Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

mistake. To delay justice for the con- ing this a bona fide attempt to modify venience or even for the necessities of the Sherman Act, if the authors of this the Department of Labor was unwise and "rider" did not know that the principles unjustifiable. A nice discrimination of underlying it were probably unconstituthe proprieties would have insured at tional and that the "rider" itself was least as great effort at speedy justice in a ineffective, they certainly should have case in which the family of an important known that amendments to the Sherman official was concerned as in any other. Act should be passed as such and not inThe Attorney-General's mistake was a serted in an appropriation bill. mistake of judgment. If it had not been If, on the other hand, it was an atquickly rectified it would have been a tempt to curry favor with the farmers and serious thing, for many people would the labor unions by seeming to grant them have believed that political influence immunity from the law though it really could procure favors before the law. gave them nothing, it was a dishonest trick.

As it was, the case points very clearly Wise leadership in the farmers' societies the difference between public business and and labor organizations would have made private business.

them take this occasion to say that they The man who owns or manages a private wanted no special favors before the law, business may delay decision on certain for this seemingly attempted discriminamatters and refuse to consider others. tion on their behalf, inferentially at least, Whatever he does (within the law) is puts them in the class of “special interests." his own business and there is no one who . And in getting into the "special interest" has a right to question his motives.

class they have provoked the PresiIn public business a question delayed or dent into a special statement that where ignored may at any time become the basis ever they break the law they will be of a scandal.

prosecuted. This will be a new condition, The motives behind practically every

for labor unions have violated the Sherman act of important public officials are Act with impunity, so far as suits instiscanned with cynical, critical eyes. Only tuted by the Department of Justice are a potent and vigilant sincerity of purpose concerned. The President has specifically can win and keep a wide public confidence promised that this shall happen no more. in any public man.

man. The

The ingratitude Except for the President's statement, of the Republic is proverbial, for there are there is nothing to recommend this very few who can attain the ever-rising "rider” to the public. standard, not only of honesty but of From the partisan standpoint it is ability, that the public demands. And likewise incomprehensible — a Democratic yet it is in a large measure because of the Congress putting a Democratic Presisearching light to which our public men dent in an embarrassing position. Conare subjected that our politics is improving. gress must have known that the Presi

dent would do just what he did - that, THE INIQUITY OF “RIDERS”

since the objectionable clause was in

effective to accomplish discrimination HE much discussed "rider” to (there being other money available to

the Sundry Civil bill was such prosecute possible violations of the law),

a flagrant example of a vicious he would sign the bill and at the same method of legislation that it has at last time issue a statement which would do turned public attention and public con- more than all previous discussion to call demnation toward this old evil.

down on it the public condemnation that This particular "rider” specified that it deserves. none of the money appropriated in the A study of the consequences of vetoing Sundry Civil bill to enforce the Sherman a Sundry Civil appropriation bill within Act should be used to prosecute farmers' a few days of the end of the Government's societies or labor unions. Giving Congress fiscal year, with a tariff bill still in the the benefit of every doubt and consider- throes of passage and a currency bill jus

[ocr errors]

W"

being introduced, would convince any A NEW ERA OF INDUSTRIAL unprejudiced person that it would have

EFFICIENCY been an unwise thing to do. The net result of the whole performance

ITH the passage of the new is a crystallization of opinion against

tariff bill, for the first time “ riders" in legislation, and a new pro

since the Civil War American nouncement that the Government will manufacturers will be left to their own enforce the Sherman Act against labor resources and abilities. The helping hand unions. To attempt, even for a year, to of the Government will be withdrawn. On limit the scope of the Sherman Act by the other hand, the manufacturers will a subterfuge like a “rider” is an ut- have the advantage of free raw materials. terly unjustifiable action.

