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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, April 29, 1913, Image 3

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

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1913-04-29/ed-1/seq-3/

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.commission and said that if they were .forced to pay a living wage. they
'would take it out of the public by raising prices. ,
"It is just about time that that sort of talk by our big merchants and
manufacturers were stopped. It is time that the. people were rousecNnto
action; it is time that they resented so open an attempt at intimidation. i
"The people have been subsidizing big corporations by paying the sal
aries of their employes for them long enough. . "
(Right here is where Dean Sumner loses a bet.)
'Mri this connection I need only mention the manner in which the Pull
man Car Company has succeeded in having the people pay the wages of its
porters and conductors.
"Of course, I know you won't use the name of the Pullman Car Com-,
pany or say anything about' its porters, but that's all right.
"Why do you think The Day Book will not use the name of the Pull
man Car Company or say anything about the system by which the people
are forced to pay the wages of Pullman porters for the company?" asked
the reporter.
"Oh," said the dean, confidently, "no one ever uses the name of the
Pullman Car Company to roast 'it. All the newspapers are afraid of the
Pullman company. I'll bet you don't use it.
"But to return to the State street merchants there is no reason why
they should not pay their employes decent living wages out of their swollen
profits, and the threat to take it out of the public's hide if they are forced
to pay living wages is an outrage.
"As soon as the people realize how they are being swindled in this re
gard I feel confident that they will arise and protest against such intimi
dation effectually enough to put an end to it.
"The weapons with which to do so are in the hands of the people, you
know. They only need one weapon their buying power."
"You mean," suggested the reporter, "that when a big store or fac
tory says to the people, 'You leave us alone or we'll soak you,' the people
always can come back by saying, 'All right, we shall leave you alone; we'll
leave you so much alone that we won't buy any of your goods?"
"Exactly, and I believe the time is coming when the people are going
to do just that thing.
"There's another thing the. merchant princes had to say that was
utter folly. That was that if they were forced by the state to pay girl em
ployes a living wage they would employ men in place of the girls, and that
this would cause even more girls to become prostitutes.
."Outside of the impossibility of getting men to do the work the mer
chants want, there is another reason why this is foolish.
"The business of prostitution and it always must be remembered
that prostitution- is a commercialized business is just as much regulated
by the law of supply and demand as the merchant princes say their busi
nesses are.
"Right now prostitution is the. most crowded industry in the world.
If a minimum wage law were passed and the' merchants put men in thei
places of$he girls, the girls would ro be'come prostitutes, because there
are more 'prostitutes than are needed just now, and there would be no room
for them.
. "That statement may -sound cold-blooded. It is. It is stating a fact in
, regard to a commercialized business in a business man's terms. And you
can't dodge the facts.
"Remember, I do not say I am in favor of a state minimum wage law,

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