Popular Science Monthly/Volume 84/May 1914/Labor and Capital
|LABOR AND CAPITAL|
NEW YORK UNIVERSITY
THE manual worker is not left in ignorance respecting his rights, his wrongs and his importance. In season and out of season he is taught that the world owes every man a living and that he should receive wages enough to support his family according to the American standard; that his labor makes value and that his share of the profits is withheld; that capital, all-powerful, is consumed with passion to enslave helpless labor; that he can secure his rights only by compulsion, since the interests of capital are antagonistic to those of labor. These matters deserve consideration.
The world, that is, the community, owes no man a living; it did not bring any man into existence and it is under no obligation to support the children of heedless parents. One must emphasize this truism, because there is a rapidly growing tendency to believe that poverty and vice are due to the rapacity of employers and to insist on the responsibility of the community, en masse, for continuance of the evil conditions. During a so-called investigation by a commission of the Illinois Senate, an official of the Illinois Steel Company was asked to tell what he regarded as a fair living wage for a man with a wife and daughter. At a hearing before a Massachusetts commission it was shown that the wages paid are so small that one employee, in order to support himself, his wife and their eight children, was compelled to do outside work—and the heartless corporation was duly flayed in headlines. But it must be evident to any thoughtful man that wife and children can not be considered in connection with the relations of wage-earner and wage-payer. The only question concerns the worth of the man's services. Introduction of other matters would so increase the uncertainty of business affairs as to make them little better than a lottery. If a man's services are not worth enough to secure wages which would support a family, he should not marry. He may not complain because the community is unwilling to have him gratify his desires at its expense.
The wage in shops and factories is said to be so small that women are driven to prostitution; one is told that, in each year, 200,000 women in our land are compelled to sell their bodies to procure the necessaries of life, and that each year sees 700,000 children perish because their parents have insufficient nourishment. But the voices, which rise in bitter outcry against this awful condition, do not rise in protest against encouragement of unrestricted reproduction among the wretched or against the wide open door which increases the population annually by a net half million of, in great part, poverty-stricken immigrants—and this in face of the fact that our country is no longer able to provide work for those already here. If it be true that the alleged number of children die because they or their parents have insufficient nourishment, one must concede that their deaths are a blessing to themselves and to the community. Such children should not have been born. But the assertions are a priori, they can not be proved and are closely related to the other assertion that poverty is the cause, not merely a cause of crime. The statement of an abandoned woman before a State Commission is accepted as final, despite the counter assertion of the associated social workers, whose close relations with the impoverished classes should make their statements authoritative. But the slanderous statement is spread broadcast and wage-earning women are viewed with suspicion.
It may well be that not a low wage, but a wage too low to gratify vanity or the desire for luxuries, may be the determining cause in a great proportion of cases. Sexual desire is the strongest natural appetite in every normal young man or woman. If there be a deep-seated moral sense, the wage will make no difference. If there be no moral sense, the wage is unimportant. So long as the chief deterrent from gratification of the desire is the fear of inconvenience and social disgrace, yielding to temptation will be dependent on the danger of exposure. Unquestionably, the majority of fallen women come from the poorer classes, because those classes are by far the most numerous; but a very considerable proportion have come from among those whose wages are far from low, while the record of divorce courts make very clear that even the possession of wealth can not prevent women from straying. This question of morals in women employees answers well as a slogan in attacks upon wage-payers, but it appears to sink into insignificance when it involves the rights of wage-earners as against the wage-payer. A telegram from Everett, Washington, dated October 23, of last year and published in the New York papers, gives the illustration. The manager of a telephone company, appearing before the State Industrial Commission, held that employers should weed out from their service all immoral girls and women. But two women members of the commission maintained that employers should not concern themselves about the morality or immorality of women employees, provided these perform their tasks efficiently; these commissioners insisted that the employer has no right to exercise any control over the conduct of employees outside of working hours.
