let it all collapse, the icon for the www.punkerslut.com website
Home Articles Critiques Books Video
About Graphics CopyLeft Links Music
  • Back to index of Class Conscious, Second Edition
  • Class Conscious:
    The Injustice of Poverty

    Second Edition

    Chapter 5: The Brutal Result of Capitalism on the People of the World -- Poverty (Historical)

    By Punkerslut

    Start Date: May 24, 2003
    Finish Date: June 2, 2004

    Section I: Preface to this Chapter

         In a Capitalist system, there is -- in fact -- a constant and perpetual economic depression. In every period of history of the Capitalist nations of the world, there has always been the omnipresence of the ghetto, the masses on the fringes of starvation, the widespread effects of poverty, misery, want, and criminality. Unemployment of the millions is a marked trait of any stage of economic development in the Capitalist nations. A year never passes in these nations that thousands do not die from hunger, millions are pushed on to the streets as paupers and beggars, and hundreds of thousands of children become homeless. Economists may assert, one way or another, that the nation is going through a recession or a depression or a boom or a bust, whatever terminology that they can supply to others to get them to invest or sell out. But the boom and the busts are only relative. In one case, only forty million are unemployed, in the other, only thirty five million. The evidence again and again confirms one recurring fact when examining the an economy: the Capitalist system is in a constant and perpetual depression. Poverty is an intrinsic element of the "free" economy.

         Why, one may inquire, is it that the system of Capitalism, and not the present situation, is blamed for the poverty and want of a nation? I can only answer in strict confidence that Capitalism may be blamed because it is an economical system, and in this respect, it is the method by which wealth is distributed throughout a society. There are and always have been vast, countless tracts of land, uncultivated and unused, while there are thousands and millions starving on the streets, without a home to live, without food to eat. But to a Capitalist, who serves only his desire of self-interest, these individuals -- whom have no money or anything of value to offer -- do not concern him. To argue that Capitalism is a system inherently stuck in a depression, one must not even bring up the uncultivated lands. There is enough food in this world presently to feed all that are starving, there is enough land to house all the homeless, there is enough wealth existing to give everyone luxury. There is enough work to be done, that if it were done productively, for the good of the whole instead of the good of a single individual, everyone would have a decent, respectable job, considerably shorter than our current eight hour day. It is the system of Capitalism, that funnels wealth to the rich and brings poverty to the masses; in its boom one out of ten million stops starving and its bust an additional ten million are brought to the fringes of misery and want.

         Waste, too, is an inherent component of the Capitalist system. Under the desire to profit, those who own the means of production will do what they must in order to gain a revenue; it is in their own self interest. So long as there are empty mouths on the brink of starvation, there will be a Capitalist willing to poison enough of his food so that all cannot be fed -- so long as there are people without homes and subject to the wretched abuse of nature, there will be a Capitalist willing to burn buildings so that all cannot be housed -- and so long as there are people suffering from the pain of cold, there will be a Capitalist willing to destroy clothing so that all cannot be comforted. A decrease in supply will mean that demand will rise. While a Capitalist could sell 1,000 loaves of bread for $1 per loaf, making a total of $1,000 revenue and feeding everyone, he could sell 500 loaves of bread for $5 per loaf, making a total of $2,500 -- but leaving half the population to die. All this will be done under the guise of "free trade" of "free enterprise," and our economists have failed miserably to do anything worthwhile by blatantly using the word "free," as it has not helped the majority of people escape from oppression.

    Section II: Poverty and Waste (Historical)

    In a society which has the wherewithal to cover, fatten, and cheer every one, Lords of Industry are acquiring the power to pool the profits of scarcity and to decree famine. They cannot stop the brook that runs the mill, but they can chain the wheel; they cannot hide the coal mine, but they can close the shaft three days every week. To keep up gold-digging rates of dividends, they declare war against plenty.

    -- Henry Demarest Lloyd [*1]

         In 1662, William Petty wrote, "Causes of Civil War are also, that the Wealth of the Nation is in too few mens hands, and that no certain means are provided to keep all men from a necessity either to beg, or steal, or be Souldiers." [*2] In 1683, Matthew Hale writes...

