The highly important Report of the Hoover Commission reveals that the Federal Government owns or is financially interested in approximately 100 important business enterprises including the production, the distribution, and the sale of electric power ($823,000,000 invested in the Tennessee Valley Authority alone), fertilizers, and telephones; in the operation of railways and steamship companies; in the smelting of metals; in the buying of and sometimes in the selling of farm products; and in many other business activities all involving a direct investment at present of $20 billion with about $14 billion more on the way in the form of definite commitments. At present, there are 40 government agencies engaged in lending, guaranteeing, and insuring with already existing investments and definite commitments of about $22 billion. Loans of all kinds to every type of enterprise are made including the manufacture of automobiles and prefabricated housing. Thus, a total of over $55 billion of the taxpayers’ moneys is in business run by the Federal Government in competition with private enterprise. And by the way, who is it that is talking about monopolies? On the point of competition of direct interest to ourselves, private financial institutions in this country have $77 billion of the savings of the public while the Federal Government through savings bonds, postal savings, pension and trust funds has over $96 billion of the thrift of this country — a 2,000% increase in 20 years, while the increase of sayings held by our own savings associations over the same period was 75%. It is utterly stupid for banking and financial institutions in this country to indulge in competitive bickering while the Federal Government moves ahead with giant and ever-increasing strides to garner control of the savings of the people of this country, just as it has done and proposes to do more of on the lending side of the business and in the erection of political dwellings.
A council for home protection was organized early to lead the fight to defeat the proposition, including the accompanying $100,000,000 bond issue. The groups determined not to let the matter go by default were the New Jersey Savings and Loan League, under the splendid leadership of Emil Gallman, the New Jersey Lumbermen’s Association, the New Jersey Association of Real Estate Boards, the New Jersey Mortgage Bankers, the New Jersey Home Builders Association, the New Jersey little Association, and the New Jersey Apartment Owners Association. You will notice the absence of the New Jersey Bankers Association and the Savings Banks Association of New Jersey – direct payday lenders with 1 hour approval service. The latter two organizations were asked to participate but contented themselves with the usual generalities aimed against encroaching socialism but failed to take a specific stand on the matter. Funds to finance our resistance were raised, about half of what was really needed, and a well-known and able man with wide experience in political public relations work and in civic and tax campaigns was engaged. Because of a very limited budget, radio time was out of the question, and very little newspaper advertising was used. Four separate pamphlets were prepared that were concise in subject matter. These were widely distributed in quantities ranging from a quarter to a half million for each pamphlet. A number of speakers were used throughout the campaign at all types of meetings. A good coverage was secured from newspaper releases. Although certain accompanying circumstances may have contributed to the extent of the victory, the people spoke their answer in no uncertain terms. The result, which certainly exceeded our greatest expectation, does tend to prove strongly that the current “isms” can be beaten if we get to the people with a clear understanding of what is involved.