Newspaper Page Text
JUNE 16, 1905.
The Philosophy of Freedom An Open Forum for Sisgi Taxeri Charity bails the boat Single tax would stop the leak. DID GOD ORDAIN THE SINGLE , TAX? We should hope not, if it i3 the same God that the world has claimed as its ruler thus far. Up to the time that Henry George began to write, no reformer had ever questioned but what the Christian God was back of all political movements, and bestowed His favors where it was the most pleasing for Him to do so. Wroro flpsnnt flnrt tvranf. claimed the 1 Divine favor, and all the suffering and -misery was supposed to be the ab sence of Divine acknowledgement. Faith was made to take the place of reason, and upon that foundation, pa triotism as well as all forms or re ligious beliefs was securely built up. Every country so far in the world's history has been a form of supersti tion, in which slavery is a. necessity to perfect it, or bring it up to the ideal. So if we look the world over carefully we must come to the con clusion that if the God that the world has claimed in the past as a ruler, is still to continue the same work, we must still look for wars, and rumors of wars, and all-the suffering that is possible, where faith takes the place of reason. Political economy up to the time that Henry George wrote his "Progress and Poverty," was written with the idea, that the laws of trade and all laws governing social life, were as natural as any law of the universe they might possibly be understood, but could never be changed. This shows how firm a hold the superstitious idea has upon the minds of men even though they may have their minds developed by the best learning the world affords. .It seems spmetimes as though, if we should have a scientific form of government, that the fancies of man kind would entirely change. What a vast amount of poetry, and eloquence of the highest order has been pro filed tn exalt, heroes that have been supposed to manifest a devotion that was far above the average man. even equal to the angels, as to Divine ap proval. The unselfish quality is sup posed to be the ideal of true manhood, and so far in the world's history it is the only thing to be relied upon for worldly salvation. - But with a scientific form of govJ ernment, based upon the single tax, all this would be changed. Sentiment would no longer .be needed if science pointed out the way. The world would at once become human, and cease to labor so earnestly to please a God that delights in suffering, caused by form- of servitude. The selfish quality in the human race can no more be done away with than that power we call gravity that binds the universe together. The unselfish principle seems to be necessary in order to sustain a sys tem that depends upon servitude to perfect its organization., So the great burden of human teaching has always been to make man believe that he was made wrong, and nothing but a mighty process with Divine aid and power could ever make him right.. His great duty was to beittle himself until he became fully conscious that he was the meanest of all creatures that the Maker ever gave existence. One of the greatest mistakes was the endow ment of reason. . The great effort of all human organ izations has been to do away, or nul lify as much as possible the human reason. The church has substituted faith, and to be a true believer faith must be above reason. The political side of life" has claimeu that loyalty to its institutions was to be the chief element of human thought; so the saying "My own country, right or wrong," has been applauded many times as a declaration of profound wisdom. But the single tax takes the ground that man was made right. Instead of suppressing his powers, he is to use them with their greatest force and vigor. There was no mis take made when the selfish quality was given, for we are in a world where if rightly directed its benefits will be un bounded. Let every man have a right to the natural opportunities, and all his efforts be they selfish or other wise, will be a benefit to others as well as himself. The understanding will then become the endowment it was intended to be; one tht is to be used by the individual according to, his own powers 5f reasoning. The individual is the only source through which mankind has ever re ceived any benefits that has given what we call the comforts of civiliza tion. The food we eat, the clothes we wear is the incarnated thought of many generations and shows the activ ity of individual minds. There is not a bit of wealth in the world that is not the thought of some individual mind, clothed with material substances so as to be appropriated to the satisfac tion of human wants. So the great producer of human wealth is the one that gives the thoughts that can be clothed so as to satisfy human want and desire. It will be seen by this how neces sary it is to develop the individual eo as to call forth all that he is capable for the benefit of himself and man kind. It is very easy to see the ben euts of the individual in the make-up of history. All inventions that ever did mankind any good, have come through individual minds. Those which the world has re tained have been improved from time to time by thoughtful additions; but in every case the result has been caused by individual action. Every reformation in the world's history has been the result of individual effort, it matters not whether the movement was religious or political. So it is upon the individual that the" fate of mankind rests. Society has never pro duced anything. It is organized upon a fixed basis, and does not wish for anything more than, what it already ha?. The church has all the truth that man will ever need, in its own, esti mation; and all it wants of the indi vidual is to come under its dominion and be 'guided by the truth it already possesses. Political organizations