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The advocate. [volume] (Topeka, Kan.) 1894-1897, June 03, 1896, Image 2

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85032018/1896-06-03/ed-1/seq-2/

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Jcicx 3,
Wlat tha Terms Hean and Wfcers tbe Lines
Are Drawn.
Editor New York Herald: "BaI er
ring to Senator Allen's article In the
North American Review, you ask me
to locate the lino which divides the
Bast from the West. You might as
well expect me to trace the line be
tween the waters of the Missouri river
and those of the Mississippi where they
come together.
The thing yon are talking about la a
condition rather than a locality a feel
in j or eentiment of commercial antag
onism arising out of the reckless
exercise of eoclal and political Influ
ence and power flowing from enormous
accumulations of wealth In a few hands
through organizations, of capital real
and fictitious, resulting In stock job
ting, land absorptions, displacement
of labor, appreciation of money and
depression In prices.' The most active
promoters and defenders of the policy
which produces these conditions reside
in Eastern States, while its opponents
are found chiefly in Western States;
and it is because of this fact that when
speaking or writing about these things
we use the words East and West as in
dicating the region where a preponder
ance of opinion is found to be on one
side or the other of a question which is
not limited to any particular part of
the country but affects the interests of
all the people.
Senator Allen eays that he himself
was born in the "West," yet his birth
place is Ohio, where a majority of the
people have the Eastern rather than
the Western idea on the matters in
volved. While the States east of Ohio
and north of Maryland are commonly
called the East, yet Ohio, Indiana, 111!
nols, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota
and Iowa usually send solid deles
tlons to Congress representing the
Eastern rather than the Western idea.
How comes it that we have an East
and a West in our politics? Let us
. explore. When the great war came
upon us, the people were not seriously
encumbered with debt. Though it had
twice before been deemed wise to enact
bankruptcy laws in order to relieve
business distress, rates of interest had
not been found generally beyond the
ability of men to pay. The great West
was still open. The "Indian country"
described by act of Congress in 1834
was practically a wilderness. It is but
little more than forty years since the
Kansas-Nebraska act was pass
Kansas was admitted to Statehood in
12C1, and Nebraska seven years later.
Colorado, Nevada, the Dakotas, Wy
omlng, Montana, Idaho and Washing
ton have come in since. We have
reached the Pacific, and that is the
end. There is no longer a Weit such
as we knew when many of us were
young. The public lands have been
squandered. They are mostly gone
into the hands of corporations and rich
men. There is practically nothing left
anywhere out of which a poor man un
aided can make a home.
Our financial legislation has been
most disastrous. Its history since the
war need not here be recited. Sum
clsnt it is to state that by means of re
funding and resumption laws, and the
final abandonment of legal tender sil
ver coinage, our only full legal tender
money has been appreciated in value
to an extent that the general level of
prices has fallen about GO per cent
from normal when our standard coin
of cold and silver were freely minted
without discrimination against either
ctl. And now, more than thirty
years from the war, a general demand
comes up from the people for the en
actment of a bankruptcy law.
While these changes in our financial
policies and methods were taking place,
railway companies and industrial cor
porations, capitalized beyond reason,
rapidly multiplied and acquired an
overshadowing influence in legislation
and forced upon the courts new ques
tions concerning corporate privileges
and property rights which, when set
tled by judicial decisions, bore hard on
the people.
Under these conditions let us see
how the country prospered and where
the gains appear. While, by reason of
the occupation of fresh and cheap lands
on the public domain, the influx of
population and the taking in of money
and property by immigrants, the new
West was rapidly developed and the
percentage of wealth increase there
was very marked, yet the great gains
are found in a few of the Eastern
Men and women who toil on farms
In the agricultural States wonder why
their labor is not as remunerative as
that of their Eastern cousins appears
to be. They have more lan J, they
have more people, they work more
hours and more days, and they do not
understand why they do not save as
much either of money or other prop
erty. But, while the gains have been so
enormous in these prosperous States,
that does not prove that the people
shared equally or generally in the
profits. On the contrary, farmers in
each of these States have suffered
heavily. Their lands have depreciated
greatly in value, and while producing
as much as ever, their profits have
dwindled to almost nothing, and they
are encumbered with oppressive debts.
