Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/616

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

Wall Street and the money power should be controlled by progressive taxation.

13. Complete reform of the courts. Neither Mr. Taft nor Mr. Roosevelt is a radical or a democrat, though both to a certain extent—the latter increasingly—have followed the lead of the people. Mr. Taft is called a conservative and is unpopular because he regards the courts as sacrosanct; Mr. Roosevelt is called a radical and is popular because he attacks them. This is a healthy symptom. The injustice of courts established to promote justice is monstrous; their favoritism of the rich is intolerable. The domination of the legislature by the courts, their powers of injunction, imprisonment for contempt, convictions and acquittals on technicalities, appeals on technicalities, delays purchased by wealth and fines as an alternative to imprisonment, expert testimony, insanity pleas, false charges and pleas by district attorneys as well as by hired lawyers, all this must be swept away even at the risk of temporary disorder. The judges who decide that an employers' liability law passed by the legislature is not due process of law should be impeached. If needs be lawyers should be disqualified for a time from becoming judges or appearing at court. The domination of the lawyer and of his point of view in political life is most unfortunate.

14. Free medical service and the promotion of health in every way that does not interfere with the freedom of the individual. The conditions in medicine are not so bad as in law, but they are very bad. Great Britain is just now setting an example in medical reform which we should follow. It is better to promote health than to try to cure disease. All medical and surgical service should be free to those having less than the average income; no hospitals or clinics should be conducted as charities. Private and endowed philanthropy—except as a temporary expedient—is a public nuisance. The rich should be able to obtain the best medical and surgical services only in or from the hospitals, and should be charged in proportion to their means, the fee going to the hospital, not to the physician, who should have a fixed salary. The freedom of the individual, whether to carry on vivisection, to go without vaccination, or the like, should not be interfered with without good cause. Education, publicity, correct labeling and awards for damages are the best ways to prevent malpractise, fake medicines and adulterated foods. A billion dollars a year spent on the suppression of disease and the promotion of health would be a profitable investment, if men can be found to do the work.

15. Old-age and disability pensions. Subsidies for all children. People must be supported in old age and when disabled or submerged, and this should be done by the state as soon as we can manage it. It is not for the benefit of the state or the race, but is a reasonable demand on humanity. The necessities of life should be supplied to every one