Editorials from the Hearst Newspapers

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Author: Arthur Brisbane

One of the Many Corpses in the Johnstown Mine

The widow says to the mine owner: "Here he is, dead—killed working for you. Where were you when he was killed? Driving in your carriage, enjoying the difference between his EARNINGS and his PAY. Was one dollar and thirty cents per day too much to pay him for this risk? Was it too much to let him save something for us—who now have nothing? Is there nothing to arbitrate when the man who risks his life and gets nothing asks arbitration of the man who risks nothing and gets all? ----

There are many men in America—honest and sincere—who believe that strikers are nearly always right, that failure of a strike is a calamity.

Other men, less numerous, but also honest and sincere, consider strikes an evil. They believe that labor unionism threatens "capital," threatens national energy, and our national industrial supremacy. ----

Let us endeavor to take a clear view of the strike question, and to discuss—as free from bias as may be possible—some of the main viewpoints of those interested.

We may, at the start, accept two statements as sound:

First. The employer wants as much money as he can possibly get.

Second. The workman wants as much money as HE can possibly get.

It is impossible for both or for either to win absolutely. The success of one must leave the other penniless.

Let us look at the matter of a coal strike only, for simplicity’s sake.

In a coal mine you have three factors:

First. The COAL given to men—presumably for the use of mankind in general—by Divine Providence.

Second. The WORKMEN who dig the coal, haul it, screen it, etc.

Third. The OWNER, who through money, or intelligence, or both, gets control of mines and works them for his profit.

The mine owner resents the suggestion that he and his men are partners.

Ought he to resent that suggestion? We think not.

Miners without any capitalist could certainly get coal out of the ground.

The capitalist without miners could not possibly get coal out of the ground.

The labor is at least as important as the mine. ----

The capitalist who wishes to acquire a mine is willing to grant certain rights and conditions to him who has the MINE for sale. He treats with that person as with an equal.

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Chicago: Arthur Brisbane, "One of the Many Corpses in the Johnstown Mine," Editorials from the Hearst Newspapers in Editorials from the Hearst Newspapers (New York: The Century Co., 1899), Original Sources, accessed January 20, 2019, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=PBWGF9MXNCWQQAV.

MLA: Brisbane, Arthur. "One of the Many Corpses in the Johnstown Mine." Editorials from the Hearst Newspapers, in Editorials from the Hearst Newspapers, New York, The Century Co., 1899, Original Sources. 20 Jan. 2019. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=PBWGF9MXNCWQQAV.

Harvard: Brisbane, A, 'One of the Many Corpses in the Johnstown Mine' in Editorials from the Hearst Newspapers. cited in 1899, Editorials from the Hearst Newspapers, The Century Co., New York. Original Sources, retrieved 20 January 2019, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=PBWGF9MXNCWQQAV.