The demand that all should be able to live according to the "American" standard, whatever that may mean, is coupled with the assertion that wages have not kept pace with the increased cost of living. Tables of comparative prices are published in the daily papers, which prove that the cost of food has increased incredibly within a decade or two. It is well understood that one can prove almost anything by means of statistics and these tables are illustrative. Some of them are as absurd as would be tables to prove increase in cost of living by comparing the price of diaphanous calico in 1858 with that of the finest cambric muslin in 1913. The writer has lived in New York city during almost three quarters of a century and he knows that, whatever may be the conditions elsewhere, prices of the essential articles of food, with few exceptions, show comparatively little increase during the last fifty years, while some show a marvelous decrease—material of the same quality being compared throughout. Beef, such as nearly all New Yorkers ate sixty years ago, can be purchased at hundreds of large shops at barely 20 per cent, higher price; flour, grade for grade, has not risen in price, while the great fluctuations in price of the olden time are unknown—in 1854 or 1855 the writer paid twelve dollars for a barrel of family flour for his father; eggs, grade for grade, are, thanks to cold storage, little higher during the winter months than they were many years ago; while refined sugar costs to-day little more than was charged for a light brown sugar in 1858. Butter and hog products have increased in cost and are likely to continue increasing until ruled off the list of foods. The growth of urban population has destroyed the butter industry, as sale of milk is more profitable and less burdensome. In former times, when corn was worth only a few cents per bushel, western farmers had their choice between using it as fuel or converting it into pork. But corn is worth now from 50 to 70 cents per bushel, according to the crop, and it can not be converted into pork except at a loss. Pork will disappear as a food staple and butter will be replaced by the more wholesome oleomargarine products. Within our large cities, an anomalous condition exists in the price of vegetables. Wholesale prices have not increased, indeed in many cases, they have decreased greatly; yet because of archaic methods of distribution, the retail cost is greater. But this does not concern the general question.
The stability of prices of the food staples, in spite of increasing demand, is due to several causes, of which only three need be noted; the consolidation of continuous transportation lines, which has made possible the extraordinary low freight rates in this country; the consolidation and localization of manufacturing interests, which has increased available capital and has led to introduction of improved methods; the ingenuity of inventors, which has made unnecessary a vast quantity of unskilled, even of skilled labor. Our flour is from Dakota wheat ground in Minneapolis and our beef is from western cattle slaughtered in Chicago, yet the prices are, at most, little higher than those paid sixty years ago for flour brought by water from Rochester and Richmond, or for beef from Ohio and New York.
But in some other directions, where the inventor's work has not kept pace with expansion or where trade-union influence has prevented full utilization, the effect of increased wages is only too manifest; the mechanic has himself to blame for the untoward condition. Compared with 1858, a day's work means fewer hours and greatly increased wages. One illustration suffices. Building is much more expensive when bricklayers receive about 6 dollars for 8 hours of work than it was when they received 2 dollars for 10 hours' work. The increased cost of living in large cities is due very largely to increased wages for decreased hours of work. If one doubt this relation between wages and prices, he needs only comparison of the cost of pig iron and of ready made clothing in 1897 and 1901, the difference being due almost wholly to wage-increase.
The cost of living has increased out of proportion to the wages, but only because the mode of living has changed and the requirements are greater. The clothing of fifty years ago would not satisfy the people of our day. The clerk must ape the man who has twice his wage. The workingman demands luxuries for his table, which the well-to-do man of sixty years ago never thought of buying. One is asked indignantly, Has not the poor man a right to these things? Certainty, if he can afford to pay for them, just as every man has a right to an automobile and chauffeur, if he can afford to pay for them; but no man, rich or poor, has the right to expend so much of his income on things, not necessary, that, when times of depression come, he will have nothing left and must become a burden to the more provident members of the community. The complaint is the same throughout the scale; it is not confined to the "poor" but is common to all; the man with two dollars a day is embittered as he considers the luxury of the man with five dollars; the man with ten thousand dollars a year is unhappy because, in his limited condition, he can not make so grand a show as does the man with twice or five times as much. It is impossible ever to reach the "living wage," because desires increase with the income and poverty is always present. Men's minds dwell almost wholly on what they have not; too few are willing to recognize the abundant blessings which they possess.
Labor certainly creates value and it is entitled to a generous reward; but this doctrine, as defined by labor unions, is not exact, since they lay the chief emphasis on manual labor. Yet they do not ignore the superiority of mental labor. The plasterer, whose work requires much natural as well as acquired skill, would be indignant at a suggestion that a hod-carrier should receive wages equal to his own. Unskilled labor is merely animated machinery for rough work and adds very little value to the final product. It is utilized because abundant and low in price; as soon as it demands an excessive wage, it is displaced by machinery. Skilled labor, combining muscular and mental effort, increases the value in proportion to the mental expenditure; but mental labor, involving no muscular exertion, adds most of all, it is the coordinating, creating power without which the others would be helpless. One E. H. Harriman is of more lasting service to a nation than would be one million of unskilled laborers; without a Harriman they would be a menace. The complaint by the lower grades of workers against the reward paid to those in the higher grades is as absurd as would be a complaint by raw Muscovado sugar because refined sugar brings a higher price.