    In the Execution of the Law already made; for let any man look over most of the Populous Parishes in England, indeed there are rates made for the relief of the Impotent Poor, and it may be the same relief is also given in a narrow measure unto some others, that have great Families, and upon this they live miserably and at best from hand to mouth, and if they cannot get work to make out their livelyhood they and their Children set up a trade of Begging at best. [*3]

         In 1767, James Steuart wrote, "It is computed that one half of mankind die before the age of puberty in countries where numbers do not augment; from this I conclude, that too many are born." [*4] In the 1700's, as well as earlier and later, perpetual famines were so commonplace in the nation of China, that an entire profession was committed to ending the lives of children -- lest they starve. Thomas Malthus wrote, "...by the custom of exposing children, which, in times of distress, is probably more frequent than is ever acknowledged to Europeans. Relative to this barbarous practice, it is difficult to avoid remarking, that there cannot be a stronger proof of the distresses that have been felt by mankind for want of food, than the existence of a custom that thus violates the most natural principle of the human heart. It appears to have been very general among ancient nations, and certainly tended rather to increase population." [*5] It was just at the brink of the 1800's when Malthus wrote, "But I believe it has been very generally remarked by those who have attended to bills of mortality that of the number of children who die annually, much too great a proportion belongs to those who may be supposed unable to give their offspring proper food and attention, exposed as they are occasionally to severe distress and confined, perhaps, to unwholesome habitations and hard labour." [*6] and "If the accounts we have of it are to be trusted, the lower classes of people are in the habit of living almost upon the smallest possible quantity of food and are glad to get any putrid offals that European labourers would rather starve than eat. The law in China which permits parents to expose their children has tended principally thus to force the population" [*7] In a much longer section, Malthus describes the situation at his time as it appears in England...

    In times of very limited demand for labour, it is truly lamentable to witness the distress which arises among the industrious for want of regular employment and their customary wages. In these periods, innumerable applications are made to the superintendents of extensive manual operations, to obtain any kind of employment, by which a subsistence may be procured. Such applications are often made by persons who, in search of work, have traveled from one extremity of the island to the other!

    During these attempts to be useful and honest, in the common acceptation of the terms, the families of such wandering individuals accompany them, or remain at home; in either case they generally experience sufferings and privations which the gay and splendid will hesitate to believe it possible that human nature could endure.

    Yet, after this extended and anxious endeavor to procure employment, the applicant often returns unsuccessful; he cannot, by his most strenuous exertions, procure an honest and independent existence; therefore, with intentions perhaps as good, and a mind as capable of great and benevolent actions as the remainder of his fellow men, he has no other resources left but to starve, apply to his parish for relief, and thus suffer the greatest degradation, or rely on his own native exertions, and, to supply himself and family with bread, resort to what are termed dishonest means. [*8]

         In another essay written in 1815, Thomas Malthus writes, "...it is very possible for a people to be miserably poor, and some of them starving, in a country where the money price of corn is very low. Of this the histories of Europe and Asia will afford abundant instances." [*9] In that same year, Simonde de Sismondi writes, "The Irish peasants are ready to revolt, and plunge their country into the horrors of civil war; they live each in a miserable hut, on the produce of a few beds of potatoes, and the milk of a cow..." [*10] In 1893, Ida M. Van Etten describes the condition of immigrants in the United States: "...most of the Russian Jews are dirty, cannot speak the English language, and live closely crowded in unwholesome, ill- smelling tenement quarters..." [*11] Immigration to the United States had increased in this era. But, the workers held strong together, as Van Etten describes, "I remember going from house to house during the last fearful days of the strike and seeing men gaunt from hunger, women and little children unable to stand from want and exhaustion, with the threat of eviction hanging over their heads, and still I heard not one word of complaint, not to speak of surrender to the 'boss.'" [*12] A year later, Florence Kelley would write, "...the workingman's home, where bath-tubs seem to be unknown..." [*13] In 1896, Jacob Riis describes the condition of Jewish immigrants to New York City...

    At the rate of 5.71 members to the average Jewish family, the census gives a total of 745,132 Jews as living in the country five years ago, and 200,335 in New York city. Allowing for the natural increase in five years (13,700) and for additions made by immigration, it is probable that the Jewish population of the metropolis reaches to-day very nearly a total of 250,000, in which the proportion of orthodox is practically as above, nearly 2 1/2 old school Jews to every 1 who has been swayed or affected by his Christian environment. The Jew-baiter has them at what he would call their worst.

