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shown that the greatest foes to his advanc-
ment to knowledge, temperance, and a
commanding station, have been those of
his own household. Such a man is a
standing rebuke to those who are left be-
hind. He destroys their peace of mind."



will play a conspicuous part. If it does
, not do this it is false to its trust and to its
opportunities, and deserves to fail. But
it will not fail.



' ' Education, in so far as it depends upon
politics and legislation, cannot advance
more rapidly than the average man ad-
vances. The only hope of its advance-
ment, therefore, is a constantly advancing
public opinion. In politics, public opin-
ion is not the opinion of the best men; it
is the opinion of the majority. One man
may determine the voice of the people.
The m.ost ignorant clown in the land may
declare what is vox Dei. Politicians are
ever appealing to the people; — the major-
ity. The "saving remnant" is not con-
sidered. The vacillating few determine
who shall determine the educational affairs
of every community or institution.

The average man must be educated
therefore, if public opinion is to be edu-
cated so that politics may be relied upon
to advance education. How to educate
public opinion is the important question.
More people ought to be trying to answer it. "

More people are trying to answer it,
every day, and with constantly increasing
success. The ''saving remnant" is con-
stantly advancing to the position of a
majority. There is more hard thinking
and independent thinking and successful
thinking among the people to-day than
ever before in our history — and in this
better and more thoughtful life lies our
salvation. In securing this the University



The recent action of the Faculty and
Regents in enlarging the list of optional
studies and in granting greater freedom of
choice; and the very gratifying recognition
by the Regents of the growth of the De-
partments represented by the Notes, in
providing a full assistant for History and
Sociology, and some assistance in American
History and Civics; make it possible, at
last, for students to do some work in these
Departments which can properly be called
''special." A student may carry two-
thirds of the work of the last two University
years in these Departments or either of
them. Special courses will be suggested
on request.

It may not be generally known, and if
known, certainly seems not generally ap-
preciated, that the University Library is
open, as a reference library, to all citizens
of Kansas; and that the Faculty offers its
assistance, within reasonable time-limits, in
connection with any investigation or special
study sought to be carried by any Kansan.
The University should be the Mecca of
all thoughtful men and women in this state.
Many are already availing themselves of
the opportunities presented here; and the
number of those who "runup" to Lawrence
for a day or more, while preparing a paper
or undertaking some special research, is
constantly increasing. But the presence
of these earnest and mature students ought
to be far more common than now. That
they will receive a hearty welcome and
will have every possible facility afforded
them in their special work, goes without
saying.

One of the best Seminary meetings of
this year, of which lack of space forbids
extended mention, was that of April 3d.
Vice-Director Blackmar presided. H. C.
Fellow read a paper on "The Alaskans,"
exhibiting several specimens of their handi-
work. W. S. Flayden spoke on "Recent
Phases of Labor in America," exciting
sharp discussion. The Vice- Director then
gave a short sketch of the history of Silver
Circulation in America — a subject carried
further by a paper by O. H. Holmes on
"Bimetalism in Europe." L. K. Fesler
spoke on "The Free Coinage of Silver,"
and was answered by Mr. Hallo well —
after whic'.i ca Hi geajr d a.i 1 ,-e.-y .1 v. wv.i I
discussion by the Seininarv.



u



SEMINAR Y NO TES.



THE SEMINARY LECTURE COURSE.



Following are brief abstracts of the lectures delivered in the Seminary Lectiire CoTirse, during the past win-
ter at Vinland and Edwardsville. Great credit is due the young men who gave so much time to this work in
addition to all other University demands. The Seminary offers a similar course, during the coming winter ; for
which arrangements should be made prior to October.



' TAXATION.



■ppHE prime object of government is to
^secure to all who labor the fruits of
their labor. To accomplish this, it may
take such part of the fruits of labor as may
be necessary for its own support. This is
taxation.

While there is no exact science of tax-
ation, there are certain fundamental prin-
ciples which are generally recognized as
controlling all wise and equitable taxa-
tion. Some of these are:

The purpose of taxation is to create a
product of greater value than the amount
collected.

