Before the war Vermont and the nation were approaching a serious
economic crises. The war has accentuated the gravity of the
situation, but has also demonstrated certain human characteristics
that can be enlisted to correct our course. We found during the
war that we were ready to take heroic action whenever an occasion
demanded it--that there was a solidarity of purpose of our people.
This characteristic must now be invoked. We must meet the
conditions that confront us by unity of public opinion and team
The conditions that confront us do not involve the possibility of
immediate invasion of our country by a hostile nation, but they
carry a burdensome penalty if we fail to take the right action.
Happily we are not required to risk our lives or even work harder,
but we must recognize the plain facts that we are not sharing in
the general economic progress of our neighboring states.
In war the nation that wins the victory imposes a burden of tax on
the conquered nation. In the conquest of peace the victorious
nations also impose a burden on the losers. This burden is just as
real as the burden imposed by war, for in both cases the losers
are paying tribute to the winners. This applies to states, to
communities, to families and to men. The situation calls for
prompt attention and concerted action by the people of our state
In the conquest of peace success comes to those people who produce
the greatest value with a given expenditure of energy, or, in
other words, to the people who at the end of a day's, a year's or
a life's work can measure their return in the largest value.
Dollars constitute our measures of value for they are our medium
of exchange of our products of labor. If, to accomplish the same
result, the man with inferior implements must work harder than the
man with the best implements, it is very easy to see who has to
pay tribute to the other in the market where values are compared
and payment made for values.
Owing to the advance that has been made both in invention of
implements and methods and in the organization of workers, there
is now a marked difference in the value of the product of a day's
work. A study of this situation shows the supreme need of action
that will direct our energies as individuals and as a state in a
way that will bring the largest value for a day's work.
We must choose with care our work, our equipment and our methods
of combining our efforts. There must be team work within each
industrial plant and each plant must be in tune with the whole
As a people we have not lagged behind, in fact we have been
leaders in many important branches, but our enterprise has known
no state boundaries, and many of our men and women have gone to
other states. Hence, while as a people we have been leaders, as a
state we have been lagging behind the more active industrial
Vermont is very close to the most highly developed industrial
center on the face of this globe. These centers, through
coordination, invention and choice of work, have been able to
produce greater values per man per day. Men with the spirit of
industry and a practical knowledge gained by experience in these
highly developed centers go out from such centers and build up
other industrial centers wherever the best opportunity appears.
The nearest places to these centers are the most natural fields in
which to start new organizations. But when no cooperating spirit
is found near at hand, these carriers of industry go till they
find better places. Many have traveled past Vermont because we
were busy in other lines and our money was being sent to other
states for investment. Many of our own men left the town of
Windsor during the last sixty years, and from this one town there
has been built a number of important industries in other states
notably in Massachusetts and Connecticut.
It is not necessary to assume that the industrial spirit has
spread under the guidance of man or just by chance as these men of
practical knowledge and enterprise have drifted. It may be that
the successful new centers were merely a few of thousands of
attempts in other places. Our problem is to study the conditions
under which these industries thrive and then see how we can
establish these conditions.
In this way we will be acting in harmony with the natural drift or
natural law, if you prefer, and this is one of the purposes of