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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (April 19, 1901)
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. ingto secure credit because of "the increased
volume of money, which they did not contem
plate and did not want.
Business conditions have not been normal
during the last three years. War in the Phil
ippines and in South Africa has operated to
raise the price level, first, "by withdrawing a
large number of men from the labor mai;ket;
and second, by increasing the demand for pro
visions army supplies and equipment for sol
' diers. Nations have been mortgaging the fu
ture to secure money to spend in the present
There is a theoretical advantage jn the
double standard, but the practical necessity for
it has been based upon the scarcity of gold. If
.the production of ;gold increases to such an ex
tent as to furnish a volume of money which
will keep pace with population and business,
the restoration of bimetallism will not be neces
sary. But if such a condition comes it will be
more gratifying to bimetallists than to the ad
vocates of the gold standard, for bimetallists
will have secured that Avhich they desire,
namely, a stable dollar, while the advocates of
the gold standard will be disappointed because
of the disappearance of the dear dollar.
Whether this increase in the production of
gold will be suilicicnt to maintain the level of
. prices, is a question which no one is prepared
at this time to decide.
Not all of the animal product enters into
. the currency. A very considerable -proportion
of the production goes into the arts
arid Borne gold is necessary to compensate for
the shrinkage by abrasion and loss of coin.
No one can say with certainty just how much
will be added to thfl gold coin of the world an
nually. It injust. be remembered that a large
addition to the annual supply of money is neces
sary to keep paco with population and industry.
In 1890 Senator Sherman made a speech in sup
port of the bill which bore his name, and in
that speech he argued that an annual addition
of more than iifty million of dollars was then
necessary in this country alone. How much
would be necessary for the entire world if all
nations adopted the gold standard? Then, be
sides furnishing the necessary annual increase
there would have to bo enough gold to replace
the standard silver money now in use in the
world, which amounts to some 4,000,000,000.
There is also a large quantity of uncovered
paper, which might absorb a great deal more.
It requires a period of years to measure the
influence of the money supply on prices. All
that anyone can say now is that the increased
production of gold has brought a measure of
relief; no one can say that it will be found
Even now the tendency of prices is down
ward again and nearly every week shows a
greater number of business failures than the
corresponding week of last year. According
to the index numbers of the London Econo
mist the price level reached the highest point
in March of 1000 and remained nearly station
ary until September of that year. Since the
later date there has been a perceptible fall. If
the reaction from high prices continues for a
considerable period it will bo proof that the
gold supply is not equal to the demand made
upon it, and the necessity for bimetallism will
again become apparent.
Whether improved conditions will force
the money question into the background or
whether Icsh favorable conditions will give it
a new emphasis, no one can predict with cer
tainty. The same principle, however, which
divided the people upon the money question
will divide them upon a number of other ques
tions, and those who take the side of the masses
on the money question will take the people's
side on other questions which separate the
wealth producers from those who seek an un
earned and undeserved advantage over- their
Civil Service Reform.
The New York Nation, one of the staunch
est supporters of civil service reform, thus dis
cusses the new member of the Civil Service
The President's appointment of ex-Representative
Rodenberg of Illinois as Civil Service Com
missioner is ideal that is, it represents perfectly
the McKinley notion of civil service reform. Mr.
Rodenberg has openly and ostentatiously opposed
the whole reform system. On February 17, 1900,
he was one of the seventy-seven members of the '
House who voted, on a formal roll call, to strike
out the appropriation for the Civil Service Com
mission. This is, of course, the annual spoils
men's motion. They wish to kill the reform sys
tem by refusing to provide its necessary expenses.
