Wealth and Want
... because democracy alone is not enough to produce widely shared prosperity.
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The rich get rich and the poor get poorer
You may not be old enough to remember the song


Words by Gus Kahn and Raymond B. Egan; Music by Richard Whiting,1921

Bill collectors gather 'round and rather haunt the cottage next door,
Men the grocer and butcher sent, Men who call for the rent.
But within, a happy chappy, and his bride of only a year,
Seem to be so cheerful,
Here's an ear full of the chatter you hear:

Ev'ry morning, Ev'ry evening, Ain't we got fun?
Not much money, Oh but honey, Ain't We Got Fun?
The rent's unpaid dear, We haven't a bus

In the winter, in the summer, Don't we have fun?
Times are bum and getting bummer, Still we have fun.
There's nothing surer: The rich get rich and the poor get poorer
In the meantime, In between time, Ain't we got fun?

Just to make their trouble nearly double, Something happen'd last night.
To their chimney a gray bird came, Mr. Stork is his name.
And I'll bet two pins A pair of twins just happen'd in with the bird.
Still they're very gay and merry, Just at dawning I heard:

Ev'ry morning, Ev'ry evening, Don't we got fun?
Twins and cares dear, come in pairs, dear, Don't we have fun?
We've only started, As mommer and pop, Are we downhearted,
I'll say that we're not!

Landlords mad and getting madder, Ain't we got fun?
Times are bad and getting badder, Still we have fun!
There's nothing surer, The rich get rich and the poor get laid off
In the meantime, In between time,  Ain't we got fun?

When the man who sold 'em carpets told 'em, He would take them away,
They said "Wonderful! here's our chance! Take them up, and we'll dance!"
And when burglars came and robb'd them Taking all their silver, they say.
Hubby yell'd "We're famous, For they'll name us in the papers today!"

Night or daytime, It's all playtime, Ain't we got fun?
Hot or cold days, Any old days, Ain't we got fun?

If wifie wishes, To go to a play, 
Don't wash the dishes, Just throw them away!
Street car seats are awful narrow, Ain't we got fun?
They won't smash up our Pierce Arrow,

They've cut my wages, But my income tax will be so much smaller,
When I'm paid off,  I'll be laid off

Winston Churchill: The People's Land  
Every form of enterprise only undertaken after the land monopolist has skimmed the cream off for himself   It does not matter where you look or what examples you select, you will see that every form of enterprise, every step in material progress, is only undertaken after the land monopolist has skimmed the cream off for himself, and everywhere today the man or the public body who wishes to put land to its highest use is forced to pay a preliminary fine in land values to the man who is putting it to an inferior use, and in some cases to no use at all. All comes back to the land value, and its owner for the time being is able to levy his toll upon all other forms of wealth and upon every form of industry. A portion, in some cases the whole, of every benefit which is laboriously acquired by the community is represented in the land value, and finds its way automatically into the landlord's pocket. If there is a rise in wages, rents are able to move forward, because the workers can afford to pay a little more. If the opening of a new railway or a new tramway or the institution of an improved service of workmen's trains or a lowering of fares or a new invention or any other public convenience affords a benefit to the workers in any particular district, it becomes easier for them to live, and therefore the landlord and the ground landlord, one on top of the other, are able to charge them more for the privilege of living there. ... Read the whole piece


Clarence Darrow: How to Abolish Unfair Taxation (1913)

Most of our laws were made by the dead, and the dead have no right to legislate for the living. The present generation has no right to bind its legislation upon the generation still unborn. When one generation is dead, it ought to stay dead and not reach out its dead hand to bind the living. We have no right to fix terms and conditions for those yet unborn; it is for each generation to fix the rules and regulations for itself. The earth should be owned by all men, the coal mines should belong to the people who live here, so they can take what they want while they live, as when they are dead they won't need coal — they will be warm enough without it — and they should not have the power to say who shall have it when they are gone. Carnegie and Morgan cannot use or withhold it much longer, as they will soon be gone — that is one consolation. ... read the whole speech

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Wealth and Want
... because democracy alone hasn't yet led to a society in which all can prosper