The asserted power of capital is little better than a nightmare. There can be no federation of capital comparable with the existing federation of labor. The acquirement of capital, that is the saving of a part of one's income or wages, demands much personal independence and self-control, an individuality which makes impossible such slave-like obedience as prevails in labor unions. A monopoly, except through ownership of patents, can not exist in this land. The field for capital is wide open and if any man or corporation prove that a business is profitable, competitors appear quickly, demanding a share. The dwindling proportion of trade controlled by the United States Steel Company, by the American Sugar Refining Company as well as the bitter competition between manufacturers of tobacco amply confirm this statement. Capital constantly combines against capital. The fruit raisers of California unite against the transportation companies to secure unremunerative freight rates, as though the railroads are to blame because the orange and lemon groves are 4,000 miles from the Atlantic seaboard. The tobacco farmers of Kentucky combine against the manufacturers to increase the price of raw materials and enforce their mandates after the most approved trade-union methods; makers of heavy, bulky goods, in order to secure space cheaply, put their factories in out of the way places, but they denounce the transportation companies as robbers because these desire a fair remuneration for special construction and service. The sluggish capitalist, as shopkeeper or manufacturer, rails against his energetic competitor and finds prompt encouragement from politicians, who would tax the efficient man out of business and would leave the community at the mercy of inefficient managers, wedded to antique and expensive methods of production.
On the other hand, combination of labor is no mere possibility; it is an accomplished fact. Labor unions, though controlling only a small proportion of the hand-workers, have succeeded by compact organization in terrorizing office seekers and office lovers, so that legislative bodies grant their demands with little apparent reluctance—and this in spite of the fact that, in some portions of the country, the membership of great unions is largely alien. Compensation laws are enacted freely and are wholly against the "capitalist," who pays the wages to workingmen and the construction placed upon these laws almost invariably favors the employee. Such laws, unquestionably, have solid foundation in justice. An employer must have care for his servants who, too often, are helpless against careless fellow-workers. The employer should enforce discipline and should discharge at once the negligent, incompetent or disobedient employee as a source of danger to persons as well as to property. If he retain such employees, he is himself negligent and should pay the full penalty in case of disaster. No one may complain against this; it is absolutely just. But at once the question arises, who is the employer? The prevailing impression is that those who pay the wages are the employers and compensation laws accord with that belief. The conception was correct enough fifty years ago, but in most industries it is very far from correct now.
In what may be termed unionized industries, the wage-payer is an employer in only a very limited sense. The trade union is the employer, the only employer. The chief strife between capital and the unions concerns this one matter. The many recent strikes in non-unionized industries were not to secure higher wages or shorter hours, but to secure recognition of the unions. Betterment of the workmen's conditions was always mentioned, but that was a secondary matter. The result of such recognition has always been transfer of control from the wage-payer to the union officials. The owners of industrial concerns assume all risks while others control the workers and the methods. Railroads are denounced in congress, in legislatures and in the press because they invite disaster by retaining incompetent servants. Mining and manufacturing companies receive similar treatment. Yet nothing could be more unreasonable. Commercial enterprises are undertaken to secure a fair return on the investment and competition is so severe that the margin of profit is narrow. Owners and managers have no desire to invite disaster and to reduce dividends; but they are helpless in unionized industries. The unions permit employment of only their own members; they determine the rate of wages, the hours of work, the manner of working and, in some cases, even the materials to be used. They demand oversight of discipline and the right to decide whether or not an employee should be dismissed. A superintendent, determined that men must give honest service for the wages received, is denounced as tyrannical and his removal is called for with a strike as the penalty for refusal. In all essential matters, the trade union is the employer, with power to stop work or to begin it again. It regards itself as actual owner of the property and the owner of record is to be tolerated only so long as he obeys the rules. It justifies seizure of the property during a strike; it justifies violence, destruction of property, assassination and resistance to officers of the law in case its demands are refused; it denounces as murderers the men who defend their property against an attacking mob; and it proclaims that its crimes are political, not moral, because the strife is a warfare for human rights.
