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WAGE WORKERS' CLAIMS JUSTIFIED
HE issuance of stock dividends is the best proof that the fruits of industry are being divided unequally, and that the wage workers' claims are justified.
Stock dividends is another name for capitalizing profits.
The reason for stock dividends is to avoid the income tax; a fear that congress will tax undivided profits, and a desire to extend profits over a larger issuance of stock so the public's attention will not be attracted by excessive profits.
To dispose of these profits they are turned into "capital account" (put back into the business) and additional common stock to that amount issued and divided among the stockholders. This stock is called "stock dividends," although it is an extra issue of the ordinary variety of common stock.
Stock dividends indicate a profit that is above and beyond a fair profit on an investment. Workers struggle for a living wage, but the dollar is always guaranteed a fixed interest rate. This interest rate is a charge on industry, as is salaries, the cost of raw material, taxes and wages.
After these and other charges are paid, profit is considered. When this profit is inordinate, the stock dividend is used to conceal excessive income.
The stock dividend is proof that the people are being gouged. It also indicates the enormous values others have created and which are now centered in the hands of those who refuse workers a living wage and the right to organize.
Stock dividends are an answer to the continuous whine by the defenders of reaction and privilege that alleged high wages are a drag on industry. The stock dividend is evidence that the gouger and profiteer are making new records and that wage earners are not being justly compensated.
The stock dividend does not tell the full story of corporate profits. Behind these are princely salaries and numerous funds and holdings that can not be untangled or understood save by one acquainted with the intricacies of accountancy.
The trickery of corporations in concealing profits is indicated by the recent account of how a well-known 5-and-10-cent-store corporation "lost" profits aggregating $20,000,000.
This concern was carrying on its books "good will" as an asset, which it valued at $50,000,000. Aside from some leaseholds, this asset was intangible and pure guesswork. The corporation had profits of $20,000,000 piled up, and to dispose of these profits it voted to reduce the $50,000,000 "good will" asset to $30,000,000.
In other words, the corporation took $20,000,000 from one pocket and put it in another pocket. By this jugglery $20,000,000 in profits were wiped out, with the money remaining in the hands of the corporation.
This tricky bookkeeping is useful if the government would call for a record of profits that have been "sweated" from immature girls and little children.
Stock dividends and other forms of concealed profits are found in every industrial and commercial group. Even railroads, masters of the art of telling hard-luck stories, announce stock dividends, while cash dividends in excess of the regulation 51⁄2 per cent, are quite common.
Only recently on the floor of the senate Mr. Capper of Kansas charged the railroads with concealing profits, yet the public is continually warned that the roads are facing bankruptcy, while the railroad labor board rejects the shop men's living-wage demand.
The textile industry, which has attempted to reduce wages and is responsible for a long strike the past summer, is now declaring stock dividends. Issues of 50, 100, and 200 per cent by capitalists who used the state to oppress their employes are common.
The significance of stock dividends and other profit concealments is not discussed by our "molders of public opinion."
Those who have the publicity machinery to enlighten the people on this subject are in the stock-dividend game themselves. They, too, are interested in profit, despite their idealistic pretenses.
It aids their purpose to keep alive the fiction of "high" wages and the pauperization of industry and commerce.
PAINT UP AND CLEAN UP.
Paint Up, Clean Up-is the slogan of the painters of Illinois and each local should have some activities along this line. There are many ways of getting this slogan before the people and it is up to the painters' locals to do it. Talk up this slogan in the meetings and it will surprise you all, the ideas that your members will bring out, in the use of the terms Paint Up, Clean Up. It is not a long time until people will be thinking about spring and then they think about cleaning house and having their painting done. Now it is up to the locals to get on the job and see that Union Painters do the painting and decorating. Go after the business and you stand a better chance to get it, don't wait until the non-union or scab workmen gets it. The Sponge and Brush.
Prepared paint proves a practical saving.
UNION COAL MINERS OPPRESSED
Anarchy in West Virginia Cited
Washington, Jan. 1.
HE United Mine Workers have asked
against that Among the indictments county and anti-union coal owners therein, is the charge that the employment of unMiners who ion miners is not tolerated. join the union are driven from the county, and union organizers, if known, are not permitted to enter that section.
"Representatives of the union are not permitted to hold meetings in Logan county for the purpose of inducing miners, by peaceable and orderly methods, to join the union," it is stated.
"Coal companies maintain an army of armed guards in the Logan county fields whose principal business it is to keep the union out by whatever means they can employ. It is a common practice for these armed guards to assault and otherwise mistreat union members and men who wish to join the union. In other words, it is the business of these guards, armed with highpowered rifles, revolvers and black jacks, And for many to eliminate' union men. years past this process of 'elimination' has left a bloody trail all over Logan county.
