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Every now and then, not very often, the writer manages to hold his unruly tongue, in the presence of any serious debate among people of high degree, the very ones who ought to know what they talk about, on most of the important subjects of our common human life. Well, it se that sixty-two years old, who happens to perform some soldier's duty in the Civil War can claim a pension of $6 per month and if over sixty-five a pension of $8 per month, no matter how healthy and wealthy they may be. It was argued by some of our fine friends that such pensions should be claimed on the plea of the general advantages to be followed by the throwing of money
into circulation, through which to increase the sum total of wealth to be produced, of labor to be performed, of prosperity right and left to be enjoyed by all. That magnificent economic conception comes from our illustrious friends, the pension agents, in that grand center of public morality, Washington, D. C., where we manufacture prosperity to order in portions to suit everybody except the plain, honest wealth producers of the nation. Owing to all that we are yet blessed with about one million of individuals annually collecting the bagatelle of $110,000,000, in payment
of certain duties such individuals owed to the nation, as per
power to be independent of any mean or large pension, its acceptance being demoralizing in itself, even if because we had the opportunity of doing this or that for private or public good. The need of pension means, then, a social structure resting on shameful principles of industrial oppression; and the fact of large quantities of people longing for provisions or in need of them, that proves the general demoralization of every one of us, the poverty of our own ideals, the mean quality of our own manhood. Because, who has to pay all pensions anyhow? The plain wealth producers, out of their perpetual porerty, they pay the pensions, all of them.
Before we go on with our analysis, let us try to unfold the obsurdity of that conception above mentioned in regard to the advantages of pensions because of the money they throw into circulation. Please remember that such a conception is yet received as a grand incontrovertible, economic dictum, by most of our supposed best educated people. If that is so, why to limit our pensions to $140,000,000? Why not to decree a per capita pension of $500 as an average for our 40,000,000 male and female adults? That would increase our annual money circulation to the tune of-twenty billions of dollars.
We only produce sixteen billions of dollars per annum, and, perhaps, not even that in honest figures and without any inflated calculations.
Why should intelligent people insist upon confusing the word “money” with the word “wealth”? Money is simply -a general draft on wealth, a counter of wealth. The circulation of money can only mean, then, “the circulation of wealth.” Wealth can only circulate in so far as it is produced. Wealth can only be produced in so far as human laws allow men to produce wealth. Thus far we are yet savages enough to simply allow men to produce a small portion of the wealth they could produce, a fragment of the wealth they need to live a full healthy life. All human troubles
There we come across another queer conception, with
poor, afflicted, sickly humanity. Duties represent services that we owe to somebody. Why then, to expect any payment for duties performed? We simply do what ought to do, what God and humanity is entitled to receive from us, when we perform our duties. To be sure, collectively, we the nation, owe sometimes to each one of us. We owe to each onethe freedom to live a full life, without any of that wretched partial or total poverty of ours, without those miserable excitements and hardships which follow most people all through the few or many years we all may manage to live, That is, we owe to each other the
and sins come from that stupendous indispensables of a new standard in blunder and crime of all national com the realm of thought and volition, a pacts.
new aspiration on which we should all Restlessness, fear, anxiety, hope, anger, cling, for the realization of which we love, hatred, despair, sadness, ambitions, should all work in earnest, dismissing all inordinate desires, jealousies, hard feel past and present fatalisms, civil, politiings, unwillingness to do the right, cal, industrial, religious. Some kind of longings, to do the wrong....they all fatalism has thus far been the bane of come from a civilized status at our war humanity, the destroyer of all happiness with God's laws, prepetually vetoing and manhood. That generates moral such laws, forever proclaiming, through inertia, when all the forces of the human selfish, ignoble human enactment, that soul work for egotism, the egotism of men shall live mean, narrow,
selfish dead prayers,
cold charities or penlives, each one of us intent upon getting sions, class legislation, improving some the best of somebody else, in forms re men by the crushing of other men, and spectable, of course, allowed by laws or practically denying to all men the optraditions. A certain margin is left portunity to be full men. We can only be to all for each one of us to do consider men in full, we can only attain a suffiable good to each other, but what of cient degree of manhood in so far as we it? It is this dreadful mixture of funda stand tooth and nail and work for, the mental wrong and incidental good that equal rights of all, and prolongs all human disasters, invites good seat to every human being in and feeds our incomplete life in all the grand banquet of life. Nothing directions and general ultimatums, pre else short of that can have any pervents the mind of the best men and manent value. women, best after a fashion, to see the What we need then is that the brotherabsurdities of our combined existence hood principle should cease to be a mere and we thus take all past and present sentiment. It ought to be a reality evils as a matter of course, as a part and applicable sentiment. It ought to be a parcel of progress, the progress that reality applicable to all human activities keeps sin and evil and wrong as the su and relations, and hence it should be preme force of all human growth.
