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Newspaper Page Text
THE 13 AS MUCH GRAFT IN THE PRIVATE;
CORPORATION AS IN ANY pITY GOVERNMENT
BY ROGER W. BABSON
Noted Economist, Business Statician
During ike past ten years or so the
muckrakers have been busy. In city
after city and in town after town
they have uncovered crookedness in
the administration. They have un
covered so much crookedness that
the rest of us have come to the con
clusion that gratt is something which
is confined to public places. But is
there no graft in private places? It
is worth considering, f
Suppose the mayor of a town
should appoint his brother police
commissioner; his daughter's hus
band, fire commissioner; his uncle,
superintendent of the water works;
and put his son in charge of the
street cleaning department. How
long would it be before the good citi
zens would hold an indignation meet
ing? . .
It would not be long. No city m
America would stand that kind of
Yet pick up the letter head of a
private corporation and what are
you likely to find?
It usually reads something like
Quincy Persimmon, president.
Quincy Persimmon, Jr., vice-president.
Persimmon Quincy, treasurer,
Howard Lemon, secretary.
The presence of Howard Lemon in
this select family circle is somewhat
puzzling until one learns that Prun
ella Quincy Persimmon is the wife
of Howard Lemon. Then all is clear.
To be sure, the general manager
of the concern, who is the man to see
on any matter of special importance,
is a man named Hobbs or Smith or
Hogan, but it soon happens that the
salary of the general manager is just
about what it costs young Lemon to
ruii his motor for one year. The -work
is not all done by the family, but the
big salaries are all in the family.
The Persimmons own a good deal
of the stock, but they do not own it
all. They don't even own half of it,'
but they have what is called a voting
control. By means of this control
they keep themselves in places where
the salaries are good and growing
better. Sometimes they make new
places when it is necessary for the
proper support of the family. For in
stance, the offices of secretary and
treasurer were both held by Persim
mon Quincy until young Howard
Lemon won his wife. Then it was
found necessary to divide the work,
and Lemon was made secretary
Has there ever been an American
mayor who has dared to run his city
as this private corporation is run?
In their leisure moments the Per
simmons, the Quincys and the Lem
ons are constantly advising their fellow-citizens
of the danger of per
mitting an American city to advance
one step toward the sort of municipal
work which is done by a great many
foreign cities with success. The rea
son against this is given as the graft
in public life.
To say that there is more graft in
the average city government than
there is in the average private cor
poration is demonstrably untrue.
WOW! HERE'S HOPEING
Paris, Dec. 23. A bas the teeth
that are false and the practice of fill
ing and crowning teeth. Also, a bas
the dentist, and his torture chamber,
if the boast of the inventor of a new
method of dentistry cant be made
good. The new process was demon
strated here today. The inventor
uses the ultra-viojlet rays. A mask is'
placed over the face and the teeth
exposed to the rays for an hour. Two
settings are sufficient, says the in
ventor to make the teeth absolutely
immune to decay.
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