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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (May 21, 1909)
WILLIAM J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR
. VOL. 9, NO. 19
Lincoln, Nebraska, May 21, 1909
Whole Number 435
The Steel Trust
Ex-Senator William B. Chandler in making
a speech before the New Hampshire constitu
tional convention in 1902 called attention to
the stock watering that went on at the time
of and just before the organization of the steel
trust. He said:
"The water in the stock is supposed to be
from one-half to four-sevenths, and the total
capitalization is said to be $2,108,900,000.
"Tho Carnegie properties had been consolidat
ed by issuing on about 150 millions of property
securities as follows: Bonds 160 millions, stocks
160 millions, making 320 millions.
"For these securities the United States Steel
corporation issued to the Carnegie company
their preferred stock, 163 millions; common
stock, 155 millions; bonds, 300 millions; or
securities at par worth four times the property
"Is it any wonder that Mr. Carnegie can give
forty or fifty millions of dollars from his 200
millions of bonds to libraries and ten millions
to tho president and other "United States offi
cials and eminent citizens for a Carnegie Insti-.
tution at Washington. But from whom does
tlfe money reallr come from underpaid labor
ers or overcharged customers, or from both?
"The ateel'ompany's size in various ways and
cbmnated with .other -things, is as follows: It'
-rjslifvi ' sri.-u -. -i f" i
ford, the Louisville & Nashville and the Central
Railroad of New Jersey, and it had a surplus of
24 millions after paying a' dividend of seven
per cent on its preferred and four per cent on
its common stock.
. "Make a comparison of tho steel company with
other things: It has one sixty-Bovonth of the
total wealth of the United States. One-tenth of
the manufacturers of the United States, five
eighths of the value of all farm animals; total
value of all the farm products.
"Compare it with New Hampshire's wealth:
New Hampshire, valuation on inventories Is
$214,000,000; savings banks and other com
panies, $60,000,000; railroads, $23,000,000;
telegraph and telephone, $500,000; total $297,
5.00,000; or say, $300,000,000.
"Allow for undervaluation 200 millions and
New Hampshire's property is 500 "millions or
one-third or one-fourth of tho steel company's
"Our voters are about 100,000, representing a
population of abdut 400,000.
"The steel company employs about 200,000
. men, who represent a population of about u0,
000 and the steel company is equal in control
of population and wealth to New Hampshire
and Vermont combined. Ii there no danger
when.,the control of such a company existsn4
oho or two men, Charles M. Schwab or- J:-'PIer
pbht Morgan? '' , .a'"
. AM iron ana steei monopoly is wnat we are
213' lnclucllneblast furnaces 78. steel works'
,.,, p- ,-.- ., w -.- - , -.
------ r r i ,. - -r . i .-.
150, finishing plants 6, rod mills 25, sheet tfllhr
160, tin plate mills 300, coke 6vens 201000.;
transportation': Railroads, miles, 983; pipe 4in.cs,
miles, 3,000; 112 ships, tonnage, 13,000,000;
number of employes estimated from 250,000
down to 200,000.
"The variety of industries controlled by it em
brace: Iron, ore, pig iron, steel in all forms,
anthracite coal fields, coke, wire rods, nails and
staples, barbed wire, tin plate, bridge work, the
railroads leading to the coal fields.
"The steel company in 1901 produced: Iron
ore, 44 per cent of the whole product of the
United- States in tons 29 millions. Pig iron,
44 per cent of the whole product of the United
States in tons 15 millions. Steel Ingots, or
castings, 66 per cent of the whole product of
the United States in tons 13 millions. Steei
ra.ils, 60 per cent. Structural shapes, 62 per
cent. Wire rods, 77 per cent. All rolled pro
ducts, 50 per cent. Total production of iron
and steel, about 65 per cent.
"Tho net earnings of the company for 1901
were 111 millions, or more than those of five
great railroads, the Pennsylvania, the New York
Central, the New York, New Haven & Hart-
t'vjffptf'been proseculfcd "1 ' Ike tne staij dar d-Oil . trusT;
&t'lz'.iB probably guilty of;-more 'cxtortidirralfIs
working injury Mn a larger number of. ways,
Controlling thdraw material, it Is ablo to crush
out its competitors and collect such profit as
it pleases. It has alrpady coerced tho president
into consenting to the swallowing up of a rival,
and its influence upon the market is so great
that it could bring a panic if it was necessary
to have a panic to furnish an excuse for still
further consolidation. It is strange that tho
operations of the steel trust have not invited
greater criticism; it is only a question of time
when it will be brought to the bar of justice.
As the incoming administration had the hearty
support of the steel trust, we can hardly expect
any curtailment of its power in the near future,
but those who go into partnership with it, or
defend it, are simply laying up wrath against
the day of wrath.