incorporated in the laws of the social The foolish, mean idiotic, economic compact. All is bound to remain a conceptions we have indicated, as pre mass of incongruities and deformities, siding over the minds and conduct of as long as we play hide and seek with people in many respects most estimable the brotherhood principle, and forget and conscientious, that alone proves all about it where its absence shall be that our intense selfishness is yet the most injurious to all. Yes, if that supreme force of human life among most principle is not incorporated in law, we of us, despite our good intentions. Hence all remain “dead into trespasses and sins. the need of somebody suggesting the –Jose Gros, in the Railroad Telegrapher.
S'POSE THE FISH DON'T BITE.
S'pose the fish don't bite at fust;
What be you goin' to dew?
An' say your fishin's through?
An' fish, an' fish, an' wait
An' used up all your bait.
S'pose success don't come at fust;
What be you goin' to dew?
An' go to feelin' blue?
An' bait, and bait ag'in.
And you will pull him in.-Ex.
A Prayer Christmas
Belove geloved Father be blessed for having lighted up in
the darkness of_this World, the morning Star of Christ's Face. By His Eyes full of Grace and of Love, Thou hast shown the Heavens to those who mourn, Thou bast given to us a gracious and hopeful outlook from the Valley of Death towards the Everlasting mountains from which our help doth come.
is hands, full of tenderness and sweet power, have
touched our sins and they are forgiven. The feet of this merciful Pilgrim have turned the dust of our paths into pure gold. In his footsteps through the wilderness flowers grow, and streams of Living Water spring down from sterile rocks.
eloved father, while all Christendom kneels around
the teach us new songs, give us the very Christmas mind. Turn the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers; give joy to the hopeless, bring into the right way those who are going astray, give confidence to the trembling ones, free bonded hearts, open blind eyes and unstop deaf ears. As on this day we make the hearts of the little ones joyous; so, o merciful Father, let us all become children again, with simple faith, with trustful hearts, with ready wills, with pure endeavor.
nd this blessed Birthday of Jesus shall become the
birthday of a new creation and awaken among us a spirit which beareth all things, believeth all things, loveth all things. Amen.
The RAILWAY CONDUCTOR, PUBLISHED MONTHLY AND Entered as SecOND Class MATTER AT THB Post
OFFICE IN ÇEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa. Subscription $1.00 per year.
W.N. Gates Advertising Agent, Garfield Building, Cleveland, O.
C. D. KELLOGG, Associate.
LOOKING OUT FOR A RAINY DAY.