    Everyday observation suggests a relationship of orthodoxy and prosperity in this instance that is not one of dependence. Roughly put, the 2 1/2 are of the tenements...


    The poverty they have brought us is black and bitter; they crowd as do no other living beings to save space, which is rent, and where they go they make slums. Their customs are strange, their language unintelligible. They slave and starve to make money, for the tyranny of a thousand years from which freedom was bought only with gold has taught them the full value of it. It taught them, too, to stick together in good and evil report since all the world was against New York's ghetto; it is clannish. [*14]

         Famine struck Russia in the late 1800's, as described by one author, "Before 1882 the emigration of Russian Jews to America was restricted to the provinces lying about the Niemen and the Dwina, notably to the government of Souvalki, where economical conditions caused Catholic peasants as well as Jewish tradesmen and artisans to go elsewhere 'in search of bread.'" [*15] Describing the condition of Jewish immigrants, Abraham Cahan writes, "...cities like New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Boston have each a Ghetto rivaling in extent of population the largest Jewish cities in Russia, Austria, and Roumania." [*16] Speaking specifically of those immigrants in New York City, he writes, "The greatest density (57.2 tenants to a house) is in the tenth ward..." and "The sweating system and its political ally the "ward heeler" are accountable for ninety-nine percent of whatever vice may be found in the Ghetto..." [*17] Lawrence Veiller writes on the poverty of the tenement-housing tenants...

    Upon the poverty maps are stamped black dots, each of which indicates that five different families from the building marked have applied for charity to one of the large charitable societies of the city within a definite period of years. It seems beyond belief, yet is its a fact, that there is hardly a tenement house in the entire city that does not contain a number of these dots, and many contain as many as fifteen of them, meaning that seventy-five different families have applied for charity from that house. Similarly, on the disease maps, which are placed directly below the poverty maps, district by district, so that a comparative study of them may be made, there are stamped black dots, each indicating that from this house there has been reported to the Board of Health one case of tuberculosis within the last five years. While these dots do not cover the building to the same extent at they are covered in the poverty maps, it is appalling to note the extent of this disease. nearly every tenement house has one dot on it, many have three or four, and there are some houses in Cherry street that contain as many as twelve. Other colored dots indicate the prevalence of typhoid, diphtheria, etc. The maps also contain, stamped upon each block a statement of the number of people living in that block, so that the student thus has opportunity of weighing all the conditions that help to produce the epidemics of poverty and disease. The maps, as they appear in the exhibition, might well earn for New York city the title of the city of living death. No other words so accurately and graphically describe the real conditions as these. [*18]

         The housing problem by now was attracting a great deal of attention. Models were drawn up to show just how bad it was, just how massive it was. Jacob Riis would pioneer in the muckracking field before it would come to be defined as that -- he would estimate that at least half of the world's population lived in absolute poverty, while we can be rest assured today that the number is enormously higher. E.R.L. Gould describes a housing model in 1899, "Some were amazed, some saddened, and probably all were impressed with the unanswerable demonstrations, by means of models, photographs, and charts, of the close relations between bad housing, bad health, bad morals, and bad citizenship." [*19] Again, we see the chronic appearance of disease, "Charts at the Tenement House Exhibition showed the intimate relation between overcrowded, ill-lighted, and ill-ventilated houses and certain forms of disease, notably tuberculosis, diphtheria, typhoid and scarlet fever." [*20] At length, Gould writes...