The fund from which taxes are drawn
is the combined earnings of all citizens.

Citizens should contribute to the sup-
port of the government in proportion to
their respective abilities.

The tax should be fixed and not arbi-
trary, and every feature of the system
clear and plain to the contributor.

The time and place for the payment of
taxes should be as convenient as possible
for the great mass of the contributors.

There should be the greatest possible
economy in collection, and the least possi-
ble surplus in the treasury.

For all general purposes taxation may
be, and therefore ought to be, such as to
demand no special sacrifice.

The taxing power can be lawfully used
for public purposes only.

Public enterprises are to be undertaken
only when the service can be more advan-
tageously rendered than by private hands.

The taxing power should never be used
for the purpose of diverting either capital
or labor from the modes of employment
to which they would resort if left to them-
selves.

There are two general methods of taxa-
tion, the direct and the indirect. The
first is the local, the second the national
method. The reasons for the choice of
the national method were, and are, pre-



cedent, and a want of confidence in the
people.

Direct taxation is in accord with each
of the principles laid down, while indirect
taxation contravenes nearly all of them.

Our effort in local affairs is to tax
the entire resources of each citizen, in
which we have notoriously failed.

Taxes on production are, theoretically,
the most equitable; but thus far, practi-
cally, the most unfair and demoralizing.

A tax on accumulation is a tax on savings
— on frugality, and is a recurring tax — a
tax repeated on the same property.

The objections to a tax on personal
property are:

It is a very expensive system; it in-
volves a catechetical and inquisitorial pro-
cess; it duplicates taxes; it encourages
perjury and fraud; it is full of inequalities,
throwing the burden on those least able
to bear it or to defend themselves; it adds
greatly to the cost of nearly all commodi-
ties and services; it repels from some
communities very desirable forces of pro-
duction; and it seems impossible to make
such a system a success.

In considering a land-tax, Ave should go
upon the basis of unimproved land, be-
cause nearly all the objections last men-
tioned can be urged against any attempt to
assess improvements on land.

A tax on the basis of unimproved land
discourages land speculation, and encour-
ages land improvements.

Some of the favorable characteristics of
land in this connection are:

It carinot be hidden; it is easily and ac-
curately assessed; its assessment and the
collection of the tax are the most econo-
mical known; such a tax quickens rather
than hampers production; a land-tax can-
not affect the amount of land, its capa-
bilities, or its usefulness; it tends to dis-
tribute itself, that is, more than any other
tax is it }iot borne by the men upon whose
land it is levied but by those purchasing
the products of land; and it is not unduly
augmented in the hands of the middle-
men.

We can easily experiment with such a
land tax in any township or county.

J. H. Canfield.



SEMINAF Y NO TES.



15



COMMERCIALISM IN AMERICA.



^N his History of Civilization, Guizot
^ says: "The complete sway of a single
dominant element in a nation's civilization,
may give an extraordinary impulse to, and
produce a rapid and brilliant development
of civilization, but it will also bring on
afterward a rapid decline and final
sterility." He then shows, by way of
illustration, that in the ancient civilization
of Tyre and Sidon, the commercial element
dominated over all; and although Phoeni-
cian civilization was developed with
astonishing rapidity and bri-lliancy, it also
declined and decayed just as rapidly.

Now the question arises, how stands our
own republic with reference to this truth?
As to the fact of our rapid and brilliant
development, Ave need no evidence. But
what has made this rapid and brilliant
development? Is it the working together
of various elements and opinions, each
strong and each warring against the other,
curbing and modifying one another, no
one element commanding the whole? Or
is our national greatness produced in
obedience to some one dominant element,
which is gradually obtaining complete
control? If so, what then is this force?
Unquestionably it is this spirit- of mone}'
getting — it is "mercantilism." It is this
feverish desire for wealth. This is the all
absorbing passion of the American people
to-day. As Matthew Arnold said of Chi-
cago, we are "too beastly prosperous."
This spirit permeates all classes of society.
As a nation, we are permitting this spirit
of money-getting or "mercantilism" to
have dominion over us. There is danger
that this idea will become the single con-
trolling element which moves the great
masses of our people. And this rush and
crush for money seems to be eating out,
not only the disposition, but the power for
great thinking and great and right action.
This is true in politics. There are scores
of statesmen, in all parties, whom men
would not dare approach with a bribe; but
what would people have said, in the days



