THE same date, April 1, for the first time in the history of our coal industry, calls this year for the settlement of wages in both anthracite and bituminous mines over the whole region east of the Mississippi and north of the extreme Southern mines. No such labor organization as that whose council now controls and expresses the wage demands of over 400,000 miners in hard and soft coal has existed before in this country. The bituminous mines are still owned by many firms, companies, and railroad or manufacturing corporations. In the anthracite region, the consolidation of both capital and labor has come about. Only about 470 square miles in area, employing, in all, 150,000 miners, laborers, and boys, and with a total capitalization of about $160,000,000 in mines, and $600,000,000 more in transport and distribution, there has been in the anthracite mines through the winter a swift and skillful massing of control and ownership. In this area consolidated capital faces combined labor. There remain many figments and fictions of separate individual and corporate ownership ; but no one familiar with the facts which underlie nominal titles has probably any doubt that the purchase of various coal companies, and the reorganization of various railroad and mining corporations, have left the capital engaged in anthracite mining and transportation as completely under one control as the labor employed in the mines is now enrolled in one union.
Whether these twin conditions, both unprecedented, — the settlement of both anthracite and bituminous wages on one day, and the presence of two opposing organizations, each equally complete, in the capital and the labor of anthracite, — will lead to a strike or to an amicable settlement no one can predict. But such a situation plainly calls for a clear comprehension, by that great body of candid men who desire only justice in these conflicts, of the causes which, in spite of all desire and determination in law and in public policy to promote individual ownership, action, and the free haggling of the market, have brought about these massed forces.
Hovering a space, till winds the signal blow,
To join their dark encounter in mid-air.”
In the anthracite strike of last autumn wages were advanced ten per cent, under pressure of the united control of capital already mentioned, and against the determination of individual operators and mining corporations to contest the advance. This strike and its result raised in most minds the familiar presumption in all strikes, that their presence implies some moral lack either in employer or employed. Nearly all discussion of strikes, in an economic quarterly or in “ yellow ” journalism, assumes, consciously or unconsciously, that strikes come only when capital is withholding what is not its own, or labor seeking more than its due. If this presumption generally inclines to the side of labor, it is because the continuous experience of the past century has seen the level of wages rise, and the condition of labor improve. The car driver of twenty-five years ago went in winter girt about with a horse blanket, like a tramp. He has been replaced by the motorman, dressed in a uniform, his overcoat always presentable ; worn, it may be, but marked by a general air of self-respecting attire. This change, which most people forget in discussing the labor question, extends through the entire range of employment and industry. In France, more uniform in its development, more continuous in its industrial history, and more complete in its records, it is possible, as the Vicomte d’Avenel neatly put it in his review of a century of the Republic, to prove that the capitalist has lost one half of his return in the fall of interest; the landowner has had the decline in the value of money made good by a corresponding improvement in the value of land; and for labor, wages have trebled, and the cost of living doubled, so that the workman was, in France, one half better off in 1890 than in 1790. Thus it is in all progressive lands.
This improvement is generally gained by imperceptible degrees, in the daily haggling of wages. When a strike comes in the course of this uplift, its ethics are to be settled, not by printing a picture of the house of the mine owner and mine worker, but by considering the houses of all employed and all employers ; by seeing the strike in its relations, and not in its details. For wages are decided in every calling by competitive prices ; and competitive prices are made, not by the least efficient method of production, but by the most efficient; not by the old machine, but by the new one ; not by the poorly skilled and ineffective laborer, but by the highly skilled and efficient artisan, who stands at his work with every appliance which invention has provided, and every training in character, in head, and in hand which the education of the day can furnish. These are the forces which make prices, reducing the price of the product and increasing the wage of the worker.
If the progress of any land be rapid, these changes will inevitably lead to shocks and to conflict. If in this country, from 1881 to 1894, thirteen years and six months, there were 14,389 strikes, affecting 69,166 establishments, and throwing 3,714,231 persons out of employment, this is not a proof that the American employer was slow to grant an advance of wages, or that the American artisan was interfering with industry, and running the risk of losing his wages by demanding a rise. These strikes are only a measure of the rapidity of the industrial march, and of the swiftness with which economic readjustment became necessary. Stragglers increase as the pace of the column grows. Where there are no industrial changes there will be no industrial conflicts, and the bitterness of the war between labor and capital will be in tolerably exact proportion to the size of the stake represented by the aggregate product and advance of the community, the rapidity with which it is increased, and an adjustment of its respective division rendered necessary.