Labor unions should be incorporated that they may be made responsible as the real employers, as dealers in human labor. Under existing conditions, agreements can be enforced against the wage-payers, but not against unions. When the law has recognized that the union is the employer, disasters on railroads, in factories and in mines will be reduced to the minimum. Reckless engineers, careless switchmen and negligent shopmen will find little mercy at the hands of union officers; miners will see to it that props are put in place and that covers are not removed from lamps; incompetent workmen will be weeded out from the factories and the loss through defective wares will be small. Leaders will not be too earnest in breeding discontent or in urging strikes on frivolous grounds. But those who guide union affairs oppose incorporation; that means stability in conditions, steady work for workmen, no waste of savings during enforced idleness and consequently the destruction of the leaders.
The state, under such conditions, would be compelled to distinguish sharply the several duties of the wage-payer and the employer. Serious responsibilities would still rest upon the owners of property in which men are employed. There would remain to them the duty of protecting workers against accidents due to imperfect machinery or appliances. Yet even here the complexity would remain and strife would not cease. It would appear that the only solution of the problem may be in placing control wholly in the hand of wage-payers, as in non-unionized industries.
The professions of the trade unions are at variance with their practise. They pretend that they are warring for human rights, but they deny the natural right of all men to work and endeavor to limit it to their own members; they deny the right to earn, by fixing a common wage for competent and incompetent, for faithful and unfaithful men alike; they cry for uplift of the working classes, but they resist all efforts to close the cleft between "classes" and "masses," insisting that it remain a bridgeless chasm; an "employer" of labor can not gain or retain membership in a union, because the several interests of labor and capital are antagonistic. When Sir Christopher Furniss offered to his striking workmen the opportunity to purchase his shipbuilding plant on easy terms or to become partners on a profit-sharing basis, the union officials rejected both proposals on the grounds that acceptance of the first would create only another class of capitalists and that acceptance of the second would develop a class of selfish workmen, who would not try to help the "under dog." The plan of the United States Steel Company to offer stock below market rate to the more efficient workmen was denounced as a base trick to bind men to their employers by selfish interest. Workingmen everywhere are taught to look with suspicion on all efforts of employers to encourage thrift. It is impossible to believe that the heads of labor unions have at heart the interests even of their own followers. Enforced idleness during frivolous or sympathetic strikes, lodge dues, strike assessments, testimonials and other contrivances, equally ingenious and successful, certainly prevent too rapid accumulation of savings and remove all danger that the men will become financially independent of their owners. Yet these owners never weary of picturing to the workingman the miseries of his condition; one might imagine that medieval conditions exist everywhere, whereas they exist only among the peons of the trade unions. Cicero was unable to understand how one soothsayer could look in the face of another without laughing. He would be more puzzled to-day if he should hear a labor leader telling his serfs that capital has made it impossible for a poor man to rise above his caste—and this in New York city, where a great proportion of the wealthy men have risen from poverty and a very great part of the real estate is controlled by men who reached this country almost penniless less than 30 years ago. The savings bank deposits in the anthracite region and in the copper region of Michigan prove that the "awful misery" did not exist when the men were at work. These savings have been referred to boastfully as the "backbone of the strike." The selfishness of unions proves the hollowness of their pretence that the warfare is for the rights of humanity. Not only do they attempt to prevent all except their own members from gaining a livelihood, but they also do not hesitate to incommode the whole community, rich and poor alike, in order to hasten success of a strike. It matters not how insignificant the matter at issue may be, the fact that it is an issue makes it so important that destruction of the community would be preferable to defeat of the organized minority. One need not occupy 6pace by detailed illustration. The numerous trolley strikes, ordered at hours when most inconvenience and suffering may be caused; the recent strike of railway engineers in northern England, whereby a great region was threatened with starvation, because the company had suspended a tippling engineer; the recent strike vote on a New England road because the company insisted that fitness should be considered in assigning engineers to important trains; and the strike for similar reasons on the Southern Pacific road suffice. The list might be increased indefinitely, showing indifference to interests of workers who do not belong to the union army—even of those who do belong to that army, but not to the disturbing regiment. The boast, "for the rights of humanity" means for the right of union humanity. Mr. John Mitchell is reported to have said at a convention of labor leaders, that the condition of wages is better than ever before, but still he would ask for more. If a 25 per cent, advance were granted, he would demand yet more. If an eight-hour day were secured for all, he would struggle for a seven-hour day. All this, of course, for unionists. Members of unions are said to number about 2,000,000 in this country; they are to thrive at the expense of the vast majority, who must pay them high wage for a short day. Many are puzzled to explain why trade union workers should have a short day when almost all others have a long day, although the labor in most of the trades, which are unionized, is less exhausting; but the explanation is simple; the union, like the highwayman, possesses power to enforce its demands. There is no laborer save the "horny-handed son of toil"; others exist to be exploited in his strife against the natural law of work.
