Filene Backs Roosevelt's Scientific Method of Finding Solution for Problem of Depression
"President Roosevelt's methods aiming at recovery are of a type which should appeal to Harvard men and indeed to all college men, because they are founded on the strictest scientific principles," was the dictum of Edward A. Filene, Chairman of the Massachusetts State Recovery Board as given to a CRIMSON reporter in a recent interview. "It is under the control of scientific minds of high calibre and it is in the universities that this type of men is to be found.
'Such scientific methods, based on careful research, are in direct opposition to the old methods that consisted of legislation based on opinions, and on injuries endured in the past. The administration has conducted research into our economic conditions, and from this research has developed a system that will not only produce better conditions, but will also produce a controlled and permanent prosperity. The 'New Deal' is a moderate, objectively studied plan to put the nation on a new road. There have been mistakes made, and there will be others, but by following the methods of a scientist, the President has pledged himself to take these mistakes into account, select the wheat from the chaff, and modify his policy to meet and withstand the conditions that caused them.
"The situation closely resembles a jelly-fish: to raise it you have to lift all around, you can't just pick up one corner. Since the present situation is such it requires methods that are big enough to pick it up all around, and not do a slip-shod, ineffective job by raising only one corner. And it is this necessary size of the present project that causes people to fear that the plans are too large to handle and have passed from the range of man's leadership. However, it has already been shown in industry that plans of this magnitude are not dangerous if handled scientifically. General Motors has used such methods successfully, and there is no doubt but that it is a strong, powerful concern.
"The N.R.A. besides being the safest and most definite road to prosperity, is also a protection against irresponsible radicalism. Three-fourths of Congress is for inflation and thinks it is the best and quickest road to good times. Once the people of this country have tasted the 'blood of inflation' they will want more, and soon we will have a desperate situation of uncontrolled inflation on our hands. The President's policy is definitely limited; he can not reduce the content of the dollar below fifty cents, nor does he so desire. No one denies that we dare not go back to the conditions of the last fifty years of capitalism, to the business policy of an agrarian age continued into a machine age. Therefore, we must discover new methods of handling the economic condition of our country, and we must adopt a new monetary system. But we must not be carried into unlimited inflation, and other unsafe or quack methods, by thoughtless excitement. The 'New Deal' offers us the necessary kind of monetary system, and the best possible solution to our present trouble. If we wish to save ourselves from a worse depression and from the terrors of uncontrolled inflation, we must get together behind the N.R.A. quickly,--within the next two or three months. The N.R.A. is far from being a quack, and it is the one and only method for us to follow."