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August 22, 1896


JAMA. 1896;XXVII(8):407-411. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430860011001d

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The writer has no desire to indorse any doctrine of socialism, communism or the like, but he wishes to call attention to two axioms which, though trite in themselves, are ever new in their application and abuses: 1, capital requires labor; 2, competition compels capital to lower wages. Without labor, capital may neither be accumulated nor maintained. Any sum of money must be dissipated eventually unless it brings interest, and interest, directly or indirectly, means the earnings of hand workers. The fundamental laws of progress, and of animal life itself, seem to begin at toil with the hand or its substitute. Thus we see large communities of brainless beings, and the descending scale brings us to the jelly-fish which presents only a stomach and tentacles—a perfect type of absorption and acoumulation. The brain may be essential to civilization, but without the hand existence would be impossible.

Lower wages may be

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