of Webster, Clay and Calhoun, if they
and been told that in great commonwealths
like California and Ohio, United States
Senatorships would virtually be put up to
the highest bidder. Yet in many states,
term after term, this happens until such a
mode of securing the position is looked
upon as natural and right. Already twen-
ty United States senators represent more
than 1 1, 000, 000 per head. Men occupy
that position who would never have been
thought of as senators, had it not been for
their money.

In the church we think we have a
counter-element which modifies this mer-
cantile spirit and holds it in check. But,
is the church keeping pace with this
onward advance? Is it drawing its share
of our strongest young men into its pulpit
and theological seminaries?

Granted that there is more talent and
more learning and more religion in this
country at present, than ever before; it
goes almost Avithout contradiction that
mercantilism, this money-getting fever, has
to a great extent driven it out of our
churches. This mercantile spirit is sweep-
ing our ablest young men into the whirlpool
of business life, simply for the money there
is in it. This greed for gold is rapidly
becoming the single dominant element and,
indeed, the God of the American people;
and our young men fall at its feet and
worship with a pagan's devotion.

To prevent this, we must build up an
aristocracy of thought, which shall be able
to hold its own against the aristocracy of
■ mercantilism. To make our civilization
enduring, we must place such incentives
before j'oung men, as will draw them into
the fields of philosophic thought, of literary
thought, and of political thought. We
must press this idea: that every young man
who feels within himself the power to
write, the power to paint, or the power to
proclaim great truth, is false to himself,
false to his country, and false to his God,
if he leaves behind him nothing better
than an accumulation of dollars and cents.

O. H. HOLMKS.



j6



SEMINAR Y NO TES.



THE MACHINE

•^^HROUGHOUT .nature we see the
^^natural and inevitable existence of
leadership. In politics this leadership is
present and clearly defined.

When an organization for carrying out the
plans of the leader is added, then we have
a machine. Hence the organization, or
the machine, as well as the leader, is a
natural institution. In this machine, as
in mechanical contrivances, we find effi-
ciency increased by discarding all super-
fluous elements. All political bodies such
as Congress, etc., have only enough mem-
bers to accomplish their work with fair-
ness to all sections and interests alike.

This machine originated with our gov-
ernment, and has developed with it.
Each step in its growth as a factor in
party management has led up to the
national convention of to-day.

The existence of political parties of
some sort is admitted to be a necessity in
a government such as that of the United
States. As the convention or some
equivalent is a necessary part of the party,
and the party of the government, then the
convention, our machine, is a necessity in
this government.

The theory of our government assumes
that all citizens have the will and the
ability to select the wisest and best men
for the administration of the affairs of
their government; but in a large percent-
age of the voting population these two
necessary elements are not present. With
these absent, yet these people with a ruling
voice in the affairs of the government, great
evil must result. Abuses of our political
freedom exist to such an extent that the
whole theory of representative government
is constantly violated and often practically
destroyed. These evils are due rather to ■
the lack of the machine than to its exist-
ence: for the machine will control and
guide this unstable element.

The phase of the machine coming most
closely under general observation is the
one whose power is felt in those matters
touching the every-day life of the citizen.



IN POLITICS.

In local affairs then we may look for a
proof of the good accomplished by the
machine. In almost every township there
is a small body of men who, through a
natural taste for politics or skill in not-
ing and controlling the current of popular
feeling, have become essential to party
success. It is claimed that these men
will not do this work without reward.
It is true that the reward for political
service is sometimes money or money's
worth, particularly in large cities;
but more often it is purely honor-
ary, consisting in the natural satisfac-
tion of leadership among one's fellows.
Each locality usually knows this to be
true of its own leaders, but accuses all
others of bribery, etc. But the desire of
the machine is to control appointments
not to obtain them. In large cities, we
find evil types of the machine, but the
field in which such types may be found
covers but 25 per cent of the country and
in the remaining 75 per cent, of agricul-
tural territory they are not found at all.

