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Newspaper Page Text
A STUDIED EFFORT BEING MADE TO SMOTHER
THE LOW WAGE INVESTIGATION
By N. D. Cochran.'
The expected is now. happening. '
Kept newspapers and. kept reformers are working overtime to prove"
that low 'wages have nothing to do, with' vice and crime.
The kept newspapers, that kept mighty quiet editorially during the hear
ings in Chicago of the Senate White Slave Committee, ate now doing their
darndest JEo kill theeffect of low Avage exposures. . I
Not one of the big dailies' that: lives on receipts from' advertisers has
jumped! into" the fight to help the workers of Chicago in the desperate strug
r gle for a living wage. - f
On the contrary, all of them have rushed to the rescue of the poor ,
millionaire merchant princes, -whose enormous profits might be cut down
a trifle if they-had to pay a living wage.
J ' But I expected-this. It's an old trick of the devil of organized greed to
keep labor divided: " "
And newspaper-publishers are white slaves, too. They owe their vast
profits to 'ihe big department stores, and are' afraid to do anything for
humanity that might offend the advertisers.'' (
So we will hear lots of talk now about girls being naturally bad, or
living under .an evil home influence.
We will be.told that they don't go wrong because of starvation wages,
but because they want to go wrong, or because-the'y.lQye pretty dress, etc.
There wfll be a campaign against salobns, poolrooms, dance halls, and
other places as hotbeds of vice and crime, breeding places of sin and
Anything to throw dust in the people's eyes and- make them believe
that starvation wages have no influence whatever on the morals of men
and women. . f ' t
The conduct of the kept newspapers indicates that the press is no
longer- free, but that too many newspapers are abject slaves of the big ad
vertisers; and that self-interest drives them to line up on the side 'of capital
and property in the 'struggle between -plutocracy and democracy the war
between cold, dollars on the one side and flesh-and-blood humanity on the
other. ' .
Notwithstanding the desperate efforts of the big employers and their
kept reformers, uplif ters and publishers, the O'Hara investigation has done
much good. - .. .
If it be true that publicity of low wage conditions is opening the eyes
p. - of parents outside of. Chicago by showing them the pitfalls and tempta
tions in a city of low wages--then'tne old game of keeping the "supply of
girls greater than the demand will be in some measure thwarted. For
" parents njay keep their girls at home.
It may help to' change conditions so that' competition among em
ployers for labor will drive wages up,.
Attd if a situation can be brought about where there are more jobs
than girls to fill them, it may not be so easy .for .Dig employers to preyent
organization of employes. -
And that, after all, would be the surest and safest protection for all,
r . , .TJere'shoJ5ra,y- 'in :whci these . low wage jKcposures iaye -done