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Main Street

Saturday, January 18, 2014 - Updated: 4:08 AM

Modern Economics

Perhaps it isn't a very patriotic thing to do, but every time I read something about the CWA sponsoring an educational program I smile. Not that all these things aren't worthwhile, but quilt making, basketry, rug weaving, crocheting, home-stitching embroidery, tap dancing, etc., some are kindergarten-like compared to the CWA. If somebody would start a course in modern economics that would be understandable to the average citizen, a course that would guarantee comprehension of the NRA movement, with all its alphabetical ramifications, the TERA, and its offspring, the CWA and the NRS, and the others, I would be among the first to hail the new project.

It is useless to berate the common people for lack of interest in official matters when they are unable to grasp the issues and mechanics of new movements. So many times I have been asked, "Why don't you write something about the CWA?" And when I hesitate, they accuse me of withholding information that should be public property. But that isn't the trouble. I can't very well start explaining things about which I know little or nothing. Only last week I succeeded in finding a member of the committee who, after much effort, straightened me out with reference to the persons who are in charge of this work in the County. And when I thanked him and told him that I would be back for more information in a day or two he answered. "Sorry, but I won't be able to help you. I'm resigning. And, by the way, two other members of the committee are getting out with me."

Now, I ask you, how can a fellow keep posted on matters that are as changeable as the Wall Street market? It seems to me that local officials are getting blamed for some conditions over which they have no control. No sooner does an order come from headquarters and things begin to operate smoothly than that order is rescinded and the game begins all over again. Far be it from me to make any disparaging remarks about being on the gold standard or off but many residents of Amsterdam are vitally concerned at the present time with the far more important questions of getting a livelihood. Undoubtedly, there are many deserving cases being held up by this cluttering of rules, regulations and interpretations. The social science experts, it would appear, have bitten off far more than they can chew.


The outlook indicates another big annual get-together of the Amsterdam Fish and Game League at the armory some time in March. The world's champion professional fly caster will give an exhibition (of fly catching, of course) and the local members will give an exhibition (of pancake consumption, of course) and a jolly good time will be had by all. For the benefit of the doubtful ones, it may be well to announce now that there will be no delay on account of the coffee. Main Streeters with good memories will recall that there was consternation at last year's affair when the Java failed to put in an appearance. And the fellow they sent out for emergency rations came back with two pounds. Two pounds of coffee for 500 dinners. Tee-hee!


Not so long ago, the Rotarian carried a satirical article about the established convention of giving a dinner for people who are about to leave town and concluded it with: "Next time, instead of giving some fellow a dinner for moving away from town, why not give one to some fellow who moves in?" That question is answered by a Hamilton (Ont.) correspondent who says all business executives who have moved into that city are given an annual banquet by the Chamber of Commerce and that this very modern custom is proving quite successful.

Yes, but Amsterdam has gone even a step further. It is not many moons past that a group of big butter-and-egg men came into this town and started their operations by giving a dinner, instead of receiving one. That might have become a custom, too, if ... well, it turned out to be so ultra-modern that it was thought best to discourage it before the thing got out of hand. The guests of honor who ate so well on that evening of glad welcome were eating their words long after the generous newcomers had moved out and beyond. Free meals are all right in their place --but their place is up in the Welfare Department.


It may have been the spirit of St. Louis that caused the girls' quintet traveling under the name of that city to be so rough on the local court Tuesday night. Then it may have been only a desire to give the local female fans a real treat. Regardless of the cause, that was a remarkable showing they made and it just goes to prove how tough the original Amazons must have been. After the game, the wife of one of the local players was heard to mutter something about it being well worth 35 cents to see her husband get what was coming to him. And other women spectators at the contest didn't hesitate to express the wish that they would like to see their husbands handled by these athletic demands. But it seems to me that this would be taking unnecessary chances, ladies. It is possible that they aren't always to rough. And that thought worries you, doesn't it?

This was originally published January 18, 1934.


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