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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Jan. 27, 1911)
JANUARY 27, 1911
''BIG BUSINESS" SHIFTS
That portion of big business who are cor
rupt are just now busy trying to establish be
tween themselves and the democratic party that
same freemasonry which has existed for the
l-, past sixteen years between them and the stand-'
pat element of the republican party. They are
especially alert in trying to capture the new
i democratic senatorial seats In New York, New
Jersey, West Virginia' and Ohio. They are try-
ing to provide themselves with a democratic
Aldrich. Collier's Weekly.
The speech of Woodrow Wilson at Jersey City
L Thursday night was a splendid advocacy of gov
ernment by the people versus government by
special privilege. It was an unanswerable In
dictment of the bad faith and Insolence of James
Smith's candidacy for the United States senate.
But. for the first time since New Jersey's
Igovernor-eiect converted us to faith in his pro
gressive patriotism, and his bigness and clear
sighted courage, we find in his utterance cause
There is truth in every sentence, but not all
rthe truth, in these passages of his fine, forcible
"Do you know what is true of the special
interests at this moment? They have got their
sbaggage packed, and are ready to strike .camp
overnight, provided they think it is profitable
Fto them to come oVer to the democratic party.
LThey are awaiting to come over bag and baggage
and take possession of the democratic party.
'"Will they be welcomed? Do you want
"Business interests are involved in this mat
ter and not political principles. These business
interests intend, if they can, to own any organi
sation that is the governing organization in the
affairs of America.
"I pray God we may never wake up some
tflne morning and find them in camp on our
"This system consists in an unholy alliance
i. between business and politics. Politics, under
Fthis system Is considered the means of securing'
and promoting certain financial and business
interests. Wherever the greatest power is
Ibrought to bear, the greatest power of money.
the greatest power of individual influence, there
politics is made to yield.
"You might possibly Induce James Smith, Jr.,
to retire, but if Smith did retire, somebody
lelse would take his place. The Interests are
?not of a retiring nature. They have a great
pmany presentable persons whom they could put
forward, and if you look them over hastily you
would not recognize them. For my part, I
Iwould rather have somebody that I know is
ftheir representative than somebody that I did
not know and who has not disclosed himself."
Big business ready to strike camp? Big
; business, with baggage packed waiting to come
?6ver and take possession of the democratic
;Earty? In the name of all the gods of all
oculists and opticians, why tms errancy of
vision of one of the most enlightened of Ameri
cans that makes him fail to see that the move
already has been made and the capture well-
Big business has been bipartisan from Its be
ginning, shifting only to concentrated support
of whatever party mattered not only when the
opposing party became committed to popular
Havemeyer, Who testified that he split the
campaign contributions of the sugar trust be
tween democratic and republican committees,
simply was the spokesman of big business, as
Jay Gould was when he shielded his Brie in
iquities just punishment of being "& republican
in republican counties and a democrat in demo
Quay was as good a democrat as Jim Smith
of New Jersey was a republican when they won
the stigma of "perfidy and dishonor" by trust
serving. And so today a party label is a farce
when applied to agents of privilege of the demo
cratic breed of Bailey and his nominal republi
can brother Gallinger.
Republicanism perverted into Hannaism, Ald-
I rlchism, Cannonlsm and Ballingerism suited big
business admlraDly for fifteen yeats. But in-
p surgency, me orcspring or tooseveiusm, maae
the ever-watchful masters of privilege make the
change of camps many months ago which Mr.
Wilson sees only in the light of a future peril,
v Bier business feels certain mat 15)12 will taxe
care oC Itself with such "safo and sane" men
as Harmon, first choice, and Taft, second choice,
the probablo presidential candidates.
But the immediate business of big business
.is to clinch its long-hold control of tho United
States senate by tho election of tho "right" sort
There was much repetition long boforo No
vember of tho ancient campaign phrase, "As
Maine goes, so goes tho union." And tho way
Maine has gone, with democrats In control for
the first time in half a century Is to replaco
Eugene Hale with Halo's democratic selection,
a good lawyer as Bailey, of Texas, is with a
record indicating that he would bo as useful
a republican democratic corporation senator as
Halo and Bailey combined.
New York, in any case, would have served
tho country by retiring tho railroad hand, De
pew, after being blessed by the death of Express
Agent Piatt. But triumphant democracy at
Albany is hesitating between tho arrant, re
actionary corporation attorney, Shepard, and tho
Tammany-Tom Ryan machinist, Blue-Eyed Billy
And tho most striking commentary upon the
present political conditions is that tho finest
public service yet done by democrats anywhere
in this country has been in states such as Wis
consin and Washington, where they deliberately
consented to the temporary obliteration of their
party organization in -order to prevent tho pur
chases of tho defeat of such senators as La
Follette and Poindexter by corrupt, bipartisan
As corollary to such patriotism we see every
honorable, progressive republican newspaper
and individual wishing Godspeed and pioro
power to Woodrow Wilson In his fight. And
every spokesman of Wall Street and every frank
journalistic representative of rotten politics and
every hypocritical newspaper drab openly cen
suring or assailing with cowardly slurs the
fighter for tho people's rights, whoso solitary
error is Imagining that the worst of all public
enemies has not already moved its war chest
and its whole armament into his party's camp.
