Obrázky stránek


prices were announced a manufacturing States consume nearly 2 million tons clothier in New York explained that the of rails a year. A change of even a dollar reduction which they provided in the cost in the price means a difference of about 21 of the cloth going into an average suit of million dollars. Ultimately, the American clothes would be about 40 cents, and he people pay for those rails — and in the added that the increase in the cost of long run saving means a lessened cost of labor would more than offset that.

living. There are thousands of things In other words, people who expected which the public buys indirectly this large reductions in the price of clothes to way, and the reduction in the tariff affects follow the reduction in the tariff will be the public as much through these things disappointed. The reason is obvious. The as it does in any other way. Throughout cost of raw material is only one of many the whole fabric of our life the reduced items which affect the final price of the tariff works toward more normal condifinished garment. A 20 per cent. reduc- tions and fairer prices. tion in the price of the raw material would naturally dwindle to a 5 or 6 per cent. A PROGRESSIVE POST MASTERreduction on the finished product.

GENERAL Yet despite the fact that we shall probably not be able to buy woolen suits

N AUGUST 15th Postmaster$5 or $10 cheaper than formerly, we have

General Burleson's new orders no reason to be disappointed in the tariff.

to increase the scope of the parIf the increasing cost of labor, as the manu- cel post went into effect. facturing clothier says, takes up the sav- Under their provisions parcels will ing in the raw material, we are still just hereafter be delivered locally, by city or that much better off, for under the old rural carrier, for 5 cents for a pound conditions the extra wages would have been package. For every additional two added, and we should have been paying pounds in weight up to the 20 pound limit, more for our clothes. Moreover, these a cent is added to the rate. On this basis, are the first reductions, announced while for example, an eleven-pound package the new tariff was still under discussion in could be sent to any local address for the Senate. With the rates in effect 10 cents. Under the old rates it would foreign competition is likely to cause have cost 15 cents. greater reductions. Perhaps even foreign- The territory covered by local delivery made clothes might be imported, if there to which these rates apply is the first zone. remain a great discrepancy between prices Approximately all territory within 150 here and abroad. In other words, the new miles of a post office (excluding the local rates set all the forces toward cheaper delivery territory) makes up the second clothing at work without handicap. For zone. In this, the rates are five cents for all these forces to get into full operation the first pound and one cent for every may take a little time, but their operation additional pound. This is also a substanis certain. And what is true of the pricestial reduction from the original rates. At of woolen goods is true of most of the the same time the weight limit is inother things which we buy directly and creased from eleven to twenty pounds. indirectly. In the aggregate it will mean This reduction in rate and increase in a great deal in easier living for the average the limit of weight follows the three American family.

changes put into effect in July: one to It means much more than their accounts reduce the insurance charge on packages will necessarily show, for the family ac- sent by parcel post from ten cents to five counts do not show what is bought in- cents for parcels valued at $25 or less; directly. To take a simple example: another providing for the shipment of parThe price of steel rails has been S28 a ton cels C.O.D.; and the third rescinding the for many years. In other countries the order that parcel post stamps should be price has varied but the average has been used exclusively in that branch of the below $28. The railroads of the United postal service.

All these changes widen the usefulness states which have no better natural adand increase the convenience of the parcel vantages than those from which they came. post, and the Postmaster-General says The Western ranchmen pay for the that other improvements are to follow, Cows, the cost and losses of shipping West, such, for example, as the use of precancelled fatten them, and still make a profit. That stamps. Under such administration the profit and much more would go to the new head of the service hopes not only to Southern farmer if he kept his cattle at please the public but to increase the busi- home. But he is a cotton farmer-a oneness enough to make the post office pay. crop man. He does not know much about

Admittedly, these new rulings are of a the cattle business, and his ignorance somewhat experimental character, and costs him dearly. It also costs the public, until they have been thoroughly tried it for carrying the cattle all over the country will not be possible to tell how successful is an economic waste. they are. But one thing is certain: they If the Southern pastures were freed of are moves in the right direction, and the cattle tick and the Southern farmer of they show a refreshing flexibility and his indifference to the cattle business, the business-like attitude on the part of the United States would gain a great cattle post office.

country that would much more than offset Incidentally, also, they point very the breaking up of the Western ranges. strongly a moral about legislation. The The solution of our beef problems can be original act which Congress passed crea- made much nearer home than Argenting the parcel post gave the Postmaster- tine. And at the same time the prosGeneral wide powers and responsibilities. perity of the agricultural South can be He was given permission, with the consent greatly enhanced, for it is almost axiomaof the Interstate Commerce Commission, tic that farm profits and cattle are to to make changes in the classification, the be found together. weight limit, the rates, or the zones specified in the bill. In other words, the act KENTUCKY'S “MOONLIGHT” allowed him latitude enough to be efficient.