The condition of affairs, then, is. just
this: There is a great deal of corruption
in our political system; this corruption, to
some extent, exercises its influence
through the machine; the machine is en-
abled, and to a certain extent always will
be enabled, to wield great power because
of that proportion of our voting classes
which can be manipulated according to
the desires of any one willing to under-
take the task; this class is sufficiently
large to furnish the desired power. Every
one desires that the corruption be re-
moved as completely as possible. There-
fore this question immediately occurs to
our minds: By what means may this be
accomplished?

By the formation of machines such as will
only work for the good purposes desired,
and in this way furnish the means to over-
whelm the boodler's machine and guide all
governmental conduct along the line of a
true representative government.

F. H. Kellogg.



SEMINARY NOTES.



17



FARM MORTGAGES.



W N theory a mortgage is given on the con- The history of American farming for the

<;^dition that if paid on or before a certain last twenty years is, in brief, that as the



date it shall be cancelled; but if otherwise,
the land shall be sold to pay the mortgage
with costs. In practice a mortgage is al-
lowed to run as long as the interest is paid
and other circumstances are favorable to
its continuance.

With the settlement of America the
history of the mortgage in this country
begins. The development of a new
country requires money. The pioneer, who
is generally poor, borrows money on his
land in the hope that future cultivation will
enable him to pay.

Fifty years ago the West was unknown and
developed; to-day it rivals the East. This
wonderful transformation has required
money. Western push and energy united
with eastern capital have developed the
West.

But with this wonderful transformation
have come the evils which sudden growth
necessitates. This aid of money in
the development of the West is one
of the causes that have produced
the excessive morfgaging of the west-
ern country. Another cause is specu-
lation. "Buying by mortgage," is com-
mon during "booms" and results in
property becoming encumbered. Another
cause that produces mortgages is "hard
times. " These three causes have produced
an immense amount of mortgage indebted-
ness.

As far as can be gathered from infor-
mation at hand, in the following states it
is as follows:

Ohio, $330,999,000; Indiana, 126,000,-
000; Illinois, $147,000,000; Michigan,
^37,456,000; Kansas, $146,563,000. The
sum of $683,418,000 is the amount of
money on which the West pays interest to
the East. On account of the present
depression in agriculture, the people have
begun to investigate their condition. The
mortgage has been assigned as the cause,
but it is the effect of the causes named
above.



area in cultivation has increased, so has
the product per capita, to be followed by
ever declining prices and diminished re-
turns per acre. The area of staple crops
under cultivation has increased from 90,-
000,000 to 215,000,000 acres. Nearly
one-half of this increase has been in the
northern trans- Mississippi region, and has
been entirely in excess of the increase in
population. The increase in farm produce
has kept pace with the increase in the
cultivated area. During the last forty
years, population, farms, and farm pro-
duce have increased in the following ratio:

Population, 175 per cent.; number of
Farms, 260 per cent. ; Cattle, 183 per
cent.; Hogs, 6-7, per cent.; Cotton, 201
per cent.; Bus. of Corn, 257 per cent.;
Bus. of wheat, 389 per cent. ; Bus. of Oats,
41 1 per. cent. These figures are significent.
As a result of this increase in farms and
farm produce, out of proportion to the
increase in population, the remuneration
received by the farmer for his labor has
been correspondingly decreased.

There are too many farms, and there is
too much farm produce for the population.
When, during hard times, we consider that
the mortgage indebtedness of five states is
nearly $900,000,000 it is not surprising
that the natural inclination is to urge
special legislation against capital. But
the idea that capital is the enemy of the
farmer is a mistaken one. Usury laws
hurt the borrower more than the lender..
Capital is subject to "the law of supply
and demand. " A mortgage is but so much
capital invested. The present depression
is due to natural causes and natural
causes will remove it. Several legislative
measurers might give temporary relief, but
no permanent ameloration can be effected
'till time restores that equilibrium between
population and production. Population
will continue to increase. Farming lands
can not continue to increase. Hence the
farmer will soon enter upon an era, of
prosperity the unlimited continuance of
which is assured by the exhaustion of tlfe
arable area.

