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About Will Maupin's weekly. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1911-1912 | View Entire Issue (April 21, 1911)
KEEP LINCOLN "DRY" AND DECENT
What reasons are there to offer for bringing the saloons
back to Lincoln?. What will be the benefits of changing the
policy Lincoln has been following for the two years past? Who
will be the beneficiaries of a change in this policy? Will there
,:be any suffer by reason of changing back to the discarded sys
tern of licensed saloons?
These are, a few of the many and pertinent questions that
press for answer during-the present campaign. The -man who
seeks the best for himself, his family, his community and his
country, will strive to find intelligent answers to these questions.
"License and regulation will increase business!" That is
the first declaration of the man who argues in favor of licensing
saloons. Will that answer stand the test?
Undoubtedly the abolition of the saloon from Lincoln in
jured some classes of business the business depending in whole
or in part upon the manufacture and sale of intoxicants. But
the cold statistics, easily available, point to the undisputed fact
that during the year 1910 Lincoln, without a licensed saloon
within her corporate limits, enjoyed the greatest period of pros
perity in her history. The bank clearings were larger, the build
ing record was far above the average, the postoffxce receipts
were larger, every retail merchant practically without exception
reported larger sales and better collections. Compared with
other cities of the same class licensing saloons, Lincoln had
fewer unemployed men, fewer calls for charity, fewer arrests
for crimes and misdemeanors, cleaner streets, more public work
completed and more public improvements initiated.
Opponents of the "dry" policy have made much of the num
ber of empty houses in Lincoln. That there are many empty
houses in Lincoln no one will attempt to deny. But on the
other hand there are more occupied houses in Lincoln today
than ever before in her history. There are fewer empty houses
in proportion to the population than in wide open Denver, wide
open Omaha, wide open South Omaha and wide open Kansas
City. The average home in Lincoln today is larger, better,
cleaner and more sanitary than the average home in any license
: city 'of the same size in America. Lincoln today presents the
;splendid spectacle of a city without saloons, slums, red light
'districts, wine rooms or sweat shops.
i There is not today a single, solitary argument in favor of
:th licensed saloon not even the arguments Df revenue, regu
lation or business. Twenty-five saloons at $1,500 a year each
would mean a revenue of $37,500. To meet the results would
require a doubled police force, more money to maintain the
jails, more costs to the taxpayers for criminal prosecutions,
more misery, more woe and more heartaches. It would mean
withdrawing $1,000,000 a year from the legitimate channels of
trade and diverting it into channels that run red with the blood
and tears of men, women and children.
For the mere purpose of a few paltry dollars of gain there
are men who would scorn to engage in the liquor business
themselves but who will seek to fasten upon a community a
system that reaps rich profit from the wrecking of men, the
wrecking of homes and the wrecking of society.
The argument of license and regulation is without founda
tion in fact. Carried to its logical conclusion it would render
nugatory every law for the protection of life and property, and
grant indulgences to every foe of society. The fact that whisky
is clandestinely sold in Lincoln today is no argument in favor
of a return to license. Men will commit crimes of every char
acter, no matter how many nor how strict the laws. What man
will dare stand forth and favor license and regulation of crime
because laws are unable to wholly stop them?
Lincoln today, without a saloon, is the cleanest city of its
size in America. It has fewer unemployed in proportion to
population, fewer hovels, fewer hopeless men and women, fewer
child workers, better school facilities and a healthier moral at
mosphere. It is the largest city in America abolishing saloons
on its own motion, and the resultant advertising has attracted
to Lincoln the attention of the best men and women in America.
Its business today is built upon a sure foundation, not upon
a foundation of dead men's bones. It is appealing to the best
there is in men, not to the worst. . '"'.
Shall Lincoln return to the old conditions? Shall it be
said of her, this city of homes and schools and churches and uni
versities and clubs, that for a paltry $37,500 a year it will open
up twenty-five saloons to pour into the social system the veriest
dregs? Shall it be said of such a city that after two prosperous
years under a system that makes for character building and
business progress, it will trade off the results for a mess of pot
tage sell for a pitiful $37,500 a year the privilege of opening
up twenty-five places to lure men to destruction, to cater to
their baser appetites, to build up a political system that has
always traded of the welfare of society for gold!
Ever hear of a rotten, corrupt politcal deal being cooked
up in the rear of a department store or a grocery? Ever hear
of schemes to loot the public being hatched up by a coterie of
crooks in the rear room of a church or a schoolhouse? Where is
the natural habitat of the porchclimber, the strong-arm man,
the political crook and the grafter on the public? Lincoln ip
well rid of them now; shall she permit the return of them i
order to put $37,500 a year into her school fund and force a),
the evils that will follow upon the public in order that a fev
men may make paltry dollars and others given unbounded oj
portunity to exercise the "personal liberty" that simply mean
Every man who votes for license votes to make himself &
partner in and beneficiary of the saloon business. He is a part
to all the evil results that flow from the licensed liquor traffic
There is no difference, morally, between the man who selh?
liquor over , the bar and the man who makes it possible fo
liquor to be thus sold.
The argument that it is better to have it sold openly an
under rigid regulation than to have it sold clandestinely, i
the sheerest rot. It is an argument just as available for th
men who want to run lotteries, steal horses, burglarise bank
or break down the social system by unbridled indulgence of tli
The argument that there is more whisky "bootlegged" iu
Lincoln today than was sold over the bars of the city when "we
had saloons, is too silly to give consideration. And even if it
were true it would be no argument in favor of licensed drink
ing places, with their wide open doors, their conviviality, their
appeal to the social instinct and their readiness to take the last
The license system is an economic wrong. Utterly aside
from the question of morals, every dollar spent for intoxicating
beverages is an economic waste. Every hour spent in front o'
a saloon bar is an economic waste. Every drink taken for "good
fellowship" means an economic waste of human energy and
vitality. One hundred dollars' worth of beer represents $4 paid
for labor. One hundred dollars' worth of shoes represents $32
paid for labor. Which are you for shoes or booze? Of all
articles sold on the market, whisky and beer represent the
lowest labor cost, and for every dollar paid to labor by manu
facturers of intoxicants, $900 is exacted in tribute from the
workingmen of America.
Let us keep this evil out of Lincoln the evil of the open
saloon. The "bootlegger" skulking through the back alley is
not keeping open house and luring the young men to de
struction. Dirty dollars vs. Men and Women !
Revenue vs. Righteousness !
Mammon vs. Morality!
On which side will you take your stand? "
The editor of Will Maupin's Weekly has never yet cast his
vote for the open saloon, and he is too old to begin now. He
never thought enough of a dollar to trade a conviction for it,'
and he is too old to begin now. He denies to no man the right
to drink if he so desires, and reserves to himself the right to take
a drink if he so pleases. But he denies the right of any man
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