Imágenes de páginas


[ocr errors]

La Follette Refuted

The new Constitution of Prussia, formerly the most autocratic of the German states, expressly confers this power upon the courts. "The Landtag,' says Article 29, "shall have legislative authority within the limits prescribed by the Constitution"; and, says Article 87, Constitutional conflicts shall be decided by the State Supreme Court." The thing could hardly be put in plainer language than that. The new constitution of the Reich, adopted in 1919, is almost as specific. "National laws," says Article 13, "are superior to the laws of the states. Should any doubt or difference of opinion arise as to whether a state regulation is compatible with a law of the Reich, the competent national or state authority may request a decision from a superior judicial court of the Reich in accordance with the more specific requirements of a national law." That covers, of course, only state laws in conflict with Federal, but other sections of the Constitution clearly give the courts supreme authority over the constitutionality of all legislation.

The "Judicial Veto" No Invention of John Marshall

[ocr errors]


HUS the American system is taking root in the constitutions of many progressive countries. Mr. Wilson's extremely valuable paper calls attention to other misconceptions. One is that John Marshall "usurped" this power and that it is not found in the Constitution. Wilson insists that the second section of Article III "The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority”—is a specific grant to the Federal courts to set aside unconstitutional legislation and gives most weighty reasons for his contention. He completely disposes of the assertion, made by Senator La Follette and others, that the Constitutional Convention of 1787 considered the question of granting this authority to the courts and voted it down. What


the convention disapproved was a proposal that the courts, jointly with the President, should possess the veto against all acts of Congress-that is, a political power as distinguished from a judicial Mr. Wilson also shows that this exercise of judicial power was not new at the time. He quotes a large number of cases, all decided before 1787, in which state courts had set aside, as unconstitutional, acts of state legislatures. The exercise of this judicial power was already the established practice in six of the thirteen states before the adoption of the Federal Constitution!

Thus, this power was no invention of John Marshall. Another even more astonishing fact is the slight extent to which the Supreme Court has declared acts of Congress null and void. From 1789 to 1914, several hundreds of thousands of measures had been passed by the Federal legislature. Of that vast multitude the Supreme Court has set aside just thirty-five!

The Banner States in Civic Duty: Indiana and Kansas


HOSE organizations that made heroic efforts to "get out the vote" at the recent election can take at least a slight satisfaction in the result. There were approximately 26,000,000 voters in 1920, and approximately 30,000,000 last November. The statisticians figured

that 44 per cent. of the eligible voters visited the polls in 1920, compared with 52.8 per cent. in 1924. 52.8 per cent. in 1924. In the growth of the sense of civic responsibility, even a few integers and a few decimal places mark a district gain.

Americans are taught that the act of voting is one form of patriotism, and that abstention from the polls in itself is a form of treason to the state. On this subject more than one point of view is tenable; the casuist might maintain that he had no civic obligation to vote for one of two candidates, when his conscience revolted at the suggestion of either one in an office of public trust. Yet the test has a certain value.

The National Association of Manufacturers has compiled tables on the late election, disclosing the record of each state in this regard. These figures, incidentally, make clear one explanation, which most observers had previously overlooked, for the apparently bad showing made by the American electorate at these quadrennial contests. This is that the general average is greatly lowered by the indifference of the Southern states. The fact at first seems hardly credible that only 8 per cent. of the qualified voters of South Carolina participated in the November struggle, only 10 per cent. of those of Georgia, and only 10 per cent. of those of Mississippi. Virginia, that powerful force in American history, cast only 17 per cent. of its vote. As would be expected, the best record of any state of the Solid South was that of North Carolina, but even this advanced commonwealth was satisfied with a record of 37 per cent. For such manifestations there is, of course, a special reason. states where the result is foreordained, there would naturally be a small attendance at the polls.