Every new machine has in it a need for such adjustment and the possibility of a strike; every new discovery brings with it potential collision. The box of Pandora held no more possibilities of conflict than do the records of the Patent Office at Washington, — each invention charged with hope and pregnant with strife. As the world grows smaller, and nations jostle one another in the march along the converging paths which are rapidly reaching the same goal, and opening on that broad arena where the final conflicts of industrial civilization are to be decided, these causes for industrial collision grow wider than the scope of a single industry, the boundaries of any land, or the limits of the inventive genius of any people. So it comes to pass that when the transition from wood to iron in shipbuilding brings the keel near the mine and the forge, the shipbuilders on the Thames enter on a great strike which destroys their industry, and transfers the centre of the world’s shipbuilding to Glasgow. The gain of trade by Liverpool and other English ports is followed by a strike in London dockyards. The improvement of beet-root-sugar production in Germany brings to industrial ruin and civil revolution the sugar fields of Cuba. The Irish landlord finds himself unable to collect his rents, and forced to accept a reduction of fully one half in his income, because of the fertile acres opened in our West by the Irish emigrant. The iron industries of New England wither before the cheaper fuel and cheaper ores of Western mines and foundries. The buffalo is replaced by domestic cattle over our Western ranges. The value of leather is cheapened, and there begin exports of boots and shoes which throw into confusion the laboriously adjusted relations of wages in the industry throughout England. Each development of our cotton industry changes the relations of the product elsewhere to the general demand. When an engineering strike comes in England, fought out over half a year of industrial strife, as in 1899, the real cause is not a dispute over machines or apprentices, but the appearance of the American product in every competing market, in the very mills and machine shops which the strikers have left silent.
When the coal of Scotland and Wales developed, the mines in Midland England went through the great strike of twoscore years ago. When cheap freights made English coal exports possible on a constantly increasing scale, a series of coal strikes in Belgium, France, and Germany recorded the perturbation. As these mines adjusted themselves to new conditions, gained greater efficiency, and entered on a more strenuous competition in the last two countries behind the wall of a protective tariff, there began the series of convulsions in English mining wages, twenty years ago, which ended in a “ sliding scale ” for wages based on the price of coal under the arrangements between 1879 and 1888. These “ scales ” worked with steady automatic regularity, until our own coal development led to the appearance abroad, first, of our coal indirectly, in the shape of metallic exports, before long to be followed by the substitution of our own coal, at competing points, for the English product, — English ocean steamers filling their bunkers with American coal for the return trip. Straightway, as though one had fired a train, there ran a series of industrial conflicts : the great Midland strike in 1892, the strikes in Scotland and South Wales which followed, and disturbances in German, Belgian, and French coal mines, — all based upon a determination to maintain prices in spite of competition, a determination which the amazing trade expansion of the past four years has rendered possible.
Similarly in this country. When the competition of the mines and the ironmaking of western Pennsylvania and Ohio began to be felt in the anthracite region, between 1865 and 1870, it was succeeded by strikes and the more murderous work of Molly Maguires. As the Ohio industries developed, strikes followed in western Pennsylvania. When Indiana and Illinois began, by their opening of coal mines, to derange the markets which had been supplied from Pennsylvania and Ohio, a disastrous conflict followed in the Hocking Valley region. Indiana and Illinois each had its strikes as the region to the westward began its coal development. The mines of Pocahontas, in the southern tip of West Virginia, whose product was scarcely noticed at first, deranged the scale for soft-coal wages, and a strike over five states followed. These mines meanwhile worked with steadily increasing product, stoning, and in more than one case killing, the messengers of industrial resistance who came to them from striking miners to the north, only to find themselves forced to a strike when the readjustment of the bituminous scale had brought into sharp competition with their own product the output of the mines which struck when they were at work, and which were at work when they struck. The bitter and bloody strife in Alabama in 1895 succeeded the cheap freights which brought Connellsville coke at 90 cents a ton into a region which had been developing its own iron industry on the basis of domestic coke at $1.60 a ton. These mines have gained a market in the Southwest, in Texas, Arkansas, and Indian Territory. The mines of these states, whose development is the economic event of the past five years in the coal industry of the United States, will in their turn, as soon as an universal prosperity begins to ebb, cause a series of strikes over the encircling coal mines from Kansas and Iowa to Alabama, which a decade before played their part in precipitating the strikes of earlier coal miners from 1887 to 1893.