    Then, too, there is the great question of drunkenness. It is absurd to suppose that immoderate drinking of liquor can be suppressed so long as people are left to live in houses where lack of elementary sanitation saps vitality, while noisomeness and unattractiveness impel a search for outside relief. While I am not disposed to seek cause and effect in conjunction of circumstances, yet I am bound to believe that the massing of saloons in low neighborhoods where the worst housing conditions exist is more than a simple coincidence. The most congested districts in New York are also the regal domains of liquordom. Some years ago the Church Temperance Society published a chart showing that 148 saloons were all located within a space 514 yards long by 375 yards wide. St. Giles Ward in Edinburgh contains 127 drinking-places to 234 shops where food is sold. Possibly there is a fair index to relative patronage in the fact that the rental of the latter amounts to only 80 per cent of the rental of the former. This ward contains one-eleventh of the population of the city, but it furnishes one-third of its total crime. Notwithstanding that 17 1/2 per cent of its area is made up of parks, the death-rate is 40 per cent higher than for the whole city. Glasgow's famous Sanitary District 14, with the largest proportion of inmates per inhabited room, the highest death-rate over all, the highest death-rate under five years, the largest proportion of deaths under one year, the highest record for nuisances brought to the attention of the Board of Health, the highest percentage of inhabitants paying neither local rates nor school tax,--the latter of which they are obliged by law to pay,--contains 43 public houses to 104 premises for food supply, with rentals and receipts largely in favor of the public house.


    ...the feature which aroused, shall I say, contemptuous interest, was the model of an existing New York block, bounded by Bayard, Canal, Chrystie, and Forsyth Streets, as it stood on January 1, 1900. This is by no means the worst block in the city, but was selected because it presented a considerable variety of conditions. It is made up of 39 tenement houses, containing 605 different apartments, inhabited by 2,781 people, of whom 466 are children under five years of age. There is not a bath in the entire block, and only 40 apartments are supplied with hot water. Water-closets are used in common. There are 441 dark rooms, having no ventilation to the outer air, and no light or air except that derived from other rooms. 635 rooms get their sole light and air from dark, narrow air shafts. There are 10 rear tenements. The rental derived from this block, including the shops, amounts in round numbers to $114,000 a year. [*21]

         The Working Women's Society would investigate tenements in 1900's, reporting "Committee found six persons assorting old rags and paper in the yard and twelve children playing in the rubbish." and "Committee saw an old woman open the door of a dilapidated building on the yard disclosing rubbish dangerous in case of fire." [*22] In 1901, Robert Alston Stevenson describes the summers as it is for the poor...

    The hot days are uncomfortable, but bearable incidents; managed easily with the aid of vacations, air-space, and bathtubs, but without them--there are a great many people who hardly know what they mean. [The poor are the ones who must suffer the most without such things.] [...] It sizzles in the neighborhood of Hester Street on a sultry day. The pale-faced, stern-eyed push-cart men cry their wares, but competition dulls in the mugginess. On the shady side of the street the little mothers and fathers of the poor tend the babies; hot, sweat-splashed little things that get jounced up and down when they get too fretful, on the knees of their elders, who are often as many as ten years old. Sometimes they sleep in odd corners, while the caretakers play jacks, covered only with prickly heat and dirty shifts. [*23]

         Poverty is not just an American or Western attribute, though. But when American imperialism began to spread around the globe, poverty went with it. George S. Boutwell writes, "Foreign merchants, residents of China, are less numerous and less prosperous than the same class were a half century ago." [*24] Writing further on American poverty in the pre-"depression" era...

    [of New England] Its deposits of silver, iron, and coal are of no value. Its resources in agriculture, in commerce, interstate and foreign, in the fisheries, in wood, timber, granite, and marble, are equal only to the support of a third part of the present population. In the last half of the nineteenth century great changes were made in its industries. The breeding of horses and cattle for sale was abandoned. The cultivation of hops, corn, and wheat was transferred to New York and the further West. The building of locomotives with all the heavier products of iron was given up under the superior advantages existing in Pennsylvania and Ohio. None of these industries can ever be regained. In the same period of time the tanning industry, the manufacture of agricultural implements, of household furnishings of wood, passed wholly or in a large degree into other hands. To these appreciable losses and as of signal importance, I add the loss of a considerable part of the industry in shoes and leather which for a time was almost a monopoly in New England. [*25]