Except psychologically, the change in the It should be noted that the Attorney- tariff will not affect manufacturers, even General's scheme to add to the strength of those that may expect foreign competition, the Government's control over the tobacco as suddenly as many people suppose, for industry by putting a special taxing clause acquaintanceship, habit, and credit have in the tariff bill was based on the same much to do with trade. fundamentally unsound idea. Such a But in the long run it will have two clause had no proper place in the tariff large and beneficial effects upon our indusbill, and happily it was omitted. An try. It will tend ultimately to separate the appropriation bill should be only an good from the bad combinations and conappropriation bill. A tariff act should solidations in business. Combinations for be only a tariff act, and an act to regulate efficiency will have an added incentive business should do that and nothing more. when foreign competition must be met. If a bill can pass on its own merits it ought Combinations to fix prices will have less into pass that way. If it can not, it ought centive because of the foreign competition. not to be allowed to "hitch on" to some The other large tendency will be to other popular measure and to ride through increase the efficiency of American manuon its back.

facturing. Under the tariff many AmeriThe machinery of legislation is com- can industries have been relieved of the plicated and difficult to tinker with, but necessity of being efficient. in the last few years we have improved The efficiency experts have exploded various other parts of our political machin- one generally accepted business axiom, ery so much that we should be sanguine and that is that every man knows his of the ability of Congress to improve its business best. In some cases this is true; methods. Of the need of doing so, no more in a majority it is demonstrably false. “horrible example" is needed than the The extent to which a man really knows rider on the appropriation bill. Its par- his business measures the extent to which ticular significance is that, though it is that business is really efficient. That not worse than others that have gone many manufacturers do not understand before, it is more notorious. The public's their own business is evident from the mind has been focussed on it

particular cry they raise against the new The enforcement of the Sherman Act tariff. They cannot compete with Europe, against combinations of labor has not they declare, because they pay higher been accomplished by the Department wages than European manufacturers. of Justice. There have been many suits Yet it is significant that it is precisely against labor unions and their officials, the industries that have the largest probut it is hard to find one started by tection that are

tection that are most behindhand in the Government. The violations of the business methods and most notorious as Sherman Act by labor unions is prob- payers of starvation wages. The woolen ably no worse now than it has been. The manufacturers present a case in point. difference is that the President has pro- For years they have enjoyed a protective mised that the unions shall not longer have duty of about go per cent. and, under this immunity.

fostering care, they have somewhat "gone

F

to seed.” President Taft's tariff board in manufacturing, we can have a farmade the interesting discovery that the reaching lesson in efficiency and economy, woolen manufacturers really had no idea no one can foresee what tremendous effects of what their products cost – indeed,

indeed, it may have upon the national character. had no system of keeping costs. Their machinery nearly everywhere was a gener- SCORNING THE PORK BARREL ation out of date. Looms in use in 1880 were still doing active service. Meanwhile, 'OR years there have been Conthey have been charging the American

gressmen who asked for votes people nearly twice as much for their pro

because of their ability to get duct as European manufacturers charge. appropriations for their districts and who The case is not an isolated, though perhaps "pointed with pride” to the fruits of this an exaggerated, one.

ability. For many years to come, men will In spite of these revelations, the Ameri- probably run for Congress and make this can woolen industries will survive the new "honest graft” a plank in their platforms. tariff; but they will survive, not by re- But it is interesting that in the last ducing wages, but by installing modern few years many Congressmen have had equipment, ending wasteful abuses in a the courage to depict “the pork barrel” hundred different ways, and improving in its true light. The latest case is that their products.

of Representative J. J. Whitacre, of Ohio, A manufacturer of bicycle chains was who refused to attend the dedication of a complaining recently to a well known new Federal building at Massillon (which efficiency engineer about the new tariff. has a population of 14,000) because the “I cannot compete with German manu- money for it was obtained by "pork facturers under it," he declared. “The

“The barrel” methods. cost of material on these chains is only In his letter declining the invitation 15 per cent. of the cost; the rest is labor. he said: How, then, can I meet German manufac- "What is the matter with this country, turers, whose labor cost is so low?” Until anyhow, when Congressmen are measured the efficiency expert investigated con- by their ability to fool the people by the ditions, this argument seemed plausible size of the appropriations secured for the enough. When he did he had little district? Is that the measure of efficiency? difficulty in showing his client dozens of Rather, is it not a measure of inefficiency directions in which he could stop expensive and the very best reason for keeping such wastes and install new economic methods. men at home?"I find I can make bicycle chains cheaper When enough members of Congress than the Germans with no duty at all — come to feel keenly the disgrace of the and without cutting wages," said the

said the “pork barrel,” the methods of making enlightened manufacturer, after introduc- appropriations will be changed so that the ing these new ideas.