Anthracite coal mining, as it began, seemed to be one of those industries in which a fortunate position and the monopoly of product would render the division of a return of the output of capital and labor both easy and equitable. In 1840 the products of anthracite and bituminous coal mines were almost exactly alike, — 863,489 tons for one, and 985,828 tons for the other. But there was this difference : that while the anthracite product lay close to the seaboard, in a single highly organized region, settled by those whose ancestors had come from the mining regions of central Europe, and who had a transmitted tradition of ability and training in the mechanic arts, and were within easy water communication, by canal and river, of the two great centres of population on the North Atlantic coast, New York and Philadelphia, the bituminous product was scattered in a hundred counties, in mines more numerous wherever some running stream and sloping adit made it possible to float and freight the product of a mine down the waters of the Ohio, or seaward along the line of the Potomac. For twenty years the two developed and grew, and in 1860 the product had increased tenfold,— anthracite producing 8,513,123 tons, and bituminous 8,000,000 tons; the round figures themselves being a record of the scattered product, difficult distribution, and local consumption of soft coal. The advantages of capital were all on the side of anthracite. In 1840 its proportion of capital was $5 per ton, while that of bituminous was but $2. A similar ratio has remained to this day. At the start anthracite represented greater advantages ; to-day it stands for greater burdens. In the decade after 1860 anthracite enjoyed all the advantages of position: it was near the great mass of population ; cheap freights at hand made the distribution of fuel possible. The iron of the country was made by anthracite ; to-day not a tithe is so made. Coke was unknown.
The war brought a great excess of business in the East, while in the West it deranged industries over regions now furnishing nearly half the coal produced in the country. By 1870 anthracite had increased in product twofold, rising to 16,182,191 tons, while bituminous, which had so long kept pace with it, produced only 14,000,000 tons, and of this a far smaller share represented the use of iron in industry. Profits in hard coal were enormous. The “ miner ” — who, it must be remembered, was himself an employer of labor, hiring his laborers — made wages of $300 and $400 a month. Generally, wages doubled through the anthracite region. Capital received an even larger return, and straightway discounted the future. From 1870 to 1880 the capital engaged in anthracite increased from $50,807,285 to $154,399,796. During the same period the product of anthracite had advanced only a half, rising to 23,437,242 tons, while the bituminous product had advanced from 14,000,000 tons to 41,781,343 tons. In a single decade it had outstripped anthracite, more than doubling its product, and began to take from it the production of pig iron. The veil was suddenly withdrawn from the great store of coal which stretched across the continent, with scarcely a break, from Pittsburg, across the Mississippi Valley, through Iowa, and on to the cretaceous coals of the far Northwest. The coals of the South, already known, — some of them discovered before those in Pennsylvania were dreamed of, — began to be worked. Anthracite was hemmed in by a steadily increasing competition of bituminous coal, which can to-day be supplied in New York harbor at about the cost at which hard coals can be raised from the mine and loaded on a car. Anthracite coal ceased to be used for steaming, and this size had to be broken up at a loss, in part counterbalanced by the use of smaller sizes, once discarded.
This competition came after, and not before, the over-capitalization of the anthracite industry. Such capitalization is often treated as if it were the fiat of those who issue stocks, or load with bonds a given enterprise ; but what is called the “ water ” in a coal mine or coal road is as much “ water,” no more and no less, as the “ water ” in a house which a man has bought on some street for $15,000, and finds, after a few years, he can sell for $30,000. If meanwhile he mortgages it for $20,000 to secure some improvement, and the ebb of population returns it to its old value, he will find himself in debt, and without a house. The Reading Railroad did worse. A great mass of figures defile through its reports, and render its condition the inextricable puzzle of the stock market; but what really happened in the case of the Reading Railroad was simplicity itself. If the man who owned the $15,000 house, which we have just mentioned, were to believe, and the market believed, that his house was about to be worth $30,000, and were consequently to mortgage his own house in order to buy another, so that he had two houses, one of which carried a mortgage of $15,000 to pay for the other one, and he stood with a property of $30,000 mortgaged for $15,000, he would be safe if his property went on increasing in value. But if the building of new streets and houses, and the ebb of population from his quarter, reduced the price of both houses, — or, what would amount to the same thing, rendered the rental one half its old value, — he would find himself, after the lapse of years, with two houses, collectively once worth $30,000, and mortgaged for $15,000, but whose rents only barely sufficed to pay the interest on the mortgage, which now represented the total value of both houses. When rents fell, foreclosure would impend, some composition would be made with his creditor, the overdue interest would be added as another mortgage ; and not many years of this process would be necessary before the debt itself called for a larger interest than the house could by any possibility yield in rent. The Reading, in short, bet its share capital on the anthracite future, and has lost it all. It may recover it, if the demand for anthracite increases, and it meets this demand from its position as the owner of the only unexhausted supply of hard coal.
