And why must we convince ourselves of the necessity of spending the time and money essential to showing the citizens of this country what is happening to them. Let us set out a few facts that may tell the story. The Census Bureau as of July, 1949, revealed that there were 5,418,000 government employees — ^federal, state, and local. On of every 11 employed people in this nation was on a government payroll, the total of which is equal to $8.00 a month for every man, woman, and child in the United States.
For the calendar year 1948, the tax revenue collected by the federal, state, and local governments was equivalent to the total wages and salaries of 40% of the total number employed in non government occupations in this country. The 1948 receipts of the Federal Government alone amounted to an average of $1,073 for every family in the United States. The range was from $583 per family in the West South Central States to $1,555 per family in the Middle Atlantic States.
A week ago last Tuesday, there happened an event which should be encouraging to those of us believing in the American opportunity system. The story is worth the telling in some detail for the lesson it points up that the schemes to advance socialism still further in this country can be stopped if we will only free ourselves of the feeling of defeatism; release our minds from the belief that it is inevitable that this great country of ours shall fall prey to a small minority bent on committing it as they have successfully done in one way or another to almost every nation in the world. The citizens of New Jersey, voting in a general election on November 8, 1949, soundly defeated a state political housing bill, 621,462 to 375,566. The legislation as passed by the Legislature, subject to approval at the November election, was, as is usual, represented as a slum clearance plan, as an aid for those not eligible for federal political housing, and as a self-liquidating program. In accordance with the customary pattern, the proposed program was actually none of those things and was riddled with the typical deception and double talk. As to the matter of aid to those not eligible for federal high-cost political housing, it should be noted that the area of possible subsidy contemplated by the proponents would have included 90% of the population of New Jersey. The proposition was a part of the legislative program of the incumbent governor, who was himself standing for re-election and who succeeded in his efforts by a relatively small majority. Of course, the scheme was supported by the officials of the State Housing Authority, Most of the veteran organizations were behind it as were the CIO, the League of Women Voters, the New Jersey Council of Churches as well as other welfare organizations. As incredible as it may seem, it was a part of the platform of the Republican Party in the election. If a task ever looked hopeless, certainly the possibility of defeating this proposal did.
It would be less than frank if one were not to convey to you that in my travels throughout the country this year, one of the major concerns of our folks seemed to center about competitive dividend returns that are apparently unjustified by net earnings and reserve positions but are based, for the most part, it would seem, on a desire for growth or on the theory that being mutual institutions, it is not so essential that we build our reserves against asset loss.