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Foreword; This rather lengthy letter is based on the following proverb of Confucius;- MTis better to light one small candle thpn to curse the darkness"• Charles K.Chilberg. I assure you I am not seeking notoriety or personal gain. My life began on an Illinois farm 70 years ago. I came west at the age IB in search of a more suitable climate; threatened with lung trouble. T ?ss in the catering trade most of the time,but never lost my personal interest in the problems o l the common mass of humanity. Naturally, I did not grow ''rich'1: I am truly f glad I did not. Riches create social blindness. Portland,14,Oregon,Feb.1st.,1945. 1410-S.E.Belmont St. Mr.Marriner Eccles, Chr.of the Board, Fed.Res.Banks, Washington,D.G . Dear Mr.Eccles; You may remember the last time I wrote you when I introduced the subject,-'’ Our untenable position rs chief creditor of the world? contending that our virt u a l ^ self-suffic iency, as it pertains to basic raw materials and money of recognized value,was the source of the dilemma. That was before we became in volved in the present war. Successive events hpve sustained that thesis I believe you will agree. Hence this letter. You were quoted at length in a recent issue of the R.R.Brotherhood1s paper LABOR. According to the quotes you insisted that our populace would not suffer material want while clearly understanding bur abil ity to produce material abundance; not an exact quote,but it covers the main point. Let us get one point straight;- that our relative economic posit ion compared with Britain’s finds us at one pole and J.B. at the other. The industrial British Isles,the heart of the Empire,are in the same economic plight as the Axis powers; They must expand fore ign trade or sink to insignificant proportions. That means that ex ploitation of weaker peoples must continue so long as they cling to bur price and profit system.lt means further that it is to their in terests to keep such backward nations from becoming self-sufficient through the avenue of advanced technology. They would attempt to hold back the dynamic tide of scientific évolution. Of course it is futile, but man has persisted in doing some very childish things. Why do I pester you with my logic? Simply because you are at the head of our* banking structure and past experience has proved that bankers are not a very broad minded group*.They have profited from inflation and deflation while each cycle grew progressively more "distructrrveof^he masses. They fail to grasp the fact that they are digging their own graves as well as ours. Foreign trade based on money advantage leads directly to war. Ambrose Bierce-Devil»s Dic tionary- defines "peace" as a period of cheating between two periods of fighting*I believe you will agree with that definition. We,of the U.S.A. and Soviet Russia are the only nations in pos session of sufficient basic resources. Thus it becomes easy for the two to say,-"let us have peace on earth and goodwill towtrd all men” . That is comparable to a farmer who owns a rich,productive valley farm and admonishes his hill-billy neighbors to keep out of his gra nary. In case they don’t obey orders he has the "law1 on his side ;he ' can fill them with buckshot and enjoy immunity from prosecution.At least he will not be convicted of murder in case he kills one. That analogy leads to this question; Are we going to join forces with Britain and force,by military might or arbitrary law, the hill billy nations to live in poverty and like it? If we do we will run headon into conflict with the Russian communists. If F.D.R. thinks he can play one against the other and lead the world down the Primrose path of peace he is even more childish than his enemies have claimed. Our trouble would come from Britain,not Russia. If we compete with them in the world markets for materials we do not require(because of our virtual self-sufficiency) they would be justified in resenting such practice. They do so to survive and we do it iror money profit which God,and even bankers, aught to know we do not need since we now possess a major part of the world's gold supply. We insist on controling the Latin American markets,?nd if we succeed in such control we will hurt them rather than help them? they know this fact and some have the courage to say so. Now, Mr.Socles, do not accept this essay as evidence of antipathy toward you. Par from that. I believe that you are one of the few bankers who can face facts even when they hurt. I believe further, that you can r^flily understand that we must not put undue faith in the premis that we can better our own social structure by a vast extension of for eign trade. Of course, we will do some exchanging of commodities,and we should stand ready to instruct all backward nations who manifest a des ire to improve their technology and thereby be in a better position to help themselves; But we should never be guilty of trying to force our way of life upon people who do not admire our particular way. We might be wrong. In fact,the deplorable health statistics,and our crime records and the appalling num^ber of mental oases should awaken our people to something that remotely