Date: June 1, 1931
Location: Northampton, MA
(Original document available here)
The keynote both at a recent meeting of steel men and at a later convention of the Foreign Trade Council was the criticism of wholesale selling of manufactured commodities below cost. Profitless merchandising was denounced. Resistance to price cutting and maintenance of prices were urged.
This principle is of the first importance and if it can be adopted would change the whole aspect of the business situation. Uncertain and declining prices are discouraging and demoralizing. As long as that condition exists nearly everything that is not of the utmost necessity is at a standstill. A state of unfair competition is created paralyzing to buying power. The maintenance of reasonable and stable prices for fabricated products is the first requisite to recovery.
While this subject interests all kinds of savings, investments and business, it is especially vital to the wage earner. The wholesale cost of most commodities is principally the cost of labor. The wage scale of the country has held rather better than anything else, but if all other costs are reduced the pressure to reduce wages will be well nigh overwhelming. Profitable price standards are not a panacea, but they are an essential element to wage scales and economic recovery.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge Says: Dispatches Written by Former-President Coolidge and Syndicated to Newspapers in 1930-1931 (Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation)
The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of Craig Eyermann who prepared this document for digital publication.