have the same tendency. No new ideas are ever wanted, and the ideal statesman, and the wonderful work of the organiza tion is always in the past That great endowment called'reason is of no use, so the ordinary m? might as well be without the endowment. Such is the state of human organization that we call society. It never gave the world any material benefit and it might be questioned whether the mental and spiritual qualities have been ben efited by being suppressed or kept in a state of slavery. But the strangest part of the matter is, the pretences and boasts that have always been put forth by human organizations. They have claimed they were organized and sanctioned by God, and receive their power and. wisdom from Him. Such a pretence of course depends upon the minds of the people for its support, and for that reason it is quite easy to see how ready we are to be guided by others. But the God that society has claimed has not been much of a benefactor to the human race. There is nothing in the world that has teen given directly by God, and noth ing that human society haa.ever pro duced, but had better been kept out of the world. The, best record be longs to the individual and the God that has endowed him with under standing, is the God we would recog nize in the future. The single tax is the result of in dividual thought applied to the pres ent system that has been supposed for ages to be under the care and provi dence of God. It is the first time that human reason has been applied to that human organization called govern ment, And as the light is turned on the darker the picture grows. Like all leform methods the single tax is a reverting back to the Individual; but with the application of science we hope to retain the benefits of individual freedom. Society may exist, but not as an overseer or ruler; the individ ual must always have the chance to contribute his thought and effort, for the good of all. There is another thing the single tax proposes; and that is that the liv ing shall rule, and conduct the af fairs of mankind. So far the world hag been conducted according to the will of the dead. We' sometimes hear the complaint that the rule of absent landlords is a species of tyranny that ought not be tolerated. But what shall we say in regard to the rule of those that have entirely passed from the things of time and sense? If we look over the valuable property of the world we shall find a large amount of tribute that is paid to satisfy the will of some party that has long since been silent In death. Many churches are made wealthy, and will continue to accumulate wealth as long as they follow the course marked out by the drad hand. The universities of learn ing also receive a large share of at tention from those that pass into the unknown side of human expeiience. Why this Is so is very hard to decide; ou nouocnoia Articles, uenxo. ' Send us your name and address and we will send you, by express, the following big .11 mKnnHioa tinKiont tn av a mi n at Win Tnlr thnn hnmA And PYnm- II ine fully. If you are then entirely satisfled, send us a P. O. money order for K)c. This is uhig bargain and you should order at once. 83.00 Is what they would cost you at you? jocaj store. 1 drawer pull. 1 potato masher. 2t white envelopes, l wire strainer. 1 ink tablet. 1 nutmeg grater. 1 pen and penholder. 1 stove lifter. 1 bottle ink. 6 tea spoons. 1 box crayons. 6 table spoons. Head pencil. 1 sponge. 1 leather pocketbook. 1 kite.. 1 7-inch comb. 1 pair scissors. 1 pocket mirror. 1 pocket knife. 1 spool cmb. cotton. 1 shaving brush. 1 box tacks. - 1 watch chain. 1 screw driver. 1 scarf pin. STANLEY CAMPBELL but most of the endowments are con ditional, and for that reason the per- petuation of a fixed condition seems to be the animating desire. Memorial libraries are also numerous, and -such institutions are supposed to have a great , fashioning power over the hu man mind. Does it not seem wrong to give the dead such privileges of governing and fashioning human life? If there is such a thing as a fitness of things, can we expect that a church ruled by dead men can give much life to the world? Can we expect an in stitution of learning to develop new forms of life, when the course has been marked out by the dead? We think not; the rule of dead men has proved a failure in the past, and we have no reason to suppose anything better in the future. Let the living rule the world, and develop as far as possible all its hidden mysteries. To travel in the ruts marked out by the dead does not seem to be a rational method. It is founded no doubt upon the super stitions of the past, and cannot exist when science is applied to the affairs of government. ROBERT H, DEBECK. Woodfords, Me. TO SOLVE THE RACE PROBLEM When Henry George had completed his great work, Progress and Poverty, he wrote this dedication: "To those who seeing the vice and misery that spring from the unequal distribution of wealth and privilege, feel the pos sibility of a higher social state, and would strive for its attainment." Unlike most reformers'"Mr. George first pointed out an evil and in the same connection showed us the rem edy. The evil is the unjust appropria tion of land, by the few. The remedy is its restoration to the real owners not the few, but all! When this is done as it surely will be done, most of the evils which vex &nd hinder real progress will grad ually disappear. We of the south are confronted by a race problem, not easy of adjustment, yet we realize that the adoption into practice of the single tax idea would go far in the direction of settlement of this and much else that needs dras tic treatment. Once rid of the apparent need for "protective tariffs", we should find much that is now a frictional cause of war between civilized or partially civilized peoples removed. Free trade would make us better