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tens of millions which should have gone into the public treasury. It gave the steel trust a clean bill of health which has permitted that giant combination to dominate one of the nation's basic industries. It set aside a Federal law to keep the corrupt and convicted Newberry out of the penitentiary. It condemned the law that aimed to check gambling in grain futures, drawn to save the farmer millions each year; it said this gambling must not be interfered with, though in France the federal government puts you in jail for the same thing. And to keep its record clear, the Supreme Court condemned millions of our defenseless children, girls and women to lives of drudgery in the beet fields, factories, mines, canneries and other hell-holes throughout the land.
And some people still wonder why we are so completely disgusted with, and have no respect for the Supreme Court, and most others, when they have been loaded down with the deadwood of reaction. There are the latest appointees—Taft, Sutherland and Butler—what a holy trinity of judicial guardians of the people—men who are narrow, intolerant, domineering bullies and reactionaries of the worst type, and whose opinions on all issues involving the rights of the people, can almost positively be predicted in advance. They have invariably decided against labor with a "sincerity" that is remorseless and crushing, and by an unbroken line of decisions have shown that they are totally unfit by training, environment and temperament to render fair and humane decisions.
Now I suppose you know that we have laws for the protection of mud-hens, quails and ducks; for fish, rabbits, deer and lambs; for colts, horses, mules and calves, and for the protection of pigs, muskrats, buzzards, crows and skunks—and all these laws are constitutional. But laws for the protection of defenseless children, girls and women-well, they are not. So there you are.
Oh, the shame and rotten hypocrisy of it all!-one irresponsible, warped-minded judge with a lifetime job, wearing a long black robe, with a stroke of his pen, setting aside the law of the land and the will of nearly 110,000,000 people, and you can't touch him. Nice situation, isn't it?
And it's nothing less than treason—this setting aside a law and declaring it unconstitutional, which is merely another way of saying the judge himself doesn't like the law. Such action is in direct violation of the plain language of the constitution, which provides that when a measure once passes both houses of Congress, with the approval of the President, it “shall become law." The judges have deliberately stolen the power to do this. They have usurped the power, as LaFollete and others have long stated, despite the fact that it was never given them in any law or constitution, Federal or state, and in complete defiance of the Federal convention that formed the constitution, which, as records show, overwhelmingly defeated, on four different occasions, all such proposals that in any way would give judges a veto upon the acts of Congress.
No other civilized country in the world tolerates such an outrageous and disgraceful practice. France, England, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden-none of them stand for it. In no other country would a judge or set of judges dare attempt to nullify or set aside a law once passed by law-making bodies. And this is no accident; there is a sound reason for this unanimous opinion of mankind -and it has come out of the blood and tears of centuries. Only once did the judges of any other civilized country attempt to set aside a law passed by the law-making body, and that in England. Then Parliament promptly had the Chief Justice hanged and the balance of the court exiled to France for life. The offence was never repeated. History shows that on another occasion in England, under Alfred the Great, 44 judges were hanged in one year for violating the right of trial by jury. But here we have had more than 125 years of judicial treasontreasonable stealing of the people's rights by judges, and not one of the traitors has ever been hanged.
And the most amazing thing of all is that the American people continue to stand for this treason—this deliberate filching of their rights. If it is ever to be stopped, if the men and women of this country are ever to be permitted to carry out their will and do what they have deliberately decided to do, after full and adequate discussion, then it is squarely up to the producers of city and country, the principal sufferers, to drive the judicial tyrants from their seats of power. They, and only they, can drive out these scoundrels if they are ever to be driven out.
Hard Times and Unemployment
H. H. Broach
An address delivered before a public
It's now quite plain that we have plunged into another panic. The soup kitchens and bread lines are again established, and the dark days and misery are again with us for the seventeenth time since 1804. Our factories and plants have again shut down; railroad and building operations are greatly curtailed; thousands of business men have failed; thousands of farmers have been forced into bankruptcy, and millions of out-of-works have been driven into poverty and bitter despair.
