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Frances PerkinsFrances Perkins
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in the sheet material that it buys, what kind of thread shall be used to hem it, how long they shall be, how short they shall be, what color they shall be - the whole story. It also can say what tests they must endure if it's steel or machinery. It's all specified and any specifications can be added.”

“Well,” said Felix, “I think that the specification as to the wages paid could be added to the bill of particulars which the purchasing agent puts up for public bid.”

Roosevelt took that suggestion and said, “That's interesting.”

I said, “I don't know, perhaps more can be done and perhaps that's all that can be done. Perhaps that isn't even practical, but, at least, that's the first clue I've had. I think we should do something to peg the fall of wages all over the United States, because they're falling more and more rapidly everywhere and are falling below any possible level of furnishing purchasing power.”

I want to remind myself that at this time, when I was talking to Roosevelt, the Keynes theory of the purchasing power as being one of the large elements in a supporting economy was not commonly understood in the United States. There were a few people who had heard about it and grasped it, and you did hear reverberations of it. Whether the

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