         In 1903, child labor has swelled to the millions, with author Ernest Poole writing on the conditions of newsies, "In New York today there are some five thousand newsboys. Hundreds are homeless, and of these some are constantly wandering -- to Chicago, San Francisco, and New Orleans, to London and the cities of the Continent, wandering always -- but returning always, sooner or later, to what they think the greatest town on earth, to the home that taught them to be homeless." [*26] and, "Mike and 'Whitey' lit fine stout cigars and described for my especial benefit the ride they had once enjoyed on top of a baggage car in Texas, where it seems the conductor, the brakeman, the engineer, and the fireman constantly used them as targets for pistol practice." [*27] In 1905, Annie S. Daniel writes, "As it requires more than two weeks' wages to pay one month's rent, it is very evident that the women must work or the family go hungry." [*28] Since the poverty level was so great in the United States, and remains so today, she writes further, "The average number of persons in the apartments, due largely to this cause, was 6.4 persons. The average number of rooms occupied by such groups was 2.6. In order to make the income reach the out-go, boarders, lodgers, two and three families huddle together, until not even the ghost of decency remains." [*29] Unemployment in 1905 soared, as written by John Daniels, "Though very few cases of long-continued and absolute lack of work have come to the writer's attention, there are certain facts respecting the industrial situation of the Negro here which may well lead us to conclude that much temporary idleness exists." [*30] R.R. Wright Jr. comments on the same situation, "The question of earning a living -- how to get a job and how to hold a job -- is the most serious and most difficult question now confronting the Chicago Negro. He must work where he can rather than where he will." [*31] In 1906, a church leader spoke to his group, "The children who are not properly housed, clothed and fed, and who have not the vitality to carry them through the bitter cold of winter and the heat of summer are just as certainly murdered as are the victims of the riots." [*32] In a 1906-1907 article, by Mary Van Kleeck, it describes working security in the new era, "When it was suggested to one of them that she find a position with another firm, she replied that, while she knew that other places treated you less "like a slave," the hours were like this everywhere in her trade,--that a girl never knew when she would be "laid off" one day, and forced to work day and night the next." [*33] In another article by Van Kleeck, written in 1908, it claims...

    A widow and four children were living in a rear tenement on Chrystie street where they rented two rooms at nine dollars a month. The house is an old one, with old fashioned worn-out wooden stairs and sinks from which water frequently overflows on the stair landings. Three of the children in the family referred to,-Messina aged eleven years, Mary aged nine, and Ida aged six, helped their mother in finishing overcoats of good quality well lined with black satin. The children were under-nourished and undeveloped, entirely unfit physically for any work, especially sewing heavy cloth overcoats. The rooms in which they lived were very dirty, and the family owned only one bed. At night they used the cloth overcoats for covering. [*34]

         In 1909, the women's rights and labor rights advocate Jane Addams writes, "...the modern city wastes this most valuable moment in the life of the girl, and drives into all sorts of absurd and obscure expressions her love and yearning towards the world in which she forecasts her destiny, so it often drives the boy into gambling and drinking in order to find his adventure." [*35] In a longer sections, she writes...

    We are told upon good authority that "If the imagination is retarded, while the senses remain awake, we have a state of esthetic insensibility," -- in other words, the senses become sodden and cannot be lifted from the ground. It is this state of "esthetic insensibility" into which we allow the youth to fall which is so distressing and so unjustifiable. Sex impulse then becomes merely a dumb and powerful instinct without in the least awakening the imagination or the heart, nor does it overflow into neighboring fields of consciousness. Every city contains hundreds of degenerates who have been over-mastered and borne down by it; they fill the casual lodging houses and the infirmaries.


    An English moralist has lately asserted that "much of the evil of the time may be traced to outraged imagination. It is the strongest quality of the brain and it is starved. Children, from their earliest years, are hedged in with facts; they are not trained to use their minds on the unseen."


    It goes without saying that every tenement house contains women who for years spend their hurried days in preparing food and clothing and pass their sleepless nights in tending and nursing their exigent children, with never one thought for their own comfort or pleasure or development save as these may be connected with the future of their families. We all know as a matter of course that every shop is crowded with workingmen who year after year spend all of their wages upon the nurture and education of their children, reserving for themselves but the shabbiest clothing and a crowded place at the family table. [*36]

