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About The independent. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1902-1907 | View Entire Issue (Oct. 8, 1903)
THE NEBRASKA INDEPENDENT
OCTOBER 8, 1203.
The Philosophy of Freedom
An OpQ Forum for Single Taxers
SOCIALISTS AND SINGLE TAXERS.
Editor Independent: Apropos of the
numerous communications that have
appeared in The Independent concern
ing the agreements and disagreements
of socialists and single taxers, I beg
to be allowed to call the attention ol
your readers to a recent very small
pamphlet published by Franii Vierth,
Cedar Rapids, la., under the tide
"Look Ahead." In this pamphlet will
be tound the fairest and clearest state
ment I have anywhere seen of the real
difference between the ultimate prin
ciples of the single tax and that of so
cialism. I do not say the difference between
single taxers and socialists, but be
tween the single tax and socialism. For
1 believe in all sincerity that there
are thousands of socialists who do
tot really believe in socialism. I have
rot tail ed with a thousand, but I
have with some, who, while professing
to be socialists,' certainly did not be
lieve in socialism, except as all of us
,more or less do, namely, in the things
that are properly neither "thine" nor
"mine," but "ours." I am sure there
are many other socialists, who have
the same attitude toward socialism as
. luurtc wiiu nuuiu i nave nui-cii. ,
This distinction between socialism
and any socialist party is alluded to by
the author, Mr. Louis F. Post, in the
little pamphlet to which I have re
ferred. I am quite sure that the fol
lowing quotation will be of interest to
those who -have followed the discus
sions in your paper:
"The principle which animates the
single tax policy is one of two forces
that today are gathering for conflict.
The other is the socialist principle. I
do not aljude to the socialist party.
That may or may not figure in the
struggle before us as the representa
tive of the principle of socialism. No
one can tell. What I do allude to if
the force of which the socialist party
Is now an expression. Whether it
finds ultimate expression in a party
calling itself socialist, or otherwise,
gle tax principle. This raises no ques
tion of particular political parties or
platforms or programs. It is the vital
principle of practical individualism.
It 'is the principle, with reference . to
property, not of the sacredness of
"mine," or of "thine" nor of "mine
and thine," but of the sacredness of
mine, the sacredness of thine, and the
eacredness of ours. In the conflict
between these two principles, social
Ism and the single tax, every man who
lives much longer will be compelled to
"The quest'on he must sit in judg
ment upon is whetner, on tiiC Cue
hand, he will promote a social prin
ciple the philosophy of which is eco
nomic fatalism and its ideal to ma? e
everything of society and nothing of
the individual; or will, on the other
hand, promote the principle which
distinguishes social from individual
functions, social from individual
rights, social from individual dnties
conserving them all by ta'Ing for so
ciety what belongs to society and leav
ing to each individual rhat belongs to
him. This is the issue.
We mav fully agree in the spirit of
Mr. Ernest Crosbv's fine article in the
' Henry George Edition of The Inde
pendent in wishing to minimize differ
ences, yet where there are real dif
ferences of principle, bf wrse there is
no profit in hiding the fact.
J. H. DILLARD.
LIGON TO SPALDING.
William Spalding of Murray. Idaho,
calls my question a stunner. His an
swer may be sufficient for him: bit for
a renter here In the Chickasaw natfon
it's not. Rent has increased here
Feme: and some are required to keep
itp the Improvements, which is taxa
tion added to taxation.
Rp answer mieht and woild do
where there were ten places to rent
and only,, one or two renters.
Come "again, Mr. Spalding. ' -
. G. LIGON.
Graham, I. T.
SITRPI US VAT UE.