SCHOOLS The granting of such powers to administrative officers is as rare as it is wise. In

NE of the most touching stories this particular case the changes which the

of educational advance that could Postmaster-General has made in six

well be imagined comes to light months, if made by Congressional amend- in a recent government publication - those ments, probably would have taken two or publications that are usually so dull and three years. That Congress was wise so sterile of human interest. Bulletin No. enough to give him the opportunity to 530 of the United States Bureau of Edumake these changes is as much to its credit cation is entitled "Illiteracy in the United as the making of the changes is to the States" and, in much smaller type, “An credit of the Postmaster General himself. Experiment for its Elimination."

” The

statistics under the larger title are imTHE WASTE OF IGNORANCE

portant; but the story of the experiment

is interesting. Here is the essence of it: N SPITE of our highly organized industrial system we still are guilty of

To wait for a generation of illiterate men.

women, and children to die is a slow and pain For example, all during this last summer

ful process. That there is a shorter way to the farmers of Georgia, Alabama, Missis

the reduction and elimination of illiteracy has

been proven by some European states, and sippi, and Louisiana have been selling their

sporadic efforts in this country indicate tha: cattle to other parts of the country to

there is a better way here, to wit: To teab fatten. Southern cattle have gone from

these grown-ups, in schools organized especials a country of long grazing seasons and vast for them, to read and write, and possidi areas of cheap land, an ideal cattle coun- something more. try, to Texas, Kansas, even to Montana, One of the most notable recent attempts to


do this is that begun in September, 1911, by to learn to read and write as is generally Mrs. Cora Wilson Stewart, superintendent of supposed. They learn in a very short time, schools in Rowan County, Ky., and her associ- if given the opportunity. Reading, writing, ates.

and arithmetic are simple subjects when Having studied carefully the conditions of mature minds are concentrated upon them. the county, Mrs. Stewart decided to open A child of ordinary mind can be taught to read night schools for adults on moonlight nights and write in three or four weeks; and the adult in the public schoolhouses of the county. She can do at least as well. One man, aged 30, outlined her plan to the teachers and called after four lessons in the evening school, wrote for volunteers. All the teachers of the county the county superintendent a legible letter. responded. On Labor Day, September 4, Another man, aged 50, wrote a legible letter 1911, these teachers visited the homes of the after seven nights' attendance. A woman, aged people throughout the county, explained the 70, wrote a legible letter after eight nights of plan, and announced that moonlight schools study. These cases are, of course, exceptional; would be opened the next evening. It was but experience has shown that a few weeks' expected that the response would be slow, but attendance at the night schools has been suffimore than 1,200 men and women from 18 to cient to enable the adult pupils to pass over the 86 years old were enrolled the first evening. dark line of illiteracy and to get into the class They came trooping over the hills and out of of literates. Several succeeded in securing a the hollows, some to add to the meagre edu- Bible, which had been offered as a prize by the cation received in the inadequate schools of superintendent to those who would learn to their childhood, some to receive their first write a letter during the first two weeks of the lessons in reading and writing. Among these moonlight school term. were not only illiterate farmers and their In some of the districts the enrollment of illiterate wives, sons, and daughters, but also adults exceeded the enrollment of children, illiterate merchants or “storekeepers,” illit- One teacher, 18 years old, had only four adult erate ministers, and illiterate lumbermen. pupils in her class, but one of these was a Mothers, bent with age, came that they might preacher who learned to read his Bible and a learn to read letters from absent sons and newspaper after a few weeks of earnest study. daughters, and that they might learn for After four lessons he signed his name to a paper the first time to write to them.

for the first time; and after seven lessons, to Almost one third of the population of the quote the words of the county superintendent, county was enrolled. Says Mrs. Stewart: "he wrote an enthusiastic letter, with a period

“They had all the excuses and all the at the close of each sentence as large as a barriers which any people might offer - high bird's eye." hills, bridgeless streams, rugged roads, weariness In another night school, of 65 enrolled, 23 from the day's hard toil, the shame of beginning were illiterates, and there were 3 preachers in study late in life, and all the others; but they the class. Several octogenarians were enrolled were not seeking excuses — they were sincerely in these schools; one a woman, 85, another a and earnestly seeking knowledge. Their in- man, 87. Some of the men and women entered terest, their zeal, and their enthusiasm were the schoolroom for the first time in their lives wonderful to witness. It was truly an in- when they enrolled as night pupils. spiring sight to see these aged pupils bending One of the significant facts brought out in over the desks which their children and grand- this experiment is that adults of limited educhildren had occupied during the day. Their cation have taken advantage of the opportunity delight in learning and their pride in their to return to school and to increase their knowlachievements exceeded any joy that I have edge. Of the 1,600 adult pupils attending ever witnessed."

night school during the second term, 300 were In September, 1912, a "moonlight school” unable to read and write at all, 300 were from teachers' institute was held in Morehead, Ky.; those who had learned in September, 1911, and the superintendent and teachers who had and 1,000 were men and women of meagre conducted the first moonlight schools instructed education. others who wished to do work of this kind in The change in the attitude of the comRowan and adjoining counties, and in the fall munity toward the school, where the night of 1912 the movement spread to eight or ten school has been undertaken, is in itself signiother counties, while the enrollment of adults ficant. A school trustee thus describes the in Rowan County reached nearly 1,600. change in his community:

