Sunday, February 8, 2015

Only Fair - Act Two

Young girl in shop window by Lewis Hine, New York City, Cira 1900 

A continuation of 'The only 'fair' is laissez-faire” politics of child labor, continued from here:

Young man, cotton mill injury, Georgia, circa 1905

Argument against regulating child labor:
Capitalism and therefore industrialists are self-regulating and there is no need for governmental intervention. . .  ever . . . under any circumstance. 

Young man, glass factory injury, Indiana 1906 

“Government ‘help’ to business is just as disastrous as government persecution . . . the only way a government can be of service to national prosperity is by keeping its hands off.” 

Ayn Rand (1905 to 1982, Russian American novelist, philosopher, social Darwinism supporter and Santa hater.) 

“Saint Petersburg in revolt gave us Vladimir Nabokov, Isaiah Berlin, and Ayn Rand. The first was a novelist, the second a philosopher. The third was neither but thought she was both.” 

Cory Robin (contemporary American political theorist and journalist) 

Vanderbilt "Petit Chateau," 660 Fifth Avenue at 52nd St., New York City 

Three young boys, tenement doorway, New York City, circa 1900

Here is a thought.

People sometimes get caught up in circumstances that aren't necessarily out of interior decision making capacity. Not all the time, but some of the time it happens. 

I see you out there denying your less than favorable decisions. . . 

Moving to the big US urban areas wasn't a fantastic idea for a portion of the relocating masses.

Rockefeller Town House 4th West and 54th St., New York City 

Back alley, tenement housing, New York City, circa 1920 

Some census numbers
New York City doubled in population, every decade, between 1800 and 1880. 

By 1900 2.3 million people in NYC (two thirds of the population) were living in tenement housing. 

Young girl, tenement housing, Chicago, circa 1915 

From 1880 to 1900, the major US cities grew by 15 million people while rural areas lost 40 percent of their population.

12 million immigrants arrived in the US between 1870 and 1900. 

Morgan Mansion, 231 Madison Avenue at East 37th St., New York City

Young boy in open tenement window by Lewis Hine
New York City, circa 1910 

My point? 

(Do I ever have one? If I do, will I ever get to it?) 

Lots of people, and I bet some of those people were children, flooded into the big cities on information involving jobs and luxuries like shoes and bread as opposed to information like the spread of typhoid and lice.

Mrs. Gay and her children, aged 5, 7, 12 and 13
"Home Work", manufacturing costume jewelry pieces, at $5 per week for a family of 5.

After spending everything to move to the big ol’ city, a below subsistence income doesn’t give you pocket money to explore options like moving back home or sending your kids to school. 
Carnegie Mansion, 5th Ave. from 90th St. to 91St., New York City 

Children on Fire Escape, Tenement Building, New York City, 1908

By 1900 almost 20% of the workforce was under 16 and in a position were they worked by "choice" (all you Social Darwinists) because work or starve are reasonable and voluntary options.

"Home Work" making artificial flowers at 8 cents as gross, New York City, Circa 1900 

Argument against regulating child labor:
The child labor is the only thing standing between families and starvation. 

“Child labor and poverty are inevitably bound together and if you continue to use the labor of children as the treatment for the social disease of poverty, you will have both poverty and child labor to the end of time.” Grace Abbott 

 Cornelius Vanderbilt, Theodore Roosevelt and Mayor Gaynor 

1900 Gentlemen, we need to buy a president

The Captains of Industry, the Titans of Capitalism, the Magnates, the Moguls, oh you know what I mean, 
except for the Commodore because he was dead, got a little nervous. There were these anarchists and unions and strikes and inconveniences and only so many Pinkertons to go around. 

Actually that last bit isn’t true. There were more Pinkerton men and Pinkerton arms than there were US military men and US arms. 

If that wasn’t enough, there were these horrible little politicians saying nasty things about regulations and the common man and children’s rights.

Telegraph deliver boy 

“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.” 

Thomas Jefferson (1743 to 1826, 3rd President of the US, Founding Father, Statesman, Intellect Extraordinaire and ironically a very poor business man.) 

Young delivery boy, Chicago, circa 1910 

Morgan, Carnegie and Rockefeller came together and dealt with the situation as wealthy gentlemen, in times of great distress tend to do.  