acquainted and more disposed to rade than to fight. School houses are better than battle ships, and cheaper. Everything is possible to a people wise enough to take the first step, to act justly to restore that which is not justly possessed. The land belongs to the people. Who shall gainsay it? WILLIAM RILEY BOYD. Atlanta, Ga. CANNOT BE SHIFTED One of the commonest objections to the single tax is that it can be shifted. It is well known that a tax levied on imports is added to the cost and final ly paid by th6 consumer. The same is true of all taxes on labor products. It is therefore only natural that those who have not considered the matter deeply should jump at the conclusion that a tax on land values would have the same effect; the land owner pay ing the single tax and simply adding it to the price of rent of his land. If this were true the single tax would prove a failure. But it is not true. All standard writers on political economy agree that a tax levied on land values can not be shifted; that it must fall on the owner of the land. And the reason is simple. Land is a fixed quantity. We cannot increase or diminish the sup ply one iota. The owners of the earth have a monopoly and they al ways charge a monopoly price all the "traffic will bear." The single tax would take from owners a part of the rent they receive from others without giving them any power to in crease that rent. On the contrary, the increased taxation of land values would make land speculation less nrofitable and all vacant land now held for a rise would be thrown on 1? pants buttons. . 6 collar buttons. 2 shoe strings. 1 paper pins. 1 box hair pins. 1 aluminum thimble. 1 cone ironing wax. 1 white handkerchief. 1 pair black hose. 1 needle cabinet. 1 yd. French lace. 12 agate buttons. 2 bat pins. 12 hooks and eyes. 1 boxwood whistle. 1 brownie mask. 1 dressed doll. 1 heart patty pan. 1 star patty pan. 1 wire coat frame. 1 combination tool.can 1 good hammer. opener, glass cutter, 6 shelf papers. pner, etc. l egg beater, CO., Dept. 6, Milford, Neb. the market at whatever price It would bring, and this would have a sympa thetic effect on all land. So instead of enabling landlords to charge more on account of the tax they would be compelled to charge less or lose ten ants. The reason a tax on tobacco, for in stance, increases the price of tobacco is because the manufacturer must make his profit or he goes out of the business. If he does this he lessens competition and other manufacturers are enabled thereby to increase the price to include the amount of the tax. But land is not being manufac tured, like tobacco.- It is already, made, and the supply cannot be af fected by taxation. ,, The price .of an article is governed by supply, and .demand. If an in creased tax curtails the supply the price goC3 up. Taxation of labor prod ucts therefore must . increase their cost. But taxation of land values, the supply being necessarily limited, can'- only result in making land cheaper. ' The single tax would eat out all the profit , of land speculation and no one would desire land except for use. This would open up opportunities for all and be equivalent to the discovery of another continent. What effect this would have on wages we will leave for the reader himself to decide. P. W. SCHWANDER, Houston, Tex. Co-operative Land Buying Land speculators have long since learned that they can buy land for less dollars per acre when taken in large bodies; farmers and home-seekers are just beginning to find this out. In the last few weeks several parties of land buyers from Iowa have gone together, and bought large tracts along the Re publican river; when a contract was , made for the purchase of the land, they divided it up to suit themselves and had deeds made accordingly. . " The following tracts offer an excel lent opportunity for several home-' seekers to go together and buy either of these tracts, or all of them. It will enable them to get some good land very cheap. The first is a tract of 2,115 acres, nearly all fenced; 1,050 acres under high state of cultivation, 1,100 acres of very best alfalfa land; some timber; the Republican river runs through thi3 land; 4 wells and wind mills, tanks, cisterns, etc. Three sets of improve ments; two miles from McCook. Much of this is good hay land. Price, $18 per acre. This piece is known as No. 102C. Another track of 1750 acres deeded land and 640 acres of schoo1. land leased; 1,400 acres of alfalfa land some now growing; 400 acres in cul tivation ;w nearly all fenced; good im provements; 600 acres of good hay land, now ready to mow. This ranch is in the Republican valley, 15 miles from McCook a-.dv between two rail road stations. Price complete $19,000. This is No. 1027. Also an 800-acre tract, nearly all fenced; 700 acres alfalfa anj sugar, beet land; 200 acres cultivated: nice grove, plenty of hay land. This would make two or more splendid farms; two sets of improvements; two and a half miles from town. Price, $9,500. This is No. 1028. It should be remembered that the sugar beet factories at Grand Island: Ames and Norfolk last year made thorough tests of that soil for sugar beet raising, which proved successful. There is a large acreage -of sugar beets in Red Willow county tlii; year and the prospects are bright for a su gar beet factory at McCook in the near future. This together with the alfalfa industry insures a bright fu ture for Red Willow and surrounding counties; and values are sure to dou ble in a few years. For full information regarding the above land or any other land along the Republican river write to Weber & Farris, Lincoln, Neb. Send an order to the Farmers' Gro cery Co. for one of their combination orders of groceries. Hundreds of our readers have found their combination bargains exactly as represented and -entirely satisfactory. Mention The Independent