Both are being paid by the government for doing work which, if it has any economic value at all, returns less than it costs. Indeed, the balance of economic benefit is clearly on the side of the WPA. The population of Great Britain is about two thirds that of Germany (excluding Austria, which is omitted from all the figures of this article). If Britain had armed forces of two thirds the German size, that is, of about 1,000,(XX), her unemployment figure of 1,773,000 might well be reduced to something very like the small figure of which the Nazis boast.
The real income (that is, income in terms of the goods and services it will buy) of the British workingman rose between 1929 and 1937 by almost eleven per cent, while the real income of the German worker, on the showing of the official figures, fell by just over two per cent.
In the final and comprehensive balance sheet, therefore, the democratic system of economics has nothing to fear from the totalitarian.
British industrial production has increased faster, on a fair comparison of years, than Germany’s. Britain’s total of employment has shown a bigger increase; and if unemployment has not been so spectacularly reduced, that is chiefly because Britain has not hidden her unemployed in the armed forces. And, finally, Britain has achieved these results while the standard of living of her people has shown a steady increase.
The Germans are fully entitled, if they wish, to prefer their system to ours. But there is no evidence whatever to support the claim that Nazi economics is in any way superior to democratic economics, either in providing useful employment for the members of the community or in enabling them to earn the materials of the more abundant life.
A FLUORESCENT chalk which glows . with a strong green light and is visible at a distance has been developed recently by the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company.
This new material appears and marks like ordinary chalk under normal light. It glows in the dark when irradiated with ultraviolet rays.
Doctors find this chalk useful for jotting
down memoranda on a blackboard during the course of a fluoroscopic examination. 11 also provides a new tool for the lecturer who, during the showing of stereopticon or moving pictures, wishes to put a visible written message on the blackboard for his audience. This novel medium is especially valuable for use during the showing of moving pictures with sound.—Scientific American.
Ashridge, in England, Is a College of Citizenship Which Welcomes Canadians
ASHRIDGE COLLEGE, in England, X\. which has existed since the thirteenth century, is best defined as “a college of citizenship.” In The Empire Review, we are told :
It is equally open to the young men or women who have just left school or college, to professional or business men and women, active or retired; to the workers with hands or head, from town or country, from the Home Country the Great Dominions, or the smallest and remotest parts of the British Empire.
The question may be asked by readers in the Dominions, ‘‘How am I affected or concerned by the creation of this college?” The answer is that a welcome awaits all Empire visitors, not merely in order to show them the glories of Ashridge’s gardens and to tell them of its traditions, but to offer them its hospitality—at most modest fees—and to give them the instruction freely tendered by experts at courses lasting for week-ends, for a week, fortnight or month.
A typical week’s course is divided into Imperial Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs and general subjects, including public speaking. This year, at a May course in which Imperial Affairs were featured, among the speakers were Mr. Malcolm MacDonald, formerly Secretary of State for the Dominions, and Admiral Sir Herbert Richmond on the subject of Imperial Defense.
The body of the student is looked after no less than the mind. The college is comfortably, nay, sumptuously furnished, has plenty of bathrooms, is centrally heated and electrically lighted; ample opportunities exist for recreation and exercise. There is a first-class eighteen-hole golf course in the park, a swimming pool, football, cricket and hockey grounds, tennis, badminton courts, and many acres of gardens to explore, huge spreading lawns and great avenues of ancient trees where monks walked in olden days. Horses may be hired for a gallop in the park or a hack ride across country. The Italian garden vies in beauty with the old monks’ garden, and as each day passes some new glory is discovered.
A spirit of friendship pervades Ashridge, and the shyest of mortals quickly absorbs its atmosphere; there are no class distinctions, all students are members of the Ashridge Fellowship, a Fellowship which has resulted in the formation of long and valued friendships. On tw’o occasions during the year there are mighty reunions. In June at rhododendron time there is a garden party when vast quantities of strawberries and cream are consumed, when folk dancing takes place and openair plays are performed in Ashridge’s sylvan glades. Again in the late autumn the Fellowship foregathers, and not only is the capacity of Ashridge House taxed to its limit, but all the surrounding hostels and inns are full to bursting point.
The story you want is part of the Maclean’s Archives. To access it, log in here or sign up for your free 30-day trial.
Experience anything and everything Maclean's has ever published — over 3,500 issues and 150,000 articles, images and advertisements — since 1905. Browse on your own, or explore our curated collections and timely recommendations.WATCH THIS VIDEO for highlights of everything the Maclean's Archives has to offer.