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The day book. [volume] (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, January 19, 1914, LAST EDITION, Image 2

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

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1914-01-19/ed-1/seq-2/

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out of their employes' envelopes
giving back to them through the me
dium of so-called charitable so
cieties. "If men who are held 'tip as models
by the daily newspapers as Marshall
Field was while he was alive can pay
their girls starvation wages its only
perfectly natural that the smaller
merchants will.
"When we started out we wanted
to find out mostly how much a girl
should receive that she might be able
to live and clothe herself.
"So we brought forty of Chicago's
model citizens and philanthropists.
They were acknowledged leading
merchants and we had read they
were philanthropists who were inter
ested in the effects of poverty, so we
thought they might tell us something
we needed to know badly in our work.
"We didn't abuse them when they
went on the stand. We simply asked:
"Have you ever investigated condi
tions in Chicago and the lowest pos
sible salary a girl can possibly live
on?
"And most of them said they had
found that a girl could live on $8 a
week.
"One of the men who represented
a corporation which had paid out
over $7,000,000 in dividends the year
previous admitted on examination
that he was paying more than half
the girls that worked at his plant less
than $8. And the next witness, one
of his former employes, told us the
employes were charged 10 cents a
week each for drinking water. That
statement has never been refuted.
"Why don't you pay your girls
enough to live in a decent American
manner and enable them to have a
little happiness out of life?" we asked
him and we haven't yet obtained a
satisfactory answer.
"And the only justification this
foan could give forv himself was this:
I give money to hospitals, churches,
the Y. M. C. A. and the United Chari
ties.' "
Lieut-Gov. O'Hara was citing the
case of Julius Rosenwald.
"One of the greatest curses of the
day I know of is false, mocking
charity.
"The average man who gives so -liberally
to. charity usually gives it to
get himself a reputation that he has
no clear right to. He literally drags
the money out of the life blood of the
little girls to whom he pays starva
tion wages.
"And the newspapers fawn upon
him and hold him up to the world as
one of our model citizens. In the
meantime the advertising contracts
keep coming into the office. Some of
the papers even go so far as to fight"
his battles for him.
"Take the Inter-Ocean for in
stance. During the vice investiga
tion it kept up a continual fire at the
commission in an effort to discredit
the work.
"I Have no use whatsoever for the
United Charities. The only good
they do is to pay a fat salary to some
officials who may happen to have a
family to support.
"The United Charities spends 90
per cent of its money on investiga
tion, possibly because they are afraid
some poor down-and-out may abuse
their charity and ask for something
he doesn't need.
"No one who knows the United
Charities will appeal to that organ
ization for aid unless he is absolute
ly driven to the wall. The whole sys
tem is degrading to the beneficiaries.
"By their extensive investigating
system they show they are afraid of tj
human TintiirA. T wondfir whnsfi hii- "-.
man nature they are really judging,
their own or their brothers?
"Must they trust every one because
they distrust themselves?
"I believe in only one thing the
principle of equality of humanity.
"But the time has arrived when
we must insist that the men who have
station, position and wealth recog
nize the less fortunate of us as
brothers.

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