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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, January 06, 1915, LAST EDITION, Image 10

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1915-01-06/ed-1/seq-10/

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ONE MAN'S OPINIONS
BY N. D. COCHRAN
Disrespect for Law. Under that
title Vic Lawson of the Daily News
gets on both sides ofan interesting
question with his usual genius for
straddling; but Vic came darned near
saying something before he got
through.
He started off with a quotation,
from Gov. Whitman's inaugural ad
dress in which the New York gov
ernor said the way to meet and com
bat the spirit of lawlessness is
through creation of public sentiment
in support of the enforcement of
law.
Lawson then suggested that all
legislative bodies of this country
should proceed to promote a respect
for law by making all laws worthy of
respect
I agree with Vic there, but it makes
me laugh when I read further along
in his editorial and see -what was bit
ing him. Here it is:
"A state's attorney of Cook county
who would not think of trying to en
force the Sunday closing laws uses
the power of his office to secure the
indictment under an obsolete tax law
of one of the most useful and public
spirited citizens of Chicago."
He means Julius Rosenwald, and is
sore because Hoyne is trying to make
Julius respect the law that requires
him to pay his taxes or to list his per
sonal property for taxation.
And to what I have quoted, Lawson
added: "There cannot fail to be dis
respect for law under such condi
tions. And respect for law is not in
creased by sporadic prosecutions of
a few persons arbitrarily selected as
victims, according to the whim, or
worse, of the prosecuting officer."
The principle, Friend Vic, is the
same that makes the pickpocket lack
respect for law against pocketpick
ing. It's the stuck pig that squeals.
Most men don't care a darn what
happens so long as it doesn't happen
to them.
I feel sure that the unfortunate
girls who walk the streets soliciting
men, in order that they may live,
have mighty little respect' for a law
that permits them to be arrested and
fined, while men who solicit women
and not because they are making a
living by it go scot free.
I don't see why Julius Rosenwald
is entitled to more consideration than
any other citizen. He has millions, to
be sure. But he cut a sorry figure
when the O'Hara commissionbrought
out what beggarly wages he paid the
girls who help the Sears-Roebuck
concern make millions of profit a
year.
I have no doubt that Julius Rosen
wald thinks he is public spirited. I
have no doubt that he wants to be
public spirited. But I don't think he
knows how. Julius is a smart busi
ness men. All of us will concede
that. He gives freely to organized
charity and organized philanthropy,
but I question whether a nickel's
worth of good is done with any dol
lar he dumps into the charity pot.
In any event, I can't see why he
should have any special privilege
when it comes to obeying the law.
Nor can I see the relation between
open violation of the Sunday closing
law and open violation of tax laws.
There is a strong public sentiment
against a puritanical Sunday in Chi
cago, but there isn't a strong public
sentiment in favor of millionaires
dodging their taxes.
I didn't notice the public pinning
any blue ribbons or iron crosses on
Vic Lawson himself a couple of years
ago when the public was notified that
Lawson was dodging taxes on his pa
latial home.
I'm not in love with a tax on per
sonal property myself, but it's the
law, and what most folks kick about
is. enforcing it on the many and not
on the few. Lawson and Rosenwald
belong to the few. The many favor
both of these prominent citizens pay
ing their taxes.
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