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And, la, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone 'round about them; and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, J bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all the people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
THE RAILWAY CONDUCTOR, PUBLISHED MONTHLY AND ENTERED AS SECOND CLASS MATTER AT THE Post
Office In Cedar Rapids, Iowa.--Subscription $1.00 per year.
W. N. Gates, Advertising Agent, Garfield Building, Cleveland, O.
C. D. KELLOGG, Associate.
Again the glad earth is to celebrate the birth of the founder of the Christian religion—a religion of “Peace on earth, and among men good will!” In it the fierce conflict and strife between individuals or nations, has no part, its dominant idea is peace and a continual struggle between right and wrong.
It was the idea and hope, no doubt, of the Jewish people that the coming Messiah would be a mighty man of valor, whose warlike genius would speedily release them of the bondage in which they were held by their ancient enemies. And indeed we cannot wonder at the attitude of the Jews when we think of the diametrically opposite teaching which permeated every act and word of Christ. That a conflict should rage in the everyday doings of life between the forces of right and wrong, did not seem to enter into the thought and actions of those times. Christ discovered and insisted upon individuality of action and responsibility, so that we may be sure His conception of man's relation to man is not so transcendentally divine as it is humanly and wonderfully practical. Down through the ages we that this idea has been gaining ground, little by little, until in free America it has borne its fullest fruition, and back
from whose shores, it is fair to hope, will flow to the other nations of the earth the example and the sublimity of individuality-of self government.
Into much of the talk and parlance of the day has come the expression the “common people," and it is probable that many people look upon it as a demagogic catch-phrase and fail to trace its origin to a feeling made manifest in many ways as noting a difference between those who are burdened with this world's goods and those who are not--a tacit recognition of the estimation in which Christ held those who were abnormally rich. We are all familiar with the many fierce denunciations of the rich with which Christ's teachings are interspersed; nevertheless, we do not believe He intended to inveigh against riches as a concrete fact, but only to make very plain the great danger to the moral, physical and spiritual fiber to which they subjected the possessor. This may not apply to our time any more than to the time when Christ lived, for it is probable that the relative differences between the rich and poor are not proportionally greater now than they were then; nor that more vital differences exist in the abnormal climaxes and intensities of love in our time,
than they did when he said, “Let Him who is without sin cast the first stone."
We do not do violence to history when we call Christ the first labor unionist, for he not only said “the laborer is worthy his hire," for He seemed to disregard the previously taught idea that work was in the world as a punishment for sin, as a curse; but He dignified it beyond all previous ideas of it when He said, “My Father worketh hitherto and I work.” He gave to labor its proper potential poise in the great economy of the world, nay, the universe. He taught that only by labor can man attain to that bodily and mental condition which fits him for the stern duties and destinies of his being.
It is our belief that the world is beginning to understand the humanity of Christ, to know that he taught and thought of the here quite as much as of the hereafter, and that the elevation of humanity must begin on earth and is an infinite progression. The labor unions, grasping the ethics of this idea, make declaration of and stand for its fulfillment by placing around the laborer a chance to improve his social conditions by an improved environment, and a modicum of leisure and bodily rest. We have little hope for a bodily, mental or spiritual growth where the conditions of employment necessitate constant toil or necessary sleep.
It appears to us that the tendency of the past, and likely much of it now, was and is to crystalize the vital elements of love and tenderness-humanity-all out of Chirist's religion and make it an opaque adamantine mass, wherein was no virtue save in austerity. The mission of the labor union is to dissolve this crystalized misconception of Christ's mission and leaven it with the overwhelming human solicitude so apparent in all his teachings and acts.
“Peace on earth, and among men good will,” was the essence of the heralding of his appearance on earth and all his future life was in consonance with that fore
So that when the labor unions make merry and celebrate the birth which gave christianity its name and impetus, they do so with the thought
and feeling that he was one of them in very truth, and yearned to alleviate their condition. Add to the herald of “good will among men" the concentrated essence of all humanitarian ethics, “do to others as you would that they should do to you," and we have the sum and substance, the beginning and the end of the hope of christianity. This applies to the high, the low, the rich, the poor, and he who follows this divine conception of duty, be he king, millionaire or the most menial worker, is in very truth leading a christian life.
And this is really what the Christmas festivities are for--to remember particularly, once a year, the Christ, who was so far ahead of the time in which he lived-whose vision and ultimate hope of the human race is perhaps centuries ahead of the time in which we live, but which fits into every phase of the ever-changing panorama of human actions and feelings with a nicety and precision suggestive of contemporaneous life.
The more we study the life and doings of Christ, the more we are convinced of the beauty and value of the simple lifethe life whose major existence is spent in help, work and hope for others. In such lives we see laid the substantial foundations upon which are to be built the superstructure of continued business and social integrity, a confidence in fellow man, without which the commercial structure of our country would be scattered like card houses in a hurricane.
In closing the fully written book of the year 1905 we bid you do so with a large measure of retrospection-not particularly of regret or sorrow, but a retrospection in which is deeply mingled a determination to so write the pages of 1906 that when its time for closing shall have arrived, our backward glances over its pages will show fewer blots, more and better services in every way showing that we have contributed to and brought a little nearer “On earth peace, and among men good will."
To one and all we wish a joyous Christmas and a bountiful, prosperous New Year-a year full of the best kind of happiness.
COMPETITION AND RAILROAD RATES.
