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MORE WINE AND OSTRICH and building them is proposed and acFEATHERS
cepted by popular vote. Yet there is
every indication from the past that the URING the nine months from roads built with this $50,000,000 will have August 1, 1912, to May 1, 1913, to be rebuilt with more borrowed money
more than $50,000,000 worth of two or three times before this present loan works of art were imported into the United is paid off. States. During the same period in 1911-12 An average tax of $40 a head all over the corresponding figure was $30,000,000 the country means that a family of five and the year before that $20,000,000. The pays $200. A man earning $3 a day earns importations this year are a new high only a little more than $900 in a year. record in value.
The $200 is a large proportion of that. The In the same nine months $35,000,000 $200 is just 5 per cent. of a salary of $4,000 worth of diamonds and other precious a year. Of course, if the tax were collected stones came in; and this figure has been directly and the facts of the situation exceeded only once.
touched everyone's pocket nerve in a way The $7,500,000 worth of wines that that could not be disguised, there would came in in these nine months is more be a tremendous outcry immediately. by a half million dollars' worth than came But a large proportion of the population in the previous year, and the $9,500,000 lives in the ignorant belief that it pays paid for imported feathers is three and no taxes at all, or, if any, only a negligible a quarter million dollars more than was amount. The taxes that it pays under the paid in 1910.
disguise of rent, transportation, food, and Certainly there are some classes at least clothing do not appear as taxes at all. that are not feeling the effects of the high But the remedy for the situation is not cost of living when wines, diamonds, and to abandon any good works which are ostrich feathers are coming into the coun- being done in order thereby to decrease try in increasing volume. And these the burden of taxation. On the conthings are not like the much abused trary, true economy calls for us to refarmer's automobile. They do not double our efforts in the improvement of increase the efficiency of living among our roads, schools, sanitation, and many the producing classes.
other functions, particularly of the local
and state governments. But in redoubling II
our energy in the betterment of these inThe high cost of living has not pinched stitutions of progress we can well quadus desperately. We are still importing ruple the scrutiny that we bestow upon the more and more luxuries and wasting money expenditure of the public funds. at home, wasting money not only privately but publicly. Ours is not a paternalistic STUDYING FOREIGN FARMING Government. It is not burdened with all the complexities of the German Govern- HE American commission that is ment, for example. Compared with other
abroad studying agricultural cocountries, our city, state, and National operation, marketing, and credit governments engage in few commercial en- will return in the latter part of this month. terprises. Yet the combined taxes to meet Soon after that the seven members apour local, state, and National needs amount pointed by the President will render their to nearly $40 for every man, woman, and report to Congress.
report to Congress. Awaiting their report child in the United States. The recent is a committee of seven governors who popular vote of the state of New York to intend to draft state legislation to further make a second bond issue of $50,000,000 coöperation and other improvements in for roads is a fair example of our careless the organization of country life. attitude toward public expenditures. The It is difficult to know what legislative people in New York want good roads. results to expect from the commission's The simple method of borrowing the money report. There is not likely to be much
information in it that is not already acces- bonds for $1,250,000 to improve 110 miles sible in this country.
of connecting roads. Commercial bodies But from the trip of the commission in twenty other counties are coöperating itself a great deal is to be expected. It is with the public officials to provide bond composed of more than a hundred mem- issues for similar local systems of good bers, and they represent three fourths of roads. Every county in the state has the states. Every one of these men will be agreed to furnish all rights of way and to a centre of inspiration for the better organ- construct all necessary bridges for the ization of country living. They will have trunk lines within its jurisdiction, without the conviction and enthusiasm that men get
cost to the state. from seeing things themselves. The knowl- If every state would solve its roads probedge which they gain abroad will be a living lem in some such way as this, the work of knowledge ready to produce results. connectingthe statesystemsinto“national”
highways would be simple, and these FOR A NATURAL NATIONAL
interstate highways would then be really
al, for they would be intercommuni
cating north and south as well as east and ALIFORNIA is now at work upon west. And national legislators would be
. an unusual plan of state highway freed of the embarrassments and tempta
building. Two years ago the state tions of that new "pork barrel” which is bonded itself for $18,000,000 for public so difficult to divorce from the scheme for road improvement upon two original Federal aid to a “national” system of roads. principles: First, that none of the usual restrictions were placed upon the time in
II which the highways should be built except But there is one difficulty which the that the work should be done as fast as California plan would encounter, a diffipossible; and second, that the routes of culty which California has already enthese roads were practically pre-deter- countered. The state authorized the sale mined by the law, because they were of $18,000,000 worth of bonds. It has limited to two trunk lines from Oregon to sold about a third of them in a reluctant Mexico - one line along the coast and market. The same difficulty would unone line down the great central valley – doubtedly confront other states if they
that should be as direct as possible, with were to begin to bond themselves upon a only those laterals that might be indis- large scale for road-building. pensable to connect centres of population Senator Bourne, of Oregon, has prepared with the trunk roads. About 1,800 miles a scheme for national aid to the states in of trunk line road and about 900 miles of their road-building campaigns which would lateral roads will be built.