         Monopolies, corporations that have organized into one whole body, have taken control over the working people in this era. They refused to employ workers, they refused to produce goods, they refused to transport materials, until prices rose and wages fell. Unemployment soared along side profit, proportionally. That is the nature of the Capitalist system. "The Standard, through its pipe line, had refused to run oil, unless sold to them, and then declared it could not buy, because the railroads could furnish it no cars in which to move away the oil. Hundreds of wells were stopped, to their great damage. Thousands more, whose owners were afraid to close them for fear of injury by salt water, were pumping the oil on the ground." [*37] In 1876, there were 21 oil refineries idle in one city. Over 3,000 men lost their jobs to increase the cost of the product. In 1867, 28 oil refineries were shut down. In total, of the nation, 76 were shut down, to increase the cost of oil, and decrease wages. [*38] To quote Henry Lloyd, "The thousands of men thrown out of employment in Pittsburgh between 1872 and 1877..." [*39] Poverty rose: "...one hundred wedding-rings were pawned in one town in a single week for money to bread..." [*40] In the 1800's, for over two months, three out of every four flouring mills was shut down -- of which legislators estimated to cost the country more than three hundred million dollars, in 1800's money. [*41] The cost of living increased dramatically, forcing workers to strike for better pay -- some strikes nearly shutting down the entire nation, and costing over ten million dollars. [*42] Mega-corporations in this time threw away wheat, "as the Dutch threw away the spices of the Moluccas," even when people were starving. [*43] In England: "With the machinery of the Liverpool Cotton Exchange a year ago they stopped fifteen million spindles and took away the livelihood of thousands of men, women, and children." [*44] In Chicago: "The commercial reports of the Chicago papers show that, during the corner of 1881, shipments were stopped, elevators gorged, the lake marine paralyzed, sailors and laborers thrown out of work, and a blockade of the entire grain business threatened." [*45] The response this all had on society was clear...

    Dr. Drysdale, of London, at the last session of the Social Science Congress, pointed out how the deathrate rose with scarcity of food. The mean age of the rich in England, at the time of death, is fifty-five; among the poor it is not thirty. The death-rate among the children of the comfortable classes is eighty in a thousand; among the working people of Manchester and Liverpool it is three hundred in a thousand. Dr. Farr shows that the death-rate of England decreases three per cent, when wheat declines two shillings a quarter. As food grows dear, typhus grows plenty. Scarcer bread means more crime. An increase of one larceny to every hundred thousand inhabitants comes with every rise of two farthings in the price of wheat in Bavaria. The enemies of the men who corner wheat and pork could wish for no heavier burden on their souls than that they should be successful. As wheat rises, flour rises; and when flour becomes dear, through manipulation, it is the blood of the poor that flows into the treasury of the syndicate. Such money costs too much. [*46]

         "It is said by the local newspapers that the mills which do not belong to the association are hired to stand idle, as there are too many mills, and the association finds it profitable to sustain prices at the cost of thousands of dollars paid out in this way." [*47] The Western Wrapping Association, from 1880 and onward, has curtailed production, refusing to produce as much as it easily could, to inflate the price of wrapping paper. The Western Wooden Ware Association only produced one fifth of what they could from 1884 onward. The owner of Vulcan Mill at St. Louis refused to produce rail, at an income of $400,000 a year from other mills. The Nail Association refused to produce for five weeks, to increase the cost of nails. The price of track was doubled when production was cut in half. Many whisky distillers' are kept idle, drawing pension from other distillers of up to $500 a day. A milk monopoly was formed, that bought all the milk produced -- when producers refused to sell to the monopoly, the milk was forcibly spilled, often with the aid of bribed police officers. [*48] Lloyd describes the whole scene as it appeared in the United States at that era...

    Other combinations [with the intent of keeping up prices and keeping down production], more or less successful, have been made by ice-men of New York, fish dealers of Boston, Western millers, copper miners, manufacturers of sewer pipe, lamps, pottery, glass, hoop-iron, shot, rivets, sugar, candy, starch, preserved fruits, glucose, vapor stoves, chairs, lime, rubber, screws, chains, harvesting machinery, pins, salt, type, brass tubing, hardware, silk, and wire cloth, to say nothing of the railroad, labor, telegraph, and telephone pools with which we are so familiar. [*49]

         The cruelty as it appears from the Capitalist class must, in fact, be unwaivering. I am not trying to vilify some unseen creature, some indispensably disposed being, as infinitely brutal thing -- I am bringing evidence that suggests this. Lloyd writes, one last time...