"The constitutional right of free speech and free assembly does not exist in Logan county, where these armed thugs hold sway.
"None of these armed guards are ever punished under the law for the crimes they commit against coal miners and members of their families, because coal companies dominate the courts, elect and control public officers, run the elections and do as they please.
"Deputy sheriffs in Logan county are not paid out of county funds, but with money donated to the sheriff by coal companies and coal operators. In 1920 these coal operators furnished the sheriff of Logan county $46,630 for the payment of deputy sheriffs, and in 1921, $61,517.
"Coal companies do not hire armed guards for the protection of company property, but for the elimination' of union miners and union organizers.
"Armed guards and deputy sheriffs arrest union members with or without reason and throw them in jail at Logan, where many of them have been brutally mistreated. Union men have been killed while thus held prisoners in the jail. Men are arrested and jailed for no reason except that they are
union members or are found giving encour agement to the union."
The United Mine Workers state that this list of wrongs could be lengthened by the recital "of almost unbelievable atrocities."
"We do not feel that it is necessary," the statement continues, "to do more than call the attention of the commission to the situation and that the commission itself will realize that something must be done in Logan county and certain other counties in West Virginia, if the coal industry is to be established and placed on the level where it should be."
The commission is reminded that these conditions cannot be hemmed in by the boundary lines of West Virginia, but that they affect the entire coal industry.
In support of their claims, the commission is referred to evidence secured by the United Sattes senate committee on education and labor.
TRIBUTES TO MOTHER.
If I had all the Mothers I ever saw to choose from, I would have chosen you, my Mother.-Carlyle.
In after life you may have friends, but never will you again have the inexpressible love and gentleness lavished upon you which a Mother bestows.-Macaulay.
My Mother was an angel on earth. She has been a spirit from above watching over me for good. Without her the world feels so like a solitude.-John Quincy Adams.
It is to my Mother that I owe everything. If I did not perish long ago in sin and misery, it is because of the long and faithful What years in which she pleaded for me. comparison is there between the honor I paid her and her slavery for me.-St. Augustine.
You have been the best Mother-I be lieve the best woman, in the world. I thank you for your indulgence to me, and beg for giveness for all I have done ill, and for all I omitted to do well.-Dr. Johnson.
What would I not give to call my dear Mother back to earth for a single day, to ask her pardon on my knees for all those acts by which I grieved her gentle spirit.Charles Lamb.
All I am, all that I hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother-Blessings on her memory! I remember my Mother's prayers. They have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.-Abraham Lincoln.
In memory, my Mother stands apart from all others, wiser, purer, doing more, and living better, than any other woman.-Alice Cary.
Labor's worst enemy is the working. man who won't work!
LIGHT AHEAD FOR LABOR IDEALS
HE decay of the profit system is now far advanced. But the completion of the decay will take many years more. History is long. The life of the individual is short. Still the past ten years has brought a great change. Less than ten years ago the German mark was as substantial as any currency in the world. In 1913, when the German mark was worth about twenty-five cents, if any economist had said that the mark of that great country in less than ten years would be of so little value that seventy-five could be bought for a cent, he would have been laughed at. A greater depreciation has taken place with the money of Russia which was one of the allied nations. Let not the people of the "favored nations" vaunt themselves; their governments are infected with the same disease. The purchasing power of money throughout the whole world is depressed.
The weakness of the economic system, which caused the war and which is responsible for the great changes now going on, rests in the fact that its purpose is creating privilege. The quest for profits to secure capital, which may be invested, to provide income, is the vicious circle.
Increasing taxes and an increasing number of people who do not work, but who must be supported by labor, will presently make the burden unbearable.
After more governments have collapsed and more discontent has arisen, something radical will have to be done. The State will step in and perform this function of regulating profits. This will diminish the disorder arising from profit-taking; but it will not cure it.
Just as in the first century, when the Roman Empire was disturbed by business failures, strikes and panics, things were stabilized for a while by the abolishing of all interest on capital for a period of three years. It was the brutal and corrupt Emperor Tiberius who took this action in the year 33 in the interest of perpetuating the power of the privileged class.
While expedients such as these might prevent the collapse of the present system, it is doubtful if the leaders of big business and finance will be capable of concerted action to that end. It is also doubtful if they would take such action in time to be effective. The natural tendency has always been to enjoy profit-getting to the full and to cherish a blind sense of security in the strength of their own position until the causes of its downfall are too far advanced for repairs.
The modern investor, seeking an outlet for the enormous capital which labor has created, has produced imperialism which is
both ruthless and insane in its hunger for returns.
