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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Aug. 12, 1904)
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AUGUST 12, 1904 - '
ownership it would be necessary to carry the en
tire country for the proposition before a' start
could bo made. Then, too, state ownership avoids
another difficulty. One system proposed ror the
purchase or condemnation of the -roads would bo
more satisfactory in one section while another
system would be more satisfactory in another
section. Under state ownership each state could
adopt its own plan and satisfy its own people.
Since the editorial on state ownership ap
peared the editor has learned that Germany has
now the system of state ownership. Judge Van
Wageuen of Sioux City, la., secured from the
American consul at Frankfort, Germany, the in
formation given below. The questions and an
swers show that the empire only owns 798 miles of
the mileage, the rest being owned by the various
Q. Are the railroads owned by the im
perial government or are tney owned by '
A. They are owned by the various German
states, a federal government ana private
Q. How many miles owned by the im
A.- 798 miles.
Q. How many miles owned by Prussia?
A. fG,075 miles.
Q. How many by Alcase Loraine?
A. 798 miles. (This Is a German federal"
Q. Is government ownership popular
with the people?
A. They appear riot to discuss this ques
tion and seem to be well satisfied with the ex
isting conditions, that is practically govern
Q. How many miles owned by private
parties in all Germany?
A. 2573 miles.
The total mileage of all railroads owned
by the various German governments was 28,
G01 miles at the end of the year 1900.
In arriving at the mileage I flguro one
kilometer equal to five-eighths of a mile. The
following shows the number of kilometers:
- Owned by. ' KUometers.
Bavaria .....;...;... .5,750.9
Saxony : ;... 2,442.4
' Wurtemburg ...... .... 1,594.1 "
" Badfen '. . .". ..IV: V. '. .. .1,612.9
- Hesse .. 1,130.1
Mechlenburg-stretUtz . . . . '. ... IGO.1
Oldenburg ? 021.7
Saxe-melninger '. 250.7
Saxe-altenburg '. 164.3
Saxe-coburg and-Gotha 281
SchwartzDurg-rud '. 106.1
Reuss Sr 43.3
Reuss Jr G2.5
Lubeck ............ f ;..."; . . . . 10.7
Bremen 51.2 .
Hamburg t 40.3 .
It may be added that there are several in
ternational trains in Europe, running through
several countries. It would he as easy to
provide for interstate commerce over state
railroads as it is now to provide for through
freight arid passenger trains over different
Before he had succeeded to the presidency, and
while he was vice president, Mr. Roosevelt deliv
ered a speech at Minneapolis. In its issue of Sep
tember 4, 1901, the Kansas City Star printed an
editorial from which editorial the following ex
tract is taken:
"Faithful are the wounds of a friend,"
said Solomon, the wise man of old. Under
this head may be classed the utterances of
.Theodore Roosevelt In his address at Min
neapolis on Labor Day. Standing out strong
and clear among all of the declarations which
have been made on the subject of trusts are .
the following sentiments by the vice president: -"We
shall find it necessary in the future to
shackle cunning, as in the past we have '
"The vast individual and corporate for
tunes, the vast combinations of capital which
have marked the development of our indus
trial systom creato now conditions and neces
sitate a change from tho old attitude of tho
state and the nation toward property."
These aro direct and pointed sentiments
inspired by conditions to which no thoughtful
and sober-minded man can be blind. They aro
not uttered In any spirit of Intemperate agita
tion or with any purpose to excite false alarm
for political purposes. They come from an
influential member of tho party which capital
In modern years has regarded as Us chosen
champion. They do not proceed from a per
son who has excited tho suspicion of the con
servative element by tho radical character
of his opinions.
In admonishing tho large capitalists of
their duty Mr Roosevelt is speaking to per
sons with whom he has1 beon Intimately asso
ciated. He is prominently Identified with tho
social and political life of the richest com
munity in America. He Is a New Yorker by
heredity. Ho is known and esteemed by tho
so-called money kings. He could have no
possible motive in wishing to overthrow a
fabric which would bring destruction to those
who are of the same political household of
faith with himself.
Mr. Roosevelt speaks as a friend to the
rich men who are rapidly gaining control of
the industries and the commerce of the na
tion. Wiil it not be infinitely wiser for them
to hear him and heed him and follow his
counsel than to persist In their scheme of
self-aggrandlzcmcnt at the certain risk of In
viting a violent and implacable conflict with
avowed enemies, who have none of the regard
for the rights of capital which Mr. Roosevelt
has always shown?
