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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Feb. 22, 1901)
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j; Whether Common or Not
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Staff and Line.
There Is glitter and splendor In buttons and braid;
In epaulettes, sword and chapeau;
There is comfort and ease in staff office parade,
And pleasuro in dancing and show.
A carpet knight's berth in the Bureau of Ease
Is something especially fine
But what of the comfort of thousands like theso
Bravo privates who light in tho line?
A bureaucrat's berth and a bureaucrat's pay,
And a snap through political pull;
With a bright social life and Its pleasures so gay,
Keep tho staff down in Washington full.
But out at tho front where the grave dangers lurk,
And there is lack of tho feathers so fine,
Aro tho fellows who nover a plain duty shirk
The privates who light in the line.
'T was the Washington staff that was back of the plan
To double our bravo army's size;
And its members are scheming, each sure he's the man
Who should get tho "two stars" for a prize.
But never a thought is bestowed on the men
Who struggle on through rain and shine,
And do their whole duty again and again ' '
. The honest, brave men of the line.
Circumstances Alter Cases,
i' But I thought you were in favor of electing" sen
ators by direct vote of the people! " exclaimed the con
stituent from Podunk.
Senator Getthere smiled languidly and remarked:
"Yes, but that was before I made my senatorial
record. I find now that it is much easier to control a
A Pertinent Question.
" Friends and fellow-citizens," exclaimed the can
didate for re-election, " my record is as clean as"
"-Then why ask us to whitewash you?" queried
the Mean Individual who occupied a. seat in the re-
A Natural Query.
Purchasing furniture, bric-a-brac and books on the
installment plan has become one of the greatest of
the fads. This explains a query propounded by an
Omaha Miss of five summers.
One morning she was aroused and told to go to
mamma's room and see what mamma had for her.
The little Miss went to the cosy bedroom and found a
baby brother. Gazing with delight upon the little
baby the Miss suddenly exclaimed: '
"Ain't it bootiful! B'ess its heart! What day
will the agent come awound, mamma?"
How form a combine big and grand
And boom stock till it goes
A kiting up to beat tho band?
Why, organize in Jersey land,
Get somo protective tariff, and
Promote it with a hose.
your purpose to contend that the constitution is tho
supreme law of the land?"
"It is not. I would not be guilty of treason to
our noble executive."
"And you refrain from reiterating the old say
ing about 'no taxation without representation?1 "
"I have no faith in those old chestnuts, sir."
"You never make mention of the word 'sympathy'
when referring to people struggling for what they
foolishly term -liberty.'"
"There is no such word as 'sympathy' in my par
ty's political' vocabulary."
"Then here is your permit to proceed, sir. It is
properly signed by the Stand In Oil Company, the
Cuban Franchise Grabbing and Concession Promoting
Syndicate, the Philippine Island Exploitation Combi
nation and the Guam Consolidated Exchange of Po
litical Favors for Party Considerations."
A few moments later the populace was being spell
bound to a finish.
Hope springs eternal in tho human breust;
Man longs for time when ho no fortune lacks,
Hut trusts, alert, aro novor known to rest,
Hut inuke each hope bear stamps to pay the tax.
Extract From United States History.
(From Bamboozte's "Revised History of the Amer
ican Republic." Published by Foolem & Co.)
George Washington was a Virginian, who in early
life developed a mania which biased biographers
called 'love of liberty.' Being gifted with something
akin to mesmeric power Washington deluded many
people into rebelling against our great and good
friend Great Britain. As Great Britain was at that
time busy with a few other little jousts ove in Eu
rope, Washington and his crowd succeeded. Wash
ington was offered a crown, but made a grand stand
play by refusing, although he knew the crown
wouldn't fit. He was elected president and his lack
of, mental balance was demonstrated by his belief
that he was actually elected to administer the law
for all the people. At various times in his career
Washington said some very pretty things about
'equality,' the 'constitution,' and other things of like
import, but which nobody pays any attention to these
days, unless it be a few Little Americans. That
Washington was not worthy of being classed among
the republic's great statesmen is proved by the fact
that he could not tell a lie. Ot course this would,
were he alive today, keep him out of office and make
him persona non grata with the trusts and corpora
tions that exercise such benign rule over us. George
may have been in all right in his day, but he was not
worthy of a place in the same class with our states
men of this Twentieth century.
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I Public Pawnshops, f -0-
Must Be Very Careful.
The closing rally of the administration party had
been called to order and the chairman introduced the.
speaker of the evening.
"Fellow-citizens," he said, "I am here tonight for
"Excuse me," interrupted a gentleman whose very
attitude suggested authority in the party ranks. "Ex
cuse me, but before you proceed I must ask you a few
"Very well, sir," said the speaker of the evening.
"You do not expect to .quote anything from
Washington's Farewell Address,' do you?"