The prostration of central Europe, and the progressive involvement of England, France, Japan and the United States in imperialistic rivalry, are the results thus far. Once the big financiers made their investments at their own risk; now the governments have become their tools. Wars, shipping subsidies, protective tariffs and a multitude of privileges are now exacted of governments by the great investing combines.
As the people view the holocaust of these attacks upon the resources of the public, they must realize that if this continues there is nothing but darkness and chaos ahead.
But some see a brighter future. Through the murk they discern a light shining, held aloft by the wise. That light shows 30,000,000 people working in the co-operative societies eliminating the profit motive from the affairs of man. This points the way; this furnishes the means; this is the saving remedy. It remains to be seen whether the suffering peoples will follow this light, or go blindly on with the old profit-making procession into still darker valleys.-Cooperation.
WORKING WOMEN BUILD FIRST LABOR
The first woman's labor temple in the United States is being built in Los Angeles, Cal. Ground for it was broken a few months ago. When completed the cost will be in excess of $14,000.
This achievement is due largely to the labors of Mrs. Frances Neil, chairman of the woman's committee of the Central Labor Council, and the action of the joint board from the building, metal, printing, and miscellaneous trades council, who have wisely enlisted the co-operation of the women in advancing the welfare of organized labor.
The building will adjoin the Los Angeles Labor Temple and will be known as the Woman's Annex. It will be a three-story structure containing a modern kitchen, assembly hall, rest and reading rooms, and offices for the various woman's organizations.
Plans are being formulated for furnishing the building and placing a woman in charge to supply information to members. It will be the home of 5,000 active workers in the labor movement.
The union label derives its power from the fact that it is based upon the first law of nature, the law that "motion seeks the line of least resistance."
MAKING MEN AND WOMEN OVER
NE hundred thousand men and women, handicapped by disease or accident, but capable of the readjustment which will restore them from the social scrap-heap to the ranks of the selfsupporting this is the problem of vocational rehabilitation in the United States, says Mildred Hand, in November Survey. Calculated in terms of inevitable depression of mind, antagonism to society, frustrated ambition and reduced economic value, this hundred thousand is a formidable liability. In each case the task of salvage is one in which many broken threads, representing physical, mental and social factors, must be unravelled and re-woven to make a consistent pattern.
Until the opening of the present century, the highest hope of the physically handicapped person was for charity, public or private. Although the Massachusetts survey of 1905 and the Cleveland survey of 1915 yielded a startling census of the proportion of handicapped and economically dependent in an average industrial and commercial community, it was not until June, 1920, that Congress passed "an act to provide for the promotion of vocational rehabilitation of persons disabled in industry or otherwise and their return to civil employment."
Effective until June 30, 1924, the act provides an annual budget of one million dollars-$750,000 the first year, which ended June 30, 1921, for allotment to the states on a population percentage basis, according to stated conditions. The territories, outlying possessions and District of Columbia are not included in its scope. The Federal Board for Vocational Education is charged with the responsibility and power of administering its provisions; it is to this board that the states submit the plans and reports.
The allotment of federal funds is made on condition that the state shall expend at least an equal amount for the same purpose, and that the minimum request shall be for five thousand dollars. There are also included conditions concerning approval of plans and reports of work done, and certain restrictions on expenditure for equipment and property which insure the use of the money for actual rehabilitation purposes. In order to receive its benefits, a state must accept the provisions of the federal act; empower and direct its state board for vocational education to cooperate with the Federal Board for Vocational Education; provide a plan of cooperation with whatever agency administers the workmen's compensation or liability laws in that state; provide for the supervision and support of courses of vocational rehabilitation to carry out the provisions of the act; and appoint the state treasurer as custodian of funds.
Within those broad limits, the states are free to carry on the work in their own way. Thirty-four states have enacted the necessary complementary legislation and have be gun work. The state laws vary somewhat in their scope and emphasis. New York, for instance, places the eligibility age at fourteen; New Jersey at sixteen. The New York plan includes an advisory commission composed of the commissioners of education, labor and health; New Jersey's commission is composed of the commissioners of educa tion, labor, and of charities and corrections. together with three other appointed members. Aside from such mechanical differences, there is a pretty general agreement in conception of the problem and method of attack.
The organization of the work usually includes a central office with district offices in the principal cities of the state, and traveling agents who investigate the cases which are brought to the attention of the central or district office. Close working relationships are maintained with the state boards for workmen's compensation, since a large percentage of civilian disability is the result of industrial accident. The roll of cases is augmented by such means as cooperation with general agencies, newspaper publicity and public addresses.