Editor Independent: I" your Karl
Kar Fditfoi there is a lonr ertWe hv
H. M. Hvndman nnon the Tvfrv Hionry
of p"rrl"f vVie. wMh Is a pood i'i"s
trt'on of how clear logical r"rnfngr
my be vitiated lv tenors? fTomn
t'l facto. It Is trm that te selling
prjre of commodities p-enerollv n
cldeq n additional vale hcMs
ronMh"ted bv -hor and canWol fMs
he farms Rrnlnl Vl'ie and aertbe it
whollv to labor terpen it "rr"al-lt-ed
or Thi" ded"tfon f hacp4
rron the fallacv tht lnr the nie
ner"urv fartor In nrol"ftton or t
least that lalor and capital alone are
required, ignoring wholly the equally
necessary factor land.
It is the varying productiveness of
land and the conditions which limit
access to land which alone are re
sponsible for this so-called surplus
value. In the first place the cost of
production, interest and wages being
the same, will vary with the fertility
of landvand the poorer the land the
smaller the return from the applica
tion of a given amount of labor and
capital. In the case of production from
the poorest land in use,- and which
pays no rent, the price will just cover
the cost of the labor and capita en
gaged and there will be no surplus
value. If the returns did not cover
the cost of production the land would
speedily go out of cultivation; if it ex
ceeded it, it would be because of in
creased demand and poorer land would
be forced into use.
It is evident, then, that from all
land more productive than this free
lend, the cost of production will be
less than the value; in other words,
after paying the usual returns to la
bor and capital, there is something left.
As a result this land will be in su
perior demand to the free land and
men will ,be willing to pay for the
privile.ee of using it. What they will
pay will. be an amount equal to the
value of this extra productiveness
above the free land. In plain English
this is RENT. Surplus value is noth
ing but rent and the way to socialize
it is to take rent In taxation for com
munity purposes and abolish all thoe
other taxes which now operate as fines
on industry and thrift.
let me add that Mr. Stuart in his
"rticle on "Scientific Socialism" alo
follows worthily in the steps of his
master, Karl Marx, and Ignores land,
when he states that "all wealth is the
product of labor and labor exclusive
ly." Without land to work on and
without the raw materials which lano
s"pni?es, even Mr. Stuart would be
With labor free and the land mo
nopolized the people are enslaved as
thev are this day. When socialists
learn the fundamental imoortance of
the land question they will be saved
from many economic fallacies ancHvill
receive more consideration from think
ing reformers. ""
AT AN C. THOMPSON.
Toronto, Canada. . ,
All must admit that the Ideal stat
of society, would be one in which ev
ery person nad some useful occupa
tion; and retained enough of the prod
uct of his labor to live in comfort,
where every one had an opportunity
eiuier 10 worn at good wages for an
employer, or to make e-oort
wori lug for himself. If civilization is
to advance it must be towards that
ideal. Under what conditions win
wages be high? What conditions en
courage industry, and what idleness?
In the first nlace. if all a tn rp.
ceive high wages, enough wealth must
De produced to allow each a large
share, and the more wealth nrnAnoeri
the higher the wages each laborer may
possibly receive. But although a large
production of wealth Is
high wages, it is not the only thing
necessary, ior the wnole product of
labor does not ko to the laborer ar.i
his share in the product is often very
small even where the erpatMt
amounts are produced. A nortion f
the 'product is appropriated by gov
ernment and we find that as civiliza
tion advances this portion continually
increases, and although a great deal
of the public funds may be very bad
ly spent, still there is scarcely a limit
to the amount that mieht he used fnr
the public good, and if it is not so
used, trie remedy Is to give the public
more power to control the enpnn.
A second portion goes to the land
lord who may or mav not nisn ha a
laborer and a capitalist. If he Is sim
ply a land owner, his land Is unim
proved hi ci1m to tho land I Wo
on a paper title received from the rtate
wmrn nves ntm the fill control and
no ntbpr nprnn i nllnwe-? to " t
wfthoit his consent. He has a natural
rifht of possesion to as much land
values as everv other person in the
tte. for the rights of all are equal in
rrrd to land. He alo has a nat
ural rio-ht to all the prodicts of his
ibor whether Improvements on the
land or prodots which mav be re
moved. Altno'ieh tend Ii practically
vnlliefl jn quantify ft differs rreatlv
It. fortntV- pnd pome even of the rtuvt
forHp tjy q po equated that labor
arl'ed OT1 ft Wntid be entirely .wasted.
