wages, fuel, and other requirements may be largely increased, nevertheless,
as machinery is improved and perfected, the average cost of its products
will be constantly diminished. In this way, while human labor will advance,
machinery will nevertheless cheapen production.
It is true, invention will supplant human labor more and more; but still
the constant expansion of consumption will give full scope to the faculties
of man in newer and wider avenues. A large remuneration will increase
his ability to purchase these cheapened products of machinery; and so
the comforts, refinements, and embellishments of a higher civilization
will be widely diffused, and down-trodden humanity will be more and more
elevated. Sir John Barnard Byles says of the results of invention and
improvement: "Men do not dream of prosperity which is in store for
all orders of the people. The riches of nature will yet rain into the
laps of the starving poor."
Co-operation of all Labor Essential.
The industries which are every year more banding together, scarcely yet
comprehend the magnitude of their mission. Employer and employed array
themselves in needless opposition, weakening the force of both, and diverting
their common strength from the common enemy.
In the contests where the employers "lock out," or where combined
labor asserts itself in "strikes," the true issue of the battle
is not understood. Both "strikes" and "lock-outs,"
by lessening production, are enemies to civilization. Employers and employed
should sympathize together more sincerely. With less distrust, they would
comprehend that the real enemy of both is the unjust standard of money,
which, through unfair interest, is constantly swallowing the fruit of
The employer is only the middleman between labor and consumers; and the
competition between all middlemen to secure business, generally guarantees
as fair an equivalent for labor as can be afforded. All middlemen alike,
those who buy, sell, or advance on products, are forced, by competition,
to moderate profits for services, but all alike are victims to the demands
of capital -- in rents, in bank interest, in usury, which in the end must
be charged to producers. The difficulty is not with the excessive charges
for services of middlemen, but in the absurd scarcity of money, which
thereby keeps industry and production in the power of higher interest
than it can earn.