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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Oct. 11, 1901)
to exact excessive prices for the necessaries ptltfai
la in many cases entirely unwarranted. ..,,,..
The motto o all should be to live1, and let(.
live: and the retail dealers should bVar in mind
that there is a limit to the incomes' of their cus
tomers. Men who own their own houses and
have large incomes can stand the raise uncom
plainingly; hut day laborers, mechanics, and men
having small salaries and large families are being
hard pressed to, meet the continuing increase in
the cost of living.
These conditions should be taken into consid
eration by the various organizations and com
binations that control and regulate prices.
The above appeared as an editorial in the
Omaha Bee, Nebraska's leading Republican
. In the first place, retail dealers under the
present trust system, established and encouraged
by Republican policies, are merely agents for
the trusts. When the retail price is raised on
coal, meat and manufactured provisions, the
trust is largely responsible for the increase.
The Bee lays down an excellent motto, " to live
and lot live," and it well describes the enor
mous burden that must fall upon the laborers,
mechanics, and other men having small salaries
as a result of thid enormous increase in the
price of the necessaries of life.
How would this Republican organ remedy
this unhappy condition? As easy as falling off
a log. Listen! "These conditions," says the
Bee, "should bo taken into consideration by the
various organizations and combinations that
control and regulate prices." In other words,
after the Republican party has permitted trusts
to organize and to multiply as they never or
ganized and niuftiplied before, after the Repub;
lican leaders one by one have lined up in
defense of the trust system; after the Republi
can party has failed to even enforce existing
laws against that evil after all this Nebraska's
Republican organ proposes to remedy the evil
by moral suasion.
Moral suasion, indeed! Moral suasion upon
a combination of men who know that they
must strike while the iron is hot if they would
become multi-millionaires; that they must take
advantage of the license given them by the
Republican party to "control and regulate
What an inspiring spectacle is this! Here
we have a Republican organ pointing out, in
pathetic words, the evils which the trust system
has imposed upon the people of this country.
Does it say to the Republican leaders: this
license, giving a band of men authority to go
upon the highways and byways and do their -worst,
must be destroyed? Does it say to the
Republican party: your partiality for the trusts
is bringing the laborers and mechanics of this,
country to the verge of distreos; you must re
verse your-position -and show some considera
tion for the people? Does it serve notice upon
the trust magnates that even the republican
party dare not be responsible for the imposi
tions that are being practiced upon the people?
By no means! It pleads with the trust mag
nates that they deal gently with their patron.
It pleads with the trust magnates that they do
not ta"ke the bread out of the mouths of tho
children of the poor. It says to these trust
magnates, in effect if not in words: to bo
surej iyou have been given a" license to do yourf
worst; as tho beneficiaries of republican policies '
you have the power to say what tho people
shall pay for the necessaries of life, but wont
yon be kind enough, dear; good Trust Magnates,
to consider the conditions?"
According to this republican organ, day
laborers, mcohanics and men having small sal
aries and large families arc being hard pressed
tomeet the ever continuing increase in the cost
of living. Although this organ knows -that
the power of tho trust would bo gone if tho tc
publican party was determined to destroy that
power, it has no word of condemnation for the
license given these organizations and combina
tions, but it hopes, by pathetic appeal, to hearts
of stone, to persuade the trust magnates to take
these serious conditions into consideration.
The idea of giving to a coterie of men tho
power by which they may control and regulate
prices upon the necessaries of life a power
given to them in return- for political campaign
contributions and then expecting those men
to listen to an appeal based upon humanity and
justice! A more absurd proposition never
crept into the columns of a daily newspaper.
