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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Jan. 17, 1908)
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WILLIAM J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR
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(VOL. 8, NO. 1
Lincoln, Nebraska, January 17, 1908
Whole Number 365
PREVENTION MORE THAN PENALTY "
. TAFT ON INJUNCTIONS
THE REPUBLICAN MASTER
NOT ALL IGNORANCE
ECIAL INTERESTS AND THE DEMO
BRYAN AT THE JEFFERSON CLUB,
WHO WILL BUY?
COMMENT ON CURRENT TOPICS
WHETHER COMMON OR NOT.
NEWS OF THE WEEK
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gtWith this number the Commoner begins its
Lth year. In its initial number the Com-
sr said that it would be satisfied if by
to the common people it proved its right
'jname which had been chosen. It is not
Commoner to say whether this right, has
established. Yet it will not be denied the
jtlege of saying, that if mistakes have been
they were mistakes of the head rather
of the heart, and that the efforts of the
r-r....... ....... ... ,.'. i.- , -i . ,, . -..
rcamoner nave ueen to new ciose to tne nne 01
v(vrK,t its editor believes to be in the public in-
Lv?' mxjmtQ and to faithfully champion those prin-
msmidI which erlve the iimnest nromise or nro-
llng. "the greatest good to the greatest num-
rPVi n innKonalnir niimliaK rf HiiTionrISQio on1
'cheerfulness with which men in all sections
country give their aid to the effort to
the Commoner's sphere of influence, pro
eason for believing that the great work
tich the Commoner has been dedicated is
iated at least by those who sympathize
he principles advocated by Mr. Bryan.
n the future, as in the past, the Commoner
xert itself in behalf of democratic princi
;o the end "that this nation shall, under
'-nave a new Dirui or ireeaom. ana mat
nment of the people, by the people and for
feople shall not perish from the earth."
FIVE TO FOUR
The shades of night were falling free -.
When up from Washington, D. C, --
here come decrees, all handed down
y judges wrapped in black silk gown
"Five to four."
'he income tax? They pondered late
arguefled with learning great;
'hey seized their pens and gravely wrote
pinions then they took the vote
"Five to four."
Merger? 'Twas a famous case.
3ach judge sat there with solemn face, :
aid heard the argument so keen,.
fhen the decision came 'twas seen ': -
"Five to four." - .- ;
)ur wards beyond the deep blue sea? ..;'"'
lJi, surely here they will agree!" ;-,i.
Jut after rods of legal lore
Jehold the spectacle once more .
"Five to four." ' -
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o. t wnk
'iSKbn r fife
law to safeguard human life,
?o care for orphans and for wife;
t, judges on that will agree!
iBut there's the record look and see ?
"Five to four."' -
. . W. M. M.
CAESAR AND BRUTUS
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THE EDES OF IlDBRUARY BUT WHICH IS CAESAR AND WHICH BRUTUS?
Prevention More Than Penalty
President Roosevelt deserves credit for hav
ing focussed public attention upon unearned
wealth. Others have striven to awaken the peo
ple to the menace of the vast accumulations
which have been gathered together by ques
tionable, if not by Immoral, methods, but It has
required a louder note than the unofficial were
able to sound to reach the ears of the busy
The phrase "swollen fortunes" is a happy
one, for "swollen" means something unnatural
or abnormal, and suggests disease. No objec
tion is raised to natural fortunes; normal wealth
is healthy and wholesome. There is every rea
son to encourage the amassing of money by
legitimate means; those who grow rich in hon
est ways are to be commended rather than cen
sured, but it is high time that it should be
known that there are unearned fortunes, for
until the fact of their existence is known no in
quiry will be made into the source of such for
tunes; and until the source Is known no remedy
can be applied.
In order to distinguish the swollen fortunes
from the natural ones we must adopt some rule
or standard.. How may a man honestly ac
cumulate a fortune? By giving to society a
service commensurate with the reward which he
draws from society. It is not possible to define
with mathematical accuracy just how much a
man's services are worth, for there is no tribu
nal which is vested' with power to weigh the"
facts and determine the question. And if the
question were submitted to any human tribu
nal it is not at all certain that the decision
would be in accord with justice, for often the
greatest services are not appreciated at the time
By common consent It has been left to society
at large to determine what a man shall receive
for his work, and comp6titlon is the word which
wo use to describe the method by which the
, value is fixed. As long as competition is left
free each person receives from society the prlcbv
which society fixes upon his work, as compared
with the work of others. "
This rule, that each should draw from
society in proportion as he contributes to"the
welfare of society, Is In harmony with the divine
law of rewards, insofar as that law can be gath
ered from nature. When God gave us the earth
with its fertile soil, the sunshine with its warmth
and the showers with their moisture, He pro
claimed as clearly as if His voice had thundered
from the clouds, "Go, work, and in proportion to
your industry and your intelligence, so shall
be your reward."
The earth yields her treasures to those who
labor, and she rewards intelligent labor more
liberally than ignorant labor. Two men, living
side by side, may cultivate farms of equal area
and fertility, and yet one grows rich while the
other grows poor. If they are equally intelli
gent the more industrious one will surpass the
less industrious; if they are equally industrious
the more intelligent one will forge ahead. In
dustry and intelligence are both necessary;
either is fruitless without the other. (We are not,
speaking now of economy in the expenditure of
the income, or of the use made of the money
earned; we shall refer to this later.) Other
things being equal, the farmer who puts the
most intelligence into his work will secure the
best results. He will examine the . soil, so as
to plant the crops to which the soil Is suited;
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