The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, March 22, 1912, Page 4, Image 4

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The Commoner.
JSnlprrd al fhp Posiomce at Lincoln, Nebraska,
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Address all communications to
THE COMMONER, Lincoln, Neb.
years. Tho public does not desiro to do injus
tice to thoso connected with corporations. On
the contrary, you will find that tho public is
much more likely to he generous in dealing
with what wo call the property rights of corpora
lions than corporation managers are to do jus
tice to tho public.
In regulating mercantile and industrial cor
porations you will have little trouble except
with tho large ones. By far the greater number
or these corporations will do business on a scale
so small that competition will prevent any ex
tortion in prico or unfairness in method. It is
only when a corporation begins to enjoy a
monopoly that it becomes a menace. You
should therefore, prescribe such constitutional
limitations as will insure competition
Thero is no middlo ground between competi
tion and government ownership. A private
monopoly is indefensible and intolerable A
private monopoly is naturally as prone to injure
tho public as a ferocious animal is to seek its
prey. Pr vato monopolies can not be success-
Iho g st of monopoly is in tho percentage) of
control not in the size of tho corporation A
corporation with a capital stock of $10 000,000
may control ono business absolutely, while in
another business a corporation of $100 000 000
nay not bo able to suspend the law of COmPe?i
tion. If a corporation controls, say, live nor
con of tho thing in which it deals it can Sot
SSloh,h0il,il0r,pPlce.op thG conSions unSei
which tho business s done Tf nn n7
hand It controls nlnotfl per cen ot the
S? !1S,,,T' con,le"" Is stinoo I and those
therefore, between nTenp,centAan(nXet,v0
Dor cent tho control becomes efIoenvntLn,yo
strlctlon ol trade Thte "Srinf rtSSd bo
S V "S ,no?rly ns lmman wisdom can nicer
tain it, and should bo tho limit of crown? ,
osSl en to TEW "aT? n "
Jjowor coptVacoSrro, ZnT'b'f Z
terestwad not private advancta end
tioI0mS"rbanlcs1,?oU,?nsroh0trZf 1?Bl8l!l
tors against possible ll IW"
S3i bo p?rmTtodCtltyo Sift6 tb,at th0 SKkL
system "thSlves but Uel iettTJf t0 th
ernmont should COMPEL t&e lUME
system and to operate it with SATISFACTION
TO THE PUBLIC. That banks are not secure is
proven by the fact that every sub-division of the
government requires specific security from the
banks before depositing public funds, and, if
I were not afraid of using languago unparlia
mentary, I would say that it is cowardly upon
the part of the government to protect itself
and then leave the average depositor unpro
tected. While I believe in the system of insurance
which makes all banks liable for the failure of
each individual bank, still, I am willing to yield
that point if tho banks will find some other
system that gives absolute security, but when
the banker tells me that it is not right that a
good bank should be made to pay the debts of
a bad bank, I reply that the banker has no hesi
tation whatever in making a farmer sell his
farm to pay the debt of a neighbor for whose
indebtedness he has gone security, one who has
received no benefit whatever from the loan; and
the banker who refuses a loan to a farmer until
tho farmer gets some other farmer to go his
security ought not to be surprised when the
farmer, in return, tells him that before he loans
his money to the bank the banker ought to get
other bankers to go his security.
Tour constitution will deal with the matter
of public instruction, and interest in this sub
ject is so widespread that you will of course pro
vide for universal education. In a republic
where the authority rests upon the will of the
people, popular intelligence is essential to good
government, and the state, in self-defense, must
reduce to a minimum the area of ignorance and
illiteracy. While the presumption can usually
be given to the parent in matters connected with
tho training of a child, still this presumption is
not conclusive and may be rebutted by facts.
It can generally be assumed that a parent will
guard the physical welfare of a child and yet
wo would not hesitate to punish the father or
mother who would deliberately cut off a boy's
arm and send him out, thus disabled, to meet
the competition of his fellows. No more should
a parent be permitted to disable a child intel
lectually by depriving him of the education
necessary for successful competition with those
among whom he labors. To condemn a child to
ignorance in a land of intelligence is even more
cruel than to maim him.
The tendency of the times is to bring educa
tion closer to the people and it would be a re
flection upon this body to doubt that it will
thoroughly investigate methods and equip the
educational department of the government with
every modern means devised for extending the
benefits of education to all, and for the raising
of tho standard. b
Tf, in any section of the state or community
S, a Parente who really need the money
which their children could earn during the
period when the child should be in school the
community can well afford to temporari ?
supply such parental need rather thaShavo
burden of the family support thrown upon t e
children to the injury of society in gene?ai as
veil as to the impairment of the child? ai)iH
ties, for an injustice done a child flows on
through succeeding generations.
