Chapter 48 - Mrs. Sarah Emery 1888

Adapted excerpts from the 1888 book:
Seven Financial Conspiracies Which Have Enslaved the American People
Mrs. Sarah E.V. Emery.

Wherever we turn is discontent; labor idle, or at least working on short time and low pay; mill after mill silent; furnaces cold and unproductive; tramps filling our highways; the gaunt wolf of starvation staring into desolate homes, and strikes against starvation wages those forerunners of revolution springing up on every hand. On the other side, we see granaries bursting with the abundance with which God has fattened the land, palatial mansions rising in fabulous magnificence, and mountains of wealth the product of half-requited labor poured into the coffers of the idle and affluent. All over the land the wail of distress comes up from poverty-stricken homes crushing out the manhood and womanhood of human kind, blighting the beauty and buoyancy of youth, and destroying the faith of mankind in an all-wise merciful father. In a land of plenty, where the willing hand of industry has created untold wealth, why should that hand be paralyzed for want of the very wealth it has created ? Why should comfortable food, clothing and homes be denied to those who have produced these things in such abundance?

There is no doubt but that the unequal distribution of the products of labor is one of the most fruitful sources of social and political disturbances.

Any rational person must admit that a nation’s prosperity does not lie so much in the amount of its wealth as in a just distribution of that wealth among those who have produced it.

That nation is the most prosperous whose laborers hold warranty deeds, rather than leases of their homes, and a hundred cottage homes and gardens owned by a hundred workingmen is greater evidence of national prosperity than a million of property in the hands of a single individual. The ownership of home is the great safeguard of liberty, and it is impossible for a people long to remain free who do not own their homes. History bears us out in this statement, and we trace with minuteness the connection between land monopoly and national death. God has implanted in the human heart an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and for liberty, a knowledge of that liberty which makes men free from the bondage of their physical necessities and breaks the manacles of that slavery which through all ages, the strong have imposed upon the weaker portion of mankind.

The civilized brigandage of today is ashamed of its ancestry, but its appetite for plunder is no less ravenous and daring. Modern brigandage is carried on under more euphonious titles, and new methods of robbery are employed. Instead of "robber king" and "brigand chief" we have today the money king, the coal king, the cattle king, the railroad magnate, the telegraph monopolist and the lumber baron. Instead of spoils and plunders, we have interests, dividends, revenues and rents.