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The independent. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1902-1907, June 22, 1905, Image 2

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Ufa Ilobraslio. Independent
JUNE 22, 1905
similar design seems to be making unrestricted progress in
fork with 'Thomas F. Ryan as chief promoter. Naturalb
rally the
Equitable millions would be of much help in financing this gigantic
. Against 'manipulation of Equitable, funds for the benefit of
private colorations and an inside ring, the policy-holders
launched a thunderlfclt of protest. If that protest is to result in a
mere change of control, if the society's funds are still to be exploited,
if the immense surplus is not to be distributed in the form of divi
dends to the policy-holders, the ' transfer of ' poftr f rom ,;Hyde to
Ityan will bring little satisfaction to' any':'saVVlho?er- iho -"have se
' cured lucrative .positions and those "hosc r priyate'' interest 'ill be
promoted. ''V- '" r,lr -"!;
'" . .Opponents of the so-called compromise by vhich;; this ' change
was effected are contending. 'that the i 'surplus 'belongs to tliel policy
holders and has been illegally withheld from1 them. AlthvStfgH the
Equitable was invariably represented by its ' agerits1 as a' mutual in
surance company, and although it paid to policy-holders niany mil
lions in dividends, a surplus of $10,000,000 accumulated . This
surplus was claimed by James II. Hyde who held control of fifty-one
out' of 100 shares of stock. As soon as his; claim waVmade public
the -policy-holders awoke to the fact that the ownership of $51,000
worth of stock gave to .Tames H. Hyde control of assets amounting
to over $400,000,000. The presumption is that tlie purchase of this
majority holding by Thomas F. Ilyan for a sum far in excess of its
face value gives him the same measure 'of control as that held until
recently by Hyde. ' ' V ' ' ' '
; If there' is to be no restitution to' the Equitable policy-holders
of the money, which, in the opinion of many, has been illegally tied
up in this surplus, the transfer of Equitable control will not prevent
agitation against the big insurance companies, or, for that matter
against the smaller insurance companies, which, though making pre
tense of different methodscharge about the same rates and offer no
greater inducements than do the larger concerns.
A system of state insurance will probably be demanded by
those who see no evidences of reform in life insurance methods. This
would afford a" better guarantee of returns, would furnish a healthy
competition and would lower the rates to" a level which would make
it possible for the'workingmen of the country to secure life insurance.
Even though the scientific principle of old-line life insurance be
admitted, state competition, by lowering the rates, will show that too
ranch is now being spent in what is technically described as "load
ing,"" which is the amount added to the necessary scientific rate so as
to meet expenses 'and pay salaries of officials and the commissions of
agents. "' '
Meantime, more stringent insurance laws will be demanded to
deal' with the evil of "inside speculation," by which a ring uses the
money of policyholders on Wall street. These speculations some-y
times bring big returns, but the policy-holders get only the customary
four or five per cent on their policies. The tendency of the insur
ance officials is to make the policy-holders stand any losses
caused by unlucky speculation and to divide among the members of
the ring any excess earnings made by fortunate speculation. A law
to deal with this phase of the insurance business is essential in every
state. One result of the present agitation will probably be the en
actment of national laws for the regulation of insurance companies
to supplement the laws passed by the states.
The present madness for wealth is one of the chief perils of 1
our country. "Money talks," is the slogan of the money-mad, and
the implication is that morality counts for little. And, indeed, a
people who worship a gold standard in matters spiritual as well as
material will set less and less store by right-living as the insanity of
their money-worship grows. -
Madness for wealth has always been accompanied by "a con
tempt for morality, and this is but natural. The man who makes
the acquirement of wealth his chief aim in life is apt to convince
himself that it is useless to look beyond this life for any good.
Wealth, therefore,4 becomes his sole and highest aim and considera
tions of morality are disregarded in the fight fors the dollars.
When a man gains wealth by dishonest means he sacrifices
his honor and loses the best part of his manhood. To such a man
wealth means happiness and he recks little of the guilty conscience
that comes with his first plunge into the sea of corruption. But in
the long run that seared conscience will bring more misery than his
wealth can ever bring him. happiness- The, sordid spirit and the
anxieties engendered by wealth have been descanted, upon by essay-. ,
ists and moralists sinen the time of Cadmus, the inventor of books.