Labor unions and their defenders justify the use of violence because without it they could not succeed. The assumptions are that labor and society are at war, that the interests are irreconcilable and that demands by labor leaders are always just. McNamara at Los Angeles saw no moral turpitude in arson and murder, because he fought for a principle. The unions evidently agreed with him for they expended a vast sum in his defense. Thirty-eight men were convicted in Indianapolis of complicity in his and similar crimes, but the union approved their work and re-elected the convicts to their offices. The daily papers report almost daily cases of murder and arson in localities where strikes have been ordered. Labor unions defy the law but are ever ready to demand its protection; their principles are no better than those of the India Thugs, who practised robbery and murder in the name of the goddess Cali.
The cruel disregard of other's rights is not born of folly; the union men know that a great part of the community sympathizes with them. Propagation of their doctrines has not been ineffective. There is a general disaffection against those who have achieved success; it matters not what kind of success, the thing itself is a crime. The brutal rapacity of "capitalists" is a welcome theme and no charge is too absurd to be accepted as true. If it be proved false, retraction is made grudgingly with the reflection that the old wolf has escaped this time, but he ought to have been hanged long ago. It is still an article of faith in many quarters, even outside of those inhabited by peoples alien to our mode of thought and to our language, that the panic of 1907 was contrived deliberately by capitalists of New York city, the ground for the belief being, apparently, that they can bring on a panic if they choose. The worst charge that can be brought against a man is that he is rich or against a combination of men, that it is a corporation. The most serious feature of present conditions is the blind, inconsiderate hostility to "capital" manifested by legislators, who are clearly ignorant of what the term means. There is reason to suppose that the average business man is no more and no less honest than the average of mankind or of labor leaders; but his lack of integrity is less dangerous than that of a labor leader, because his interest requires that the community be prosperous, whereas the labor leader is indifferent to the community's interests; he is concerned only with his imperium in imperio.
The propaganda has been so successful that in every contest between wage-payers and unions the popular presumption is against the former. During trolley strikes, indignant sufferers vent their wrath upon the company which refuses to grant the petty demands; when trains or trolley-cars must be withdrawn because of half-hearted protection by the authorities, a cry for repeal of the franchise is raised. A public utility corporation seems to have no rights which the law is bound to respect; it may not share in the general prosperity; even high officials appear to think it virtuous to over-reach such corporations. And all this because they have received certain privileges from the state, which are of inestimable value, while the services rendered in return are wholly undeserving of consideration. The popular antipathy to "big business" has become almost a mania and a great part of the community trembles at the concentration of the "money power" in the hands of a few score of men—though why there should be such terror on account of concentration of the money power and no terror because of concentration of the labor power in still fewer hands is difficult to understand. Laws against mere bigness have been enacted as readily as though it were a crime like burglary. The case of the Harvester Company is in point. The Missouri judge recognized that the whole course of that company had been commendable and to the advantage of the community, but, under the statute, he was compelled to impose a heavy fine because, by acquiring practical control of the market, it had become able, if so disposed, to inflict injury. That the American Sugar Refining Company has reduced the cost of sugar by 50 per cent, and that it is satisfied with a gross profit of less than half a cent per pound is nothing; the concern is too big. That for every dollar of gain secured by the Standard Oil Company the community has gained many hundreds through the reduction of illuminating oil to one sixth of the price 40 years ago is nothing; that most of the profit gained by that company has come from utilization of what was regarded burdensome waste material is nothing; the company is too big and makes too much money. The stupendous service rendered to the country by the United States Steel Company by prevention of panics and depressions is nothing; it is too big. Attacks on these organizations by government officials win great applause, in spite of the fact that so-called "trust-made" products are almost the only ones which have decreased in price—although the great companies pay high wages and their workmen have steady work, because trade unions can not gain a foothold to impoverish the wage-earner by strikes and compulsory idleness.
The confusion of ideas respecting the relations of labor and capital is perplexing; the terms are not used in the ordinary sense throughout. Combinations of transportation or manufacturing companies are taken to be, in themselves, evidence of conspiracy in restraint of trade; but positive conspiracy in restraint of trade by organizations, avowedly formed for that purpose, is highly proper on the part of agriculturists and labor men; and the authorities must not interfere. Tobacco raisers in Kentucky may combine to secure higher prices for their products and "night riders" may burn the property of those who refuse to join the conspiracy; labor combinations may struggle to destroy competition with their members, may attack, even murder those who refuse to submit to their dictation, and they may destroy the property of those from whom they have been receiving wages; cotton planters in the south may combine to force higher prices for their commodity, even though they resort to violence that competition may be prevented. All such combinations are but exercise of natural rights, with which the law should not interfere. But when manufacturers or transportation companies combine to stop waste or ruinous folly in competition, they must be checked at once as threatening the community's prosperity.