The increase of wealth is limited al
most wholly to the cities, and we find
that even there the masses of the peo
ple are not as well off as they were at
any former period. In Philadelphia 77
per cent, of the families rent the houses
they live in; in Boston only 9 per cent,
of the families own their homes, and
in New York city the proportion is 6
per cent. In the largest and the rich
est city in the country ninety-four
families in every 100 are compelled to
pay rent to the other six.
Besides private debts for which the
people's homes are mortgaged, States,
counties, cities, townships, railroads
and other corporations Innumerable,
are heavily indebted, and all this vast
debt obligation is finally payable in the
city of New York. Not less than
$200,000,000 interest on bonds alone
goes to that city every year. The av
erage Interest rate paid Is about 7 per
cent. If we trace the financial history
of the three prosperous States named
above, we find that the actual savings
of the people as appears in the assess
ment of their property from year to
year for purposes of taxation has not
exceeded 3 per cent. And taxing the
whole country, beginning with 1700,
notwithstanding our acquisition of ter
ritory nearly three times as large as
our original holding the thirteen
States our annual gain in wealth saved
has not exceeded 3 per cent. And
while the actual gains of labor have
been only 3 per cent, we are paying 7
per cent. Interest on an enormous debt,
and our indebtedness Is constantly in
creasing. -.-
These conditions exist in all parts of
the country; and there is complaint,
and just grounds for complaint on ac
count thereof everywhere. Railways
are capitalized at three times their
actual value and they are allowed to
charge patrons enough to Insure divi
dends and interest on their watered
stock. Combinations and trusts of
various kinds have been permitted to
reduce prices on raw materials and to
increase or to fix and maintain prices
on finished products.
Not only does most of the interest
paid by the people and corporations go
to New York clty.but there are the head
quarters of most of the great money
absorbing agencies; there the great
stock jobbing operations of the coun
try originate; there the most gigantic
financial arrangements are consum
mated; and there are the great bank
ers and speculators and stock brokers
who have control of the nation's treas
ury and whose hands are in the peo
ple's business in all parts of the
In all legislation relating to business
matters, the Representatives and Sen
ators and lobbyists from Eastern
States, aided by the metropolitan news
paper press, Insist on maintaining the
regime which has produced the dan
gerous influence of these powerful
The landed interest, the monled in
terest, the railroad interest, the manu
facturing interest, the speculative
interest, the protective interest all
these converge in New York city, and
their mighty influences are supported
and defended by the most influential
classes of people in all the Eastern
States. These great money-making
institutions bear heavily on the pro
ducers of grain, live stock and other
property of the agricultural regions in
the Western States, and the people
there complain about it.
And this Is why we talk of what the
West wants and what the East wants.
But the people, after all, are one peo
ple. Our quarrels will strengthen the
bonds of our union. In the great val
ley of the Mississippi and its tributa
ries Hps the most fruitful region on
earth, and in the hands of its indus-trIous,enterprIalng,temperate,thought-ful
and patriotic reople rests the
destiny of the republic.
W. A. Peffer.
An Age of Deception and Fraud.
