Obrázky stránek

The President, the Postmaster-General, and members of Congress have more important duties than appointments to these small jobs; and it is a long step toward common sense to keep them under the civil service rules. Incidentally, they cannot again pack political conventions of either party.


There's something so fascinating about an office that men lose their common sense in seeking it and their official friends lose honesty in aiding them. This story is told at Washington and is typical: Two Senators and an important Representative in Congress called on a Cabinet officer and made most earnest pleas for the appointment of a man to an office that no one of first-rate ability could afford to accept. The Secretary listened patiently to their several orations in praise of the applicant. Then, when silence came, he remarked:

"Of course, you gentlemen know that this office is in the classified service and no appointment can be made except under the civil service rules."

One of the honorable callers asked the company out to have drinks; and, as they were leaving the room, one with a sly smile put his head again in the door and said: "Well, Mr. Secretary, you'll bear witness that I've done my duty by him.”

We pay Senators and Representatives rather meagrely; but the most niggardly salary is a shameful waste of money to men who waste time and character in this way. For at the bottom of this whole advance on the Secretary, there was an essential lie. They knew that the fellow was unworthy of the office, and they knew he couldn't get it, and they didn't wish him to have it. But they lacked the courage of common decency to tell him the plain truth about the case.

ucts that were imported into Georgia from other states:

GROWN IN GEORGIA AND SOLD 1,800,000 bales cotton at $60. 900,000 tons cotton seed at $30.



AN IDIOTIC ECONOMIC SITUATION ough-going business men. Here are need

[blocks in formation]

27,000,000 $135,000,000


Corn purchased in 1912
Hay purchased in 1912
Oats purchased in 1912
Miscellaneous feeds

Meat, dairy and poultry pro-






These items of food for man and beast cost $37,496,000 more than the cotton brought. The point is that practically every bushel of this corn and oats and every pound of hay and all this meat and poultry and dairy products could have been produced in Georgia at a profit, in addition to the cotton. In fact, the cotton would have been the better for it.

Why wasn't it done? This buying of corn and the rest, on its face, seems so idiotic, that there must be an explanation. The explanation is this:

The market for cotton is thoroughly organized. A farmer can take a bale of cotton to any town or village and get cash for it on any working day of the year. The market for corn and hay and butter and meat is organized (so to speak) against the Georgia consumer. These products have been imported by jobbing houses for many years, and they have the distributing machinery. A uting machinery. A Georgian knows where he can buy hay and corn and meat, but he doesn't know where he could sell them if he should raise them. That is why he has grown only cotton.

Of course, thorough-going business men would have no difficulty in dealing with such a situation. But the scattered and usually unorganized farmers are not thor

and chance for coöperative marketing. Suppose, for instance, in a given neighborhood, every farmer belonged to a coöperative society which employed a secretary, whose business it should be to keep a record of what every member had to sell

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

tional highways are not primarily designed for the farmer or the city delivery people or for any such commercial uses.

More real business would be done on roads built in radiating spokes leading to every nook and corner of the surrounding county from the cities than will be done on thousand-mile highways from one part of the country to another. The proposers of the multifarious Federal aid schemes (there were seventy bills on this subject before the last Congress) come to the Federal Treasury because they feel that a Government that wastes money on river and harbor improvements and public

NOTICE OF A NEW PORK BARREL buildings can be induced to waste money


HE National Highways Association, believing in the building and permanent maintenance of 50,000 miles of highways by the Federal Government, lately sent to the press a circular letter and five elaborate pamphlets, maps, bulletins, etc., in support of its propaganda.

One of the pamphlets is devoted to proof of the economic advantage of good roads, a proposition now generally admitted, and jumps from that to the conclusion that because they are economically beneficial it is in the province of the National Treasury to pay for them.

This illogical deduction is reached notwithstanding the very examples of good roads which were used to prove their economic advantages are state and county built roads.

The obvious logical deduction is, if these state and county roads are so beneficial, to build more state and county roads. Before good roads can be had all over the country in this manner, the people all over the country will have to come to believe in roads earnestly enough to pay for them. When good roads do come in this manner they will serve their most useful purpose.

But this solid, substantial way of doing things from the bottom up is too slow for the national aid propagandists, with their get-rich-quick kind of road building schemes to get good, long distance touring roads for automobiles through states and counties which are not themselves ready to build and maintain them. The proposed na

on public roads, particularly if the roads are planned to traverse Congressional districts represented by men whose support for a measure can be forced by the price of a piece of "pork". But such districts. are, happily, fewer than they used to be, and if the public once gets an insight into the true inwardness of the colossal scheme of Federal appropriations which this national aid to roads involves, there will be no political glory to be had by championing it.

