150 Against 150,000–We Favor The 150,000 by Arthur Brisbane

Story type: Essay

It should not take long to convince a man fit to live in a republic that public welfare demands the support of Union Labor.

No better proof of that could be asked than a spectacle presented in Chicago.

ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY contractors have practically locked out ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND men.

The contractors want bigger profits–to be got through underpaying and overworking their employes.

The men want better pay and shorter hours. —-

Leave out sentiment if you choose. Ignore the fact that on one side the few who enjoy everything are industriously squeezing the many who have little enjoyment.

Look at things purely from the standpoint of benefit to the nation and the nation’s future.

If the hundred and fifty win, they will have a little more money.

Their wives and daughters will dress a little more grotesquely. Their families will be able to go abroad oftener and stay longer.

Their heirs will be able to make more complete idiots of themselves–and that is all. Personally we should like to see all contractors’ families prosperous–all American families prosperous. No man’s wife or daughter can be too happy to suit us, provided things more important be not neglected. —-

If Union Labor wins, ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND families will be able to lead at least decent American workingmen’s lives.

ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND wives will be able to dress their children comfortably and to dress themselves respectably.

ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND families of children will be brought up more nearly as American children ought to be.

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Which is more important:

THE WELFARE OF 150 CONTRACTORS’ FAMILIES? (They will have enough anyhow.)

Or THE WELFARE OF 150,000 WORKINGMEN’S FAMILIES? (They will have only a decent living at best.)

Perhaps you have drifted away from the early American idea, and refuse to admit that one family is as good as another. It may seem anarchistic to suggest that the workingman’s wife, who acts as wife, mother, cook, washwoman, nurse and housekeeper, is as good as the lady who has less to attend to.

But admitting–which we don’t–that one hundred and fifty contractors’ families are more important than one hundred and fifty workingmen’s families, surely all will agree that ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND of the alleged inferiors ought to offset the 150 alleged superiors. —-

If the contractors win, the Paris dressmakers will be richer, and a few families will have a little added to what they do not really need.

If the workingmen win, the future of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children will be made brighter, and the citizenship of the future made stronger by men better fed, better clothed and better educated. —-

This newspaper hopes for labor union victory and means to help it along, BECAUSE THE PUBLIC WELFARE DEMANDS IT.

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