An American Idyll eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 188 pages of information about An American Idyll.

“What did the union stand in the way of?  What conditions did the trust desire to establish with which the union would interfere?  Or did a labor condition arise which allowed the employer to wreck the union with such ease, that he turned aside for a moment to do it, to commit an act desirable only if its performance cost little danger or money?

“The answer can be found only after an analysis of certain factors in industrial production.  These are three:—­

“(a) The control of industrial production.  Not only, in whose hands has industrial capitalism for the moment fallen, but in what direction does the evolution of control tend?

“(b) The technique of industrial production.  Technique, at times, instead of being a servant, determines by its own characteristics the character of the labor and the geographical location of the industry, and even destroys the danger of competition, if the machinery demanded by it asks for a bigger capital investment than a raiding competitor will risk.

“(c) The labor market.  The labor market can be stationary as in England, can diminish as in Ireland, or increase as in New England.

“If the character of these three factors be studied, trust hostility to American labor-unions can be explained in terms of economic measure.  One national characteristic, however, must be taken for granted.  That is the commercialized business morality which guides American economic life.  The responsibility for the moral or social effect of an act is so rarely a consideration in a decision, that it can be here neglected without error.  It is not a factor.”

* * * * *

At the close of his investigation, he took his first vacation in five years—­a canoe-trip up the Brule with Hal Bradley.  That was one of our dreams that could never come true—­a canoe-trip together.  We almost bought the canoe at the Exposition—­we looked holes through the one we wanted.  Our trip was planned to the remotest detail.  We never did come into our own in the matter of our vacations, although no two people could have more fun in the woods than we.  But the combination of small children and no money and new babies and work—­We figured that in three more years we could be sure of at least one wonderful trip a year.  Anyway, we had the joy of our plannings.


The second term in California had just got well under way when Carl was offered the position of Executive Secretary in the State Immigration and Housing Commission of California.  I remember so well the night he came home about midnight and told me.  I am afraid the financial end would have determined us, even if the work itself had small appeal—­which, however, was not the case.  The salary offered was $4000.  We were getting $1500 at the University.  We were $2000 in debt from our European trip, and saw no earthly chance of ever paying it out of our

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An American Idyll from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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