consumers have been the self-forgotten men and women of the country.
Their lack of organized strength was visualized in the code set-ups
of the NRA, dominated as they were by producers and trade bodies.
Yet consumption is the "we" aspect of economic change—the
quotient between income and prices which expresses much of what
we get out of our bargain with life. These years of widespread
want in an age of surplus have become the crux of renewed attacks
on private ownership and profit-taking; and of current advocacy
in their stead of production set going by the stimulus of serving
human needs. Our less philosophical "share the wealth" agitations
may be vague as to how this is to be managed; but during the depression
consumers cooperatives have multiplied in the rural and semi-rural
districts. The drives for more rational distribution of essentials
are illustrated by municipal, state and national efforts to cut
down the spread between what farmers get and what families pay
for milk....For nearly ten years Survey Graphic has followed as
probably no other general magazine one field of sharp controversy
in which the consumers stake is urgent—our need and use of
medical services. Each year more experiments in both group practice
and group payment go forward with the backing of progressive physicians
and laymen. The five-year study of the Committee on the Costs
of Medical Care is now followed by the vast national inventory
of chronic illness and disability which has been entered upon
by the United States Public Health Service with benefit of WPA
funds. It will add to the impatient body of facts on which we
can, if we will, base sound efforts to break down the wall of
cost between doctor and patient. As things stand, of the hazards
originally blocked out by the President's Committee on Economic
Security, sickness remains for report and action.
"People Like Ourselves: Forecast for Survey Graphic"