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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Sept. 1, 1916)
. .VOL. 16, NO. 9
A RECORD WITHOUT A PARALLEL
Tho old world had seven wonders; in the
.'United States tho political world has eleven won
ders. Tho record made by the present adminis
'trntion in tho matter of domestic reform is with
out parallel In the history of our government.
A democratic president, supported by a demo
cratic senate and a democratic houso, has given
tho country eleven splendid remedial measures.
First -Tho tariff law now upon tho statute
books is the best enacted within a half century.
It is written upon tho theory that a tariff law
should bo so framed as to raise revenue and not
! upon tho theory of giving protection for protec
tion's sake. It has lessened tho power of the
tariff baron to exact tribute from the public.
Second Tho income tax provision, while a
part of tho general revcm.o law, deserves to be
' considered upon its own merits. It was made
possible by the adoption of tho income tax
amendment to the federal constitution, secured
after a fight of more than fifteen years, made
, under democratic leadership. Tho income tax
in the law of 191.' transferred nearly one hun
dred millions from consumption to incomes, thus
relieving the masses from the injustice that re
publican tariff laws had put upon them, an in
justice which would still continue' if tho repub
licans had remained in power.
Third The ourrency law is the greatest piece
of constructive- legislation tho generation has
scon. It brings to the commercial world a relief
sorely needed. It breaks Wall street's despotic
hold upon (ho business of the nation and tho
political tyranny exercised by tho masters of
Fourth The rural credits law in a fitting
companion of the currency law. It gives to tho
agricultural world tho same sort of relief that
the currency law brings to tho commercial
world. It gives conclusive proof of the breadth
:uul comprehensiveness- of- democratic plans
justice to all in every walk of life.
Fifth Tho anti-trust law, written upon the
theory that a private monopoly is indefensible
and intolerable, is the first step towards the re
lease of tho countryfrom the great combinations
of capital that had .assumed to control produc
tions and fix prices. It not only gives a meas
ure of relief from trust extortion, but it includes
a provision which protects the working men
from "government by injunctibn."
Sixth The act creating a trade commission,
Bring Out the Rural
As every now crop brings out some new insect
pest for which a remedy must bo sought, so
every new reform, develops unforeseen abuses
or evils that need to be; corrected. The primary
system, correct in principle and necessary for
the protection of politics from the boss, has
given to the cities a greater relative influence
than they formerly exerted in the making of
nominations. The reason for this is obvious. It
is easier for the town voter than tor tho cSuntry
voter to exercise the right of suffrage. Tho
former is near his polling place and can vote
without loss of, time and regardless of weather.
No.t so with the country voter. He is at a disad
vantage whether tho weather be good or bad.
If it is good, his time is valuable and it is a pe
cuniary loss to leave his work for the time
necessary to make the trip to the polling place
and return, If the weather is bad, it may be
difficult for him to get there at all. Voting,
therefore, puts a tax upon the rural vote? which
' the cijty voter does not have to bear.
' Nojone would think of imposing an unequal
tax on the voters if it were specifically stated in
. dollar's or cents. For instance, a law couipellrrig
a farmer to pay a dollar for the privilege of Vot
ing while only twenty-five cents was required of
the city voter, would not be tolerated for a mo-
. mentj And yet the actual effect of the present
system is to compel a larger pecuniary sacrifice
of the rural voter. This ought to be corrected.
Why wot- employ the rural carrier plan for the
collection of votes? It the federal government
exercising over big industrial corporations pow
ers similiar to those exercised over the railroads
by tho interstate commerce commission, puts the
federal government in a position, first, to secure
information, and, second, to use that informa
tion for the protection of legitimate business
against the encroachments of corporations at
tempting a monopoly.
Seventh The shipping bill is another step in
advance, and a long step. Its purpose is to pro
tect international trade along existing trade
routes and to lay out new lines of travel for tho
extension of American commerce. It took a
two-years' light to overcome the influence of the
shipping trust, but the fight has at last been
won, and tho government is now in a position
to use a merchant marine of its own to safe
guard the interests of the American shipper.
Eighth The child labor law has come in re
sponse to the growing demand for social better
ment. The fact that such a law -was necessary
is a sad commentary upon the heartlessness of
man that he should become so money-mad as
to be willing to increase his profits by the stunt
ing of tho bodies and tho dwarfing of tho minds
of minors. The democratic party deserves great
credit for adding this law to its extraordinary
record of great accomplishments.
Ninth The President's prompt action has given
to the employees engaged in interstate commerce
an eight-hour day. Again the President has
taken the side of the common man and won.
Tho railroads overstate the cost of complying
with the eight-hour law. They delay freight
trains at divisions in order to get bigger loads
and longer trains. This is an expense to the
shippers as well as an injustice to t'he train men.
They can, when it becomes necessary, get the
trains in on time, and thus give the employees
time for rest and recuperation time to enjoy
homo, and prepare for the responsibilities of
citizenship. The President has acted courage
ously, and tho country will approve.
Tenth The Philippine bill, while dealing With
an international matter,, is flojnestjc in that it
not only announces a national policy, but also
promises to safeguard domestic politics from the
disturbing influence of colonial questions.
