The independent. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1902-1907, February 19, 1903, Page 8, Image 8

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FEBRUARY 19, 1903.
the Uebraska Independent
Lincoln, Utbraska. ,
Entered according to Act of Congress of March
j, 1S79, at the Tosloffice at Lincoln, Nebraska, as
second-clars mail matter. "
$1.00 PER YEAR
. When making reniittani da not . leave
money wilh new agencies, postmaster, etc ,
to be forwarded by them. They frequently
forget or remit .1 different amount than wai
left" with theiu, and the subscriber fails to get
p;orei credit. .
Add.-ess all communication, and make all
iitiU, money order, etc., payable to
the Jlebmaka Independent,
'' "" " Lincoln, Neb.
Anonymous communications will not be
noticed. Rejected manuscript will not be
The assocate editor has more than
a bushel of letters claiming his at
tention. Practically all of them are
; worthy of publication, but it is a phy
sical impossibility to publish' half of
r them even in the near future without
' cutting them down. This of itself is
no child's play. Be as patient as you
ran. The Independent has no inten
tion to slisht anv of its readersand
everybody from the editor-in-chief to
the office bov is worMng his "best
licks" to make the paper better ev
ery week. By the way. how would it.
. be for you to send for a book of re
crultlnr!; coupons? It. cots vou noth
ing ;to try and everv recruit added
now is tht much gained for the bat
tle in 1904.
Dr. M. J. Gahan of Omaha is said to
have invented an artificial coal, which
can be retail"! at about $5 per ton.
of greater heqtjng capacity than Penn
sylvania antbroc'te.
The American Ptandnrd of Frank
fort. Ind. is a democratic newspaper
and aggressive in its fight against the
: ueuiir lata.
Oen. James B. Weaver of Iowa is
. being boomed for democratic nomi-
' 0 - m i . A A TT'
lite lUi UVt;iliH ui mat ci.lci iir
was the populist candidate for presl
dent in 1892.
Clarence H. Venner of Boston has
begun suit to break up the Rock Isl
and railroad's reorganization scheme
started last summer. The Rock Isl
and management say it is simply a
'hold-up" suit.
Several republican stfie legisla
tures are passing some laws demand
ed in populist platforms, and. resolv
ing that United States senators should
be elected by the people. No set of
political principles ever had such a
wonderful growth in the same length
of time as those proclaimed at th'
Omaha convention.
It seems that an income tax is con
stitutional in the territory of Hawaii,
but not in the United States. The
' United States court of appeals in San
Francisco has sustained the Hawaiian"
law and in doing so says: "It places
the burden of taxation upon the points
of strongest resistance, where it is
easiest borne." That is pretty good
pop doctrine.
. The trusts have pushed prices of
material up to such an exorbitant
point that many of the railroads have
ordered work on extensions and bet
' torments stopped, among them the
Milwaukee & Alton. The trusts, like
the railroads, can take all the traffic
will bear, but they can't take any
more. There is an inflexible law of
counterbalance in the economic
world. If prices "rise, wages must
rise. When wages' and prices both
rise the cost of improvements is so
great that it means bankruptcy to go
on with them,
Of all the curses that, ever settled
down on this country the curse of
corporation and ' plutocratic t courts is
.the worst " For years an agitation was
carried on to compel the railroads to
adopt air brakes and automatic cou
plers. The movement had the sym
pathy and support of the whole pop
ulation except those interested in the
railroad business, and after years of
work such a law was passed. Now
the United States court. of appeals
steps in and nullifies the law by a
declsio'n, the argument sustaining it
being so flimsey that it will excite
the disgust of any man who read3 it.
The courts have held "that it is not
necessary to- equip locomotives or ten
ders with automatic couplers, because
the law does not so specifically pro
vide. That a car is not in interstate
traffic unless actually in transit in an
interstate journey, loaded with inter
state commerce, or being actually
moved or handled in preparation of an
interstate movement In other words,
a car having made an interstate jour
ney Is not in interstate traffic while
being switched unless such switching
is In actually preparing an interstate
train. That the law does not require
that cars shall be equipped with cou
plers which will couple automatically
with those in use on another road. It
is only necessary that car3 shall be
equipped with automatic couplers
which will couple automatically with
their own kind of couplers."
