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Newspaper Page Text
SATURDAY, NOV. 20th, 1920.
On Earning Our Wages
By Jahn Lawrence.
"When I work I want to earn my money!"
So spoke, in tones of indignation and con
scions rectitude, a young stenographer.
And I answered her thus:
"Before you talk about earning your money,
you'd better acquire a little knowledge of econom
ics to talk with, Do you actually suppose it takes
a whole day's hard work to earn that little salary
you're getting? The science of economics has
taught us otherwise. It has been computed that
in three hour's work or thereabouts the employe
produces in value the equivalent of his wages.
Then what is he working the rest of the day
for? Well, an additional hour or two he works to
pay for costs to his employer outside of wages
i e. cost of wear and tear on machinery, cost
of coal, lighting, etc. And the rest of his eight,
nine or ten hour day? The rest of the day he is
working to produce surplus value which goes to
the employer in the form of profit.
These are facts that I'm telling you, not the
ory. Karl Marx and his followers are revolution
ary in that they demand that this surplus must
go back to those that produce it, to the workers
not in the form of the actual products
they make, but in the form of capacity to pur
chase goods. And where will the boss come in,
you ask, when the workers are getting back all
that they produce? As a profit taker, he will
come in nowhere. When the workers are suf
ficiently organized to get back all they produce
there will be no more exploiters. The present
employing class will have to either become work
ers or starve.
"But you say, the employer owns the shop.
He must get some return on his investment.
By what right does he own the shop? Did he
make it? Nd, workingmen made it. His only
right is possession. When the workers have taken
possession the right will be theirs. And bear in
mind these two facts: The workers are in the
majority, and they also do the work.
"So, my dear young lady, if it's only "earning
your money" that's worrying you, you'll simply
work those three hours I told you of and put on
Your hat and walk out and you'll stay
out, toj, for believe me, no employer would have
a worker around that merely earned his own
wages and nothing else.
"Well, You have heard me out; what have
You got to say new?"
The stenographer was silent.
The German Miner
By John Sims.
BERLIN "We read what Stinnes said at
Spa and know he was not representing us", a hard
handed miner from the Ruhr remarked recently
to me at the Socialist congress in Halle. "We then
read that the agent of the capitalists, Lloyd
George, patted Hue, our miner leader, on the
shoulder and said he was pleased with what he
said. But we knew that if Lloyd George liked it
we surely wouldn't. But it took us two weeks to
get anything like a complete statement from Hue
as to what really was said. We are no more satis
fied with absentee leaders than we are with ab
"We are already working overtime. The own
ers know that they can now demand no more of
us. If they do we will strike. The same would be
just as true if the Allies were to send an army in.
We would probably strike when the move waa
made, and we would certainly lay down our picks
at the first effort to longthen hours or to force
He knew what the Kapp uprising meant and
spent three weeks in jail for attempting to organ
ize resistance to military occupation in the Ruhr.
He is also active in the works-councils where he
knows how to ask the directors uncomfortable
His version of the Ruiir coal problem Is dif
ferent from that of the French and of the Ger
"The cry which is constantly appearing in the
papers is that only coal can save us, and yet the
owners do not take the necessary steps to see that
production is kept at a maximum. At the same
time we are called on for over time. Already we
are doing a 47 hour week. We mine as much coal
as there are cars at hand to fill. There is no real
obstacle to having a larger number of cars. The
concern of the owners is to produce just suf
ficient to keep prices stable and at the same time
to keep the miner at long hours. They know, be
cause of having proved it, that in six hours we can
produce a fourth more coal than we do today. If