conscienceless candidate will not be able And, whatever other good the new tariff to bid for votes by promises of Federal accomplish, it will make the backward expenditures, and the more high-minded manufacturers discover themselves — Congressmen will not be forced to compete make the laggards come up to the standard with those who have no scruples about set by our better industrial plants. For “pork.” The remedy is in the hands of the first time they now have an opportunity the members of Congress. and the necessity to learn their own business. And this new efficiency will ulti

CHARACTER IN PUBLIC MEN mately find its way into all departments of American life. It will become a great

HE chief lesson to be drawn from national educational force. Waste is the

the present political tangle in great American sin waste in govern

New York state (and perhaps the ment, in private life, in agriculture, in the most reassuring) is that, after all, characuse of national resources, in business. If, ter is the one thing that counts in a public

T

man. Since January ist, Governor Sulzer tunes. In the old days, he threw in his has been conducting a spectacular cam- fortunes with Tammany Hall, because that paign for several important reforms. He policy seemed likely to pay returns; under has been battling for efficiency and econ- present conditions, on the other hand, Mr. omy in expenditures, for prison reform, for Sulzer finds it convenient to adopt a difthe improvement of the state's highways, ferent programme. The fact that the and for direct primaries, all the time mak- people refuse to accept him at his own ing a fight against Tammany Hall and present valuation, and become lukewarm boss-rule.

even when as governor he is apparently No one disputes that all these things striving for things in the public interest, are admirable and popular. And yet discloses a healthy political state of mind. Governor Sulzer is apparently making Character is, after all, the one essential in a little headway. For example, all author- public man. Bombastic championing of ities agree that the administration's direct the "peoples' cause," spectacular assaults primary campaign bill is admirable; that upon bosses, even energetic work in behalf it is a much better bill than the measure of necessary reforms will not avail; what which Governor Hughes advocated three the people demand, above all, is a real, years ago; and that if passed it would honest, sincere, devoted man. The Amerigreatly improve political conditions in can people still yearn for ideal political the state. But so far public opinion has leadership. In that way our political not emphatically placed itself on Governor salvation lies. And the popular mind Sulzer's side. Three years ago Governor seems unerringly to detect the true from Hughes aroused the popular mind on this the false in its leaders. same issue; Governor Sulzer elicits only the most perfunctory response, and Tam- AN AMERICAN POINT OF VIEW many kills his bill with impunity. The explanation is simple. The people

R. ROGER W. BABSON, the have not abandoned their belief in this

financial statistician, in one of his

V recent reports printed the followreform. The plain fact is that they have little enthusiasm for Mr. Sulzer.' They ing under the title, “The United States of have no great confidence in his fundamen- America.” It is particularly interesting tal sincerity. It is not that the attacks

because Mr. Babson has a perspective of Tammany Hall upon the Governor's which the stay-at-homes often lack: character have had any influence on the

When leaving America last November I popular mind. It sees through these

was more or less apprehensive concerning my things as keenly as it has seen through country, but after traveling ten thousand miles Governor Sulzer himself. The Governor's about the world I conclude it is a pretty good whole political career, since the days when, place after all! Let me mention seven features as Speaker of the New York Assembly, he which especially appeal to me: proved a subservient tool of Tammany (1) We have a great area in the temperate Hall — publicly eulogizing its leader as It is the temperate zone that does and “that great statesman, Richard Croker” will rule the world. Business men and in- has not been the kind which rejoices vestors should remember this. If the northern sober-thinking American citizens. His

hemisphere is not large enough for your acantics as governor, the stage setting which tivity, jump to the temperate zone of the

southern hemisphere. Don't trouble the he has found indispensable for all his pub

tropics. lic acts, his cheap assumptions of demo

(2) We have a wonderful soil and very great cracy, his widely advertised imitations of

natural resources. Coal, iron, copper, and Mr. Charles E. Hughes and of Mr. Wood

gold, as well as wide forests and fertile fields, row Wilson, have not reassured them.

