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or formulate the system, I feel that we shall ultimately have to consider the adoption of some such scheme as that of a progressive tax on all fortunes, beyond a certain amount, either given in life or devised or bequeathed upon death to any individual—a tax so framed as to puts it out of the power of the owner of one of these enormous fortunes to hand on more than a certain amount to any one individual; the tax, of course, to be imposed by the National and not the State Government. Such taxation should, of course, be aimed merely at the inherit- 10 ance or transmission in their entirety of those fortunes swollen beyond all healthy limits.
Again, the National Government must in some form exercise supervision over corporations engaged in interState business—and all large corporations are engaged in 15 inter-State business,—whether by license or otherwise, so as to permit us to deal with the far-reaching evils of over-capitalization. This year we are making a beginning in the direction of serious effort to settle some of these economic problems by the railway rate legislation. Such 20 legislation, if so framed, as I am sure it will be, as to secure definite and tangible results, will amount to something of itself; and it will amount to a great deal more in so far as it is taken as a first step in the direction of a policy of superintendence and control over corporate 25 wealth engaged in inter-State commerce, this superintendence and control not to be exercised in a spirit of malevolence toward the men who have created the secure definite and tangible results, will amount to some wealth, but with the firm purpose both to do justice to 30 them and to see that they in their turn do justice to the public at large.
The first requisite in the public servants who are to deal in this shape with corporations, whether as legislators or as executives, is honesty. This honesty can be no respecter of persons. There can be no such thing as 5 unilateral honesty. The danger is not really from corrupt corporations: it springs from the corruption itself, whether exercised for or against corporations.
The eighth commandment reads, “Thou shalt not steal.” It does not read, “Thou shalt not steal from the 10 rich man.” It does not read, “Thou shalt not steal
from the poor man. .” It reads simply and plainly, "Thou shalt not steal.' No good whatever will come from that warped and mock morality which denounces the misdeeds
of men of wealth and forgets the misdeeds practiced at 15 their expense; which denounces bribery, but blinds itself
to blackmail; which foams with rage if a corporation secures favors by improper methods, and merely leers with hideous mirth if the corporation is itself wronged.
The only public servant who can be trusted honestly to 20 protect the rights of the public against the misdeeds of
a corporation is that public man who will just as surely protect the corporation itself from wrongful aggression. If a public man is willing to yield to popular clamor and
do wrong to the men of wealth or to rich corporations, 25 it may be set down as certain that if the opportunity
comes he will secretly and furtively do wrong to the public in the interest of a corporation.
But, in addition to honesty, we need sanity. No honesty will make a public man useful if that man is timid 30 or foolish, if he is a hot-headed zealot or an impracticable
visionary. As we strive for reform we find that it is not at all merely the case of a long uphill pull. On the contrary, there is almost as much of breeching work as of collar work; to depend only on traces means that there will soon be a runaway and an upset. The men of wealth who to-day are trying to prevent the regulation and control of their business in the interest of the public by 5 the proper Government authorities will not succeed, in my judgment, in checking the progress of the movement. But if they did succeed they would find that they had sown the wind and would surely reap the whirlwind, for they would ultimately provoke the violent excesses which 10 accompany a reform coming by convulsion instead of by steady and natural growth.
On the other hand, the wild preachers of unrest and discontent, the wild agitators against the entire existing order, the men who act crookedly, whether because 15 of sinister design or from mere puzzle-headedness, the men who preach destruction without proposing any substitute for what they intend to destroy, or who propose a substitute which would be far worse than the existing evils—all these men are the most dangerous opponents of 20 real reform. If they get their way, they will lead the people into a deeper pit than any into which they could fall under the present system. If they fail to get their way, they will still do incalculable harm by provoking the kind of reaction which, in its revolt against the senseless 25 evil of their teaching, would enthrone more securely than ever the very evils which their misguided followers believe they are attacking.
More important than aught else is the development of the broadcast sympathy of man for man. The welfare of 30 the wage-worker, the welfare of the tiller of the soil-upon this depends the welfare of the entire country; their good
is not to be sought in pulling down others; but their good must be the prime object of all our statesmanship.
Materially we must strive to secure a broader economic opportunity for all men, so that each shall have a better 5 chance to show the stuff of which he is made. Spiritually and ethically we must strive to bring about clean living and right thinking. We appreciate that the things of the body are important; but we appreciate also that
the things of the soul are immeasurably more important. 10 The foundation stone of national life is, and ever must
be, the high individual character of the average citizen.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE AMERICAN
At the outset I wish to say a word of special greeting to the representatives of the foreign governments here present. They have come to assist us in celebrating o what was in very truth the birthday of this nation, for it was here that the colonists first settled, whose incoming, 5 whose growth from their own loins and by the addition of newcomers from abroad, was to make the people which one hundred and sixty-nine years later assumed the solemn responsibilities and weighty duties of complete independence.
In welcoming all of you I must say a special word, first to the representative of the people of Great Britain and Ireland. The fact that so many of our people, of whom as it happens I myself am one, have but a very small portion of English blood in our veins, in no way alters the 15 other fact that this nation was founded by Englishmen, by the Cavalier and the Puritan.° Their tongue, law, literature, the fund of their common thought, made an inheritance which all of us share, and marked deep the lines along which we have developed. It was the men of 20 English stock who did most in casting the mold into whạch our national character was run.
Let me furthermore greet all of you, the representatives of the people of continental Europe. From almost every nation of Europe we have drawn some part of our blood, 25 some part of our traits. This mixture of blood has gone on from the beginning, and with it has gone on a kind of development unexampled among peoples of the stock from