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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

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THE LACK OF PLAN               35

the war began, All through the war's history many
of the country's mistakes have been based on the
encouraging conviction that the war would be over
in the next six months. This conviction is still
cherished to this day, and there can be no doubt that
if those who cherish it hold on to it long enough they
will come right some day.

But if delusions of this kind may be fairly
excused in the man in the street, they do not seem
to be any excuse for those who are responsible for
our finance for their total lack of a thought-out
scheme at the beginning of the war, and their total
failure to produce one as the war went on. We have
financed the war by haphazard methods, limping
along the line of least resistance. We are con-
tinuing to do so, and we may do so to the end,
though there are now growing signs of an impatience
both among the property-owning classes and others
of the system by which we are financing the war by
piling up debt and manufacturing banking credits.

The objections to the policy on the part of the
*' haves " and the " have nots" are, of course,
different, but as they both converge to the same
point, namely, to the reform of our system of war
finance, it is possible that they may in time have the
effect of shaking even the confidence of our poli-
ticians and officials in the haphazard and slipshod
methods which would long ago have produced
financial disaster if it had not been for the great
financial strength of the country.

Finance is an enormously important weapon in
the hands of our rulers for guiding the economic