The fundamental emphasis in rehabilita tion is educational, but the route to actual training is often slow and devious. New Jersey stresses the necessity for physical reconstruction before beginning vocational training, and is unique in its establishment of a Memorial School for Rehabilitation. with branches where courses in selected occupations for the physically handicapped are given. Other states depend upon the public or private schools and agencies within their bounds for necessary training. In general terms, the problem is to provide such social service, training, or prosthetic appliances as will enable a man or woman of wage-earning age to re-enter the world of industry or commerce as an economic factor. Such a process may take the form of counsel concerning retraining for a former or a new occupation; a course of training in a trade, technical, commercial or cor respondence school; placement in industry for training, together with supervision and guidance during training; assistance to se cure a position when training is completed: advice and assistance to secure artificial appliances or limbs, or arrangements for necessary therapeutic treatment, and such special social service as may be needed by the individual or his family.
The states which have made the most prompt and ambitious beginnings are perhaps Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jer sey, New York, Minnesota, Ohio, California.
Wisconsin. The work is of too brief duration to yield statistics and the Federal Board of Vocational Education has not yet published a report. The figures recently issued by Dr. Riley M. Little, director for New York, give some idea of the first year's work in that state:
From July 1, 1921, to July 1, 1922:
3,076 cases of physically handicapped persons were reported to the bureau, 2,767 men and 309 women.
139 were not found, or had died. 159 declined service.
270 were not susceptible of rehabilitation.
390 were ineligible under the law.
17 disappeared after the bureau got in touch with them.
656 were making their own way, without special need of help.
Of the remaining 1,445 served by the
299 were placed in vocational schools or under tutors.
At the end of the year 189 were still in training, while 62 had completed their courses and had returned to gainful occupations. 182 were placed by social service without special training.
23 were re-established in business. Decision on 591 were pending at the
close of the year, while 392 remained under social service.
The average weekly wage of the 267 whose rehabilitation was completed was $20.17, or $4.18 less than the average weekly wage of industrial workers in New York state during the same period.
Notices were sent in 1,367 cases by the Bureau of Workmen's Compensation of the State Industrial Commission; in 108 infantile paralysis cases by the state department of health.
Hundreds if not thousands of the cases of the boys and girls who were crippled in the infantile paralysis epidemic of 1916 will come to the attention of the bureau within the next few years, as the children reach sixteen. Medical aid has restored many of the victims of that scourge to the ranks of the practically normal, but state aid in training and education will enable even those others who must face life with a physical handicap to enter on a self-respecting and self-supporting career.
Industrial rehabilitation work is a highly specialized form of case work, and like other case work presents an intricate study of economics and psychology, but always with the added uncertain factor of a physical handicap. The problem is to train past the handicap-as a plant encases a foreign substance and grows around the obstruction-and to settle the man into a work that is not only economically profitable but
spiritually stimulating and, ideally, of a kind where he can compete on equal terms with others who are not handicapped.
If the most serious consequence of being crippled is the consequent loss of courage, ambition and morale, then the most successful way to restore those fundamental necessities of life is to fit the crippled person to ignore as completely as possible the thing that sets him apart from others. If work has a spiritual value for the man with unimpaired strength, how much more necessary is it to the man who must compensate for a physical imperfection by the success of his achievement.
Reclaimed Discards from the Economic Scrap-Heap.
Christian B. was an uneducated farmer who lost an arm. He had no interest or experience in anything but agriculture, but "what could a one-armed man do?" When his case was brought to the attention of the Wisconsin rehabilitation department, he was working at odd jobs in the summer, loafing in the winter. Ten weeks at the University of Wisconsin enabled him to learn milk testing, and he began regular work at once. He will return to the university for another short course this winter.
It cost the city of New York $3,372.60 to support Margaret C. for twelve years in the City Home after blood poisoning necessitated the amputation of both legs. Officials at the home provided her with artificial limbs, but they were not properly adjusted, and she was practically helpless when a relative took her from the home in 1922 and drew the attention of the bureau to her case. The investment of a comparatively small amount of money in repairing the artificial limbs made it possible for her to take a position as housekeeper. From her wages she is repaying the money expended on her. At practically no money cost to the state she has regained a happy independence and the probable burden of lifetime dependency has been lifted from the city.
Mr. A. C. had been a plasterer for twenty years, until he was incapacitated temporarily by stomach trouble resulting from an industrial accident. Upon his recovery he developed an "anxiety neurosis," declaring that it was impossible for him to work at his trade. The bureau gave him instruction in the pocketbook trade, in which he was much interested for a time. Gradually the resumption of the habit of work diverted his thoughts from himself, and a vacation from his family, advised by the physician, brought about a normal state of mind. He became anxious to return to plastering, at which he now is earning ten dollars a day.
Because James T. had several friends in the garage business who would help him get started, the bureau gave him training in vulcanizing and tire repair when an accident necessitated the amputation of a foot. Previously he had been a greenhouse