THE STEEL TRUST
N "FEEBLE FOLK"
SOME OF THE MYSTERIES OF TARIFF
BAILEY TALKS RIGHT OUT IN MEETING
ALDRICH IS LEADER
THE LAST ONE CONSIDERED
THE PRESIDENT WITH ALDRICH
EDUCATIONAL SERIES GOVERNORS
FOR DIRECT LEGISLATION
LAW OR LAWLESSNESS WHICH?
THE TARIFF STRUGGLE IN THE SENATE
HOW JUDGES ARE MADE
COMMENT ON CURRENT TOPICS
LETTERS FROM THE PEOPLE
WHETHER COMMON OR NOT
NEWS OF THE WEEK
A Hindu theosophlst who is now lecturing In
Chicago says that "instinctively some men and
worsen repel us.'J He explains it by saying:
"We are at a loss to understand this until we
realize that we have known them In other lives
and that this antipathy is the result of Indirect
memory." This explains the strong antipathy
which wo at onco felt toward the Payne bill
as soon as it came into our presence. It is
doubtless due to the fact that it is a reincarna
tion of the McKinley bill and the Dingley bill.
But this does not reconcile us to the doctrine
And so Tammany is threatening to discipline
Congressman Sulzer because he voted with tho
democratic congressmen against Cannonism!
Well, Tammany will have enough to do apologiz
ing for the congressmen it did control without
attempting to punish Sulzer for being loyal to
The Commoner recently propounded a ques
tion to the class in arithmetic and has received
a number of answers. It now asks the class, in
spelling to rise up and answer: How long will
it take the republican voters to learn that
r-e-v-i-s-o does not spell r-e-d-u-c-e?
Tolstoy haB lncurrod tho wrath of Ex-Presi- '
dent Roosevelt by saying that "Bryan represent
ed tho party of peace" in tho laBt campaign,
and tho "mighty huntc" pauses long enough
to administer a rebuke to tho Russian philos
opher. Ho says that Tolstoy has swayed "only
tho feeble folk and tho fanatic folk." There
now, let Tolstoy wipe tho blood off of his face
and take a back scat.
No wonder Mr. Roosevelt docs not llko Tol
stoy they represent opposite schools of
thought. Mr. Roosovolt is tho exponent of tho
bruto force idea with him man Is an animal" '
and must be ready to kill any other animal that
opposes his plans. With Tolstoy man Is tho
spiritual agent of God and is bound to observo
Mr, Roosovolt thinks that man would dogon
erato without an occasional opportunity for
blood lotting; Tolstoy believes that love is great
er than force and that man is ennobled by ac
cepting love as tho controlling principle of life.
Naturally Mr. Roosvolt thinks that tho wgrJuV1
can bo scared into peace when armatyentif'b'er '
como great enough to make, each nation afraid
qf every other nation. Tolstoy believes thatth
spirit that leads nations to i.eairo big navies wU, .,
lead them to 'use thorn without excuse, andfief
insists that a good example will do more tfiwiV ;
throat to provost war. ; ? '.!
This fundamental differenco between-,. Roocr4&'. .
velt and Tolstoy is not-, however, new WVwrj . n
demits YiHiujy,,,iv yi.jB ,jL au.uiu.im uuu iu. iwz-
plo recused (o receive him some of tho dis
ciples suggested that firo should Lo called down
from heaven to avenge tho insult; but tho Master
rebuked them and said: "Yo know not what
manner of spirit ye aro of; for tho Son of Man
is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save
them." Suppose ho had said: "Wo will thrash
them until they understand who wo are," how "
different would have been the history of Chris
tianity! Compare, if you will, the swaggering,
bullying, brutal doctrine of Roosevelt with the
golden rule of Tolstoy aw! the commandment,
"Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
Again, Christ answered one who would use
force to defend him by saying: "They that
draw the sword shall perish by tho sword."
Tolstoy ha3 good authority for his position
bettor than Mr.- Roosevelt can offer for his
bullying and swaggering policy. Mr. Roosevelt
will hardly charge all tho followers of The
Prince of Peace with being "feeble folk and'
fanatic folk." - '
While Attorney General Wickersham is with
drawing suits against the big law breakers,
Secretary Ballinger of the interior department
Is releasing timber reservations which tho water
power trust want. We are assured that Presi
dent Taft approves of these things but that as
surance is hardly necessary it was understood
by those who knew what was going on that tho
republican party sounded a retreat when it
wrote its platform and nominated its ticket.
It is to be regretted that any democrat voted
for the tax on Iron ore. The revenue to be de
rived from it is small and as tho steel trust
controls two-thirds of tho domestic ore it will
profit more than it will lose by tho tax. A tax
on iron ore is made an excuse for higher duties
on manufactured iron and the consumer must
pay these. It is unfortunate that the demo
cratic party can not present an unbroken front
on the tariff question and fight for a reduction
of the rates all along the line.
The benefits the consumer will get out of a
tariff revised by a' Payne under the direction of
a Cannon could be thrust into a gnat's eye with
out making the insect wink.
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