in a large measure overcome this financial The purpose behind this plan was to difficulty, and which would at the same provide an object lesson in road-making to time allow a smaller opportunity for a the counties and an irresistible incentive raid upon the Federal Treasury than any to them to build local systems of good of the other plans of Federal aid which roads that should connect with the trunk have been proposed. lines. Under direction of the state high- His plan is much the same as the plan way commission, contractors are already that was proposed in North Carolina for building 206 miles of the system; and the state to pursue in helping the counties. plans and routes for 74 miles more have It amounts practically to a guarantee of been approved. The stimulating effect the counties’ bonds so that they may upon the cities and counties is already utilize the better credit facilities of the apparent. Four cities are at work spend
Senator Bourne's plan similarly ing altogether $164,000 on the permanent means the guarantee of the state bonds so improvement of the streets within their that they may use the better credit facililimits that carry the highway through their ties of the National Government. territory. San Mateo County has issued Under the Senator's plan every state would be allowed to issue a certain amount In return for the privilege of having the of 4 per cent. bonds and deposit them in aid of the national credit facilities the the Federal treasury. The National Gov- states will have to agree to maintain cerernment would then issue its own 3 per cent. tain standards of construction and mainbonds, and pay the states for their bonds tenance - particularly maintenance-and from the proceeds of the sale of its own. if the Government inspection should prove
If, for example, the states deposited that the road money was not being effec$200,000,000 worth of 50-year 4 per cent. tively spent, it could be withheld. bonds in the Treasury of the United States, The apportionment of the amount that and the Government issued the same every state could borrow from the Gov
Total for all states
5,100,000 17,700,000 13,500,000 78,600,000 17,400,000 15,600,000 50,200,000 23,300,000 16,600,000 56,500,000
3,900,000 11,500,000 15,800,000 17,000,000 56,600,000 9,600,000 4,200,000 17,300,000 16,400,000 13,200,000 25,600,000 10,500,000
1.73 1.64 1.32 2.56 1.05
THE ESTIMATED COST OF A NATIONAL SYSTEM OF GOOD ROADS UNDER SENATOR JONATHAN BOURNE'S PLAN TO LEND THE CREDIT OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO THE
STATES SO THAT A MARKET CAN BE SECURED FOR STATE BONDS AT A LOW RATE OF INTEREST
amount of 3 per cent. bonds, it would ernment is based upon area, population, secure $8,000,000 interest a year and pay property valuation, and the present mile$6,000,000. On the $2,000,000 difference, age of roads. It would allow the different according to the Senator's plan, the United states to borrow as shown in the table States Government would allow the states above, with the provision that no state 3 per cent. annual compound interest. At would borrow more than 20 per cent. this rate, at the end of 46.89 years this of its allotment in any one year. sinking fund would amount to $200,000,000, The Senator claims for this apportionenough to pay off the National bonds and ment that, being fixed, it would prevent return the state bonds to the state treas- a Congressman from being held “unsatisuries cancelled.
factory or inefficient unless he succeeded
in securing for his district an increased But one tendency appears very clearly: appropriation."
There is an ever growing public interest If it be wise to have Federal aid at all this interpretation; and to supply this deit seems that some such plan as Senator mand there is a fairly well started profesBourne has worked out — designed to sion of men of judgment and ability who limit the National Government's financial can write the vital facts of progress for all obligations to the amount which every the public to read. This profession already state is willing to tax itself and to limit the includes such capable writers and students National Government's actual work to of affairs as Mr. Ray Stannard Baker, Miss inspection and advice - is infinitely better Ida M. Tarbell, Mr. Burton J. Hendrick, than the schemes of direct gifts of money Mr. Mark Sullivan, Mr. William Bayard for Federal road construction, with all Hale, and others of national reputation. their "pork barrel” possibilities.
It is a profession that should be fostered,
for through it the American people will A NEW PROFESSION
increasingly come into that broader know
ledge and interpretation of their own R. ROOSEVELT once, at a ban- affairs that is indispensable to the conduct quet of the Periodical Publishers' of a democracy. The colleges here have
Association, began his speech with an opportunity for public service in the the remark that it was a "pleasure to training of such men. And the public meet the governing classes.” Though this can help by according to them the honor was said as an after-dinner pleasantry, that has made the legal profession and it is true that in the last ten or twelve
the medical profession effective. years the magazines as a voice of the people have come to play a large rôle in our na- TO REFORM CIVIL SERVICE tional life. Before that time such long
REFORM established periodicals as Harper's, Scribner's, and the Century had, as they still
HE President, by ordering the have, a very strong hold upon the educated
fourth class postmasters, whom classes, upon people who needed no intro
Mr. Taft put under the civil serduction to art, literature, and the pleasures vice rules, to take competitive examinaof travel. There were scientific journals, tions to maintain their positions, did what too, that presupposed another kind of Mr. Taft should have done. If it turns education upon the part of their readers. out that the examinations will change the But the interpretation of current events proportion of Republican postmasters it did not have a large place in periodicals. will merely indicate that there was politi
But that is now changed. The maga- cal partiality in their selection – which, zine reading public has been broadened of course, every one knows there was. to include everyone who can and will read. But, though they were put in under the The recording of American life in govern- "spoils system,” to have taken their jobs ment, in industry, and in its social phases from them for patronage reasons would furnishes the leading articles of to-day.
