The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, August 25, 1905, Image 1

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The Commoner.
Vol. 5. No. 32
Lincoln, Nebraska, August.25, 1905
Whole Number240
t Avenues of Usefutjtkss
, Tiiey Feae the Shock.
' ' Still Avoiding the Issue
, . The Small College
ISo Dangee.op Thibd Tebm
Not a Foolish Steugglu
Alaemist oe Pateiot
Conscience against the Tkusts
Foundations or Peace
August 30 A Busy Day "
Comment on Oureent Topics
The Peimaey Pledge
News of the Week -
Chauncey M. Depew has long worn the
sobriquet of "The Peach," but now comes the
Nation and calls the New York senator "A
Welcher." The Nation says "As a borrower from
the society of which he was both director and
legafcbunsel he (Depew) displays, let us say,
a carelessness in money matters as tall as the
Chapel Street Elms and as broad as the Yale
campus. Moreover, as an offender against
sporting ethics, Doctor Depew deserves the
thoughtful scrutiny of all Yale men w'10
are solicitous of the honor of their Alma
Mater. No Yale man of our acquaintance loves
'A Welcher,' and the borrower who verbally
makes himself responsible for a loan and later
observes that so informal a promise is without
leg 1 weight, comes pretty near the definition of
'A .Welcher.' On many grounds Depew's only
possible future function at Yale should be that
of a shrinking and a silent alumnus."
Justice Brewer of the United States supreme
court in speaking to the insurance agents as
sembled at Milwaukee said that graft was the
nation's peril. He pointed to the practices of the
Equitable d.rectors and asked how Mr." Ryan
expected to make an honest profit of the $2,500,
000 invested in the stock of the Equitable.
Others have asked that question, and in the
asking they hav ) laid themselves liable to a
conspicuous place in the column where the "un
patriotic" are listed.
In the same address" Justice Brewer said:
"There is today so much grafting going on among
public officials as to startle us. I am not speak-
ing now about the coarser kind of grafting, such
as buying voters, paying money, etc., which we
all condemn. I have reference to the more in
sidious ways that one holding public office who
is not carrying on the duties of that office with
an eye single to his trust, is prostituting in one
way or in another that office for his own gain
or the gain of his friends."
That is tho language of a justice of the su
preme court. When democrats have used similar
language they have been accused of being dis
turbers of the public peace, they have been
charged with a disposition to interfere with the
business interests of the country.
Is Justice Brewer an alarmist, or is he a pa
triot who makes bold to warn his countrymen
against-the tendencies of the -times?
Perhaps some of the younger readers of The
Commoner have a taste for carpentering, brick or
stone laying, plastering or painting. All are hon
orable occupations and permanent ones. Home
building is not a transient industry. While we
have a race there will be houses, schools, stores
and factories to build. There is employment for
brain as well as muscle in the construction of a
building and, there .is also a chance for the de
velopment of integrity and character. Trust
worthiness as well as skill is required to make
a good artisan and no one is more sure to grow
upon his merits than the workman who con
scientiously does his work and, while demanding
fair compensation, gives an equivalent in Service.
The builder who knows his business and gives
it his attention is bound to rise. He may start
at the bottom of the ladder but he will soon be
needed as a foreman, then as a superintendent
and finally he will be contracting for himself.
The energies of both mind and body can be
usefully employed in the building trades and be
sides furnishing remuneration this branch of in
dustry returns a larger dividend in happiness than
an idle life 'can furnish.
It is unaccountable that any 6ne should pre
fer a life of indolence and amusement hunting to
a .life that gives constant occupation at some
thing that contributes to the nation's wealth and
well-being. The manual training schools are do
ing much to emphasize the dignity of manual
labor and to turn the attention of boys to its
agreeableness. Just now the employers' asso
ciation is trying to create friction and antag
onism between union and non-union labor. There
should be no hostility on the ,part of non
union labor, for the benefits of union-
Ism are enjoyed by all labor. Nearly all the In
crease In wages, nearly all the reduction In hours,
nearly all the improvement In trie conditions sur
rounding employment can be traced to the efforts
of organized labor. Take away the labor organi
zation and the condition of the artisans of the
country would soon become unbearable. That
the labor leaders make mistakes can not be de
nied but can wo expect perfection of human be
ings? Strikes have been called for insufficient
reason and have sometimes been accompanied by
violence, but the remedy Is not to be found in
making the emploj'e fight his battle single handed
but rather in the selection of more discreet and
more reliable leaders. We do not despair of self
government because some public officials are con
victed of "grafting" and "boodllng"; we punish
the guilty and exercise more care In picking pub
lic servants.
Much that has been said or the building
trades applies to factory work except that in the
larger factories it Is harder for an artisan to reach
a position of independence. The trust also
menaces the factory employe. It not only lessens ,
the number of those who can hope to engage In
business for themselves, but it throws on the
employer all the risk of over production. Tho
employe, under the trust system, nof only has to
bear the ordinary risks of an occasional depres
sion, but as the trust can artificially raise prices
it can keep up its profits while decreasing pro
duction. But the trusts can be exterminated and
oth.r evils remedied; the evils which flow from
Idleness are irremedial. Productive labor is con
ducive to health and helpful to morals. Those
who prefer manual labor can make of themselves
workmen who need not bo ashamed.
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