are ours. Truly, God has been very good to His whole career has seemed to indicate us and all should try to be worthy trustees of that Mr. Sulzer was prepared to play the these great gifts. particular kind of politics that seemed

(3) We are isolated so as not to be involved ost likely to advance his political for- in the great international strife to which most

zone.

nations are subject. The young men of our (7) Our farmers and school teachers are a country little appreciate their exemption great national asset, the farm is the basis of from three years of compulsory military service. all material things, and education is the basis We little realize the great blessings we enjoy, of all else. But we should not be too optimistic; owing to our neutrality. Moreover, Germany, our farmers and teachers should get busy. England, and France maintain their great Let us be generous with both! Farming must armies and navies to avoid being swallowed be encouraged so as to be kept attractive, as up! May our nation ever remain neutral! we need more farmers. Teaching must be 1, for one, hope the policy of the new Wilson better paid, for we need stronger teachers. Administration will continue along these lines. On the farms and in the schoolhouses the future (4) The United States, however, has been

of America depends, and we should do everyblessed not only with land and capital, but thing possible to raise the efficiency of both. by a laboring people unequalled on the face of

These are simple facts derived after the earth. Our nation is peopled with some

four winters in Europe studying industrial, of the best of every country. We should never

financial, and social conditions. Therefore, forget that any man must have courage and

I say let us invest much money at home! ambition to “pull up stakes” in Sweden, Spend a good sum of money on American Italy, Austria, or Germany and bring his products! Work with, instead of against, family to America without promise of work or industry! Travel about the United States even food. Yes, that takes real courage, and

first! Let us be “boosters" instead of “knockthese immigrants will, in my opinion, prove to ers!” Every day let us thank God that we be the backbone of America. The "Pilgrim

The "Pilgrim live in a land of prosperity and freedom; and Fathers” not only came in 1620 but they have

let us strive to increase and distribute these been coming every year since.

two great American assets. (5) It is true that our municipal governments are in many instances failures, and that

ADVENTUROUS SCIENCE our state governments are progressive but still, in a sense, experimental. Our National Govern

HE American flag has been raised ment, taken as a whole, is the best in the world.

and the “Te Deum” has been sung No other people enjoys the freedom that we do. Even in England, and also in several

upon the highest point in North other of these older countries, a man is America; and in Peru an American has not judged by what he is, but by how he discovered the ancient city of the Incas. was born; and as for political freedom, it is Even the discovery of the Poles has not yet unknown in many of the nations of Europe. ended this age of adventurous exploration. My experience the past winter in endeavoring On the 7th of June a party led by to interest kings and emperors in forming an Archdeacon Hudson Stuck reached the international institute to measure the relative summit of Mt. McKinley, the top of the prosperity of nations allows me to speak with

continent that for years had baffled all authority,

human ascent — except Dr. Cook. His (6) Not only are our land, people, and govern

“ascent" of Mt. McKinley was an introment the best in the world, but our railroads, public utility properties, and great industriai duction to his “discovery” of the North

Pole. Archdeacon Stuck, the Episcopal plants are also unequalled. Government ownership of railroads may come, but deliver missionary for Alaska, reminding us of me from it! Oh, if we could only appreciate the exploring Jesuit missionaries whose and help our great railroad builders instead of exploits fill the pages of American history, cursing and kicking them! As clients well left Fairbanks on March 13th with three know, I am no “stand-patter,” and have even companions. Preparations had been under been referred to in England and on the Con- way for months, for as far back as last tinent as a Socialist, but I do believe that September one of the party had made a compared with other nations our Government is depot of supplies at McPhee Pass, 9,000 the cleanest, our corporations the most humane, feet above sea level, from which the actual and our labor the best off in the world. Only in the banking field does Europe lead us. We

start for the summit was made. can learn much from the various banking,

The time taken to ascend Mt. McKinley Landschaften, and Raiffeisen systems of Europe.

is the first vacation that Archdeacon American banks are far inferior to those of Stuck has had in the last five years that almost every other great country.

he has been a missionary to the Alaskan

T

« PředchozíPokračovat »