This decision practically nullifies
the whole law which was the thing
aimed at when it was written out.
Congress could, of course, in passing
the law, deal only with interstate
commerce and it is straining the con
struction"" the law beyond all rea
son to hold that congress intended
that each railroad company engaged
in interstate commerce could have an
automatic coupler of its own which
would not couple with the cars of any
other road. .
Our railroad, courts are a by-word
all over Europe. They are a disgrace
to civilization- . ;,
Such -a law as the one just nulli
fied by the'United States courts Is de
manded by every impulse of human
ity. During the fiscal year ending
June 30, .1901, there were 2,675 rail
way employes killed and 41,142 wound
ed. That equals the killed and wound
ed in many of the greatest battles of
the civil war. These heartless rail
road courts intend that such slaughter
shall continue, if by it the railroads
can save a-few hundred thousand dol
lars by refusing to put automatic
couplers and air brakes on their
The single tax philosophy, if The
Independent rightly grasps it, is based
on two fundamental propositions: j
Xa) All men have an equal (but not
a joint or common) right to the use
of land (that is, the earth, including
air, light, etc.); and that this right
is only limited, as to any individual,
by the similar rights of others. From
this is deduced the conclusion that
equity, morality or ethics does not
permit property in land.,
(b) By reason of this equal right
to the use of the earth, limited, of
course, by the similar rights of oth
ers, each is entitled to the absolute,
exclusive, individual ownership and
dominion over those things produced
by applying his labor-power or en
ergy to the land, either directly (as
in agriculture and mining) or indi
rectly (as in manufacturing and other
"To what sort of things," asks Hen
ry George in "A Perplexed Philos
opher," "does such a right of owner
ship rightfully attach? Clearly to
things produced by labor, and to no
other." (p. 248.)
"Organized society," he continues
on page 251, "must have revenues;
but the natural and proper and ato--quate
source of those revenues is not
in what justly belongs to individuals,
but in what justly belongs id so
cietythe value which attaches to
land with the growth of society. Let
the state take that, and there will be
no need for it to violate the right of
property by taking what justly belongs
to the individual The truth is that
customs taxes, and improvement taxes,
and INCOME taxes, and taxes on bus
iness and occupation and on legacies
and successions, are morally and
economically no better than highway
robbery or burglary. . . . There is no
necessity for them. The seeming
necessity arises only from the failure
of the state to take its own natural
and adequate source- of revenue."
(p. 283.)
No matter upon what the levy of
;axes be assessed, whether upon land
values or upon property, the taxes
themselves must be paid by a trans
fer from the individual to the state
of things produced by man. It may
be that land values are a better .sub
ject for taxation but land values
themselves pay no taxes. Men do the
paying and pay out of their incomes.
The "robbery" Mr. George speaks
of is inevitable no matter how the levy
is calculated, because each must surr
render for the use of government some
of the things he has produced or re
ceived in" exchange for his produc
iions. How the calculation is to be
mofe may be fair or unfair, accord
ingly as it makes each pay his due
propcition or allows some to escape
wholly or partially who ought to pay
more; but neither land nor land val
ues of themselves can be "taken" and
used as taxes.
Taking "the yalue which attaches to
land with the growth of society," Mr.
Louis F. Po3t of The Public (Chicago)
explains is merely an "elliptical" ex
pression. What is meant is that the
occupier of land will cheerfully give
the taxgatherer products or property
equal in value to the economic rent of
the land. Society produced the land
value upon which is calculated the
economic rent and proposes to take
for its own use what it produced ;
Which being impossible, society com
promises by taking as taxes the very
things which the Georgian philos
ophy declares cannot be taken without
committing robbery or burglary.
Suppose some calamity befalls the
occupier of land and he is unable to
deliver to society the equivalent he
has promised. Can he be ousted in
favor of some person who can pay?
Suppose he refuses to pay. Can his
goods and chattels be levied upon and
taken? Suppose he ignores the "ellip
tical" expressions and relies on inter
preting words and sentences literally.