We should and must have the good roads, but we ought not to have them until each community wants them earnestly enought to pay for them. We should not have them given to us willy-nilly from the bountiful hand of a wasteful Government at the behest of an automobile and road-machinery propaganda. The real good roads movement springing from the needs and desires of the people throughout the country will be retarded and blocked if this new pork-barrel scheme spreads its corrupting influence through the land.

[blocks in formation]

Commerce Club, to hear addresses by distinguished speakers from all parts of the United States and to discuss the improvement of farm management, of farm living, and of the relations between town and country.

Both the invitation and the congress were typical of the new movement. St. Joseph is one of the oldest settlements of the Middle West, and it has lived for the last forty years in the memory, and in accordance with the traditions, of its first prosperity as a trading and outfitting post for the gold seekers of '49. The other day its citizens awoke to realize that St. Joseph was at the centre where the border lines of four of the richest agricultural states converge and that it was losing its opportunity to become a great agricultural market by clinging to its vanishing commercial glory. Upon that realization the Commerce Club engaged a farm adviser under a three-year contract to help develop the resources of its farming neighborhood. Then the club, under the inspiration of Col. R. M. Bacheller, announced the agricultural congress.

Such men as President W. C. Brown, of the New York Central Railroad, President H. J. Waters, of the State Agricultural College of Kansas, Dr. L. L. Lumsden, of the United States Public Health Service, and other distinguished men, came to speak on the best methods to extend farm credit, on coöperative marketing, on sanitation on the farm, on diversification of crops, on soil renewal, and on other subjects that are vital to the regeneration of country living.

One of the first results of the congress was that one thousand farmers pledged a dollar apiece for prizes for the best corn at a corn show which they arranged to hold next year. The farmers who were present also proposed another meeting of the congress, which they will help to manage, and which will be held probably next December or January.

Here, again, as at Duluth and at other cities, the town and the country have united to further that agricultural advance which is one of the most inspiring and most hopeful movements in the upward march of American life.



EVERAL years ago Mr. J. W. Sewell, supervisor of the grammar schools of Nashville, Tenn., led his schools to discover the city in which they were and the city in turn to discover its schools. The children are taught their daily tasks in the terms of the life around them.

In the English course, for example, at least one careful exercise must be written during every term on some such subject

"Points of Historic Interest Around Nashville;" "What Nashville Manufactures;" "The Value of the Cumberland River to Nashville;" "How Our City is Governed;" "Our City Schools." By the time the pupil has passed through the ten terms of the grammar school grades, his ten exercises have driven into him the fact that he lives somewhere, that his city has a reason for being, and some relation to the rest of the world; and in doing this the child's mental training has not been neglected.

- In geography and history, the boys and girls are required to touch over and over again upon Nashville's trade and industries, as well as the lives of Tennessee's eminent men. For example, in the sixth grade the students learn about the lumber, textile, and other industries of Nashville, something about river and railroad transportation, the territory covered by the domestic and foreign trade, etc.

Besides classroom work, the pupils, under the care of their teachers, have been sent out in groups to study the work of factories, foundries, warehouses, coffee roasting plants, mills, etc., as well as municipal institutions. After returning to school they spent one or two periods on another day in comparing notes, discussing the industry, and clearing up more or less. indistinct impressions. Later every child wrote his own account of the visit, and one or two of the best papers were sent to the factories that entertained them.

Furthermore, in the study of current topics, which is required in the sixth. seventh, and eighth grades, all questions relating to the progress and welfare of the

city are readily seized upon by the pupils. They are keen to discern matters of more than passing interest; and, in the light of previous training, even these twelve- or fourteen-year old children are able to handle such topics with profit and with evident pleasure.

By the kindness of the city merchants, the schools obtained invoices, freight bills, contracts of sale, and other like papers of trade and these, in part, take the place of the time-honored books of arithmetic. The work is made as interesting as possible to the children; for they are doing problems of real life, and the names in the problems are the names of firms and businesses that they hear and see every day.

The public school children of Nashville are having their minds trained to work by studying real life, and the people of Nashville cannot help taking a keen and active interest in schools which take such an interest in them. The schools are a part of the life of the city, not, as is often the case with public schools, institutions apart from the life of the city.


ORE than twenty thousand motion picture theatres in the United States take every day the nickels and dimes of probably five million patrons. A recent estimate is that approximately 200 million dollars are invested in the business and that it utilizes the labor of about five hundred thousand people directly or indirectly.