If the South is excluded from these statistics, as it should properly be, the percentage of total vote cast is not 52.8 but 61. If interest in elections is a fair test of patriotism, then Indiana is our most patriotic state, with Kansas a close second. The figure for Hoosierdom is 83.2 per cent. and for Kansas 80.3. Not far in the rear come Washington, 76.3; Minnesota, 73.2; and New Hampshire, 70.1. Our largest state (in population), New York, cast 60.5 of its vote and our smallest, Nevada, 60.4-almost the same percentage. The survey, properly interpreted, shows that the carelessness of Americans in performing this civic duty has been somewhat exaggerated.

[blocks in formation]

swiftly growing communities in the West and Middle West have taken on an air of stability and permanence; they are not the straggling places mirrored and satirized by Charles Dickens and Mark Twain. Even that period of demolition and reconstruction so vividly pictured by Booth Tarkington in "The Magnificent Ambersons" and "The Midlander" has passed to a great extent in our midland cities. The business centers of our cities have passed out of the frontier stage of development, with nearly all their buildings of modern and permanent construction; they look more like cities and less like towns or settlements.

The tendency toward permanence and maturity is visible in most of our Western and Middle Western cities. The Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument in Indianapolis, for instance, so similar in general aspect to the Nelson monument in Trafalgar Square, looks just as old as the London column, and the general appearance of the plaza around it has the same appearance of maturity. In the capitol grounds in Denver the age-stained monument to the Colorado veterans of the Civil War stands within earshot of the clamor of a growing city. Salt Lake City, with all its monuments and memorials to the founders, chronicles in marble and bronze the figures of its local history with much the same lavishness as the heroes of national history are presented in Washington. When a city reaches the point of memorializing its great or prominent it is growing old, because few memorials can be put up until the petty jealousies and prejudices of life have been completely eclipsed by the subjects' records of achievements. That period of general appreciation frequently is postponed for years after the death not only of the man himself, but also of his critics.

In view of the impermanence of the character of sections in a great and growing city like New York, it is unusual that the merchants of Fifth Avenue should have recently observed the one hundredth anniversary of the creation of that great thoroughfare. In other cities perhaps only four New York thoroughfares are


Culture and Business Success

widely known-Wall Street, Broadway, The Bowery, and Fifth Avenue. Fifth Avenue, more than any of the others, typifies the metropolis. Running seven miles through the heart of Manhattan, it passes from magnificence to squalor, from wealth to poverty, from beauty to ugliness, from tenement to palace. Its architecture encompasses the sublime and the ridiculous; its history passes from the funeral of Grant to the last Boy Scout parade.

other cities in this country, as well as in foreign cities. Thus, though it is a permanent institution in the life of a city, its changes in appearance typify progress. When Fifth Avenue, or Philadelphia's Broad Street, or Chicago's Michigan Avenue, cease to change in contour, the citizens might as well call in the archæologists, for the civilization those thoroughfares represent is dead or declining.


HE cash value of a college education to its possessor is $72,000, according to a report made public to-day by Dean Everett W. Lord of the Boston University College of Business Administration, based on a lengthy study of the earning capacity of college graduates."

It is a street of pomp and pageantry, Money Value of a College Education and along its ways have passed victorious divisions returning from the wars. Nearly all our Presidents of the last century and nearly all the country's distinguished visitors have driven through Fifth Avenue to receive the plaudits of throngs. Fifth Avenue has greeted the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, the present Prince of Wales, Li Hung Chang, Prince Henry of Prussia, Joffre, Foch, Viviani, Clemenceau, the King and Queen of the Belgians, and countless lesser notables. It is the thoroughfare in which the metropolis takes pride; it is a civic institution, more than a street-the soul of a city.

Though both city regulations and semipublic watchfulness guard the great highway against harmful or undignified intrusion, it is a thoroughfare of constant change; that tells a story of progress. On its one hundredth anniversary, plans for more changes are being formed. The famous old Astor mansion has been sold and will give way to a modern apartment house. Historic Madison Square Garden, scene of the longest national political convention in history, will soon be replaced with an office building-though it is not situated on Fifth Avenue, its position on a corner of Madison Square, as well as its historic associations, really make it a part of the Avenue.