We notice that when anything is said habits or inclinations of their employés, in advocacy of saving for a rainy day, or possibly in many cases the acquaintsome of the "old members” retort with ance was forced upon them. And while the information that in the older time it is true that the sheltering, restrainit was much harder to save than now. ing and sustaining influence of the unions And some of the "younger members was not in existence then, nevertheless reply that it is impossible to save now,
there was a sort of Free Masonry among but think if they had lived in the time railroad men which was, of the two, of the old timers" to save would have rather against the idea of save. That been “dead easy." We do not care to is to say, each one wanted to be a good take sides for or against either horn of fellow, and the great majority of them of the controversy, but frankly state would spend the last dollar to be rated as that we believe both contentions are such. Generosity was a cardinal virtue apart from reasonable grounds. The old- with them and the saver was dubbed timers had much with which to contend stingy and virtually ostracized, which in that the younger men know nothing those times meant a great deal. There about, nor can they appreciate the state- seemed to be no conception of a differments when made. Generally speak- ence between economy or saving for a ing the conditions obtaining in early rainy day and stinginess. Also in the times on railroads were much against old time education was more difficult the idea of save. Little thought was of acquirement, and consequently what given to the morrow and habits and ac- may be called technical education or tions of men were not subject to the book learning was not so common, and large public scrutiny that now prevails. the mass of railroad men were not as There was a freedom and easiness about well educated as now, and therefore the the average railroad man which among fundamental theories and facts of domesother things seemed to say,"If this road tic economy were not as widely diffused. don't want me there are plenty others Albeit we believe the old régime tended that do," and so the anxiety to hold his job toward the production of men of more was not as potent or necessary as today. individual initiative and self-reliance Officials made little or no attempt to
than does our present system. acquaint themselves with the personal It is gratifying to note the various
and manifold ways and means that are being thrown around railway men at the present time to keep them and show them how, not only to spend their leisure time but their earnings as well. The most potent forces operating for the uplifting of railway men at the present time are the attitude of railway managers toward the drink and tobacco habits, their exertions and plans for savings and the inducements offered by the Young Men's Christian Associations. While giving due credit to all these ways and ideas for the elevation of railway men, we wish particularly at this time to note the feature of saving promotion that is being fostered by many railways. The Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fé Railway Company management has issued friendly circular to employés, the text of which is an exhortation to "buy lands," the desire being, as the circular points out, “to encourage thrift and assist employés to accumulate something." Reminding them, as the Railway Age comments, that farm lands along the line of this road have increased very much in value within the last few years and expressing the belief that the increase will continue, the price still being very low. Vice President Nixon strongly advises employés to secure farms as a sure investment, and to facilitate this he presents an elaborate plan whereby the company will undertake to meet the installment notes which employés may give for land that they wish to purchase by retaining an agreed amount from the monthly salaries. The employé is to select the land, make his bargain with the owner, have his lawyer examine the titles and pass on the papers, and then turn over the making of payments, in such installments and for such length of time as he likes, to the treasurer of the railway company, with the necessary authority to deduct monthly from the buyer's wages.
There is no doubt that this is good advice and will result in benefit to the men of the Santa Fé in Texas, provided, of course, that good judgment is used in selecting land, in determining the price to pay and in limiting the purchase to such amount as the buyers can comfortably pay for in
the time fixed. Investments in good land in a growing community are sure, even if the profits are slow, and the prospect of presently owning a farm, to sell or to occupy and develop into a home of comfort and independence in later years, will tend to form habits of economy and prudence. The company will be benefited, as the general manager says, by having a larger proportion of employés who possess an interest in the country and desire permanent employment; but far greater will be the benefit to those men who are transformed from “floaters,” moving from road to road, saving nothing and having no hope for the future, into land-owning citizens, looking forward to a home for their old age. The plan proposed by this Texas company is one of the most promising of the many, all sincere and advantageous, by which railway managers are seeking the welfare of their employés and helping them to lay up something for the rainy days.
It is probable that in the majority of cases the money set aside by the employés for this purpose would not be missed from their monthly salaries, and there is little doubt but what such an investment would be a safe one, for the “rainy day” time that will surely
This and similar plans of helping their employés, takes on business-like air, and hence a more sincere one when we consider that settling up a country through which runs a railroad, is of the highest importance and a most certain pointer to its future business activity. The idea of charity or philanthropy is lost sight of in the business phase of the subject, and while such may have been and probably was the origin of the plan, nevertheless the future mutuality of interest may be regarded as the controlling force. Nor do we say this even in the remotest degree in a spirit of derogation of the benefits to be derived by the employés, but that such an arrangement is best for both parties to it.
Doubtless there are many other plans and ways by which railways induce frugality in their employés, but the plan above mentioned seems to carry with