My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Tuesday—I read with interest this morning Mr. Sloan's statement that one of our chief objectives at the present time should be the planning of postwar jobs, and this should not only be the obligation of industry, but also of government.

The inference is, that it is more important than the running of the war and the hastening of the war's end. I disagree with this, but entirely agree that industry and the proper government agencies should be at work now.

My impressions from reading a number of remarks that have been made on the need for government economy, even on the part of our war agencies in preference to further taxation, is that in some quarters we begin to think the war is won. This is not true. It seems to me that suddenly a number of people have lost the realization that, unless we win this war and win it as soon as possible, we have wasted not only immense sums of money, but what is impossible to gauge in terms of money, human lives.

I do not like taxation any more than other people. I certainly do not like waste, either in human material or in any kind of of material we produce. Nevertheless, I would rather feel that men were giving their time in essential war agencies to getting things done quickly, even if it cost more money and required more personnel for the time being.

I would know that such a policy would, in the future, save me days and months of carrying the full cost of the war. This can be measured daily in material expenditures, but can never be measured in loss of human beings.

We, as individuals, might well be urged in our civilian lives to undertake many economies and sacrifices. But anything which concerns the winning of the war should be measured not by the standards of economy of personnel or of money, but by the standards of actual accomplishment. At present that seems satisfactory.

Of course, I think that it is vital for certain sections of our government to collaborate more closely with our leaders in industry and in labor who are planning postwar expansion. This should be pushed and those who are properly concerned with the future should be giving it their best efforts, but in no way should it interfere with the efforts now made to win the war.

First things come first, and we know that, until the war is won, no plans can be put into operation dealing with peace economy. We also know that every single life is a valuable as set to the future if we are planning on expanding our peace economy.

This is just the way one woman looks at a problem which may be considered out of a woman's sphere, but I am quite sure that women are going to concern themselves about these economic and political problems in the future and make clear where they stand.

E. R.


About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, October 13, 1943

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