The millions who visit the famous thoroughfare have caused it to make many improvements in traffic control. Its bus system has spread to St. Louis, Chicago, and other cities, and its system of regulating vehicular traffic by colored lights is used in Philadelphia, Omaha, and

The foregoing quotation is the first sentence of an Associated Press despatch recently printed in the newspapers. It should form the subject of an interesting discussion. Already one correspondent of this magazine registers a strong dissent. His letter is published, not necessarily because the magazine agrees with the argument, but because it states the opposing case ably and is stimulating to thought:

Dean Lord's generalization is another curious case of non-sequitur, or, more accurately, of ignoring the real cause in favor of a specious one. Dr. Lord found that the average total earnings of three types of men by the time they had reached the age of sixty were as follows: untrained men, $45,000; high school graduates, $78,000; college graduates, $150,000. Therefore, according to the despatch, the difference in value between a high school education and a college education is $72,000.

Of course, this reasoning is perfect nonsense. Anybody of ordinary intelligence who runs over the list of successful men of his own acquaintance knows that this conclusion bears no relation to the facts of life. These successful men are not successful because they had a college education. The correct statement is,

that some of these men got a college education for exactly the same reason that they "got" success, namely, because they had "getting"

brains and "getting" characters. A college education is a useful tool, but millions of successful men have proved that it is not an indispensable tool for money-making. Indeed, it is open to question whether a college education is not a positive handicap for a man whose sole ambition is business success. It takes at least four years of life lost to learning the ways and the "feel" of business, and it forms habits of theory and of reliance upon "book learning" that are definitely opposed to the sensitive experimental dealing with human nature that is the greatest asset of the business


All this is not to say that a college education is not worth having, any more than it should be read to say that money and success are not worth having. Both are worth getting, because both may be used to provide a richer life to the man who gets them. But neither is the cause of the other. On the contrary, both are the effect of a common cause, and that cause is innate capacity. This inborn gift of brains, ambition, and character makes its possessor capable of getting a college education, business success, or anything else that lies within the range of that gift. In other words, Dr. Lord's figures are really a measure of the relative natural endowments of three classes of men. One necessary set of figures is missing, namely, the number of men comprised in his three classes. They can, however, be supplied from other sources. Thus supplied, a correct statement of his figures and their meaning would read somewhat as follows: "On an average, of every 100 men in America, 65 are inherently capable of achieving not more than a common school education and a total earning of $45,000 by the time they are sixty years old; 15 are inherently capable of achieving not more than a high school education and $78,000; and 20 are inherently capable of achieving a college education and $150,000.”

This "inherent capacity" is inherited. Not every man who inherits it gets a college education or a fortune-time or place or circumstances may prevent. But no man who does not inherit it can get either a college education or a fortune. This may sound harsh, but it is as clearly proved as anything else that is known to man. Nobody is foolish enough to argue against encouraging college education. But it should not be encouraged by specious

arguments about its money value. If society wants more college graduates and more successful men, society should take measures to encourage men and women of fine inheritance to have more children, and measures to re

duce the fertility of men and women of lower innate intelligence. To get a prosperous and intellectually rich nation is not a problem in college education but a problem in eugenics.'

Life is Sweet-and So is Death


O MUCH has been heard recently about diabetes mellitus, chiefly because of Dr. Banting's development of Insulin, that a popular impression prevails that this Canadian physician has conquered one of the most ancient enemies of human society. Yet certain. statistics assembled by Dr. Haven Emerson, and published in the Survey Magazine, indicate that this disease, as an every day fact, is almost as new as the remedy which has brought so much relief. Sixty years ago diabetes mellitus was simply interesting as a medical curiosity. The medical profession seldom came in contact with it. The earliest accurate vital statistics kept in New York City, beginning just after the Civil War, show one death from this cause for every 2,400 from other ills. In 1923 there was one for every 51 from other causes, but it must be remembered, in drawing this comparison, that the mortality from all other diseases during this period shows a great decrease.

