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The toiler. (Cleveland, Ohio) 1919-1922, August 20, 1920, Image 9

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88078683/1920-08-20/ed-1/seq-9/

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FRIDAY, AUGUST 20, 1920.
What Do You Get Out of It?
According to the report of the Department
of Commerce for the fiscal year which ended
on Jnne 30, the United States exported to other
countries $4,465,453,898 worth of goods and re
ceived back from other countries only $1,179,
460,699. worth of goods. The trade balance, to
use the language of financiers, in favor of the
United States was $3,285,993,199.
A trade balance is supposed to be a very
desirable thing and a trade balance of over
three billion dollars is supposed t show an
extraordinary desirable state of affairs, that is,
from the standpoint of the capitalist class.
But what does it mean to the workers in the
shops and factories who produced the goods
that are exported? That is of course quite an
other story.
During the years just gone by the workers
in the shops and factories, in the mines and
mills and an land, produced over four billion
dollars worth of goods which were shipped out
of the country. If the goods were shipped out
of the country they did not get any good out of
them. They were of no service to them. What
did they get in return!
According to the same report they got some
thing over a billion dollars worth of goods
back, which leaves them three billion dollars
worth of goods short.
Of course, some one will speak up to an
nounce that the capitalists get paid in money
for these goods. That is true enough, but that
doesn't help the workers any. Money is only
valuable for what it will buy. We do not eat
or wear the money itself, and in this instance the
things to eat and wear and use otherwise have
been shipped elsewhere -and the money does
not make good the loss to the workers.
What actually happens as a result of an ex
port of a surplus over imports is that the capi
talists become the creditors of other nations
and draw interest on their credit balances, but
this does not help the workers any. It doesn't
give them radre shoes, or more food, or more of
any other kind of goods, although it does en
rich the capitalist olass.
The trade balance in favor of this country is
an actual evidence to the workers showing
them how much they are robbed by the capital
ist system of production.
"Oar Government"
A One Act Sketch.
By H. E. Keas.
Time: The present.
Place: Board v,of Directors room, large in
dustrial plant.
(Directors, general manager and super
intendent are seated around a long table in the
center of the room. The plant lias been closed
several weeks in an effort to break union labor
through an "open shop" campaign. They aire
in the midst of a heated discussion as to the
best means to accomplish this, when the door
opens and a group of workingmen, caps in
hand, are ushered into the room.)
Chairman Of The Board: (irritated by the
interruption, irascibly addresses the leader of
the group) "Well? Speak out man! What do
you want?"
Worker: (hesitatingly, yet not without de
termination) Sir, the plant has now been closed
longer than we can stand it. Can't it again be
opened? We are near starvation's door. Our
wives and children are crying for bread. Won't
you meet with us, sir, that we may find a way
to come to an understanding?"
Chairman: (vehemently and with a sneer)
Come to an understanding, huh? We can have
our understanding right here. The plant will
stay closed until we break every damned onion
in the field. You fellows were getting too in
fernally independent and now you can take
your medicine. We are on strike. Get that?
Worker: (rather taken aback by this explo
sion, but naively continues) "But, Sir, have
you considered the consequences? Might not
the government get an injunction and perhaps
send you to jail for unlawful .restraint of pro
duction? That is what happens to us working
men when we go on strike.", (the other work
men nod assent).
Chairman: (winks at his associates, then
breaks out into ribald laughter) "Injunction!
I fa, Ifa! Jail! Oh, Lord, this is rich! Ho, ho, ho,
ho! Haw, haw, haw, haw! Whv, vou poor simp

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