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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Jan. 15, 1909)
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WIJLLIAM J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR
Oncolnf Nebraska, January 15, 1909
Whole Number 417
v THE COMMONER'S NINTH YEAR
' THE GUARANTY OF DEPOSITS
"INEVITABLE" AND "IMPOSSIBLE"
WANTED DEMOCRATIC NEWSPAPERS
- 't IS THIS PROSPERITY?
"?". ' - COERCION OR BUSINESS?
GOVERNOR SHALLENBERGER'S MESSAGE
-MR:? ROOSEVELT, AND THE TENNESSEE'
' IRON AND COAL JDEAL
SOLVING THE MYSTERY
- COMMENT ON CURRENT TOPICS
: 7 ' HOME DEPARTMENT
..WHETHER COMMON OR NOT
NEWS OP THE WEEK
..THE COMMONER'S NINTH YEAR
With this issue The Commoner enters upon
its ninth year. In its initial number it was said:
ATheConimoner Wll be satisfied if, by. fidelity.
tOatbTe common 'people, it proyes Its right to the
name Which has been- chosen." Those who' have
Kabjtually read The Commoner may judge
whether, in a reasonable way, ft has justified'
its rights to the chosen name. Its purpose in
the beginning was, as its purpose now is, to
stand for ,the public interests and to make the
great political party, with which it affiliates, of
practical service to the people to the end that
a government, erected as our government was
uin iiberty's unclouded blaze," shall be in truth
What the fathers intended it to be government
of the people, by the people, for the people.
Greeting dts readers at the, threshold of an
other year, The Commoner assures them that it
faces the future with heart full of hope and
Jeremiah gave to literature a beautiful and
striking figure when, in charging the children
of."lsrael with apostasy, he said: 4'They have
forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and
hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that
can hold no water."
One is reminded cf this forcible simile today
when a large number of our people seem inclined
to turn back to the once discarded doctrine of
empires. To compare self-government with an
arbitrary form of government is like comparing
a living fountain with a broken cistern.
When the people xire recognized as the source
of power the government is perpetual because
the people endure forever. The government
then responds to their desires and conforms to
their character; it can be made as good as they
deserve to have and they are satisfied with it
because it is their own handiwork. If it has
evils, those evils are endured becaused the peo
ple recognize that they themselves are to blame
.and that it is within their power to apply any
A government resting on force is, on the other
hand, ever unstable because it excites hatred
rather than affection, and is continually at war
with human nature; It is in constant antagonism
to that universal sentiment which is defined as
the love of liberty.
All hiBtory sustained the self-evident truths
wbJch form the foundation of a government de
priving its just .powers from the consent of the
governed. All history condemns a political
-structure which appeals only to fear and relies
upon bayonets for its support.
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"UPON WHAT MEAT DOTH THIS, OUR CAESAR, FEED?"
THE GUARANTY OF DEPOSITS
The democratic national platform contained
a plank pledging the party to legislation which
will protect depositors against all loss in the
case of bank failure. A number of the states
adopted similar platforms and the matter was
quite generally discussed on the stump. In a
number of the states democratic legislatures
are now in session, and the democratic members
should proceed to carry ouf this and other
pledges of the platform. A platform utterance
is a party matter during the campaign, but
when a party platform has been endorsed at
the polls, its platform becomes the mandate
of the people, and no democrat, can defend or
excuse a failure to fulfill in letter and In spirit
the pledges made in his platform.
During the campaign, the Oklahoma law was
frequently referred to, and while the party was
not committed to the language of the Oklahoma
law, it is only fair that this law should be taken
as a model and that its provisions should.be
followed as far as practicable. The Commoner
gives its unqualified support tov the proposition
that the banks should be required to stand to
gether and protect their depositors from loss,
and suggests that the democratic legislators in
the various states secure a copy of the Okla
homa law and then consider the following
First. The Oklahoma law provides for.the
sary, and considering the fact that banks hav
on deposit an average of four times their capital,
and sometimes as much as ten or fifteen times
their capital, the one per cent may be regarded
as an unnecessary hardship. One-half of ona
per cent is suggested, therefore, as a sufficient
assessment with which to begin the raising of
the guaranty fund.
The Oklahoma law contemplates the main
tenance of the guaranty fund at one per cent.
It may be found advisable to make this fund a
little larger, but to have it accumu 'ed grad
ually. For instance, let the first yment of
one-half of one per cent stand as the assessment
for the first year; after that a semi-annual as
sessment of one-tenth of one per cent, making
a total assessment of one-fifth off e per cent
annually, would not be a burden upon the banks
and would in' a few years raise the guaranty
fund to one and one-half per cent of the de
posits. Then the banking board shoud collect
semi-annually such an assessment, not exceed
ing one-tenth of one per cent, except in caso
of emergency, as might be necessary to reim
burse the fund if, during the preceding six
months, it was reduced by the payment of de
positors in failed banks. This tax would pro
vide for ordinary occasions, apd with proper
regulation, it is not likely that the banks would
ever De cauea upon to pay more man one-
immediate collection from the banks ot an Ar tenth of one per cent semi-annually, and prob
assessment of one per cent of the deposits:-'' This ably not more than one-tenth or one-twentieth
is a larger assessment than Is absolutely neces- of one per cent per year. The banking board.
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