Here are the sums invested in a few of the old and basic industries of the United States, as shown by the last census: copper, tin, and sheet iron products, 217 millions; furniture, 227 millions; petroleum refining, 181 millions; anthracite coal mining, 246 millions. The motion picture industry already ranks with these. Perhaps an even more striking comparison is with the printing and publishing business, which is one of the oldest and most widely distributed of all industries. Motion pictures utilize more than a third as much capital as is used by that great business.

Perhaps no industry except the manufacture of automobiles has recently shown

such astonishing growth as this, for the first commercial exhibition of motion pictures was made only seventeen years ago. But even more noteworthy than their financial importance is the educational influence of the pictures. They reveal new possibilities to teachers of history and science, and they put a new weapon in the hands of social reformers and sanitary engineers. Elsewhere in this magazine the educational service of the pictures is described at length. Both commercially and educationally they are a remarkable and most useful addition to the resources of modern civilization.



N INCIDENTAL word was recently published in these pages about the enjoyment of life while a man's work goes on. Should a man look upon his bread-earning as an unwelcome task, to be hurried and done with confusion and at the risk of his health, with the hope of reaching an early period of retirement when he may do what he will and "really enjoy life?" This has provoked inquiries and experiences.

In the first place, the subject lacks a wide interest, for few men can consider it at all. Those who can ever voluntarily retire before they must do not make a large part of the working community, although they might wisely make a larger part than they now do. But suppose a man can hope to retire at an early period and live thereafter without gainful work, is he justified in regarding whatever respectable occupation he has as a bore or as merely a method of earning enough money to retire on? And, if he so regards it, is he likely to enjoy his retirement?

He will make a very doubtful experiment. Whatever a man do during his active period, he ought to do with such orderliness and thoroughness as to get from his daily and monthly and yearly labor the pleasure that comes from doing hist task well and the additional pleasure of so doing it that he performs a real service. To do anything wholly for the money it brings is not to do it well enough. And those men who contract the habit of

working wholly for money are likely thereby to unfit themselves for the enjoyment of a period of retirement. For the rightminded man makes agreeable companionships in his daily work, he finds problems that call for all his brain and character for endurance, for fair judgment, for just dealing, for doing as he would be done by; and all these are the very warp and woof of successful living. If he so "rush things" that he sacrifices these enjoyments and this discipline and this human relationship, he will discover that in his period of ease the lack of this very experience will make life seem barren. Few men are better, or are likely to become better, than they show themselves in their daily work.

The kind of man to retire from moneyearning labor with the hope of really enjoying life is the man who has really enjoyed life during his period of hardest work. And you will deceive yourself if you imagine that in idleness you will develop virtues or a capacity for sensible enjoyment that you did not have during your working years.

"I have a library of books that I have collected which I wish to read with continuity of attention"- so writes one gentleman; "and I've been 'rushing things' to get money enough to give years to this enjoyment before I die." If he cannot find time to read before he reaches later middle life, is there any reason to hope that he would read after that period, if leisure should come to him? It would be wise to "rush things" a little less, to get what joy he can from his present work and at least to begin his reading now. Few of us change after we have passed fifty.

[blocks in formation]

75 feet wide and 12 feet deep, connecting both Lake Erie and Lake Ontario with the Hudson River to New York. Boats of 3,000 tons, capacity will be able to ply between Buffalo or Oswego and New York, transshipping goods from Duluth and Chicago and Detroit and Toronto.

The total length of the canal will be 434 miles. More than 130 million cubic yards of excavation will be dug (Panama, 242 millions), and the total cost will be 108 million dollars (Panama, 375 millions). Fifty million dollars' worth of the work is now done, and the canal will probably be opened in 1915. And one state is paying the bill.

The hotly controverted questions, whether it will ever be sufficiently used to justify its cost, whether railroad development has made canal traffic obsolete, and whether in any event the mere existence of such a canal will operate to keep freight rates reasonable and thus justify itself, time alone can answer. At least it is a monumental undertaking.



HE danger of a European war is passed there is a new danger of a European war. So the changing game goes on; and, while nobody regards a general conflict as imminent, almost every man who knows European politics fears that it will come. This expectation already very seriously affects the finances of the world. American securities that were held in Germany in particular have been coming home in sufficient quantities very seriously to lower their price. The governments of Europe, especially the German, have been having trouble in marketing their own securities.

All this means that the financial world is perfectly aware of the necessity, as Germany looks at it, of German expansion; and, by some unhappy event, which no one can forsee, this may lead to a conflict. Finance, of course, has its sea-level. Whatever disturbs the markets or the credit or arouses the fears of any people has its immediate effect in the market places of all other nations. A slowly subscribed loan of the German Government affects the

« PředchozíPokračovat »