    Mr. Markle evicted thirteen men against not one of whom does the record show any offence. One of these men had been thirty years in his and his father’s employment. These people occupied "Company houses," held under the most extraordinary leases perhaps in America. Their tenure was at the will and pleasure of John Markle, and the rent was 15˝ cents a day. Nowhere else in the world, so far as I know, do such leases exist, except in one place, and the coincidence is appropriate. In the Whitechapel district in London I have seen houses where the rent is collected every night at ten o’clock. These Markle leases contained a clause by which the tenant made the landlord his agent to confess judgment in any controversy between himself and his landlord. One of these tenants had served the Markles for thirty-one years. There was not one black mark against his name; only a very faithful and very obedient and very competent man could have had that record, but his son had been a member of the relief committee and had fed women and children who were starving during the strike. Others of the thirteen evicted men had been officers and leading men of the union. They had made Mr. Markle’s lawyer their lawyer, and so when the eviction notices were served, judgment was confessed by his lawyer for them and all the requirements of the conscience of the law were satisfied. Mr. Markle’s lawyer went to Wilkesbarre at 12 o’clock at night to get the papers and ordered the sheriff to be there early in the morning. The men had had six days’ notice but they had not moved, not believing it possible that the employer most famous of all in the coal regions for his philanthropy would do this thing. His lawyer said before the Commission that these men had put up a job to get turned out. When the lawyer came in the morning these men begged for time. One of them had a wife who was lying sick in bed, and a mother-in-law a hundred years old, blind and sick in bed. This man, Henry Coll, begged for time,-only two hours’ time-to find a place of refuge. The sheriff went to Mr. Markle. Mr. Markle said, according to one account, "No"; according to another, "Not ten minutes."

    They got some wagons and then carried the household goods of these people out in the highway, the only place they had to lay their heads. It was two miles from any other village; it was a November day, by this time it had grown to be six o’clock at night and a cold rain was coming down. The Superintendent left these people on the road in the rain and the dark,-men, women, and children, the well, the sick, the blind, the infirm, the helpless, two miles from any shelter, and then having done his good work, he drove away, went home, and got his supper.

    It was one o’clock in the morning before Henry Coll found a place to go to and a wagon to take him and his wife and his mother-in-law to it. They had to enter their new home through a window as the door could not be opened. Some kind of a bed was made of the wet things they had; Coll got some medicine for his wife who was growing worse; she sat up to take it and as she swallowed it she choked, fell forward-dead! [*50]

         In February of 1911, Elizabeth C Watson explored the tenement houses of the city. Her discoveries: "Last March, on a bitter cold day with snow falling, while visiting a tenement in which finishing was done, a little shivering group of children was found whimpering and huddling in the second floor hallway. The baby, a tiny scrap of fourteen months, was crying with cold, while the little mother (of seven) cuddled him in her arms, trying to forget her own discomfort in caring for him." [*51] One immigrant told her, "Everybody, all a people, they willow the plumes. It hurts the eyes, too, bad, bad. How we can help it? The man he no work, two days, three days, may be in one week, two weeks. Sundays he no work, no pay. The holidays, no work, no money. Rainy, snowy days, bad days, he no work." [*52] In 1967, an editorial wrote, "Since the turn of the century the cartel has systematically and almost continuously fixed prices, rigged bids, divided territories, artificially curtailed production." [*53] The article was speaking of a medicine production company, that was artificially keep the world in constant fever, under the constant distress of sickness, nausea, and illness.