The explanation is simple enough. American life in the last sixty years has grown more and more sweet-in a physical sense. The increased use of sugar in the daily dietary is as significant of modern American progress as is the use of the automobile and the telephone, and is due to the same cause-the growth of individual wealth. As a man or woman becomes more prosperous, the first thing he does almost instinctively is to add more meat and sugar to his food. In times of penury human beings eat from necessity, in times of prosperity they eat for pleasure. And among the gifts of modern progress, sugar, in its various forms, is apparently one of the most


And this vice, if it is a vice, is a new one. History does not record the time when men have not used alcohol. The ancients had the same passion for it as


Training and Enlightenment

the moderns, and practically every savage tribe has discovered its use in some form or other. But the Greeks and Romans knew nothing of cane sugar; their nearest approach to it was honey. Sugar, indeed, is only about five hundred years old. That universal succulent-candy-was unknown in the days of the Pilgrim Fathers. Sugar in any form was not largely used until after the Civil War. The present vast consumption of candy and soft drinks and miscellaneous delicacies in which it is an important ingredient would have amazed the earlier generation. In moderation, sugar is an excellent food -in a physiological sense, it is only another name for energy. That the increase in its use, however, is the cause of the rapidly mounting death rate from diabetes, is a fact on which so eminent an authority as Dr. Haven Emerson is willing to stake his reputation.

lini has said that he wants to get away from government ownership and adopt the American system.

The idea that one American can fill any public office just about as well as any other was the discovery of the Jacksonian Democracy. It was the justification of the "spoils system" and led to the habit of periodically ousting one set of office-holders to make place for a new. It was an absurdity in the comparatively simple age that heard its promulgation, but it has become an outrageous distortion in the more complicated society in which we now live. The ideas that control science and business and professional life are, above all, applicable to public affairs, and it is one of the reproaches of democracy that it has most inadequately learned this lesson. The trained man is indispensable in practically every field. Specialization is the rule in all the professions. Medicine, the law, engineer

A Scientist on the One Great Failing ing, business organization everywhere


of Democracy

ROFESSOR MICHAEL PUPIN, of Columbia University-a scientist whose work has had a practical application, for it has made the long distance telephone a reality-has recently put his finger on the sensitive spot in democracy:

The weakest point in democracy has always been lack of appreciation of expert knowledge. Railroads, telegraphy, telephony and radio broadcasting, electrical lighting and electrical transmission of power are certainly public utilities, but the intelligent people of the United States will never consent that these things, requiring an enormous amount of expert knowledge, be placed under government ownership. The machinery of our government or of any other form of government known to man to-day is utterly incapable of handling technical problems which require the highest type of training applied to the highest type of intelligence. All of these public utilities are full of complex technical problems which cannot and never were intended to be handled by any government. In Europe we see that where there is governmental ownership the utilities are being run at heavy deficits. And only recently Musso

the mind that concentrates on one department, and masters it in all its details, is in demand. Yet training and experience in public life are even yet not regarded as indispensable.

The planning and building of subways in a great city like New York calls for special knowledge of the most intricate kind, yet for seven years this pressing necessity has been the victim of the most ignorant political demagogues. It is a curious but illuminating fact that Mayor Hylan, the man who now pretends to dictate in the matter of the transit of seven million people, was himself, only a few years ago, a locomotive engineer on the King's County Elevated Railroad, and was "fired" for incompetence. So far, by his own unaided efforts, had he risen as a transit expert! It is an extreme illustration of the extent to which a democracy disregards experience and skill in the management of great public enterprises.

As government becomes more enlightened, more and more the value of knowledge is respected. Probably one of the reasons why our Federal Government is so vastly superior, in efficiency and

« AnteriorContinuar »