The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902, February 28, 1901, Image 1

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    Che Conservative
VOL. _ . . . III. NO. , 34. NEBRASKA CITY , NEBRASKA , FEBRUARY - - 28 , 1901. - - SINGLE COPIES . . , 5 CENTS. * | iP
One dollar and a half per year in advance ,
postpaid to any part of the United States or
Canada. Remittances made payable to The
Morton Printing Company.
Address , THE CONSERVATIVE , Nebraska
City , Nebraska.
Advertising rates made known upon appli
/ Entered at the postofllce at Nebraska City ,
Neb. , as Second Class matter , July 20 , 1898.
There is a good
PROFITS. deal of scolding
about "abnormal
profits" among the proletariats who fol
low the teachings of the high priests of
Bryanarohy as exemplified in common
and commoner periodicals. The word
"profit" is derived from the Latin. The
verbproficere means "tomake progress , "
and it is the germ of our every-day word
"profit. "
The expense of putting any com
modity on the market is termed "the
cost of its production. " It is intended
and hoped that the selling price or value
of that commodity may exceed the cost
of its production. The "profit" is the
difference between the cost of produc
tion of any exchangeable thing and its
price or value. When this difference
exceeds the cost of production , the profit
is positive. It is called a gain. When
the market value is less than the cost of
production , the profit is negatived and
it is termed a loss.
The complaint that large combina
tions of capital are lulling off competi
tion in various lines of manufacture ,
demonstrates , if the complaint be well
grounded , that large combinations
eliminate competitive wastes and
therefore can produce their goods on a
less margin of profit than the goods
could be produced by smaller concerns.
To illustrate : The starch factory at
Nebraska City began business with a
capacity of 250 bushels of corn a day.
At the end of two years it had made a
great loss because the margin of profit
in the manufacture of starch was so
small that it could not compete with
larger concerns. Therefore , courage
and faith in the corn-producing qualities
of Nebraska put in enough capital to
make the mills capable of grinding
2,800 to 8,000 bushels of corn a day ; and
while the profit of a sixteenth or an
eighth of a cent per pound on the starch
produced out of this number of bushels
of corn may be reasonably satisfactory
in mills of the present size , they would
break up any company to whom a 250-
bushel a day factory in good running
order might now bo presented , provided
that company were compelled to operate
it at the present price for this staple.
The machinery and labor employed in
the smaller factory are very much more
expensive , to the bushel of corn ground ,
than that employed in the larger
Sophistical economists who attempt to
furnish doctrines and principles for
populism never
Cost of Labor. tire in talking of
"the cost of labor. "
They teach that the value of all things
exchangeable depends upon the amount
of labor put into their production. This
is entirely erroneous. The relation of
supply to demand , as Tins CONSERVA
TIVE has often set forth , is the sole regulator
later of values. When demand for a
commodity declines , value declines ;
when demand ceases entirely , there is no
value in that commodity. Vast aggre
gations of human muscles and human
ingenuity may combine with equally
vast aggregations of capital and produce
at great cost of labor and the use of
much money a very unique article of
mosquito nettings and gossamer silks in
Greenland ; but the limited demand for
that sort of goods in that northern
climate would render them nearly value
less. The same combination of laboi
and capital might establish on the equa
tor or in Guatemala a plant for the man
ufacture of the heaviest sort of woolen
blankets , and the Guatemalan domauc :
for such coverlets would be so small
that there would be a great loss in their
manufacture. But if the two plants are
exchanged and the woolen blanket fac
tory put to work in Greenland and the
mosquito netting and gossamer silk fac
tory throws its output upon the markets
of Guatemala , there may bo a great
profit in each concern.
When a corporation transacts a large
business each day , either in manufacture
transportation or
Maximum and banking , it may
Minimum. upon a very sinal
margin of profit
make a maximum income. But smal
transactions , few and paltry , must have
large profits , in order to live at all. The
minimum income is generally fount
where the endeavor is to do at a large
) refit a very small business.
This line of thought brings one to
consider the so-called "trust" question
which now agi-
Trusts. tates the public
mind. Are the
argo combinations of capital now pro-
lucing illuminating and lubricating oils
n the United States a detriment or a
benefit to consumers ? When oil was
produced and placed on the market by
many small corporations , was the quality
as good and the price as cheap as now ,
under the management of the Standard
Oil Co. ? Do the people of the United
States get better and more oil for less
money now than they did under the
multi-management of the oil business
before it was concentrated under the
Rockefeller domination ?
If the consumers of oil , steel , iron ,
wire and other articles alleged to bo in
the so-called trusts are getting each of
the commodities named at less figures
and of a better quality than they did
prior to the corporate concentration
of capital which now controls them ,
where is the harm to the American
people ? When a citizen rides upon a
railroad , or ships freight thereon , does
it make any difference to him whether
the railroad is owned by one Vanderbilt
or one Gould , or forty different small
stooldioldors , if the transportation ser
vice rendered is at a reasonable cost and
of good quality ? How much of the
clamor against combinations of capital
engaged in manufacture and transporta
tion has come from the people them
selves , and how much from their self-
appointed , fault-finding , declamatory
guardians ?
The number of
PEERLESS dollars invested in
VERBOSITY. the great printing
plant recently es
tablished at Lincoln in the interests of
perennial candidature before presidential
populist conventions has not yet been
enumerated. Nor has the amount of
salaries and wages which that great
anti-watered stock concern pays out each
day to its contented employees been esti
mated. But do not forgot the lachry
mose prophecy :
"The fight this year will be to carry
out the sentiment of that song you have
eo often repeated : 'My Country , 'Tis of
Thee. ' If wo lose , our children's child
ren will not stick to the spirit of that
song , and celebrations of the Fourth of
July will pass away for the spirit of em
pire will bo upon us. "
Think of it 1 The unstiokability of
our descendants to the spirit of that
song is melancholy and unmitigated
misery. How can they be jarred loose ?
When will the Fourth of July become
as comatose as the peerless is verbose ?