The Charlotte News

Saturday, June 17, 1939


Site Ed. Note: "Last Chance" echoes the special, moving piece Cash wrote for the June 11 edition of The News, "A Visit to the Mecklenburg Sanatorium".

Note the worth of the two to three day stay in a private hospital. By comparison across time, we ought be paying today only about ten times the cost of an average novel to stay in such a facility. Something seems to be amiss with relative inflation. Ah well, at least as you sit in your $1,000 a day bed, you can read your favorite novel for a mere $20 or so.

And as to "Strictly Partisan", we are most happy to report that such nonsense obviously no longer exists.

Last Chance

To Register To Vote For Sanatorium And Library Taxes

Today is the last day for registration to vote in the special election on taxes for the support of the Mecklenburg Sanatorium and the public library. The boxes close at 7 P.M. and citizens who are in favor of them should take good care to register. More than one good thing has died in Charlotte simply because of the carelessness of those who favored them.

And about the desirability of providing these taxes, we do not think there is any reasonable doubt. The levies in both cases are exceedingly small--that for the Sanatorium being 2 cents on the hundred dollars valuation, that for the library one-half a cent. A man with $10,000 worth of property listed for taxation will pay $2.50, the price of a single current novel. The man with $100,000 will pay $25, the price of his care in a private hospital for two or three days. As for the smaller fry, their contributions will be reckoned in terms of a few coca-colas or bottles of beer.

On the other hand, the new facilities for colored patients at the hospital are imperatively needed. Half the Negro tuberculars in the county die of the disease because of lack of care. And they serve as walking breeding stations for the disease--for whites as well as blacks. And as for the library, can anybody seriously argue that a town of 100,000 people should go without it because it is going to cost somebody with $100 worth of property half a cent a year, somebody with a thousand dollars worth a nickel, and somebody with a hundred thousand dollars worth $5? That nobody but the well-heeled shall be allowed to read more than two or three books a year--because that is all he can afford to buy outright? It would be to more than justify the worst things ever said about the state of culture in the town.


It Is Not Proved But The Possibility Needs Investigation

In less than a month three submarines belonging to the three great democratic powers of the West have been sunk: first, the Squalus of the United States Navy, with a loss of 26 lives; secondly, the Thetis of the Royal British Navy, with a loss of 99 lives; thirdly, the Phenix of the French Navy, with a loss of 71 lives. In none of these cases can the navies offer any explanation. All of them are puzzled.

It is much too early to lead to the conclusion that sabotage is responsible, but the French newspapers certainly have good ground to begin to raise the question. "Can this be the law of averages?" they demand. Obviously, it isn't, but it might be the law of blind chance which runs "it never rains but it pours."

But without indulging in any hysteria, it is plainly time for England, France, and the United States acting severally and jointly to examine into the question with every resource at their command. After all, we know that there are in existence on the globe three definitely criminal governments--for international affairs. They have openly boasted not only of murdering women and children by the wholesale in countries on which they had not declared war, but also practicing piracy on the high seas and getting away with it. And this, if it should be sabotage, is exactly that: piracy.

Judgment had better be suspended now, plainly. There is no direct evidence. And until there is, it would be foolish to get worked up over what may be coincidence. At such times as this, it is sensible to remember that there is now considerable evidence that the Maine was not blown up at all. But the possibility of sabotage here is clearly not to be dismissed easily.

Moral Effect

Mr. Roosevelt Favors More Income Taxes To Do The Boys Good

Mr. Roosevelt's reasons, as alleged, for thinking the base of the income tax should be broadened, seem a little quaint when you look at them closely. Those people, he said, who have been claiming that it would balance the budget, were talking very largely through very small hats. It wouldn't, he maintained, bring in any income to speak of--maybe not any. For it would cost as much to collect the levy from the little boys as their contributions came to. Still, he was in favor of it, because it would "give them added responsibilities of citizenship."

That is to say, they ought to be soaked, not because the Government hoped to get any money out of them but merely for the good of their moral characters. Well, the little men who pay no income taxes but who pay sales taxes and gasoline taxes and so on probably will think they have enough "added responsibilities of citizenship" already, and squawk loudly at the idea of taking no more just by way of achieving virtue. And all the little bachelors who see their exemptions in danger of coming down from $1,000 to $800 and all the little married hubbies who would be soaked from $1,200 up instead of $2,500, will undoubtedly squawk, too. But it probably won't do them any good. The Government has been soaking the rich and the near-rich for a long time for this purpose of doing them moral good. And, indeed, there is no record that the New Deal has ever receded from its purpose once it decided they were needful morally. So the little 'uns may as well resign themselves.

Strictly Partisan

The Republicans Close Ranks Against The Hull Proposals

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the House has endorsed Secretary Hull's neutrality proposals--by a strictly party vote. That is, all the Republicans on the committee voted against them. And that shows that all the Republicans on the committee are firmly convinced isolationists, that they believe with Senators Borah and Johnson that the present embargo on arms serves best to keep the United States out of war, and that moreover, it ought to be kept just out of regard for humanity?

Alas, it shows no such thing. All the available evidence, indeed, tends to show that an arms embargo is wholly inconsistent with our national interest. It promises, if war comes in Europe, to cripple our friends and to aid our enemies. And because that is so, it stands as an open invitation to Adolf Hitler to make war. And some Republicans on that committee who have never been isolationists are well aware of it. But they are, above all, partisans. The Hull plan is sponsored by the Democrats, and it unquestionably emanates from That Man Roosevelt. Moreover, it is easy to appeal to anti-war sentiment in the country by painting the President as bent on landing us squarely in the middle of a European war. And as against that, the national interest doesn't count.

Circle Rounded

Russia Takes To Champagne As Being A Cultural Drink

The Russian Government has declared war on vodka, the old national drink which has a kick comparable to nothing save our own Southern corn-juice brewed under the moon. But there is not much comfort for prohibitionists in the announcement, since its only purpose is to wean the happy dozens of the proletarian paradise away from the stuff to beer and champagne--and that not for temperance or moral reasons of any sort but for quite other ones.

Russian beer is reported to be even worse than Belgian beer, which is to say that it must be useful only as an emetic; and so, though the government is busily trying to improve it, there doesn't seem to be much prospect of catching on soon. The Russian champagne is another thing. It isn't as good as the authentic French "oh, be joyful," but it is apparently better than the American varieties.

Well, but why is it that the Russian Government wants to make champagne-drinking popular? For one thing, this: that it wants to give the big money-makers in Russia, such as the upper bracket engineers, something from which to spend their surplus jack. Staple consumer goods, like clothing, are almost unobtainable, and so the boys are miserably afflicted with a lot of smackers they can't spend.

But even more interesting is the second reason given: that champagne is regarded as a "cultural drink." Which is to say that the Soviets seem to have got all the way around the circle from old Marx again, and gone in for identifying "culture" with "luxury" quite as though there were any of the wicked plutocratic nations they have so bitterly scorned.


Framed Edition
[Return to Links-Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News--Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.