By JOHN STEVEN McGROARTY
In Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine of November 19, 1933.
Author of the Mission Play and Poet Laureate of California.
e had been listening to speeches, reading articles in newspapers and magazines, poring over the works of the economists, hearkening to the loiterers in public parks, and all to no avail. What is the matter with the world and what to do about it remained a
mystery to us. Then, we heard a voice in the Synagogue, but whether it came from the back seats where the sinners congregate or the high seats which the saints occupy, we were unable to tell. It was probably from somewhere in between that the voice came.
It was the voice of a doctor of medicine, although it was not of medicine that he spoke. Dr. F. E. Townsend speaking from under a rafter down near the sea. And this is what he was saying:
"To help cure the economic ills that afflict our own country let us adopt a system that will retire men from work at the age of 60 years, giving to each person so retired a pension of $200 a month, but on one condition onlythat each person so pensio
ned must spend the money as soon as he gets it. ....Trade and commerce would boom and no depression could occur as long as several billions of dollars of money reached the channels of trade through the pensions each month. The old folks, no longer paralyz
ed with the fear of the poorhouse and dread of having to receive charity, would enrich the world with artistry and their acquired wisdom. Insane asylums would no longer be filled to overflowing, the prisons would lose half their inmates, and the happiness
of the world be increased immeasurably."
Now, do you know, this seemed like a ray of light and wisdom to us as we listened. There seemed to be so much more sense in it than what Spengler, Ortega and all those so-called smart fellows have been saying.
The white-collar man, the artisan and the other classes of men, are not wanted after they are even forty-five years of age. They are ditched by employers just when they are most capable and useful. And it is a great pity that they have no chance.
Would not the suggestion made by Dr. Townsend be a way out? We, ourself, have not the knowledge to answer. But, it is something for all who sit in the Synagogue to think about.
What the Old Age Revolving Pension Will Do
It will remove all excuse for pauperism except that due to low mentality. The mentally defective can then be automatically recorded and their propagation be checked by scientific surgery.
It will so stimulate the invention of machines for the doing of the world's drudgery that men will be free in greater measure to devote themselves to mental and spiritual progress.