Protection to Home Industry (Paperback) ~ Robert Ellis Thompson ... Cover Art

Protection to Home Industry (Paperback)

By: Robert Ellis Thompson (Author)

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: III. THE WORKINGMAN. Gentlemen of the University:— The argument I am about to present to-night is in a large measure independent of those I have already presented to you. It is that the protective policy is a necessary means to secure to the American workman such a compensation for his toil, as will enable him to live on that level of comfort which our American ideals require for him. I may premise that the democratic ideal of equality on which we pride ourselves, and which found expression in Burns''s song, " A man''s a man for a'' that! " is of very recent origin and of slow growth even in America. In Europe it may be said to have begun to have made headway about the year 1848, and in America about two decades earlier. But there lingers even among the educated classes in America another ideal, which belongs rather to the Middle Ages than to our industrial and democratic era. The way in which Trades'' Unions and their strikes are still spoken of in our newspapers, appears to me to imply the temper in which the laws to fix the rate of wages were passed by the English Parliament five hundred years ago. It seems to be assumed that the workman has no right to refuse to work where the terms are not satisfactoryto him, and that his association with his fellows to secure fair play in the matter of hours and wages, is an unlawful encroachment upon the rights of other people. Every time a strike fails to secure the result its authors had in view, this is received with a certain exultation by perhaps a majority of our newspapers. The figures are gone over with a relish, to show how gigantic the folly which forfeited so large a sum in wages. A little sympathy with the workingman''s position might bring us to see, perhaps, that the strike was morally necessary as an assertion of his m...

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