the garbage pail of a family almost as poor as our own, with the wife and husband constantly complaining that they could not get along, she could scarcely believe her eyes. A half pan of hominy of the preceding days breakfast lay in the pail next to a third of a loaf of bread. In later years, when I saw, daily, a scow loaded with the garbage of Brooklyn householders being towed through New York harbor out to sea, it was an easy calculation that what was thrown away in a weeks time from Brooklyn homes would feed the poor of the Netherlands.
At school, I quickly learned that to save money was to be stingy; as a young man, I soon found that the American disliked the word economy, and on every hand as plenty grew spending grew. There was literally nothing in American life to teach me thrift or economy; everything to teach me to spend and to waste.
I saw men who had earned good salaries in their prime, reach the years of incapacity as dependents. I saw families on every hand either living quite up to their means or beyond them; rarely within them. The more a man earned, the more heor his wifespent. I saw fathers and mothers and their children dressed beyond their incomes. The proportion of families who ran into debt was far greater than those who saved. When a panic came, the families pulled in; when the panic was over, they let out. But the end of one year found them precisely where they were at the close of the previous year, unless they were deeper in debt.
It was in this atmosphere of prodigal expenditure and culpable waste that I was to practise thrift: a fundamental