Ot tv oher hand, some land Is so
sit'ted that U h an Immense valne.
a lot In a great city with nothing on
It hut rubbish often has a value great
er than a thousand acres of the best
improved agricultural land. This val
ue is called the unearned increment,
because it Is unearned by those who
receive it. It is the earned Incre
ment of the commuriiy and Increcs 8
with every advance In civilization or
increase in population. To permit the
private appropriation of ground rent
is to encourage Idleness, on the part of
land owners as tuey can appropriate
a portion of the weaLh produc d wi h
out doing anything to aid in produc
tion. It also reduces wages for as land
values belong of right to society, -are
created by society and are required
for the expenses of government, to al
low private parties to appropriate
ground rent compels society to tax
things that it does not create and to
which it has no right and that should
gc to increase wages.
A third portion of the product goes
tc the capitalist either for improve
ments on land, machinery, or any
other form of wealth that aids lalx r
in production. Capital is necessary to
production and a laborer should save
a portion of his vages in order to sup
ply himself with the best tools, ma
chinery, stock or whatever he requires
in his particular occupation to make
his labor most effective, and the high
er wages are the easier it is for him
tx accumulate the necessary capital.
, Although he should provide himself
with capital, he is under no obliga
tion to furnish other people with capi
tal and an inducement is necessary to
cause him to exert himself very much
to furnish capital for the use of oth
ers. There is a great difference in the
amount a man can produce with imr
perfect tools and what he can produce
when supplied with the best, and he
can afford to give a portion of the
difference to the person who supplies
bim with capital and still be better
off than he woul be without it. This
portion which the capitalist receives
is interest, .it is the inducement the
average man requires to save capital
for others to u.e; and when not ex
cessive benefits both parties
In countries wver? the prop'e are
barbarous and have few improved
methods of production it requires con
siderable industry and self-denial to
enable a person to save more capital
than he requires for his own Use, but
as civilization advances it becomes"!
easier cand the person who saves de
serves less recompense end nature
gives him less. Although the demand
for capital Increases with civilization
the supply increases much faster and
the same causes that increase rent,
lower Interest Interest seems to be
necessary in the present stage of in
dustrial progress,' but where natural
forces are not Interfered with It is a
diminishing quantity. High interest is
not to be desired as it establishes an
idle class and reduces wages. High
wages encourage .ndustry in all classes
and inspires all with hope.
NOw,I think we are in a position
to answer the question: Under what
conditions will wages be high? The
first condition necessary Is a large pro
duction of wealth; and production
should be encouraged in every possible
v;ay .Production may be encouraged
by removing taxes from the products
of labor, by reducing rent cr the price
of land, and a tax on land values will
accomplish that, as it will make it
unprofitable to hold land for specula
tion. Anything that makc3 the ex
change of wealth easier, such as a
cufficient supply of money, or the re
moval of tariffs.encourages production.
Everything that encourages a greater
production of wealth helps to raise
wages; as the more wealth produced
the more there will be to divide; and
the smaller the proportion that will
go to the capitalist. To abolish the
patent office and reward inventors with,
prizes would cheapen machinery and
raise wages if accompanied with a'
tax on land values.
' . : . JAS. L: PATON. -
Riverside, Cal. ,
. LAND ANIMALS. ;
Editor Independent: In your issue
of August 13, 1903, a Mr. Isaac High of
Janesville, la., objects to the single
tax and things single taxers ought
to pive us a rest.
If he lives a thousand years he will
find single taxers as industrious as
I think the brother ought to study
the single t?x fr enough to see that
laud or the earth is really not pron
ertv, bit is the thing from which all
r-ropertv comes by applying labor to
it. There was a time when nesroes
were called pronertv in this countr"
that are not property now; . bit st'll
are land animaQ nve thur white bro
thers. Perhaps they haven't fomd it
o"t yet. It seems some of their su
perior wtite brother? too. are a little
in the dark on thi vital problem.
