« ZurückWeiter »
have credit. All last year the total amount of new money that went into railroads to buy stock for the construction of roads, that is money that went into partnership in the business, was less than thirteen million dollars. So far this year not a dollar of new railroad stock has been listed on the exchange here. Now there is something fundamentally wrong with that great branch of industry, transportation, when we find that it occupies such a place in the investor's mind that he is willing to lend it money but not willing to go into partnership with it, not willing to put in any fresh money as a stockholder. I believe that one of the troubles there lies in just this illustration of being busy with what is on your desk.
We are too busy doing the thing we have got to do today to look broadly after some of those very fundamental things, the correct solution of which is going to influence our future, the future of the business in which we are engaged. Now your problems are not all technical, by any means; a lot of them are economic; a lot of them are social; you have got to think soundly about principles of political economy; you have got to think soundly about social relationships, particularly in relation to labor, and you have to think, it seems to me, in a much more far-reaching way than of simply settling your immediate difficulties, of avoiding a strike today or of holding the wage scale down to a reasonable point.
Must Educate the Workman
Haven't we got to do a lot of educating of workmen themselves? Are they not influenced by the fallacies of economics? Would they not, if they better understood the true principles of economics, take much more reasonable views of their rights and make much more reasonable demands? The great fallacy, one of the greatest of all, that you find so general among many working men, the fallacy that a restriction of production is a benefit to their class, could, I believe, be rooted out if all of us would do our best towards education. It is that fallacy, restriction of production, that brought England to a very unfortunate point before the war. The war measures taken in regard
to labor have demonstrated what an enormously increased capacity follows the wiping out of those union restrictions, and I am inclined to think that it probably demonstrates to union men themselves in England that they can have a much greater share of prosperity if they permit a freer production. I believe the tendency here is at present in the other direction; in some branches of industry with which I am familiar, I have seen in these two years not only great advances in wages but an almost equal fall in efficiency. Now that is a fatal thing if we are to go on here advancing wages and decreasing efficiency and doing that by permitting the fallacy to exist in many minds that a decrease of efficiency is helpful to the laboring class. When we come again to compete with a Europe that is free to enter into industry fully, our position will be a very trying one.
Statesmanship in Business
In a word then the message I would bring is that we want statesmen in business, we want men who think broadly, fundamentally, on economic lines, who think on social lines sympathetically but with clear vision. The man who is going to work 30 days in the month at his business alone will not be left free to enjoy the fruits of that labor uninterruptedly. I tell you he must devote some of his 30 days to these broader fields of thought; he must devote some of them to sound citizenship, to bringing real statesmanship into business.
WE ARE LAW CRAZY
We are law crazy. In the last five years our National and State law-making bodies have passed 62,550 laws, forgetting perhaps that God Almighty has made a very fair success out of His universe with only ten. This country, the greatest business organization in the world, permits fifty-five different systems of book-keeping in Washington and fewer than fifty of the 422 members of Congress before the present one ever looked a payroll in the face.-Labor Digest.
THE "FIGHT" FOR THE EIGHT-HOUR DAY
Unions Cannot Alter the Laws of Economics and Life, Dislike Them How They May
Mr. Lee, spokesman for one of the railroad brotherhoods that are showing the surest way not to get an eight-hour day for the trainmen, is now showing labor in general how to get the eight-hour day for everybody. Said Mr. Lee, addressing the Federation of Labor: "We're going to work for an eighthour day or better for all men and women, and if we can't get it peacefully we'll fight for it." Whom is "labor" going to fight? The idea seems to be that the unions are going to fight the capitalists, just as the brotherhoods are fighting the railways. But already the latter fight has demonstrated that the railways are only a sort of middlemen, collecting from the shippers what the shippers collect from producers, and what the producers collect from the consumers of their goods. The fight, therefore, is between the producers and the consumers of goods as much as or more than it is between the brotherhoods and the railways. The community is finding itself short of railway accommodation and is paying high for all it consumes.
So the fight between labor and capital will prove incapable of being compartmented. The capitalists can pay wages only from the proceeds of products. If labor decreases production by shortening hours it will pay more for what it consumes than it will gain in ease of life. The brotherhoods sought a law which should give them two hours less work for the same pay. It is not possible to imagine a law enacting a general eight-hour day on the same terms. It is not possible to imagine that labor in general can get the same terms or would accept a shortening of the day that involved a shortening of wages. If those improbabilities be imagined, it would remain true that labor would have to pay the price of its ease in the resultant increase of the prices of all manufactured goods. It is true that there is a theory to the contrary. There is much talk about a biological workday and about larger production in shorter time.
The only practical knowledge of the results of shortening the workday on any considerable scale was afforded by the inquiry in the case of 336 establishments by the Department of Labor in 1904, when the question was free from the complications of the present moment. In 89 per cent. of the total the cost of manufacture was increased a minimum of 7 per cent. In 110 cases the increase was over 10 per cent. If the cost of production is increased by such percentages, the cost to the consumer is increased more. The effect of an increase of that sort would bring labor face to face with those whom it truly must fight, not the wage payers, but the consumers of goods. It is not too much to say that everybody is in favor of a shorter workday at the expense of somebody else, and that hardly anybody is willing to pay the cost of the boon himself.
The alternative to fighting for the eight-hour day is to earn it. In that manner most shortenings of workdays have come about. The unions boast of what they have won for labor. They would have won nothing but for what capital has accomplished in increasing production by methods which have had the whole-souled opposition of labor. The increase of production by labor-saving machinery is the fundamental explanation of the shortening of the old-fashioned dawn-to twilight workday, or even longer. Trade unions fight a hopeless battle when they fight by force without reason. They can pass statutes and find disappointment in them. They cannot alter the laws of economics and life, dislike them how they may. -New York Times.
WOULDN'T IT MAKE YOU MAD?
If you were a strike organizer or a walking dele-
UNIONISM IN THE SCHOOLS
Will Impair Efficiency of the Teachers, Destroy Harmony and Hamper Discipline
Charles S. Harrison, Secretary Oklahoma Employers'
The business of the public is big business. It represents at tremendous investment of public money, large holdings of real estate and personal property. Naturally, the income and expenditures are large in this great factory. The cost of production is great, but upon this product depends the very destiny of a nation.
Entire responsibility for the efficiency of this great institution rests with the superintendent and his staff, for, as a rule, board members are business men and not qualified to arrange the curriculum nor to select school teachers. These functions and powers must be exercised by the trained educator, and it is for no faction, no class to say what the child shall be taught or who shall teach him.
Unions have no place in our public schools. And unionism is, today, creeping insidiously into our schools, winding its tentacles of radicalism and socialism about our teachers!
Teaching is one of the noblest professions. It is not a trade, and trade unions are unnecessary and non-beneficial in every respect in their relation to a professional career.
Just think of the women, under secret control, who are almost-in a sense of training more than the mother of your children for several hours each day during nine months of the year, being controlled by a secret organization rather than by the general superintendent the board of education has employed to supervise this all-important work.
In the school, unions breed and encourage insurbordination, which is intolerable in any department of our government.
A new teacher comes into the school thoughtful of her work. Her whole mind is engrossed with the children. Unionism will poison this rich mind. This teacher will not be told