To stand up on a yea-and-nay vote and be reg
istered in favor of this attack on the merit plan of.
filling public offices, has long been recognized as
the mark of the thorough-going spoilsman, the
man who sneers at "snivel-service reform" and
denounces the "hypocrites" who pretend that Con
gressmen will not appoint the noblest specimens
of the race. Mr. Rodenberg is fresh from this
demonstration of his hostility to reform, and it is
fitting that President McKinley should now select
him to administer the law which he abhors. It is
like appointing an ex-burglar to be police magis
trate. Mr. Rodenberg's "special fitness for the place"
is trumpeted in a dispatch from Washington to the
Court Circular beg pardon, we meant the Tri
bune. Yes, but he was also eminently fitted for
any other place within the gift of the president,
and uncommonly anxious to fill one; the kind and
itF duties being a matter of indifference, provided
the salary were satisfactory. There was "a great
time at the White House today," telegraphed the
Washington correspondent of the Chicago Record
on March 20. He referred to a gathering of the
Illinois delegation for the purpose of demanding
from the President the appointment of ex-Representative
Rodenberg as a Commissioner of the St.
Louis Exposition. Mr. McKinley was reminded
that he had been appointing "dead ducks" to that
desirable sinecure, but that four of them had come
from the Senate and only two from the House.
Moreover, the Republican dead ducks had been
getting the worst of it. The Illinois delegation
united, therefore, on Mr. Rodenberg. He wai a
republican, no duck could be deader than he, :md
he ought to have the place. The President de
murred, and is even said to have displayed a little
temper at being asked to provide for so many
"busted" politicians. Happily, he bethought him
self of the vacant Civil Service Commissionership,
and, regarding it frankly as "a place," flung t :;y
a sop to the spoils-hunter. But we know That this
is no "backward step" in civil service reform, be
cause President McKinley promised that none
should be taken during his administration.
Mr. Rockhill, the American Commissioner
at Pekin, is full of trouble. It appears there
is a ceremonial peculiar to the Chinese Court
which is extremely objectionable to Americans
and Europeans who dance attendance before
Chinese royalty. This ceremonial is called the
"Ko-Tow." ' When oiie ' enters the presence of
the Chinese emperor arid empress, he muBt fall
prostrate and beat his head upon the ground.
Because foreign ministers have objected to this
ceremonial they have found it necessary to ab
sent themselves from the presence of the royal
family, and transact their business with the
rev resentatives of the ruler of the country.
N effort has heretofore been made to abolish
this ceremonial. Mr. Rockhill has taken the
bull by the horns and is endeavoring to induce
the Chinese Court to receive European and
American representatives without requiring
them to indulge in a ceremony so obnoxious..
Mr. Rockhill is not to be blamed. On the
contrary he is to be applauded. It would be
difiicult for a,n intelligent American or Euro
. pean to take kindly to the Ko-Tow ceremony.
Yet we doubt not that to the people of China
who are accustomed to that ceremony it is-no
serious embarrassment. It all depends on the
way in which a person has been reared. Even
we Americi'ins have some practices which the
Chinese cannot quite understand. They prob
ably find it difiicult to understand how it is
that a people who, as our missionaries tell them,
follow a God "who so loved the Avorld that he"
gave Iris only begotten Son that whosoever be
lieved in Him should not perish but have ever
lasting life" they probably find it difiicult, we
repeat, to understand, how such a people could,
find it in their hearts to loot and pillage and.
destroy as we have looted and pillaged and de
stroyed in China.
This Ko-Tow ceremony doubtless puzzles
us no more than some of our practices puzzle
v - ....
The Concord Hymn.
11Y BAI.rn WALDO EMERSON. '
(On the nineteenth of April, 1830,' a
monument was erected upon the Concord bat
tlefield to commemorate the engagement fought
there April 1 9th, 1 1 15. Ralph Waldo Emerson
wrote a hymn which was sung on that occasion
and the first stanza was inscribed upon the
monument. This number of the Commoner is
issued on the anniversary of the battle of Con
cord and the reader is invited to compare the
sentiment expressed by the poet with the senti
ment that inspires wars waged for the purpose
of extending trade.) .
By the rude bridge that arched the flood, , ,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled, ,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.
The foe long since in silence slept; ..
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set today a votive stone; ' '
That memory may their deed redeem, a
When, like our sires, our sons are gone, vf
Spirit, that made those heroes dare !'
To die, and leave their children free, .
Bid Time and Nature gently spare ?
The shaft we raise to them and thee.