Something like this has happened over the entire anthracite region during the last twenty - five years; for the competition of bituminous coal did not stop when it had, in 1880, more than doubled the product of anthracite. The relative disproportion continued to grow. In the twenty years from 1880 to 1899 anthracite had only increased about double, or, including in the figures the coal used at the mines instead of simple shipments, as in the figures just cited, from 25,580,189 tons to 53,944,647 tons, — an advance of a little over double. The bituminous product, on the other hand, had risen from 42,831,758 tons to 193,321,987, or a little over fourfold. Where in 1880 anthracite supplied one third of the coal used in the country and made nearly half its pig iron, in 1899 it was supplying a little over one fifth of the coal, and bituminous was furnishing a little over four fifths. In iron, anthracite had almost disappeared as a fuel; mixed with coke, it made a tenth. During this period, each year saw the competition grow more severe as the area of bituminous coal widened, as its product increased, and as the efficiency with which it was produced grew with increasing mastery of the problem presented by the mining of soft coal. The inevitable result followed. The railroads, led by the Reading, which had bought nearly one half of the anthracite area, hovered on the edge of bankruptcy, and in the case of Reading passed through three receiverships. Under the competition, a perpetual struggle existed between the labor engaged in the mines, the operators who still held from one third to one half of the ownership of the mines, and the great masses of capital represented by transportation companies, whose equipment had been bought and capitalized when it was believed that anthracite had a monopoly of the coal product, certainly of the North Atlantic coast, and probably of the country. To this was added the circumstance that in the work of mining expenses steadily grow. When the profits of thirty years ago were made, a pit of from 400 to 600 feet was deep. To-day, pits are sunk to thrice this depth without attracting attention. As the earth is penetrated, each yard of distance adds to the cost; and no improvement in mine transportation, no employment of electricity, no more careful organization and prevention of waste, can make up for this perpetual drag which yearly usurps a larger share of the profits from a mine whose value decreases with every ton of coal that is raised. The conditions which always attend a straggle of this character began to appear. Labor deteriorated. The census of 1890 showed that, of those born in Pennsylvania, 845,000 were scattered over the other states, for the most part along the belt of mine-working counties. There had come into the state 854,000 persons born in foreign lands. What had really taken place was the transfer of the Pennsylvanianborn to the West, sent to the officering of the new mining enterprises of the past twenty-five years, which have suddenly advanced the mineral product of the United States, so that in 1899 it reached and exceeded $1,000,000,000, — greater than that of any other country in the world, for the first time distancing that of Great Britain itself. The places of these men were taken by a lower order of population. In 1870, of the 85,544 foreign-born inhabitants in Luzerne and Schuylkill counties, all but 1098 were either German or English, and 67,988 of the 84,446 left came from the United Kingdom. In 1890 this area had within its limits 142,035 foreign-born, and of these 39,978 were Poles and Hungarians. The abler miner, the man capable of being a foreman or of bossing some Western job, who shared the English or German stock, had left the region and gone westward, and all the increase had been taken by an alien, who spoke another language, and represented a lower civilization and a standard of life less high. With this deterioration in labor there came a like deterioration in the methods of capital. It was impossible for a railroad whose tonnage had increased, while its margin of profit had decreased, to provide itself with safety appliances; and the accidents on our coal roads during the last decade have been the most ghastly of the period. The railroads and the operators engaged in conducting the mines resorted to all those various expedients by which capital seeks to preserve a profit in a slowly constricting enterprise, and from whose temptations prosperity frees the managers, because it never pays to multiply the points of contact between employer and employed, if it is possible to maintain solvency simply by paying wages. Every such point of contact, as every employer knows, is another point of irritation and possible trouble ; but the steady competition of bituminous coal kept in progress in the anthracite region the company store, monthly payments, a high price for powder, an iniquitous rule by which the miner was perpetually mulcted in weighing his output, and all the various devices by which dubious profits are wrung through wage accounts, resting indeed on contracts, but whose character is demonstrated by the circumstance that they are jealously concealed.
