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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Aug. 23, 1907)
WILLIAM J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR
VOL. 7, NO. 32
Lincoln, Nebraska, August 23, 1907
Whole Number 344
"SWOLLEN FORTUNES" AND PROPERTY
-' BUT WHY DON'T HE GOT
"INCONCLUSIVE,. THEATRICAL FURY"
A NEWSPAPER'S SIDE ISSUE
THE TARIFF IN 1896 AND 1900
' A CHAPTER IN NEBRASKA POLITICS
A PALPABLE HIT
A TRUST BUSTING ADMINISTRATION
LETTERS FROM THE PEOPLE
- - COMMENT ON CURRENT TOPICS
V WHETHER COMMON OR NOT
NEWS OF THE WEEK
, ':'' - ALWAYS "MANANA"
A newspaper dispatch from Washington
under date of August 10, 1902, said: "It is
also promised that there will be some tariff re
vision after the November elections."
"Commenting upon this promise The Comr
moner said at the time: "It is significant that,
every hope held out by republican leaders de
pends upon what the party will do 'after the
Since then therfe have been three congres
sional elections and one presidential election
and now the tariff revisionists within the repub
lican party are expected to accept without ques
tion the promise that the republican party will
revise the tariff "after the presidential election
In a newspaper interview John D. Rockefel
ler said: "Financial depression and financial
chaos will be the effect of the runaway policy of
the present administration toward great busi
ness conibinations." And many of the news
papers that are "now indignantly protesting
against this plain effort to frighten the Amer
ican people with the cry of "panic" were eager
ly printing, with columns of edltorfal approval,
the same sort of threats from the same source
during the presidential campaign of 1896.
Where is that "conservatism of the south,"
of which Wall Street has boasted? With Governor
Glenn of North Carolina forcing the railroads to
respect railroad regulation, Governor Swanson
of Virginia" compelling the railroads of his state
to reduce rates and Governor Comer of Alabama
revoking railroad charters it looks as if "radi
calism" were rampant and the "demagogues" in
control. Is there no place where predatory
-wealth canfind a sanctuary? Must the big cor
porations at 'last obey the law?
The St." Louis Globe-Democrat says: "Ok
lahoma's new constitution contains upward of
50,000 words. Suspicion naturally points to
Oklahoma's new constitution also shows a
determination to bring the government closer
to the people and to destroy the political in
fluence of the special Interests that prey upon
the people. Suspicion does not, however, point
to thl' St. Louis Globe-Democrat. . .
MAW SC '.'.."..:".'.
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G. O. P. BE CALM, BE PATIENT; AFTER ELECTION I'LL THROW HIM OFF.
"Swollen Fortunes" and Property
The Wall Street Journal says that Mr.
Roosevelt's repeated use of the word "swollen"
is "becoming a little tiresome and painful to
his (Mr. Roosevelt's) friends." - The Journal
admits that there are a number of "swollen"
fortunes in the United States. It says:
"But there is a time for everything,
and this does not seem to be exactly the
time to raise a hue and cry about swollen
fortunes. It should be remembered that
the same principle upon which the fortune
of $1,000 depends for its protection is exact
ly the same principle which protects the
fortune of $100,000,000. If the funda
mentals upon which the swollen fortune
rests are weakened, the small fortune is put
likewise in peril. At this time the rights
of private property are under attack. An
assault is being made, not merely against
swollen wealth, but against all wealth "pri;
" vately owned and controlled. It is Incon
ceivable that this' attack should be success
ful, but it necessarily causes more or less
uneasiness. It would seem to be the duty
of statesmanship at this .time to strejgthen
the foundations upon which the rights of
property rest, rather than to give the slight
est encouragement to its enemies."
The very time to direct attention' to "swol
len" fortunes is when those fortunes are being
accumulated at a rate never before dreaiped
of by greedy men.
It Is true that the principle upon which
the small fortune depends for its protection is
exactly the principle which protects the large
fortune; and it ought to be true that the man
who acquires or hppes to acquire $100,000,000
inupt, in the accumulation of his fortune, trust
to the same principle through which his humble
neighbor acquires his $1,000.
Men who attack swollen fortunes are not
assailing the rights of property. Tlie founda
tions upon which the rights of property rest
are not weakened by those who insist that no
individual or set of individuals shall be given
special privileges within or without the law.
It was, we believe, J. Plorpont Morgan himself
who declared that in the concentration of wealth
he was "the precursor of socialism."
The real defenders of property are those
who insist upon the destruction of any system
whereby men take advantage of their fellows
through laws enacted under the guise of patrl-
otic legislation but for the purpose of granting
Whenever any vested wrong is to be right
ed or any long standing abuse corrected, those
who profit by the wrong or '.he. abuse arc prompt
to pose as the defenders of property and Jto
charge the reformers with attacking property
rights. This is the historic attitude of those
who oppose remedial legislation. The insin
cerity of the position taken Is usually shown
by the arguments employed by these self-styled
champions of property, and one of the best illus
trations of these' arguments is to be found in
the story of Demetrius, the silversmith. It
reads as follows:
"And the same time there arose no "small
stir about that way. For a certain man named
Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver
shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto
the craftsmen; whom he called together with-"
the workmen of like occupation, and naid, Sirs,
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