The success of the men and women proves “I have lived in this district for 55 years that it is not so difficult for illiterate grown-ups and I never saw any such interest as we have

here now. The school used to just drag along, together in perfect unity and harmony, aged and nobody seemed interested. We never had people come regularly, and even people from a gathering at the school, and nobody thought the adjoining county are beginning to come." of visiting the school. We had not had night school but three weeks until we got together What could be more heartening than right. We papered the house, put in new

this record of unselfish achievement - for windows, purchased a new stovepipe, made new

the teachers' work is all voluntary and steps, and bought the winter's fuel. "Now we have a live Sunday school, a singing

without pay? It is an inspiring evidence school, prayer meeting once each week, and

of the latent good will and of the powers for preaching twice a month. People of all de

betterment that lie hidden in the deep nominations in the district meet and worship springs of democracy.



DOCTOR practising in a rela- that there is nothing which can compensate tively small town in Ohio had for safety. But if the interest return, or thrust upon him, a few months income yield, in this particular case was a ago, a responsibility that for a secondary consideration, it was neverthe

long time vied with the emer- less a highly important one; and the gency calls of his patients in causing him doctor's appreciation of that phase of the sleepless nights.

problem restrained him from following It had fallen to his lot, unexpectedly, the other more or less natural impulse, to take charge of the estate of a deceased which would have carried him blindly to friend. Under the terms of the will, the the opposite extreme, and resulted in doctor was left practically free to follow getting the widow's money invested in his own method in investing funds, amount- securities possessing unnecessary virtues ing to several thousand dollars, the only and, on that account, of wholly inadequate source of the widow's current income. yield. He realized that to follow the

He had had some previous experience latter course would amount to a shirking with stocks and bonds, but it had been of responsibility no less than to risk unexperience of a kind that went no farther necessarily the loss of part or all of the than to convince him that there was principal for the sake of inordinate returns. rather more truth than fiction in the So the question that gave him the most cynical old saying about the average concern at first was one which always member of his profession being one of the has worried prudent investors, large and most gullible persons in the world when small, and doubtless always will: How to it comes to the buying of investment determine the maximum rate of income securities. It was fortunate, however, consistent with sound security - how to that he had learned, even at considerable discover just where true investment ends cost and inconvenience, that investing and speculation begins. money is, above all, not a thing to be under- In the hope that he might be able to taken at haphazard, and with an eye only find his own way out of this dilemma, the to large returns. For otherwise the doctor doctor began a systematic study of inmight, with the very best of intentions, vestment principles. He became very have allowed himself so much freedom of much absorbed in it, and when the judgment in the solution of his new prob- World's Work first heard about his case lem as to endanger the welfare of the lady he had got far enough along to have whose interests were at stake.

reached the conclusion that no hard and He had firmly fixed in his mind at the fast rule about the relationship beoutset one simple rule that applies in- tween safety of the principal and income variably in cases like this one, namely: could be laid down.

[ocr errors]

Under the guidance of a local banker he a better time than when prosperity talk had made a first rate beginning in the was being heard on all sides. He had discharge of his important trust. A part rightly concluded there was a whole lot of the money had been used to buy a of logic in that; and when he wrote to couple of local mortgages at 6 per cent. this magazine for advice, there was no Neither of these mortgages represented end of just su

end of just such evidence of the time much more than half the value of the being “out of joint.” property pledged as security, and both were Another fundamental which this ingiven by people with whom the doctor vestor had come across in his studies was was fairly intimately acquainted, and for that at a time when the great corporations whose worth and credit the banker was are compelled to bid high for money their able to vouch unhesitatingly. Another bonds are invariably low in price. And part had been put into municipal bonds, in this connection he admitted having a type of security which a good many been impressed with the significance of the country bankers will recommend to in- high rates chronicled in the financial vesting customers to the exclusion of columns of his daily paper as having nearly everything but mortgages. On been paid lately for new short-term money

[blocks in formation]



these two divisions of the widow's money by corporations of the best credit standing. an average yield of a little more than like the Northern Pacific Railroad, and 5 per cent. was obtained.

even by states like New York and TennesHe desired to use still another part of


But he wanted to know what asthe money to add to the list a few railroad surance there was that in all these respects bonds of the best quality. But here a the times would not get worse before they new perplexity had arisen. Such securities got better -- that, if he bought bonds now, were objects of trade to a greater extent he would not a little bit later on be regretthan mortgages, or even municipal bonds, fully contemplating still lower prices. and, therefore, it became important to It is on account of this evidence of know when was the favorable time to buy. hesitancy on the doctor's part that the Was there any rule for determining this? story of his experiences has a special

Somewhere the doctor had read that the timeliness, for it stamps him as typical of time of “uncertainty,” when financial wise- perhaps the majority of the folk who have acres were scratching their heads over the written to this magazine during the last currency, or the crops, or the tariff, few months for guidance in investing strikes, or Government investigations, was money. The constantly recurring ques.


« PředchozíPokračovat »