Poor Mr. Aubrey Williams, Executive Director of the National Youth Administration, wants to know what to do with the 5,000,000 to 6,000,000 unemployed youths whose troubles have been shifted on his shoulders. One half of the $50,000,000 allotted to him will go to helping 300,000 destitute students keep on with their college and high-school work, which leaves a paltry $25,000,000 for the rest.
Obviously the only solution to the problem is Recovery with the jobs and opportunities inevitably resulting. But, as Mr. Williams himself declared: "There will be no expansion of private industry to include these young people in any time that you and I can foresee immediately." Which proves, simply enough, that government expenditure, even of the most extravagantly charitable kind, cannot solve the problem.
Perhaps, though, Mr. Williams has missed the point. No sane person ever thought that $50,000,000 could solve the problems of five to six million unemployed youths. Ten dollars a head, on the other hand, is high enough a price to pay for the huge Youth vote in 1936. But for this, it seems, a better tool than sincere Mr. Williams would have been a Farley, a Curley, or a Tague.
On second thought, perhaps all these billion dollar gestures of Mr. Roosevelt, plus the incredibly honest and sincere qualities of his tools, will get him more votes still. Men will accept his gifts with gratitude, admit his sincerity, and recognize that without all this government help starvation and misery would be their lot.
Or else they will realise that the gifts are only necessary because of the incredibly uneconomic, ineffective, and positively stupid treatment, by their benefactor, of the problem of Recovery.
Voting Youth up to twenty-five years old will be over fifteen million strong in 1936. Let us hope they will see their own central and essential interest in Recovery through all the fogs of catchwords and the veils of cash.