The advocates of wealth" have contended, however, that to the free"
man, endowed with health and a clear intellect, wealth must neces
s'arily bring happiness, and this would be true were it not the
tendency of most men to degenerate under the Circean spell of
riches. Commonly the men who have health and clear intellects,
who love right-living and whose habits are therefore temperate and
their, desires moderate, are the ; least desirious of acquiring great
wealth. At all events such men feel that they would pay too dear,
for wealth, if to gain it, they should sacrifice their honor and moral
ideals. ' 'fiy- ;-if-r . - i ry. .
V; The 'pathetic, unreason strive for wealth" is
based nrjon; 3 -'falsenceptioof happines : li is ' a exception ' that
ignores; a future worland "hereirt'lies its great datir 'to" the rikUon
If the ; moral la w's1 ' are to e neglected" arid the youth -6f . the ! iiation:
taught that their highest ?ambitionshould be to gain wellth, the' state
cannot expect to'chec'k' crime by; law?' Corruption1 in 'our cities' will
continue as long as this false idea of success in life is held ivp: as a:
r deity for the worship -of-the youngi--
To obtain wealth. )jany meas, however, disgraceful, seems to
be the ruling passion and fixed purpose of many private citizens
and public i officials who handle or control; the people's money. And
when such .men. go wrong the stunted moral sense ' of ; a- money:mad
community, causes the crime to be too lightly regarded.. Those who
succumb to-this money madness are to be:pitied as the most wTetched
of human beings! f iTheir pimishment, of course, is necessary, but
punishment will not correct an evil which begins with the inculcation
of maxims for success in life that merely; teach the young how to
become skillful,- cultured and conscienceless accumulators of tainted
With a suddenness; that has startled the world , Germany and
France have been brought to the verge of war. While jt is probable
that the despatches from European capitals exaggerate the crisis, yet
a situation lias developed that may . easily lead to the most brief and
bloody war of modern times. Compared with it the hostilities in the
Orient would seem like pacific -maneuvers. 1 ,
The possibility of such a clash will make the world hold its
breath , in horror, and history will condemn unsparingly any ruler
or minister of state who now fails to exert all his influence on the
side of peace. - Americans who have been , wont to liken President
Roosevelt to the emperor of Germany will be impressed with a radical
difference in the character of these men. While one is striving to se
cure peace between two nations, the other is fast creating a condi
tion of affairs that will plunge almost all of Europe into war. '
It; seems improbable that the great mass of the German people
'endorse -the headlong policy of their emperor with reference to
Morocco. On this side of the water the Moroccan question is, of
course, dimly understood. Just how much right France had to ex
tend her sphere of influence over Morocco is something that the diplo
mats will probably make clear in time. But to the layman the sen
sational visit of. Emperor William to the sultan of Morocco, whom
ho practically advised to resist French claims, appears woefully in
discreet in view of the possible results. ; -
However sincere may have been the emperor's purpose, his
enemies will be in a position to make out a strong case against him.
They will declare that he has taken advantage of Russia's weakness
to attack her ally and that he has wilfully sought a pretext for hurl
ing the military and naval power of the triple alliance at the military
and naval power of France and England, for the indications are that
England will be involved.
A strange, result of such a war would be the position of Japan.
With England as France's ally Japan would -also be an ally to
France. Japan could then avail itself of an opportunity to expel
Germany from Asia.. But a still stranger result would develop if
Japan and Russia should not make peace at this time. Russia would
be fighting J apan in Asia and Germany in Europe. Japan would bo
fighting both for and against Russia, inasmuch as it would be en
gaged in Avar with Germany at the same time that it would be fight
ing Russia in Manchuria.
But it is probable that a few lightning-like changes would cause a
radical readjustment of alliances. The mikado would seek in such a
dilemma either to secure peace with Russia or to hold aloof from the
war with Germany. If he should decide on the latter course it would
be necessary for Japan to reach an understanding with England or to,
withdraw from an alliance which requires Japan to assist England
whenever the latter is attacked by two powers.
It is possible, however, that. Russia would not assist France
Early in the present war Emperor William and Czar Nicholas, if

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