Editor Advocate: Yes, we live
in an age of deception and fraud, even
in high places, for behold what decep
tion is practiced and played off on the
people, designed to keep them peace
able and undisturbed while they are
being bound hand and foot to the great
money chariot of the capitalistic and
Wall street kings. Listen to Cleveland
and Ilorr, while they sing the seduc
tive song to labor and to the mlllons
of toilers of the land, that the present
low prices In the country growing out
of the depressed state of things Is the
very best for you, as you can buy for
81 what in other times cost you $2,
doo'tyousee? In other words, de
claring that hard and depressed times
are the beat for the country, protesting
that by the revival of business and in
creased prices, all savings bank de
positors and old soldiers would have
their deposits and pensions cut in two
by having to pay more for their sup
plies and their subsistence. Then
Cleveland and Ilorr turn round and
congratulate the farmers and pro
ducers that times are reviving
and prices improving so that
shortly they will be receiving
paying rewards for their labor, as
heretofore in good times. And thus
they blow hot and cold to their hearers,
according as the latter are of one
school or one employment or another.
But their purpose and design is the
same to promote the interest and wel
fare of capital and corporations, leav
ing humanity in the lurch to shift for
itself. Jefferson's doctrine was that
the wealthy and powerful didn't need
the assistance of government they
could take care of themselves; but that
the duty of government waa to stand
by and protect the weak and lowly.
G. R. P.
Kansas Reform Press.
The following is the program for the
quarterly meeting of the association at
Clay Center:
7:00 p. m. Reception at the hall.
8: 00 Address of welcome by Hon. A.
Bledsoe, Clay Center. Response by
Abe Steinberger, President of the asso
ciation. Greeting by Hon. W. D. Vin
cent, Clay Center. Response by Hon.
Lyman Naugle, Wellington Voice.
Address by Hon. II. N. Gaines, Sslina;
subject, "The Political Outlook forth
State of Kansas." "...
9:30 Adjournment.
8:00 a. m. Roll-call. Reading min
utes of last meeting. Propositions for
membership received and acted upon.
9:00-DIscussion, "The Best Method
of Conducting a Political Campaign,"
opened by A. A. Stewart, Manhattan
10:00 Paper, "The Field of Satire
and Humor In Political Journalism,"
J, C. Healy, Concordia Kansan.
10:30 "The Omaha Platform vs. a
Single-Issue Silver Platform," W. E.
Bush, Mankato Advocate.
11:00 "The Attitude of the People's
Party Toward the Old Soldier and
Pension Legislation," II. N. Boyd,
Republic County Freeman.
ll:30-"The Political Boss," A. C.
Pattee, Junction City Tribune.
12:00 Adjournment.
1:30 p. m. Discussion, "Ought We
to Favor a Union of All Reform Ele
ments at the National Convention? If
So, on What Baals?" opened by Mrs. J.
I. Tucker, Minneapolis Review.
2:30 "The Country Newspaper; Horn
to Make it a Success," John S. Parks,
Belolt Call.
3.-00 Executive session. Miscella
neous business. Selection of place for
next meeting.
4:30 Adjournment.
Congress and Expositions.
The following statement shows what
appropriations have been made by Con
gress in aid of the various expositions of
an international character eince 1SC7:
Paris, in 18G7, $200,403; Vienna, 1873,
$200,000; Philadelphia, 187G," $2,149,250;
Paris, in 1878, $190,000; Sydney and Mel
bourne, in 1379 and 1880, $28,000; Berlin
fishery exhibition, in 1880, $20,000; Lon
don fishery exhibition, in 1883, $70,000;
world's industrial and cotton centennial
exposition at New Orleans, 1334, $1,650,
000; exposition at Cincinnati, 1884, $10,
000; Southern exposition at Louisville,
1884, $10,000; exnibition at Barcelona,
1883, $25,000; Brussels, 1883, $30,000;
Melbourne, 1883, $50,000; Paris, 1889,
$250,000; Centennial exposition of the
Ohio valley and Central states, at Cin
cinnati, in 1S8S, $147,750; Columbian
historical expoeiton, at Madrid, in 1892,
$25,000; world's Columbian exposition at
Chicago, 1893, $5,318,255; cotton States
and international exposition at Atlanta
in 1895, $200,000. Augusta Chronicle.
Why not make a few more Populist
votes in your locality by sending in a
few 25cent subscribers to the Advocate.

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