H. S. Haim^ey.



i8



SEMINAR Y NO TES.



THE DEEP HARBOR MOVEMENT.



cmURING the month of October two
^^conventions were held in tlie United
States; one known as the Deep Harbor
Convention, meeting at Topeka, Kansas;
the other, the Pan-American Congress,
assembling at Washington. These con-
ventions may be said to be compliments
of each other, since the former discussed
the best methods of shipping the surplus
products to the sea coast, while the latter
by means of establishing closer commer-
cial relations, opened a way for a larger
foreign market. Both considered a Deep
Harbor on the Texas coast necessary to
accomplish this end.

The Deep Harbor question may be
summarized in three propositions. First,
the country west of the Mississippi river
produces more in the line of agricultural
and live stock than can be consumed here.
It is evident that this surplus must be sent
out of this country to a foreign market.
Second, the cost of transportation is six
times cheaper on the ocean than on the
land. It follows, therefore, that the
shortest route totheseais the cheapest
one, all other things being equal. Third,
the country west of the Mississippi is on
an average six hundred and fifty miles
nearer to the Texas coast than to the
Atlantic. The Texas coast is the nearest
sea port for the West, and therefore the
natural outlet for the surplus of the West.

During the past five years there has
been a general depression in business
throughout the country. Large estab-
lishments have failed and prices have fal-
len. No one class of men has suffered;
bankers, merchants and farmers all hav-
ing reasons to complain of hard times.

There is a wide divergency of opinion
as to the causes bringing about this con-
dition of affairs. Free silver, free trade,
and strict legislation against eastern mort-
gage companies, combines and monopo-
lies, are held by different classes of men
to be the remedies for all present financial
ills. But if these could be put into suc-
cessful operation there would still remain
the problem of over-production and a
li<nited foreign market. Now the ques-
tion is, will the opening of a deep harbor
on the southern coast tend to relieve the



present stringency in the money markets.

Suppose a farmer ships one thousand
bushels of wheat by way of Chicago and
New York. The grain is handled twice
and a profit made at both places. On ac-
count of the long distance and expensive
rate on freight, the profits to the shipper
are reduced to a minimum. If on the
contrary the wheat is shipped to the South
there would be a saving in three different
ways: in a saving of six hundred and fifty
miles freightage; in the expense of hand-
ling but once; in having only one middle
man.

As a result the farmer Avould doubtless
get a better price for his wheat in the
foreign market; and by taking the surplus
out of the country the remaining crop
would bring a higher price.

According to population, the West furn-
ishes a greater per cent, of exports than the
East. All this surplus must ^ be carried
across the continent to the Atlantic coast.
If we can find the total surplus raised in
the West we can determine the amount that
Avould be saved by shipping South instead
of East.

Take as an example the corn crop.
About one-half of the total production is
surplus. This amounts to the immense
sum of three hundred and fifty million
bushels. It has been^estimated that four
dollars and eight-eigfit cents would be
saved on freight by shipping South, or
seventy-eight million dollars. These fig-
ures do not take into consideration the
imports which come by way of the South
and would add nearly one-half more to
this profit. About three-fourths of the
wheat crop is surplus and over twenty
million would be saved on this.

If the surplus of corn, wheat, cattle,
hogs and sheep raised in the West were
shipped by the Texas coast it is reasona-
ble to estimate that one hundred and
twenty million dollars would be saved an-
nually to the West.

The need of a Deep Harbor in the
Southern coast is becoming greater each
year. Now only one-half of the land of
the West is occupied, and there is room
for four time its present population. It is
only a question of time when the trade of
the great West will cease to follow the
unnatural channel toward the East, and
breaking down every obstacle will flow
down the Mississippi valley to the ocean,
thence to be borne to the nations of the



Online LibraryKansas. UniversitySeminary notes published by the Seminary of historical and political science → online text (page 3 of 62)