And why? Why this insane condition with millions of useful and productive citizens tramping the streets begging and pleading for an opportunity to serve society by producing the useful things we need so badly? Why this condition of millions fighting one another for jobs, while other millions receive barely enough to keep body and soul together, and walk in constant fear of losing the jobs they have. Why are these earnest millions insulted and snubbed and not permitted to produce upon any terms whatsoever—not even permitted to beg? It's simply and only because of desire for profits, profits and more profits; because those at the bottom of the social scale are not paid enough to buy back a fair share of what they produce; because too many hours are worked, and because we consume too little and produce too much.
And what are the effects of this disgraceful condition, this terrible condition of economic sleeping sickness that visits the country with such devastating regularity? Go through the parks at night; go through the jails, the lodging houses, the pool halls, the railroad stations, and most public places, not to mention the thousands of huts, tenements, and little out-of-the-way places. Go through them as I have, and you will get a glimpse of its horrible effects. If you go deeper, you will see how recurring depression is annually sapping hope and ambition from millions; you will see men start out in life full of hope and ambition for the future and after meeting failure after failure go down and down until they lose all hope and self-respect; then they begin to form all sorts of negative habits and seek relief in dope, moonshine, and every other futile way they can find.
A minute ago I said that we consume too little and produce too much. Let me say more about that: This country, as well as all others, every year produces in various forms of wealth more than it consumes. If this were not true our factories and plants of production would not close down every few years. There would be no reason for them to. If this statement were not true we would not experience every few years what is variously called a slump, a panic or a depression; the wheels of industry would not slow down until the surplus is worked off, and there would be no wars to establish foreign markets.
When we go along producing until we pile up a huge surplus, then the channels of trade become suddenly clogged and the markets glutted. This means stagnation. Then what happens ? Men are forced into the streets, wage cuts become the order of the day; the soup-kitchens and bread lines appear; the parks fill up the usual conferences are called; and then the old time-worn recommendations come forth—that public work be undertaken, that all work be done on a part time basis and divided up, that people buy more, etc.-recommendations that have been advanced in every panic or depression that we ever experienced. And so the dreary round repeats itself to no purpose.
Now the two principal excuses offered are that wages are too high and that there are no foreign markets for our goods. There are still many people business people who have not yet learned that low wages and stagnation go hand in hand; that a poorly paid worker is brother to a pauper, and a bad customer at best. They have not learned that you cannot create prosperity out of poverty, that business cannot prosper unless labor prospers. And thousands are still accepting the old excuse that there are no foreign markets, when as a matter of fact, government reports—those of the Treasury Department-show that not more than 8% of everything we produce is shipped out of the country when foreign commerce is at its height. Less than 4% of our manufactured goods is exported, and less than 1% of this amount goes to Europe, according to the Secretary of Commerce. Of course, the foreign situation affects us to some extent, but very little. The cause is confined to our own borders, and that cause is mostly greed—greed effectively organized.
Now it should be quite plain that there would be no big surplus piled up every few years, the markets would not become glutted, the factories would not close down, business failures would be few, and these periods of unemployment would be almost unknown if fewer hours were worked, and if the workers were paid enough wages to buy back a fair share of what they produce and build; and strive as we may to excuse the disgraceful condition, to call it anything we wish, to continue to lie about it, to fool around with taxation and the tariff, currency reform or "trust busting," the bald fact remains that business will not become good, cannot become good, and remain so, and we will never avoid these periods of misery and want, until men are put to work and kept there; until the hours of labor are greatly reduced and its buying power greatly increased. Just remember that so long as we continue to accept the present system of unequal distribution of what is produced, we must accept with it a recurrence of unemployment, misery and suffering.
So if you want to avoid these periods of despair that overwhelm the movements of progress, if you want to bring about a new condition, you workers have got to stand up and fight; you have got to begin by making each industry pay for its own unemployment; you have got to join with the farmers and dethrone reaction, and put men and women in public office who will dare tell the people the truth; you have got to see that the manipulation of currency is stopped, and you have got to establish a string of banks and newspapers of your own. Then, and not until then, will you be able to prevent the dreary, senseless repetition of hard times.