A word from Senator Robert Wagner

From the Congressional Record in 1935:

While 60 percent of the families in America contributed only 1.6 percent to the total savings of the country, 2.3 percent of all families contributed 66-2/3 percent to all savings, and 60,000 families at the top of the economic ladder saved almost as much as 25,000,000 families on the lower rungs. Corporate surpluses rose from $8,500,000,000 in 1923 to $16,000,000,000 in 1929. These accumulations of the few sought outlet through investment in plant facilities. Contrasted with the 10 percent rise in wages between 1922 and 1929, the production of machinery increased 91 percent and of capital equipment 70 percent. Production mounted beyond any possibilities of market absorption.

For a short while we staved off inevitable disaster by the pipe dream of installment selling and by lending Europe money with which to buy our own products. But when the domestic market finally closed to further investment, and foreign trade collapsed because our own people had no money with which to buy European goods, the crash came.

79 Cong. Rec. 7567 (1935).

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