More often than not to alleviate an effect augments the cause. This is but dimly recognized in the field of economics because effect and cause are many times so well concealed that the relationship is not apparent. It cost the omnipotent farm board hundreds of millions of the taxpayers’ dollars to learn that the price of wheat and cotton was an effect not a cause. And to endeavor to improve the price (the effect) by governmental buying only increased overproduction (the cause).
Unemployment being an effect of the depression it is evident that any scheme for directly alleviating it must be well thought out, otherwise the cause (the depression) is liable to be increased and prolonged. I believe it can be shown conclusively that all devices such as the dole, or other outright gifts, tend to prolong the depression and consequently to increase unemployment. Further, maintaining 1929 wage scales with 1932 living costs, or supplying men with jobs to do work not needed, or to require them to perform work by hand which could be done better by machinery, all such plans have a tendency to prolong and increase our present ills.