The industrial crisis and its cause
“It is considered likely that unemployment will become a menace again next winter, as it was in the winter of 1921, unless industry brisks up meanwhile. As a matter of fact, grave doubts are being expressed as to whether periods of acute unemployment may not in future be as much a part of the economic system of the United States as they are in other industrial countries. It is pointed out that the increase in producing equipment has almost reached the point, where it is a hindrance rather than a help to an even flow of prosperity. The steel plants of the country and the shoe industries can produce twice as much output as the country can consume.
“Similarly, textile mills, automobile factories, and various other branches of industry, have an output capacity far beyond the country’s powers of consumption. To keep these various industries going at maximum rates it is realised that considerable export outlets, which are at present not in evidence, would be necessary, and as the progress of manufacturing develops in other countries less industrialised than the United States is at present it is likely that there will be still less demand for the surplus products of American factories. This can only result eventually in a considerable lowering of the American standard of living, now reputed to be the highest in the world.”— The American Correspondent of The Manchester Guardian. (July 10, 1924.)
(Socialist Standard, August 1924)