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Historical Articles

September, 1952 issue of Plating

 

Editorial


Everybody’s Business

ALTHOUGH THE full impact of the recent steel production hiatus can not be evaluated adequately in terms of statistics alone, a pinpointing summary emphasizes some of its overall effect. Like an ever probing octopus, the tentacles of economic strangulation induced by the steel impasse reach into the quiet cottage of a retired elderly couple, the busy offices and factories, and into the darkest corner of the smallest plating shop.

Several millions of tons of steel have been lost almost as certainly as if they had been sunk in the sea. Through loss of the wages of 650,000 steel workers, plus countless other thousands in affected industries, there has occurred an inevitable loss of purchasing power. And, of course, the government will not collect the taxes on these lost payrolls, nor on the profits which would have been made.

On the plus side of the situation, the price increases to steel and the wage increases to steel’s labor add up to one solid hard-smashing fact. Everything we buy is going to cost more. Metal finishing equipment and supplies, gasoline, heating fuels, and even the simple can of beans will react in an upward price spiral once the pieces of the jig-saw puzzle pattern that comprises our complex production picture fall into place.

Uncle Sam also suffers in that the cost of defense soars. The recently voted air arm funds, for example, being based on pre-strike estimates will be short about two billions of dollars. Higher taxes to foot this and other bills plunges the purchasing power of our dollar further downward 80 that it is now hovering about half of the January, 1939 counterpart.

Statistics, cold and unalterable, add up to an answer that pleases no one save those in the Kremlin whose sly smiles broaden over this turn of events in everybody’s business.

Al Korbelak



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