GEO. J. MENGER.
Palmyra, Mo.. . i
Independent School of Political Economy
The notice below is from the Medi
cal World (Philadelphia) for Octo
ber. Dr. Taylor, the editor, is one
of the best populists in the United
States, and no one has done more to
advance the principles of populism.
His Equity Series contaii-j books that
should be in the hands of every stu
dent of political economy. Write for a
catalogue to 1520 Chestnut st., Phila
delphia. Dr. Taylor is an earnest advocate of
the "new thought" in orthography
that is, he is a "spelling reformer."
Strange to relate, however, he still
clings to that obsolescent past parti
ciple, "gotten." It wouldn't do to say,
"I have just got out a book," although
it is quite the thing to tell us that
Mr. Horach "worl t" on it three years!
However, these inconsistencies do not
affect the value of Mr. Horach's work,
and we advise readers of The Inde
pendent to send for a copy. Mr. Tay
lor says: . .
"I have just potten out a book en
titled "The Control of Industrial Cor
porations." Mr. F. E. Horach, a teach
er of economics, workt on it for three
years. The provisions in the constitu
tion and laws of each state concern
ing the granting of charters to indus
trial corporations are shown, for the
purpose of exhibiting the radical and
infinit differences jn these provisions
among the states, and yet a company,
can be incorporated in any state, to do
business in all the other states!'
Premium is put upon laxity instead
of strictness o requirements, and
there is competion among the states
in the offering of freedom from strict
requirements. This condition .has
greatly encouraged . the formation of
corporations and trusts, without suf
ficient control in the interest of the '
public. After the present .condition
and its results are clearly shown, a
national : incorporation law is advo-'
cated, to govern corporations doing an
Interstate business. This treatise goes
to the bottom of the trust and. cor
poration question and points to a ra-'
tional and practicable solution of the'
problem. The book is one of the
Equity Series, 20 pages, paper cover,
price onlv 25 cent.. Those who are
interested will want the book, so I will'
say nothing further about this ques-'
tlon here. The book was intended to
help congress to, solve the trust pro-'
blem along this line, andjevery mem-,
ber of the new conres will he imme-'
dlately made acquainted with the
work, and a copy will be offered free
to each member Interested."
Sou'h Dakota In Lln
Editor Independent: While leading
populists were anxiously considering
and debating what seemed to he a
most delicate and difficult question, the
Denver conference was convened and
did the business of reuniting populists
so easily and naturally, and at the
same time so effectually and complete
ly, that now nothing further remains
to be said or done but to issue the call
for the national . nominating conven
tion, when populists will be in the
saddle again, ready and anxious for
the mot aprgres-.ive and determined
camp3ign ever waeed bv the economic
reform forces In behalf of Industrial
and commercial freedom.
The Denver conference could have
done no more nor Iost than it ha dne.
The uniting of populists was the sole
purpose of that tlmelv xgatherlmr. and
the work was well done, leaving all
questions of-permanent' party organi
zation plans and the party platform
to the national convention of 1904.
The South Dak ota populists send
hopeful and enthusiastic greeting to
all of the populists of all the states.
We are anxiously waiting the coming!
of Chairman J. A. Edgerton to cal! .
us Into state conference for more per-
feet state union and organization.
JOHN M. PEASE,
National Committeeman, Mld-roaders. '
Mt. .Vernon, So. Dak.
Good Groceries Cheap
Friends of The Independent win
confer a favor bv senling an order .
for groceries to Rranch & Miller Co.,
whose ad. appears on another page. "
The goods are first class and a great :
bargain. Send your order today, -if
you are not satisfied you can have '
your monev bac". Mention The Inde
fwndent Twhen .you write. ; . "
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