I turned over the page that was a full page spread of photographs of the nation's mourning for King George V, which was possibly the reason my mother was interested in keeping it, yet here on the reverse side was this fascinating article entitled "Business Outlook – An American Survey – Most Obstacles Political".
I recently wrote an article titled about what happens when going somewhere else, and this was just such a situation..
The first paragraph of this 1936 article cites the Guaranty Trust Company of New York: "Most of the serious obstacles that now beset the path of recovery are primarily political, rather than economic."
The company maintained that since the depression (which history tells us, concluded in 1934) American business enters the new year of 1936 in the most favourable position for some time, at least in the short term.
The article provides a list of encouraging business signs, and in the following part of the article, the substance of the discussion, under the sub-heading "Government in Business" it reads:
"Among the less encouraging factors in the situation, the most important as far as the domestic outlook is concerned, is the extent to which government activity has penetrated the business field."
The writer then goes on to give a full explanation for this statement and concludes the article with a section on Excess Bank Reserves.
As I read this article, penned 74 years ago, it could have been written after each of the Chambers of Commerce meetings it has been my privilege to have attended in Moruya for 14 years, and then in Tweed Heads and Kingscliff for five years.
There has been no greater divisiveness in the Australian local business communities than government red tape making it difficult to dismiss employees. Listening to small business owners, the issue was never sacking personnel to spite them, but rather to keep the business in the black under difficult trading circumstances.
Small business people work very long hours with a huge commitment to get their business up and running and at a profit as soon as possible, and then to expand and grow. To do this in the long term, they require solid, loyal and dependable employees and it is not in their interest to see off the premises good employees.
The problem of government penetrating the business field is a perennial one it seems.
This 1936 article spells it out in the American economy and it seems as though the Sydney Morning Herald finance and business editor of the time recognised that the same sorts of issues were also experienced in Australia.
It remains applicable today.
Churches and Missions too are caught up in the same 'government penetrating the business field' in their endeavours with many challenges ahead from a political perspective.
It is to be hoped that Governments will continue to recognise the huge social contribution churches and missions make to the well-being of our society, and the wages and funding they save the taxpayer in the social work that they do.
Without all the outreach done by the religious communities in our society, and some of the secular charitable organisations and as well, (one can think of the SES, the Rural Fire Brigade, Lifeline, Careflight and the other medical charities, etc) there would be a lot more people left out in the cold – literally – because the Government could not provide for them all.
It is to be hoped that the tax benefits currently enjoyed by these churches, organisations and charities are not ever eroded away by any more political interference than is absolutely necessary for them to prove their bona fides as true charitable organisations.