"I am aware that this land value is
$50 per square foot and that society
produced it," he might say; "well, let
society take it. That is not my af
fair. This house -is my property it
cannot be taken without "robbing"
or "burglarizing" me, and society
wouldn't do that. I shall stay right
here. I shall not give up any of my
income to the tax-gatherer." What
would society do?
It may be that a tax on land val
ues would be more nearly equitable
than anything we have tried but the
philosophy has too many ellipses for
the average man to understand. With
out reading into it much that isn't
there, there would be no revenues at
When the bill of that scoundrel Elk
ins is closely examined, it' will be
seen that it does nothing more than
eliminate the imprisonment penalty
in the law as it now exists. That is
the way the republicans propose to
suppress the trusts.
Several republican state legisla
tures are passing some laws demand
ed in populist platforms, and resolv
ing that United States- senators should
be elected by the people. No set of
political principles ever had such a
wonderful growth in the same length
of time as those proclaimed at the
Omaha convention.
One of the Queerest sichts ever seen
on this or any other continent was
beheld in Omaha last week. In a
great public meeting at which the
leading citizens of the city took part,
the hands and feet of the men these
citizens had elected to the legislature
were kissed, and such men as Kountze,
Yates and Kirkpatrick crawled in the
dust on their very stomachs- before
them, in pitiful pleas that the mem
bers of the legislature would vote for
a bill providing for the taxation of
railroad property at the same rate
that other property is taxed. If these
men had voted for the fusion, instead
of the railroad candidates, there would
have been no necessity for such a per
formance. The fusion candidates would
have voted for such a bill without the
asking. Why did not these men vote
for the fusion candidates? Can any
man give a reason? Why do such
men go to the polls and vote for can
didate? they know are nominated and
supported by the railroads, and then
after election get down and lick the
dust from the boots of the men whom
they have elected, making piteous ap
peals not to compel them to pay the
taxes which the railroads ought to
pay? Can any man tell why? Why ,
do these heavy taxpayers ? prefer a
railroad, republican government that
largely increases the cost of state
, J-
government and constantly adds to
the amount of public debt upon which
interest must be paid, to one that de
creased tbe cost of government and
reduced the state debt?
The only reason that The Indepen
dent can think of, and that is not a i
that that class of men have a fear of
the common people. They think that !
if the common people get control of;
the government and hold it, that they '
will pass unreasonable - laws and deal
unjustly with owners of large amounts ;
of property. They have no : facts to ;
sustain such a belief. Whenever the I
common people have obtained control
of government they have always dealt
justly with all. ; j . -, . . . , i
The Associated press asserts that
the dispatch about the ; Rockefeller .
telegrams was submitted to the au
thorities at the White house before
it was sent out. Teddy doubtless be
lieved that those telegrams had been:
sent. When Attorney General Knox
can fool him so completely as he has
done about the trust legislation, It is
no wonder that he got fooled by this
fake. When Knox told him a year or
two ago that there must be a consti
tutional amendment before anything
nnnirt hA dnno to suonress the trusts,
Teddy believed it and began advocat
ing such an amendment. When Knox
told him that there was no tariff on
kerosene oil or anthracite coal, Teddy
believed that and so announced in his
Cincinnati speech. When Knox told -
him that this Elkins bill and the
publicity measure would knock the
trusts out, he believed that. Teddy is
altogether too credulous. All his life
he has associated with respectable and
honorable men and takes that crowd
at Washington to be of that class and
believes al that they tell him.
There are earmarks which indicate,,
that President Roosevelt and nine of
the United States senators have been
attempting to play what can be aptly
characterized as nothing short of "a
schoolboy trick." That Rockefeller
telegram incident would be laughable
were it not for the fact that serious
results are likely to come of it. Be
cause of it, some pretended anti-trust
legislation will doubtless be enacted,
and the day of reckoning be put -off
for a few years longer.
It looks as though the president
himself (yet possibly it may have been
Knox) had made all arrangements
to have the famous telegram sent:
"We are opposed to any anti-trust
legislation, Our counsel, Mr.