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Although too voceriferous and heedless of parliamentary form, America's little business men displayed in the recent Washington conference a shrewd understanding of government. In their report to the President, the tone of which, but not the sentiment, was modified by the Resolutions Committee and Secretary Roper, they showed that neither the depression, recession, nor world unrest has upset their balance and destroyed the American's most characteristic virtue: his common sense. Their suggestions, by no means perfect and complete, seem to crystallize public opinion as well as any other twenty-three remedial proposals have done.
Leaving it to Congress to argue the repeal of the undistributed profits tax, a balanced budget, the broadening of the income tax base, citizens should consider the conference's recommendation for a permanent organization of little business to deal with the government and should compare the desires of big and little business. Unfortunately the President refused to give official sanction to a group, representative of half the nation's business, anxious to cooperate with Washington. In addition, circumstances of the conference made it impossible to form any organization. But immediate failure should not discourage leaders of little business from trying to organize a body to discuss problems with the government, help lift the business "fog," and in general improve the relations between the two.
On four major issues of the day big business and little business stand shoulder to shoulder, proving that in some respects their interests are not incompatible. Both appear dubious about the merits of the wages and hours bill; both approve the Housing Act; both demand that credit facilities be extended; and both feel that labor unions should be held responsible in contracts. Through representative groups perhaps the differences between big business, little business, and government might be settled so that all three could turn the Utopian corner called Prosperity.
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