The trust magnates heard Mr. Roosevelt, but
they did not heed him; and under the administra
tion of the man who at Minneapolis declared "we
shall find It necessary In the future to shackle
cunning as In the past we have shackled force,"
these men have persisted in their scheme of selt
aggrandlzement. JJJ '
An interesting article is printed by the New
York? American, showing how the trusts use the
tariff to protect labor. In this article, significant
facts relating to the recent cut in wages by tno
-steel trust are presented as follows:
Amount of wages paid by steel trust in
two years, exclusive of high officials'
Profits of steel trust applicable to capi
tal In two years....-... 255,000,000
Profits Ill per cent
of wage cost
Percentage of profits to wage cost be
fore the organization of the steel
t trust 10 per cent
The enormous profits made by combining aa
vantages with wage cutting is shown as follows:
Total wage cost of producing 100 tons
of plates ?27.42
Difference between tariff duty on slabs
and duty on plates. '. ?G.72 a Ion
Labor cost of converting a ton of slabs
.Into a ton of plates 27 cents
Tariff to protect 27 cents worth of laDor ?6.72
Total wage cut ; from ?42.17 to
,?27.42 a ton.
The manner in which wages have been af
fected by the steel trust is disclosed by this
Total number of men employed in the
steel industry of the country 350,000
Received in wages last year..... $250,000,000
The average reduction in wages to date 60,000,000
Families affected 300,000
Persons affected 1,500,000
increase in the cost of living.; 35 per cent
The stock watering secrets are revealed
Capital 'stock of steel trust; $1,477,239,05
Actual value of prop, of steel trust. 808,328,640
Total of watered stock 668,910,412
To pay dividends upon nearly seven hundred
million dollars represented by nothing but the
rapacity of the organizers of the steel trust, it has
become necesary to scale the wages of all steel
workers to the lowest possible point.
Popular Election of Senators.
Among the plnnktf inserted in the democratic,
national platform without opposition was the on
endorsing the election of senators by popular vote.
This reform has been growing for a third of a
century. A resolution proposing the amendment
has four times passed tho house of representatives
and four times has bcon ignored by the senate
In 1900 the democrats for tho first time endorsed
it in a national platform and now It is endorsed
for a second time. With a prcsldont earnestly
in favor, of this reform, as tho democratic candi
date doubtless Is, It would bo easy to secure the
submission of the necessary amendment and this
reform would bo the gatoway to other reforms.
If Judgo Parker did nothing more than secure this
great and needed constitutional chango ho would
justify his election.
riunicipal Ownership in Missouri.
The press dispatches report that Columbia,
Missouri, has taken over at an agreed price the
plant of the Columbia Water and Light company
and will hereafter oporate It as a municipal plant.
The members of tho faculty of the stato university
located at Columbia, arc credited with this vic
tory for municipal ownership". The trend of pub
lic opinion is all in favor of municipal owner
An Educational Campaign.
Do you prefer railroad ownership of the pub
lic to public ownership to the railroads?
Do you believe that those people least able
to bear the burden should be tho heaviest taxed,
while those who have the most should be exempt
from taxation? or arc you In favor or an income
Do you believe that federal Judges should he
appointed for life, thus making them Indifferent
to public opinions? Or are you in ravor of a
plan whereby tho people may select federal juuges
to serve for a limited period?
Do you believe that a private monopoly Is In
defensible and Intolerable?
Do you favor municipal ownership of public
The American people aro beginning a great
educational campaign, and The commoner nope
to play an Important part in this work. It will
advocate state ownership of railroads, federal own
ership of telegraph system, municipal ownership
of public utilities, an Income tax, the election, pf
federal juqgeaby the people, the election of United
States senators by popular vote, direct legislation,
tho overthrow of private monopolies, and tho elec
tion of postmasters by the people whom they aro
Those who agree with The Commoner on these
lines may find In the special subscription offer an
opportunity to help in this educational campaign.
The increase In the circulation of The Commoner
means the widening of its sphere of influence.
The attention of those who arc willing to
assist In this work Is directed to The Commoner's
special subscription offer.
According to the terms of this offer, cards,
each good for one year's subscription to The
Commoner will he furnished in lots of five, at tho
rate of $3 per lot. This places the yearly sub
scription rate at 60 cents.
Anyone ordering the cards may sell them for
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each lot sold, or he may sell them at the cost
price and find compensation In the fact that ho
has contributed to the educatlonar campaign.
These cards may be -paid for when ordered,
or they may be ordered and remittance made
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below for the convenience of those who desire to
participate in this effdrt to increase Tho Com
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