    1. Lloyd, Henry Demarest, "Lords of Industry," 1910, chapter 4.
    2. Petty, William, "A Treatise of Taxes & Contributions," 1662, chapter 2.
    3. Hale, Matthew, "A Discourse Touching Provision for the Poor," 1683.
    4. Steuart, James, "An Inquiry into the Principles of Political Economy," 1767.
    5. Malthus, Thomas, "An Essay on the Principle of Population," 1798, chapter 4.
    6. Malthus, Thomas, "An Essay on the Principle of Population," 1798, chapter 5.
    7. Malthus, Thomas, "An Essay on the Principle of Population," 1798, chapter 7.
    8. Malthus, Thomas, "An Essay on the Principle of Population," 1798, chapter 4.
    9. Malthus, Thomas, "The Grounds of an Opinion on the Policy of Restricting the Importation of Foreign Corn," 1815.
    10. Sismondi, Jean-Charles-Leonard Simonde de, "Political Economy," 1815.
    11. Van Etten, Ida M., "Russian Jews as Desirable Immigrants," 1893.
    12. Van Etten, Ida M., "Russian Jews as Desirable Immigrants," 1893.
    13. Kelley, Florence, "First Annual Report of the Factory Inspectors of Illinois," 1894.
    14. Riis, Jacob, "The Jews of New York," 1896.
    15. Cahan, Abraham, "The Russian Jew in America," 1898.
    16. Cahan, Abraham, "The Russian Jew in America," 1898.
    17. Cahan, Abraham, "The Russian Jew in America," 1898.
    18. Veiller, Lawrence, "The Tenement-House Exhibition of 1899," 1900-1901.
    19. Gould, E. R. L., "The Housing Problem in Great Cities," 1899-1900.
    20. Gould, E. R. L., "The Housing Problem in Great Cities," 1899-1900.
    21. Gould, E. R. L., "The Housing Problem in Great Cities," 1899-1900.
    22. Working Women's Society, "Report of the Tenement House Committee," Date Unknown.
    23. Stevenson, Robert Alston, "The Poor in Summer," 1901.
    24. Boutwell, George S., "The Enslavement of American Labor," 1902.
    25. Boutwell, George S., "The Enslavement of American Labor," 1902.
    26. Poole, Ernest, "Newsboy Wanderers Are Tramps in the Making," 1903.
    27. Poole, Ernest, "Newsboy Wanderers Are Tramps in the Making," 1903.
    28. Daniel, Annie S., "The Wreck of the Home: How Wearing Apparel is Fashioned in the Tenements," 1905.
    29. Daniel, Annie S., "The Wreck of the Home: How Wearing Apparel is Fashioned in the Tenements," 1905.
    30. Daniels, John, "Industrial Conditions Among Negro Men in Boston," 1905.
    31. Wright, R. R., Jr., "The Negro in Times of Industrial Unrest," 1905.
    32. Hart, J.W., "The Church and Workingmen," 1906.
    33. Van Kleeck, Mary, "Working Hours of Women in Factories," 1906-1907.
    34. Van Kleeck, Mary, "Child Labor in New York City Tenements," 1908.
    35. Addams, Jane, "The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets," 1909, chapter 1.
    36. Addams, Jane, "The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets," 1909, chapter 2.
    37. Lloyd, Henry Demarest, "Lords of Industry," 1910, chapter 1.
    38. Lloyd, Henry Demarest, "Lords of Industry," 1910, chapter 1.
    39. Lloyd, Henry Demarest, "Lords of Industry," 1910, chapter 1.
    40. Lloyd, Henry Demarest, "Lords of Industry," 1910, chapter 2.
    41. Lloyd, Henry Demarest, "Lords of Industry," 1910, chapter 3.
    42. Lloyd, Henry Demarest, "Lords of Industry," 1910, chapter 3.
    43. Lloyd, Henry Demarest, "Lords of Industry," 1910, chapter 3.
    44. Lloyd, Henry Demarest, "Lords of Industry," 1910, chapter 3.
    45. Lloyd, Henry Demarest, "Lords of Industry," 1910, chapter 3.
    46. Lloyd, Henry Demarest, "Lords of Industry," 1910, chapter 3.
    47. Lloyd, Henry Demarest, "Lords of Industry," 1910, chapter 4.
    48. Lloyd, Henry Demarest, "Lords of Industry," 1910, chapter 4.
    49. Lloyd, Henry Demarest, "Lords of Industry," 1910, chapter 4.
    50. Lloyd, Henry Demarest, "Lords of Industry," 1910, chapter 9.
    51. Watson, Elizabeth C., "Home Work in the Tenements," 1911, February.
    52. Watson, Elizabeth C., "Home Work in the Tenements," 1911, February.
    53. New Republic Editorial, "The Quinine Caper," 1967.

    join the punkerslut.com
    mailing list!

    copyleft notice and
    responsibility disclaimer