February 1933 John L. Lewis speaking to the Senate Finance Committee:
The political stability of the republic is imperiled. In excess of twelve million wage earning are unemployed. In certain industrial states the percentage of unemployed equals 40 percent of the enrolled workers. Of the remaining 60 percent a large number are employed on a part-time basis, and are the victims of a continuous schedule of wage cutting. Those who are employed, directly or indirectly, must inevitably bear the burden of supporting the millions to whom employment is unavailable. The cost of maintenance of government, and the support of non-productive institutions, is, therefore, day by day being passed to the continuously decreasing number of citizens who are privileged to work.
Our Republic and our institutions can not be expected to exist under the progressive accumulation of ills which result from our inability to properly organize our economic processes. Manifestations of widespread unrest and discouragement almost akin to despair, are daily becoming more violent. Over wide areas insurance companies and other investors find the population in rebellion against the usual processes of recovery from debt defaulters. Violent resistance to evictions for rent default daily becoming more evident. Disorder and rioting, because of the inadequacy of public relief, is increasingly prevalent. Continuing bank failures with their consequent train of human tragedies add to the sum total of bitterness of a population sick with waiting and deferred hope for intelligent economic and financial leadership. A student of history will find, in many a duplication of these appalling conditions in the misery of the French people antedating the French Revolution. The Bourbons of France like some of the modern Bourbons in our own country, indulged themselves in idle chatter and continued to believe in their own security, notwithstanding the suffering and degradation of the masses. They paid for their error and their inaction with their heads.