The constitution makers of Arizona' have fin
ished. their work. It represents the high" water
mark of democracy In the United States.
.Here are its main provisions:
Initiative and referendum; .percentages of 10
and 5 respectively.
Anti-child labor provision.
Amendment to constitution by a majority vote
of the people upon Initiative of 15 per cent of
Nonpartisan election of the judiciary.
Recall of all elective officers.
Direct advisory primary for senators.
Instructions to legislature to enact a corrupt
Rigid corporation regulation, with provision
to abolish wild-catting.
Physical valuation of railroads as a basis for
Corporation commission with wide open
Employers' liability provision.
Mandate for the enactment of a law.
Restricting sale of public lands, to prevent
Abolition of fee system of all public officers.
Giving cities over 3,500 population right to
frame their own charters.
Prohibiting employment of aliens on public
This great instrument now goes to congress
and the president for acceptance or rejection.
If accepted it will mark a new epoch in the
growth of American institutions.
Well done, Arizona! "Time's noblest off
spring is the last." Wichita (Kan,) Beacon.
A GOOD BILL
Representative Evans, a republican member
of the Nebraska, legislature, has Introduced a
bill providing for the selection of delegates to
national conventions, selection of national com
mitteemen and the expression of choice for pres
ident and vice-president by primary vote. It is
a good measure and ought to pass. We cannot
bring government too close to the people.
CHANGE THE METHOD
The Lorimer report, taken in connection with
the senatorial contests In New York and New
Jersey will tend to- convince the most con
servative that the time has come for a change
in the method of election..
Practical Tariff Talks
A Commonor subscriber asks for come in
formation about tho rubber schedule tho ln
creaso in which Senator Bristow charged was
brought about by Aldrich to tho enrichment of
a trust in which himself and family wero in
terested. There Is little data in tho debates
or hearings boforo congress regarding rubber.
There was no body of men writing or talking
against any change or for any change. Under
tho Dingloy law crutlo rubber was admitted free
of duty, as tho growing of rubbor is not an in
dustry in this country. All manufactures of
rubbor, however, wero taxed 30 per cent. Tho
house bill carried tho samo rates, but Mr Aid
rich had his senate committee increase the rato
on manufactures of rubbor to 35 per cent. When
this paragraph carao before tho senato it was
read and agreed to without dobate, no reason
being assigned or asked as to tho change Mr.
Bristow mado the charge during tho last cam
paign that just after adjournment or during
tho tariff session Aldrich, tho Guggonheims and
Ryan organized tho Intercontinental Rubber
company, with a forty million dollar capital,
of which Aldrich's son was made vice president
and general manager.
Mr. Aldrich made denial of this fact, but later
developments proved that Bristow was well with
in the truth. There was not tho slightest rea
son for the increase, save a desire to make mon
ey for men who do not need it. Manufactured
rubbor has been steadily mounting in price
for years, and immediately after tho organiza
tion of the trust referred to there wero still
further advances. During tho first three months
of its oxistence, says Senator Bristow, dividends
aggregating over 18 per cent were declared on
its preferred stqek. The fact that the American
manufacturer was still further buttressed
against competition by this 5 per cent increase
made it possible for a trust to more safely em
bark on the task of controlling the market. Tho
demand for rubber has greatly increased tho
price, much of this coming from tho automobile
makers, but this fact ought to have argued for
a decrease instead of an increase, in order to
protect those who weaT rubber coverings for
their shoes, rubber coats and tho like.
Another item in tho rubber schedule was in
creased. This referred to reclaimed rubber,
upon which a tax of 20 per cent Is laid, whereas
before, under the ruling of the appraisers, it
was admitted free. Tho reclaimed rubber in
dustry is one that stands between the people
and extortion from tho rubber manufacturers,
furnishing, as it does, a second grade quality
of rubber that represents only a small propor
tion of tho cost of the original. The process
makes use of the rubber boots, rubber shoes,
tires, hose, etc., that are thrown away as worth
less whenever a break occurs in them. Mani
festly a considerable portion of these rubbor
goods Is available for further wear or use. Tho
rubber scrap goes into tho junk pile, but is
sorted and sold to manufacturers, who proceed
to put it through an inexpensive process. Gen
erally speaking this consists of sorting the scrap,
breaking it into bits by machines, treating it
to a bath of sulphuric acid, removing the acid
by a soda ash bath, and putting it through ma
chines so that it ends up by being a finely
This powder is mixed with oils and finally
emerges in long strips of rubber, with which
about 30 per cent pure rubber has been mixed.
The processes through which the scrap goes
from its first appearance at tho factory until it
becomes sheet rubber again number twelve.
Skilled operatives are required, but as the work
Is nearly all done by machinery or through ap
pliances, the cost is not great. Under the deci
sions of the treasury department, which admit
ted this product free, a great deal was exported
from Russia, where the process has reached
high development, but the 20 per cent tariff
tax has stopped most of this. That tax was
levied so that American manufacturers could
charge their customers more than they would
have, to pay for the Russian product, and a
study of, the market tables will show that they
have gladly proceeded to do so. . C. Q. D.
It Is possible that tho people have placed too
high an estimate on the senate. The Lorimer
committee seems to think that a .little fraud,
now and then, is relished by the best of senators.
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