They purchased a president! 

That nice gentleman, William McKinley was placed in office AND in a brilliant move, during McKinley’s second term, they arranged for that annoying and very ungentlemanly Teddy Roosevelt to become vice president. 

Better the office where he can rant and threaten but can’t do any real damage than risk the actual presidency.

Truly skillful! 

Teddy Roosevelt, crossing a river, while riding a moose

“Not only (does government have) the right to control (corporations) but it is duty bound to control them wherever the need of such control is shown.” 

Theodore Roosevelt (1858 to 1919, 26th President of the US, Rough Rider, Conservationist, Trust Buster, namesake of Teddy Bears and moose rider.)

Shoe shine boy, New York City, circa 1905 

Well, except the part where McKinley is assassinated 6 months into the term by an anarchist who lost his job in Carnegie’s mill. 

Guess who became present!?! 

That’s right, it was the president who unreasonably took offence at bossy, can’t play nice with others, J.P. Morgan. Morgan instructed Roosevelt to send his man over to Morgan’s man with a “number” to resolve his little issue with US Steel. 

Political cartoon, circa 1910 

Ha! Let the trust-busting commence. 

Andrew Carnegie (left) and George Ellery Hale
Mount Wilson Observatory telescope

Argument against regulating child labor:
The child labor difficulty is greatly exaggerated. The media is sensationalizing the issue creating a volatile situation with anarchists and union organizers. 

“When I go to trial for the things done on earth, I think I’ll get a verdict of “Not Guilty” through my efforts to make the earth a little better than I found it.” * Andrew Carnegie

Breaker Boys, Pennsylvania, Circa 1900

* Fatal accidents in steel mills (Carnegie was the major owner) accounted for 20% of all male deaths in Pittsburgh in the 1880’s. 

The Homestead Strike of 1892 lead to 9 deaths of unarmed strikers, multiple injuries, firing of over 2,500 workers and cutting pay of remaining workers in half. 

Carnegie’s business partner, Henry Frick was offered up as sacrifice. He was subsequently shot in the head and stabbed by an anarchist but survived. Carnegie rewarded his loyalty and healthy constitution with dismissal from Carnegie Steel. 

Carrying In Boys, Midnight shift, Indiana Glass Works, 1908 

If you are feeling bad for Henry, don’t. He was responsible for the worst manmade disaster in America prior to 9/11. 

He founded the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, of which Carnegie was the premiere member. He purchased the property with a damn evidently constructed by the ancestors of the New Orland’s levy engineers and responded to urgent safety requests in the same manner as our government pre Katrina. 

Johnstown, Pennsylvania, May 31, 1889

The resulting flood killed 2,000 people in Johnstown, destroyed 1,600 homes and bodies were found 350 miles away years after the flood. 

Johnstown, Pennsylvania, May 31, 1889

Cost to Mr. Frick? That would be Zero. No intervention needed there.

Lewis Hine, photographing a Newsie, Chicago, Circa 1911

1904 A committee WILL be formed! 

The do-gooders got serious and the National Child Labor Committee was formed. Then they made a very, very smart move. They hired Lewis Hine, a sociologist who turned out to be an amazing photographer. They started a very public, visual campaign. You want things done then get some photos!

To gain access to factories and mills, Lewis Hine would pose as a 
fire inspector, a Bible salesman, an or industrial photographer.
His photographs became outdated in favor of candid shots.
He died on welfare. 
Library of Congress houses thousands of his images. 

“If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn’t need to lug around a camera.” Lewis Hine

Breaker Boys, outside of coal mine, Pennsylvania, 1911

Argument against regulating child labor:
Our government was formed for Christianized Capitalism and it is imperative that capitalistic interests be constitutionally protected. 

Jennie Camillo, age 8, cranberry picker 
Pemberton, New Jersey, 1910

“When I want to buy up any politician I always find the anti-monopolists the most purchasable -- they don't come so high.” William Vanderbilt 

“Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes it's laws." 

Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild (1744 to 1812, German banker and founder of international finance.)

Daisy, age 8, capper in canning factory 
Seaford, Delaware, 1910 

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