resembles rational economic thinking. We are so definitely interdependent,here at home,-not on a world-wide scale,- that we simply must begin to think in terms of WE inst^ft of MS. We have manifested a willingness to ration our SCARCITY; Are v e not i 4 big enough to ration our material PLENTY? As you stated in the address quoted in!LABOR"; The people know how ’ abundantly able we are to provide a much higher standard of healthful living than now exists. This can never come to fruition while we cling to an economy of SCARCITY and controlled price designed to create ind ividual fortunes. The perpetuity of the economy of SCARCITY means accelerated domestic conflict,and carried into the field of world a f f a i r s leads directly to the next war,and the next war will beyond reasonable doubt lead to the general use of poison gas,and that means the end of what we call civ ilization;- the white man*s kind. "The bird of time is on the wing,and has but a little way to fly” . Is there any way to break through the intricate web of confusion.called CONGRESS? If our Labor leaders could only understand that winning strikes and a few cents per hour in wage/ Increases is not the answer there would 4?« some hope from that quarter; but to date they have not given us much encouragement. Two wrongs were never known to 'make a right”. Mon ’ opolistic Bnterprise and monopolistic La,bor are diametrically opposed to the general welfare. Unfortunately every office seeker is obliged to cater to the wishes of one: or the other. Perhaps the maligned Technocrats really have something of value to offer our confused populace. You may have reed v/hat the Encyclopedia Americana has to say about their program. Here is exact quote. "Whatever the future of Technocracy,one must fairly say that it is the only program of social and economic reconstruction which is in com plete intellectual and technical accord with the age in which we livo". Note the two words ONLY and COMPLETE; they are too all-inclusive to cast aside without serious investigation and consideration. No writer has contributed so much to rational thinking as did Thorstein Veblen. Despite the condemnation by the Vested Interests his seversl books are again /being read by serious thinkers. His Engineers and the Price System may yet rock the antiquated economic method to its very foundations. In case you havn*t read it,and some of the others, may I suggest that you do not delay. Those 60 million jobs that both Dewey and P.D. promised will prove to be the-most childish ’campaign oratory” if we expect to create a better ’ America by doctoring up the old economy of PRICE and Scarcity. With 9 ; ! 8( of the energy in our country coming from artificial power how does any informed man expect 60 million workers to earn their living "by the sweat of their brows"? Especially when said machines are controlled by monopolistic interests- Big Business and a couple of BIG unions? We MUST prepare to retire the un-needed elderly folks om a adequate monthly paycheck; oblige the young folks to contribute their share of remunerative work; assure them a PAIR return for their contribution. Vie know "idleness is the devisl’s workshop". We had far better trust the elders to idleness than our energetic youngsters. That feeble Social Security act is a step in the right direction;but there is an inherent weakness it that "plan". It is merely an expedient,not a cure. Sincerely yours, Charles K.Chilberg. February 8, 194-5• Mr, C h a rle s K. G h ilb e r g , 1410 S.' E . Selmont S t r e e t , P o rtla n d 14, Oregon. D ear M r. u a i lb e r g : T h is i s t o thank you T or y ou r e x c e p t io n a lly i n t e r e s t in g and th o u g h tfu l l e t t e r o f Febru ary 1 . I am im pressed by what you have t o sa y and th e way in which;you say i t , an<£ in, g e n e r a l 1 th in k you and I would be in agreem ent. a s one who has spent most o f h is a d u lt l i f e i n .t h e banking b u s in e s s , I would not a g re e t h a t bankers have p r o f i t e d from i n f l a t i o n o r d e f l a t i o n , however. Down through th e y e a r s , ban kin g has not been th e p r o f i t a b l e e n t e r p r is e t h a t . i s g e n e r a lly supposed, and no n a tio n has suoh a bad re c o rd o f bank f a i l u r e s as o u rs . I t o ccu rred t o me th a t you might p o s s ib ly be in t e r e s t e d in s e e in g th e t e x t o f my repent speech, to. which yov re fe r. I have marked on page 6 a re fe r e n c e t o what seems t o iue a w h o lly m istaken id e a t h a t p r o s p e r it y a t home depends on f o r e i g n t r a d e . I b e lie v e th a t f o r e i g n t r a d e depends p r im a r ily on p r o s p e r it y a t home. I was p a r t i c u l a r l y stru c k by your apt statem ent th at we have m an ifested a w illin g n e s s t o r a t io n s c a r c it y and th a t we should be & ig enough, t o r a t io n our m a t e r ia l p le n t y . L e t me a l s o thank you f o r t h e e n c lo s u r e s , in c lu d in g your paragrap h on f r e e e n t e r p r is e and th e g ra p h ic i l l u s t r a t i o n o f th e advan tages o f c o o p e ra tio n . S in c e r e ly y o u rs , M. S . E c c le s , Chairman. Enclosure lT:b