"Certainly not; I'm no copperhead!"
"And nowhere do you quote from any of the
speeches of Abraham Lincoln?"
"No, indeed! I am too loyal in mv support of
our party's plain duty; too firm in my adherence to
our plan of benevolent assimilation.".
"That is good, sir. Now may I ask you if it is
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Chicago has furnished an excellent example for
many cities by operating successfully a pawnshop on
a small margin of profit.
In France, the state runs the pawnshops, charg
ing but a lov rate of interest that is hardly felt by the
poor. It is a recognized institution where the care of
the state has made small loans on personal property
easily secured by those in need. The United States
cannot adopt such plans. The loan agency of the
Illinois State Pawners' Society is not a governmental
affair. It is merely run on philanthropic plans that
insure a minimum of cost to the borrower.
As in French shops, low rates of interest are
charged. There is no doubt that private pawnshops
often charge such exorbitant usury that the interest
soon eats up the principal. In every other way, the
Chicago shop practically has the same rules that gov
ern the ordinary pawnshop. The first annual report
of the society makes an exceedingly gratifying show
ing, the venture proving advantageous to the men and
women who furnish the money and to the borrowers.
It would seem that the philanthropic pawnshop is by
no means 'the least form of charity.- St. Louis Republic.
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.Not all trusts aro directly fostered by tho pro
tective tariff, but many of the most oppressive and
obnoxious of our monopolies owe their undue power
to the system that once found reason for its existence
in the fact that it was a stimulus to "infant indus
tries." The infants have become giants but tho pap
is still provided. It enables the manufacturers of
many commodities to form unlawful combines and
charge more for their wares at home than abroad.
It hasr driven many a small industry to the wall,
blighted many a hitherto prosperous community and
robbed many a workman of nis means of a livelihood.
In so far as the tariff fosters trusts the foregoing in
dictment is a true bill.
The American Tin Plate company is one of many
striking examples of high protection for a trust and
none at all for its victims. The annual meeting and
report of that company, showing earnings of 10 per
cent on a vastly inflated valuation, is eloquent testi
mony to the patience of the American people under
imposition. At the time of its organization in 181)8
the tin-plate combine comprised 95 per cent of the
tin-plate capacity of the country. It is backed by a
tariff of half a cent per pound, or about 47 per cent
of the value of its product. At the annual meeting
its surplus was shown to be $1,500,000 in excess of
fixed charges and preferred dividends. The net cash
assets after payment of the dividends and charges of
the classes named were $5,471,003 A profit of 10 1-3
per cent in the common stock of $28,000,000 is shown.
The directors ordered a quarterly dividend of 8 per
cent and the statement was made that the surplus
assets were sullicient for a dividend of 25 per cent if
The preferred stock of the tin plate trust is $18,
325,000 and its common stock $28,000,000, or a total of
$15,325,000. The proportion of water is indicated by
the fact that the trust's plants could be duplicated
for $15,000,000. In order to make its enormous profits
on a capital of three times the legitimate value of its
products the tin trust is obliged to charge home con
sumers more than its goods are legitimately worth
and it is enabled to do this by a 47 per cent tariff.
Its great earnings have brought competitors into the
field. Independent plants are being built and this
competition may in time force prices down. Bo it
remembered, however, that the trust itself may do
that very thing and to such a degree as to drive its
competitors out of thebusines or compel them to ex
change their plants for trust stock. Thus far compe
tition has not affected the market.
The tin trust is merely an example. There are
four score others in this country that could have no
monopolistic existence if it were not for the pro
tection afforded by -the tariff. Minneapolis Times.
The formation is reported of the "National Shoe
Company," under the laws of Delaware, with a capi
tal of $3,500,000, to take over all the leading shoe
factories of the country. But it is not a trust, of
course, according to the promoters, nor, designed of
course to do more than make shoes cheaper to the
consumer by doing away with commercial travelers
and effecting other economies. According to R. F.
Wolfe of Columbus, O., who is a promoter of the
scheme, the new company is rather to be a distribut
ing agency for a lot of independent concerns con
nected with it. A meeting of the promoters will be
held in Boston this week, it is said, to perfect the
Of all the celebrations in honor of Abraham Lin
coln this most impressive was that of the Republican
club of New York city. The spectacle of Mr. Hanna,
with tears of manly emotion rolling down his nose,
proclaiming his undying devotion to the horny-handed
proletariat, while such altruists as Mr. Whitelaw
Reid, Mr. Depew and Mr. John M. Thurston wildly
applauded the sentiment, was enough to recall the
rail splitter from the great beyond. If he did look
down upon the scene, however, he must have been
forced t$' admit that as an emancipator and bene
factor bt' the race he was not duce-high with the
tenderUiearted philanthropist from Cuyahoga. Chi
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