have made the offence against decent The easiest sensations in this field were
government double. the scandals, and in their new-found power Soon after this order, the President acthe magazines of a muckraking period cepted the resignation of two members of which is happily passing away dwelt over- the Civil Service Commission. For a short much upon them. We are coming into a time this will give a few Democratic jobperiod of better balanced judgment and of hunters an unjustifiable hope that, after all, more constructive endeavor in our maga- the plums will be easier to gather than they zine literature, but as yet we are only at first seemed. That idea will soon pass experimenting with the possibilities of away, and it is to be hoped that the new usefulness of those magazines that try commissioners will so conduct their office sanely to interpret this most interesting as to maintain an even stricter defence period in which we live.
against the use of the Federal offices as
rewards for party services, and at the “What evidence is there of this crime?” same time that they will not allow the "I got de evidence in me pocket here,” civil service rules to maintain incompetents piped up Detective Lieut. Sidney Solomon. in the Government employ. There are few
Lieut. Solomon came forward, and placed four things that encourage “the Government
cent pieces and a dime on the Chief Justice's
desk. The Associate Justices leaned forward, gait,” that slow up Government work, so
and scrutinized the coins with great care. much as the stringent rules under which the
Then the Justices consulted. The result of departmental and bureau heads have to
the conference was kept for the time as a hire their subordinates.
judicial secret. Of course, if it is a choice between a
“Is there any other evidence?” asked the return to the practices of the “spoils Chief Justice, keeping one eye on the money system" or maintaining the present civil all the time. service system, the present condition, in
“Yes, your Honor," Salvadore Ciociola
said. He was the other detective who, spite of its drawbacks, is preferable. But
at the opening of the proceedings, was dissurely we have come to a time when a
comfited. reform of the civil service regulations can
“I grabbed dis for evidence. It's the thoid be discussed without any danger of relap- time I've raided a game, and I know what to sing into the "spoils system.”
take by now.” Detective Ciociola pulled from
his pocket a very soiled and battered set of GUIDING THE BOY GANGS dice.
Philip Lascal, the chief of the group of crapN A recent issue of the New York playing prisoners on trial, admitted that he Times, under the headline, “Boys Sit
had won all the money in the game. He
received a sentence of three days' imprisonpeared the following story:
ment, which meant that he would have to stay When Chief Justice Arthur Aurora, aged
in half an hour after school every day for
three days. fourteen, called his court to order yesterday in the official courtroom of Public School 114, in Oak Street, shame and chagrin were depicted
The simple expedient of self-government on the faces of two tiny detectives in blue had turned the dominant group of boys blouses who hung back among the policemen, in the school into law enforcers. Always in deputy sheriffs, culprits, and court attendants school and elsewhere where boys congrewho filled the courtroom's benches.
gate there are gangs. Usually these The first case the young Whitman of the
gangs are a nuisance; very often they are a school, Dionysius Eturaspe, had hoped to
serious menace to the morals of the gang bring before the court was that of Pasquale members and to the peace of the neighFezza, of 284 Madison Street, a thirteen-year- borhood. For usually the energy of the old, accused of jabbing a tiny penknife into the shoulder of William Paretsky.
gangs is directed against law and order. “Where is the defendant in this case?”
But a new time is coming, for so many demanded Dionysius, in boyish treble, but people in the schools, in the Boy Scouts, with much official dignity nevertheless. and in many other activities, have grasped
The two detectives shuffled their feet and the fundamental fact that if these gang their little faces turned red.
activities are guided most wonderful “We ain't got him yet,” one of the blue- results can be achieved — results that will bloused detectives finally said. “You see, we
leave these boys far better able to handle ain't got no jurisdiction. We ain't only a
themselves honestly and effectively in the block or two from school, and Pasquale, he
world than were their predecessors. has kept all the time to home where we can't grab him." Philip Lascal, of the Fourth Grade, was
BETTER CHILDREN TO TEACH brought before the Chief Justice by a policeman from whose shoe a bare toe peeked forth.
CHOOL hygiene has gone far for"What's the charge?” asked the Chief
ward from the old-fashioned daily Justice of the school Whitman.
ten minutes of classroom "calis"Playing craps, your Honor," said the thenics" and from the semi-weekly half District Attorney.
hour of recitation from a dull textbook on