Eighteen years ago - whdh imperialism
first raised its head, the' democrats in
the senate were quick to strike at it with the
Bacon resolution, which declared against a co
lonial policy and gave the Filipinos a promise
of ultimate independence. Every platform
can afford to carry a postal card miles into the
country, the state ought to be able to afford to
collect a ballot. If the federal government can
afford to carry the mail to farmers every day
the state can certainly afford to collect ballots
two or three times a year. Some remedy should
be applied at once. If any other plan is better",
let it bo adopted, but rural, delivery has proven
such a success that it would seem worth while
to try the idea in the collection of votes.
W. J. BRYAN.
CONGRESSMAN JONES OF VIRGINIA
Congressman Jones, of Virginia, deserves
great credit for his part in the passage ofthl
pSfnOPr0isinS u,1Umate independence to the
Filipinos. The final success of the measure is
kjrgely due o the.intelligenco and perseverance
with which he pressed the Philippine bill. Sis
StS rerCOrd IS a long and "onoraWe
one; he is a reformer among the foremost in
his party, but it is no disparagement of hS othe?
PUT) ic work to say that the Philippine measure
s the crowning glory of his life. Congratula
tions to Congressman Jones. He deserves tho
gratitude of Filipinos and Americans ami?
GREAT RECORD OF CONGRESS
The. present democratic congress both housk
and senate-shares with the President the 1mm?
of making a record equalled only by the reSSd
ot the last democratic congress. If We" a Wis
lative body earned a popular endorsement the
dmocratiQ senate and the democrat Lml
Wonder if those railroad presidents left
Washington -ith, tho idea in their leads that
Wilson reallv hn n di , ' . ' uus .tnat
written by. the democratic party of the nafn
since that Umo h repeated this pledge "j!
?Tt' t0he hJ ol the natin and to tho crSS
of tho democratic paTtv tho TrtatfwT , , il
has been luifllleS SndVoproSte" ul!tt
independence given. Our nnkn ,, uu!ma
itself able to resist th testation L n8l7n
monarchies have fallen Tame thS SmS
to exercise power in violatS of the K
of self-government. princiPles
Eleventh The list of this administration' on
complements , can not fairly be Mm
out reference to the thirty peace treX 11
tiated during the flrat two years of the admin'
istration, with nations exercising authority v
1,300,000,000 of people, or three-fourths of Z
world. In addition to the thirty nations hleh
have signed treaties, three others with a2
bined population of more than 100,000,000 w
endorsed the principle embodied in the treaty
plan, so that today there are less than five na
tions with any considerable population which
have declined to approve of this plan, and three
of these have been prevented by controversies
These thirty treaties contain three provisions
new to treaty making. First- -They cover ALL
QUESTIONS OF EVERY KIND AND CHARAC
TER and provide that such disputes, when they
defy diplomatic settlement, shall be submitted to
an international tribunal for investigation and
report. Second A YEAR'S TIME shall be al
lowed for investigation and report, during
which there shall he no resort to force. Third
Tho parties RESERVE THE RIGHT TO INDE
PENDENT ACTION at the conclusion of the in
vestigation. It is believed that theso provisions
will, by insuring time for anger to subside, pro
vide opportunity for questions of fact to be sep
arated from questions of honor, and a chance
for tho peace forces of the world to operate,
make -war between the contracting parties a re
mote possibility. These treaties not only giro
this nation primacy in the'matter of world peace,
but they insure a peace at home which will en
able our nation to work ouf 'i'ts-' domestic prob
lems" rand set an example worthy- of emulation by
the rest of tho world.
When hefore did any party, in so short a
time, present and complete so remarkable a pro.
gram for the advancement of a nation's welfare?
Is it possible that a. party which has thus justi
fied public confidence can be " rebuked by the
people to whose interests it has dedicated itself?
. '-, , ,W. J. BRYAN.
THE STRIKE ISSUE
Mr. Hughes seems inclined to make an issue
out of the strike. He did not express himself
on the subject until after the strike was called
off during the critical days covered by the
controversy HE KEPT STILL, but as soon as
the President acted he criticized the course
taken. Well, let him make what capital he
can. He will find that the railroad magnates
are not as powerful in the nation at large' as
they are in New York. The eight hour day has
come to stay and Mr. Hughes, as usual, gets on
the wrong side of the issue.
THE "INVESTIGATION" JEXCUSE
Mr. Hughes objects to the eight-hour law on
the ground that it was passed "without investi
gation' That was the reason he gave for veto
ing the two-cent passenger fare bill and THE
INVESTIGATION IS STILL GOING ON. So it
would have beea with the- eight-hour law if the
republican party had been in power.
SENATE LEADER KERN
Mr. Kern, the leader of the democratic ma
jority in the senate, ha$ done splendid work
during the present congress.. His services are
invaluable to the, par. ty. The democrats of In
diana should ae.e to-it that he is re-elected by an
" II ,1 HI!
; SPEAKER CLARK
Speaker Ciarkjiias stm further added to his
fame as a leatetand a pr.esid.ing officer during
the present s,esln.jof congress. It would be a
reflection omtJwiueople of, his district-to douui
his return by an increased, ma jqrity. . .
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