The recent decision by Judge Bethea in the famous “Cattle Case" gives food for thought on the agitation of rate regulation. In the first place, the decision shows conclusively the injustice to which the roads would be subjected by the passage of a law making the decision of the Interstate Commerce Commission operative at once and to be kept in force till the courts had decided the question. In this case the roads declare that had the decision of the Commission been effective immediately, a single western road would have lost more than $300,000 revenue, and the seventeen roads involved in the litigation between two and three millions.
It is interesting to note some of the findings of the court:
That the livestock rates are able in themselves.
That the cost of carrying livestock is greater than that of carrying dressed meats and packing house products.
That the value of the service of carriage is greater to the packers because of the higher price of a car of dressed meats, valued at twice that of livestock.
That the rates in question given to the packers at the Missouri River and St. Paul were the result of competition.
That the rates were not made voluntarily, but from the necessity arising from competition, the necessity being that of carrying the goods at the lower rate, or losing the business. That there
not competition enough at said points to lower the rate as to live stock.
That the competition in question did not result from agreement of the defendants, but was actual, genuine competition.
That the welfare of the public, including the shippers, consumers and all localities and markets, does not seem to be materially affected by the present rate.
The court proceedings were brought under sections 1 and 3 of the interstate commerce act, and section 3 of the Elkins amendment. Section 1 of the for
mer provides that all rates or charges shall be just and reasonable. Section 3 prohibits "undue or unreasonable' preferences to any traffic, person, corporation or firm or to any locality. Section 3 of the Elkins law provides for action by the commission when there is belief that the published tariff is being departed from, or that discriminations are being practiced.
The court indicated a lack of sympathy with the contention that competition did not enter into the present adjustment of rates. He declared that the competition for the packing-house traffic was keen, and that the traffic was controlled by a few people. The Great Western had a longer route than some other roads, and in order to get its share of the business reduced the rate. The other roads then met the reduction. This, the court declared, was true competition, such as the very law which the commission had invoked in its aid was intended to preserve.
“The evidence shows,” said the court, "that in substantially all cases the factor of competition alone controls the rate. The Supreme Court in all cases has held that competition may be controlling. When all the factors are considered together, the conclusion may be reached that the preference and advantage in question is not 'undue' or 'unjust', and section 3 of the interstate commerce act has not been violated; nor has section 1 of that act, nor section 3 of the Elkins act.”
In the olden time (and not so very olden, either) “competition” was considered the “life of trade,” but evidently the Interstate Commerce Commission did not look at it that way, or thought the truth of the saying only applied to ordinary retail trade. Indeed in the present case we may well imagine that competition was not only the life of the reason for that business, but it would not have existed but for the fact of those points from whence the trade originated being competitive points—the fierce competition between the roads forcing
a rate by which the business was started for all the roads and compelled to adjust
It is easy to imagine that the tariffs so as to meet the exigencies of a single road tapping that country business, while at the same time endeawould have had a rate which would voring to protect the relative rights and have been prohibitive, ur so nearly so, that equities of rival carriers and rival localithe magnitude of the present business ties. This in any considerable state would never have been attained.
would be an enormous task. In a counOf course different people will look try as large as ours and with so vast a at the decision according to their own mileage of roads it would be superhuideas of the existing conditions, some taking it to mean that additional regu It might be interesting to note in this lation of rates is not needed and some connection that the Commission has will think that it shows that more regu stated that in readjusting rates it is lation is needed, but whichever way guided by certain "theories of social one looks at it the truth must be borne
progress.' We might say that true soin on us that the requirements in this cial progress depends upon the point of field of railroad work-studying out and view, or perhaps it might depend someadjusting railroad rates—is not work, what upon the locality. proficiency in which can be acquired in It seems to us quite noticeable also a day of a few months, but only after in this controversy that the actual work years of patient work and study and done by the Commission during its years with an inclination and an intuition or of existence has not been more generinspiration which is born with one and ally exploited-surely it is little known. not to be acquired. Or in this present As a safe assertion we may say that a case, it would seem that the Interstate vast number of cases have come before Commerce Commission jumped to the it, and that in a great majority of the conclusion that if the roads could carry cases the roads have complied absoa certain portion of the output of big lutely with every order of the Commispackers between Chicago and Missouri
There have been cases in which River points for eighteen and two-thirds the roads contended that the orders of cents, the rate on cattle being twenty the Commission were unlawful and they three and two-thirds cents, then the refused to obey the ruling and suits packing house product rate was discrim
brought, and in
every inative against cattle, and the cattle tested case except two, we believe, durrates were discriminative against the ing the entire eighteen years, the courts, Chicago market. This might very truly upon hearing the evidence, have debe the logical deduction of most people cided that the railroad company was who had not been raised up in the right and the Commission was wrong. school of rate making and so, like the Sixteen of the cases went to the Supreme Commission, miss entirely the point of Court and every case was decided against organic law involved, showing what a the Commission. So it does not seem great power is liable to be placed in in as if there has been so very much discompetent hands.
And speaking upon cord between the roads and the Comthe intricacy and complexity of the mission, indeed the record of cases in rate making business, Judge Cooley, which the roads have appealed from the probably the ablest man who ever sat decision of the Commission does not upon the Commission, said while he was seem to be more numerous, if as much chairman: “The Commission would in so, as appeals to the courts by large busieffect be required to act as rate makers ness interests in other lines of industry.