Part 01, Chapter 34

Fool Voters and Fool Editors

1897

People :

Author : Benjamin R. Tucker

Text :

Fool Voters and Fool Editors.

[Liberty, August 4, 1888.]


Uncle Sam carries one hundred pounds of newspapers two thousand miles for two dollars, and still pays the railroad three times too much for mail service. An express company would charge twenty dollars for the same service; yet some people don’t know why all express stockholders are millionaires and the people getting poorer. In fact, some people don’t know anything at all and don’t want to. It is very unfortunate that such people have votes. —The Anti-Monopolist.(35 ¶ 1)

Yes, Uncle Sam carries one hundred pounds of newspapers two thousand miles, not for two dollars, but for one dollar, pays the railroad more than its services are worth, and loses about five dollars a trip.(35 ¶ 2)

Yes, an express company would charge twenty dollars for the same service, because it knows it would be folly to attempt to compete with the one-dollar rate, and therefore charges for its necessarily limited business such rates as those who desire a guarantee of promptness and security are willing to pay.(35 ¶ 3)

Uncle Sam nevertheless continues to carry at the one-dollar rate, knowing that this is a good way to induce the newspapers to wink at his villainies, and that he can and does make up in two ways his loss of five dollars a trip,—1. by carrying one hundred pounds of letters two thousand miles for thirty-two dollars and forbidding anybody else to carry them for less, although the express companies would be glad of the chance to do the same service for sixteen dollars; and, 2, by taking toll from all purchasers of whiskey and tobacco at home, and of various other articles from foreign countries.(35 ¶ 4)

And yet some people don’t know why the thousands of officeholders who are pulling away at the public teats are getting fat while the people are getting poorer. In fact, some people don’t know anything at all except, as Josh Billings said, a grate menny things that ain’t so. It is very unfortunate that such people are intrusted with the editing of newspapers.(35 ¶ 5)

From : fair-use.org.

Chronology :

November 30, 1896 : Part 01, Chapter 34 -- Publication.
February 19, 2017 : Part 01, Chapter 34 -- Added to http://www.RevoltLib.com.
March 20, 2019 : Part 01, Chapter 34 -- Last Updated on http://www.RevoltLib.com.

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