While you provide for free education so tw
thero wi 11 be a school door open to every chfld
you, I doubt not, will find it consistent uriVh
your own views, as well as advantageous to thl
states the judKes are fiW'i n most of thQ
a definite term! iS loSe ?2y PPUlar Vote for
lature and, I believe in ilu y tho logis
during good be avTor Our SI tinted
appointed for life I i am of fal J.u?BeB arG
popular election is mow fw, lLth oninin that
institutions and s Se Uten? ?nanc,0 ith our
shall approach as confld7n?f ?rdwnich WQ
popular EovernmU0?ncreaSes 8tabmty f
yaS'othfAeTn1! SSSf ser
he should be made liffj? oYaTJg
public opinion upon questions fundamental i
character. The distrust of tho people m,ni
fested in tho disposition of some to deprive them
of the right to select tho judiciary, i3 iinfounde?
Unless the sense of justice inherent in (he neonl
can be trusted in such mattors we n.ny weii fS!
for popular government; but that sen.-e of iuqSI
CAN be relied upon; THE PEOPLE ARE MrrS
mTT-ra tt i xmo --rn TTTTn-nn wn, . ...
The jurisdiction of the various courts is a
matter entirely in your hands and in conferrln"
sufficient authority to insure the enforcement
of law and .the preservation of order, you should
be careful that oven the judiciary shall not
encroach upon the rights of litiganK What Is
known as "government by injunction' a sjstcra
under which the judge combines in Mmsolf the
duty of legislator, prosecutor and judge is
obnoxious to our institutions and to the idea of
justice that prevails among .us. While tho court
must have power to onforce respect and to fine
ENCE, he should not be permitted to deprive
the accused of a trial jury when tho alleged
contempt is committed beyond the products o
the court room and WHEN GUILT MUST BE
criminal prosecutions. In such cases the right of
trial by jury should not be denied.
You are invited to consider, also, whether the
processes of the court may not be simplified and
whether restriction may not be imposed that
will prevent the setting aside of verdicts and
judgments upon technicalities which do not go
to the merits of the case. Tlie administration
of justice becomes farcical when errors, trivial
in character and effect, are allowed to prolong
cases and wear out 'litigants-.
And, I may add, in those days when all intelli
gent men read the newspapers, knowledge of
the details of a case, gained from a newspaper,
should not excusesono 'from jury service if lie
is a man of good character and fair-minded.
Thero is a growing tendency to substitute a
majority verdict in civil cases for the unanimous
verdict now generally required. While, in a
crimmal case, a divided jury raises a doubt, tho
benefit of which should be given the accused, no
such situation is created by a division in a civil
case. Here, the plaintiff is only required to
establish his claim by a preponderance of tho
testimony and too large an advantage is given
to the defendant if a unanimous verdict is re
quired. While, in ordinary cases, this require
ment does not often prevent a prompt settle
ment of the dispute, experience has shown that
in suits against influential corporations the
hung-jury is frequently relied upon to force a
settlement. I submit to your consideration the
wisdom of permitting a verdict in such cases by
a majority, two-thirds or three-fourths vote of
tho jury.
Some advocate a constitutional provision
limiting the power of tho court to declare a law
unconstitutional to cases in which ALL tho
judges concur in the opinion. I am persuaded
that tho law-makers are entitled to this pre
sumption. LABOR
In dealing with matters affecting labor, you
can hardly avoid the conclusion that the govern
ment has erred on the side of tardiness in re
sponding to the demands made by the wage
earners for the amelioration of the conditions
under which they work. Tho fellow servant
law, for Instance, has far outgrown the condi
tions that originally justified It, if any conditions
could justify it, and there ought to be no delay
in safeguarding tho right of an employe to coin
n?S ion for In:iury due to the negligence of
another employe over whose movements he has
no control. The constitution should also leave
tne amount of recovery, in qaso of death or in
jury, to bo determined by tho circumstances of
tno case. It iB a one-sided law that puts tho
maximum price upon a human life and then
leaves the minimum to ho reduced to nothing.
niim constitution should authorize employers
iioi . and emPloyes' compensation laws and
make tho authority so specific that such laws
can not be declared unconstitutional.
in "J0 matter of hours, tho legislature should
! auJhorized to prescribe what shall bo re-
earded as a working day and the conditions
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