THE ECONOMY: Jabber Jitters

Up before 600 lunching Los Angeles bigwigs one day last week rose Lever Bros. Co.'s plain-talking President Charles Luckman. He had something to say about the psychology of fear: the American people, he thought, were talking themselves into a depression.

All over the U.S., "from boardrooms to barrooms" Luckman had encountered it. The talkers were not measuring the U.S. economy, but "their own fever chart"—using a special kind of emotional arithmetic, adding two and two to get zero. Luckman preferred to add U.S. employment of 59 million (still close to its alltime high), savings of $200 billion and a purchasing...

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