wage-earner had been taught for a century by the labor agita-tors that his labor had created all of this wealth and that byrights lie should Possess it, or at least the "surplus" or nunearn-ed increment," which had swollen the c capitalists' fortunes andof which lie had been unjustly robbed.Of course, the claim that labor produces all the wealth is ab-surd, since it ignores the incessant studies and inventions of thecompany's engineers, the skill, enterprise, far-sightedness andefficiency of the manager and the risk of the capital investedin the plant.Such a naive statement corresponds to one made by a laboreron the Panama canal, as related by Gen. Goethals, who wasrecently introduced to some gathering as the builder of the Pan-ama canal. The general, in reply, stated that this must be amistake, for this laborer a shoveller informed a visitor thathe WAS the one who was constructing the canal, that the oldman (Gen. Goethals) did nothing but walk around jollying themen or entertaining visitors in his office. This man ignoredthe fact that it had taken a century of constructive thought todesign the locks, dams, railroads, dredges and other machineryof all kinds required, but for which study his valuable servicemight not have been required at that point. It is thus shownthat the laborer does not produce all of the wealth, but he shouldbe credited with having produced a large part of it and he feelsespecially indignant with the "profiteer" who absorbs all thelarge profits. He is self-styled the "disinherited," and it isworth noting that Bismarck's supporters used the term and spokeof the wage-earners as the "disinherited classes Of society."Bismarck. himself, was astute enough to advocate and have passedyears ago an "accident insurance" bill to pacify the discontent-ed elements in Germany.We cannot understand labor's viewpoint if we approach itwith coldness and without sympathy. As Carlyle says, "theheart, lying (lead, the eye cannot see!: But with a sympathetic.insight it is easy to realize how a feeling of injustice should ranklein a the breast of the wage-earner, and that lie should view themonopolist of swollen fortunes or the profiteer with envy andbitterness, and that, under the influence of inflammatory ap-peals, he might commit excesses and even attempt to tear tin'framework of society into shreds, as the Bolsheviki are nowdoing in Russia.10
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