This confusion of ideas is not confined to the "unthinking"; it is found among those whose prominence in public affairs is a fair presumption in favor of belief that they are thinking men. Organizations engaged in great industries have retained representatives at Washington as well as at other capitals in order to protect their interests by opposing injurious legislation. There is no doubt that they have endeavored to compass the defeat of politicians who opposed them and they have expended large sums of money in printing and postage to influence public opinion—they do not "admit" this: on the contrary, they assert it unhesitatingly and justify their course. Newspapers and politicians profess to be shocked by such avowals and it is said that some members of an investigating committee were stunned by the shamelessness of the "capitalists." One's sympathy goes out to those innocents. Yet such efforts are within the rights, indeed are within the duties of every citizen; certainly they are in every sense as proper for "capitalists" as is the conduct of taxpayers' associations, philanthropists or labor unions when they do the same thing. Nevertheless, it would appear that the labor unions were aiding the uplift of humanity when they endeavored to prevent reelection of Mr. Cannon, who had treated them with contempt, whereas the National Manufacturers' Association was endangering the Republic's stability by its efforts in his behalf. It was thought to be pernicious lobbying when the Hawaiian planters struggled for retention of tariff on raw sugar while the Federal Sugar Company was thought deserving of credit because it sought removal of that tariff; among the many protests against lobbies few were heard against the labor lobby, which has been denounced as the most insidious of all. Senator Lea summed up the matter clearly when he stated that when a visitor disagrees with a congressman's opinions, he is a lobbyist; if he agree, he is an expert. Those who have followed closely the discussions in congress during recent years must be convinced that too many members are afflicted with the omniscience of ignorance and that they are sadly in need of information on nearly all subjects except the local interests of their districts.
But one may ask, how can such conditions exist and how is it possible that men bearing the responsibility of public office can yield to influences so injurious to the common weal? The writer is no mind-reader; it is not for him to impute improper motives in any case. He may note only the facts which are familiar to all; others may make such inferences as they will. A bill, containing a clause exempting labor unions and agricultural combinations from prosecution under the Sherman law, as far as was possible under such legislation, was presented to the President, not against his will, and was signed by him; the Secretary of Labor is proud of his success in unionizing a Maryland coal area that a strike might be declared in sympathy with a strike in Pennsylvania, more than 200 miles away; the United States Printing Office is in the hands of a prominent labor leader. Wholly similar conditions prevail in several of our great states. Congress and legislatures, at the behest of labor unions, enact laws which are prejudicial to the public interests and to the great industrial systems of the land. The whole sympathy of authorities seems to be with the "under dog" of labor. Interference with strikers and their sympathizers rarely begins until destruction of life and property is well advanced. Even then the person of strikers and their sympathizers is strangely sacred; the first volleys of the soldiery must be directed upward, though the volleys from the mob are direct; the person of the guardian of the law is unimportant, but if a rioter be killed, the officer who ordered the volley is in very great danger of criminal process. Protection is given grudgingly to wage-payers, who attempt to conduct their business in opposition to the striking workmen who have abandoned their jobs; introduction of men willing to work seems to be regarded as a crime. The strike of express-wagon drivers in New York city, the recent trolley strike in Indianapolis and that on the Boston Elevated road illustrate the conditions which should bring a blush of shame to the cheek of every patriotic American.
Organized labor, as well said by Governor Brown, of Georgia, is "the most wide-spread and exacting trust in America—levying a toll on all the other elements of our citizenship." Alone of all the great combinations, it can not gain by lowering the price of its wares: it strives to secure a monopoly, that the rest of the community must purchase its wares at an exorbitant price.
These new tribunes of the people, fomenting discontent and class hatred, are sowing seeds which, if permitted to develop, will bring about the destruction of this republic. The time has passed for the comforting reflection that our institutions are secure and that education will prove the cure-all in this "melting-pot of the nations." There is no longer a melting-pot, the elements are incompatible, they can not fuse together. Thoughtful men must unite at once to secure equality of all men before the law, in which alone security for our institutions can be found.