The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Tuesday—It seems curious to me that we accept with much less excitement so drastic an action as the right of the War Manpower Commission to shift workers without their consent to new places of abode, or into other fields of work; and yet seem to find it so difficult to accept any suggestions for new types of taxation.

I was much interested in Senator George's remark that the Treasury's "Spending Tax" was a levelling tax. I supposed that was the type of tax we were looking for at present. It must be however, that the pull of material interest has always been one of our strongest motivating forces and is still stronger in the minds of most of us than the right to work where and whenever we choose.

I think that in the present situation we have to accept as workers in civilian life, or even as private individuals, the decrees of our government in exactly the same way that soldiers have to accept them. I would not oppose any of these decrees. The only thing which surprises me is, that where our pockets are concerned, we fight so much harder and apparently so much more successfully against certain drastic changes.

I suppose it is in our tradition and it will take us longer to make the changes. In the end we will accept them, as we do everything else when we realize that to do so will shorten the war and give our boys a better chance to come through alive.

There is no retreat for the defenders of Stalingrad. As we read this morning that their lines stiffen, I think everyone in this country must want to express his admiration for their extraordinary ability to stand and to take it.

The RAF and our own men seem to be effectively continuing their raids on Germany, but it does not look as though raids alone were the final answer to the battle of Europe. All we can do is to pray that our production will really reach the point where decisive action can be taken.

As I came down from Westbrook, Conn., yesterday, a man sat down beside me. He had been to Bridgeport trying to get into a defense workers school. He was married and had a child, and his own business had been ruined by the war, but so far he had not been able to get anywhere. Apparently, there is still a pool of workers in New York City, who have not found jobs.

Jacqueline Cochran has earned her appointment to direct women's air work and women everywhere will be proud of her achievement.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • New York (N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, September 16, 1942

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

TEI-P5 edition published on April 28, 2017.

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.