"These .conditions," says this republican
organ, "should be taken into consideration by.
tho various organizations and combinations
that control and regulate prices." This is tho
t'ouching appeal that goes from this republican
source to the beneficiaries of the republican
trust system. And the only answers to tho
blunt appeal are the sneers of a defrauded peo
ple ,because,.of the. absurdity of the request, and
the mocking laugh of the trust magnates be
cause of the suggestion that they surrender any
of the power which they purchased of the re
One of the readers of the Chicago Chronicle
calls attention "to an editorial which appeared
in that paper reading as follows:
Mr. Bryan rises to remark: "I am not willing
to concede that the Cleveland element can obtain
control of the democratic party." The Cleveland
element carried two presidential elections for the
democratic party, which were the only national
democratic victories since the war. The Bryan
element led the democratic party to defeat in two
presidential elections and would lead It "to another
if it should have the lead. The Cleveland ele
ment hasdone much better than the Bryan ele
ment while in control of the democratic party,
The reader then asks the Chronicle the fol
lowing question: "Now suppose the Cleveland
element should be successful in nominating one
of their men in 1904 and the Bryan element
should vote for- the Republican candidate or
not vote at all, as the Cleveland element did
in 1890 and 1900, how many counties in the
United States will the Cleveland element carry?"
This question is very easily answered by
the gold Democrats. They assume that
every believer in Democratic principles would
vote for any candidate nominated by the
gold and corporation element of the party,
even though the gold and corporation
element would not vote for a believer
in the Kansas City platform. The gold
Democrats are very- one-sided in their logic.
Party tics arc binding on all exccpliemsolvcfl.
It is a significant fact ' that tho Chronicle
did not mention the campaign of 1894 when
the party under the Cleveland leadership met
a worse defeat than it did in 1890 or 1900.
Favoring the Influential.
Two officials of tho wrecked Seventh Na
tional Bank of New York were indicted by
'the grand jury, but they wore not arrested until
nearly two weeks after the indictment was re
turned. Tho United States' assistant attorney
explains tho delay in these words:
"To subject these gentlemen, who are reput
ablo business men, to confinement in prison from
Septembor 11 until tho return of a United States
judge to the city who could accept ball, would bo
a hardship and unfair in view of the fact that
there was no likelihood of their trying to evado
answering tho indictments."
Can men who do things which a grand jury
believes to be deserving of indictment be said
to be "reputablo buHiness men?" Even if in
this instance, these men were "reputablo busi
ness men" why should they be given more con
sideration, after a grand jury has preferred'
serious charges against them, than the hum
blest citizen in the land?
What reason had this United States' attor-
ney for assuming, that "there is no likelihood
of their trying to evade answoring tho indict
ment?" Was it because the evidence was not siif
ficient to convict? Then why did tho grand
Was it because these- '.'reputable business
men'' depended upon the good' fortuno of influ
ential men accused of crime to escape respon
sibility for their lawlessness?
It is true that in many instances the author
ities are altogether too solicitous lest a "hard
ship" should be imposed upon influential wrong
doers but, do these wrong-doers ever stop to
consider the hardships they might be imposing
upon tho men and women who trusted their
savings to them?
An Expressive Cartoon.
The Chicago American recently contained
a cartoon which was so strong and impressive
that it was secured and, by the courtesy of Mr.
Hearst, is reproduced on another page of this
issue. It is from the pen of Mr. Briggs, a
former Nebraskan, and presents more clearly
than words could the direct connection between
ignorance and vice.
The American charges that the present
shortage in school funds is due to 'the tax
dodgers and quotes from Hon. Frank J. Loosen
a member of the Board of Education, to show
the extent of the falling off in the school ap-
propri.ation. Mr. Loesch says:
"We'll have to close the schools for part of tho
year, if Mr. Frost's figures on our Income are not
wrong. I -hope there is some" mistake. It doesn't
seem possible that the public schools in a city
like Chicago can he so juggled with. The council
allowed us an appropriation of $7,463,000 for the
coming year. Acording to Mr. Frost's figures wa
will have to get along with a net income or $4,
860,000 a direct cut of almost 30 per cent.
"No amount of scrimping or saving will make
up such a tremendous deficiency. In 1900, when
we were short only $600,000, we had to cut teach
ers' salaries to a bare living wage, close the high
school for 'a 'fortnight and the primary1 schools
for one week."
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