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Newspaper Page Text
IF A DAUGHTER SHOULD ASK THIS QUESTION
BY N. D. COCHRAN
I have believed for some time that as the people were growing more
progressive the time would come when the sons and daughters of some of
our rich and influential citizens would commence to ask their fond parent
how he got rich and what wages he was paying his employes.
It has become something of a fad for daughters of the rich to engage
in social uplift work; and many of them are entirely serious and really want
to do what good they can.
But it often happens that they don't know that the clothes and jewels
they wear, the autos they ride in and the mansions they live in were bought
with money their generous fathers had piled up by paying starvation wages
to men, women and children.
I am inclined to believe that humanity may expect more from the
daughters of the rich than from the sons; for the sons are more familiar
with conditions under which the family fortune was made, and often help
make matters worse by preying upon the poorly-paid girls, the daughters
of poorly-paid men.
The agitation for woman's suffrage is leading many young women who
have been leading lives of luxurious idleness to inquire deeper into social
conditions; and now that the lid has been taken off, exposing the rotten
ness of merchant princes and the low-wage connection with white slavery,
it never can be clamped down again tight enough to be unseen by prying
I can imagine a high-spirited girl of naturally noble impulses getting
her eyes open, and going to her rich and prominent father with some such
query, as this:
"Dad, you've been a generous father. You have denied me nothing that
money could buy. We live in a beautiful home. We have automobiles, fine
gowns, many servants and everything in a material way any of us might
want. You are a rich man. You are known as one of the leading citizens,
and all of us have been proud of you.
"But, Dad, I've been finding out something about how the other half
lives. I find that thousands of girls in Chicago are paid less than $5 a week
for their labor. I am told that low wages of men, women and children have
a direct bearing on vice and crime. I know there is much poverty, much
vice and much crime.
"I am beginning to wonder what I have to do with it, and what you
have to do with it. I wonder if many poor girls have too little because I
have more than I need.
"I am beginning to wonder just where the money comes from that I
have been spending for all my beautiful luxury. How it is that by the ac
cident of birth I have all the comforts and luxuries of life, and so many
girls, just as good in the sight of God as I am, have to struggle for a bare
existence and too often fall because they can't get enough to live decent
lives on. ,
"So I want to know what wages you pay your employes?"
What reply would the father make, if he happens to be one of the large
employers of labor who has piled up his wealth by taking it out of the
mouths of women and babes?
New York. Meat will never be any
cheaper in the U. S. than it is now."
Cass vi lie, Wis. Three girls and
man who tried to rescue them drown-
G. F. Sulzberger, Chicago Packer. ed after girls' boat upset.