The specific conditions of coal mining added to all these difficulties. The product of a mine can be stored with economy only in the mine itself. The total storage plants of ten railroads in 1896 were but 4,829,421 tons. Coal must be sold, therefore, as fast as it is mined. Our climate, with its hot summers and severe winters, concentrates the domestic consumption of anthracite into half the year; and under the competition of bituminous coal, used on the very locomotives which carried anthracite to and from the mines, anthracite yearly grew more and more to be a household, and not a manufacturing or steam-making fuel. With economy, the mines could be worked only when their product was needed. The American house, and particularly American habits, lead most householders, wherever they can, to buy their coal in the fall of the year. Instead of running evenly through the entire year, as German mines, in a more equable climate, are able to do, so that in Dortmund a miner is employed 314 days in the year, and in Upper Silesia, where the shifts are least numerous, 284 days, an anthracite miner found himself provided with work only 200 days in the full years, like 1890, and in a steadily decreasing proportion through the decade, until in hard years, like 1897, the average number of days in which mines were “ active ” was only 150. A climate which each summer suspends operations in glass and many rolling mills, and in nearly all work which requires great heat, added to this. In England, where, out of a yearly product of 220,000,000 tons, some 40,000,000 tons are exported, with 10,000,000 tons more leaving England in the bunkers of steamers, and industries can be kept in motion through a mild summer and an open winter the year round, it is possible, as in Germany, to employ miners continuously. The exports of American coal are as yet insignificant. In England, nearly half the product of iron and steel goes abroad ; and this acts as another balance wheel, maintaining the constant and steady demand for coal. It is only within the last five years that our own exports of iron and steel have come to be large. It is doubtful if they are to-day over one fifth of the total. The English coal product has been reached through the slow process of development over more than a century. Our own has been expanded in a generation by the discovery and development, in almost every year, of new regions. The result is that the plant of the United States, so far as bituminous coal is concerned, could in 1897 have turned out four times the amount which was wanted, to quote the Engineering and Mining Journal, while the capacity of anthracite mines, about 60,000,000 tons, has been up to a recent time nearly twice, and has in nearly all years been one half larger than the consumption demanded. Nothing can be more demoralizing to labor than an occupation in which work is provided for only one half the time ; and nothing can be worse for capital than plants half idle while interest is always busy, and the production, through these causes, of a great swarm of poorly paid labor, clamoring for work, ready on occasion to accept employment at starvation wages, sinking constantly to a lower and lower level from the accepted American standard of life, and repeating on a great scale the herd of half-employed and half - paid men who, due likewise to decreasing work and increasing competition, were at the bottom of the disordered condition of the London dock strike in 1889. With this deterioration in the regularity of wages, in the rate of wages, and, for capital, in the possibility of profit, there came a steady deterioration in the character of labor. Strikes, as they came, bred violence, violence bred repression, and the industrial pendulum swung in dreary beats from the blood-stained violence of labor to the blood-stained assertion of law.
When an industry passes through conditions like these, it becomes the easy prey of statements half true and half false. Mines well managed, where a continuous family ownership or a series of wise corporation directors had refused to over-capitalize the enterprise in the decade from 1870 to 1880, — when all the world believed that anthracite had a monopoly of fuel for all the future millions of the middle and New England states, well situated near competitive routes of transportation, — were able to go on paying their men, running their mines by careful foresight, “ active ” nearly the entire year, and maintaining a high level of efficiency, of industry, of thrift, and of profit. Mines less well situated, owned, it may be, by the bankrupt company of a bankrupt railroad, bond piled on bond, whose growing interest was adding yearly to an unendurable burden, or burdened with royalties fixed in more prosperous periods, were run only in the few months of the fall and winter in which a brisk demand existed, with labor as poorly paid as possible, under methods by which the unskilled laborer was substituted wherever it was possible for the skilled miner, and in which every device in the shape of company stores, charges for attendance, rent for tumble-down shanties, and extortionate charges for the supplies of the miner was used to make a brief profit during a few months, which even then failed to keep on a steady and solvent keel the enterprise conducted after this fashion. There has been no time during the last twenty years in which it has not been possible, by selecting laborers from mines of the first class, to show that the anthracite miner was well paid, prosperous, thrifty, owning his house, and a man to be envied. Nor has there been any time when it was not equally possible, by selecting miners of the latter class, to show that the miner was badly paid, oppressed, left on a half wage, and reduced to a level where moral and physical deterioration was certain.
These contrasts are based on the additional fact that, beyond all other industries, mining rests upon diverse conditions. The depth of the mine, the width of the seam, the rock that must be removed, the expenditure necessary to keep the mine free from water, the character of the soil, the shape in which the coal finally comes to the screen and the breaker, the distance from market, — all these things modify the wages that can be paid to the miner. After thirty years of destructive strikes, the bituminous scale, first begun in 1871, worked out for five states in 1897 and 1898, and still in operation, adjusts the wage for most of the soft coal in the country by adopting a given price, fifty-five cents a ton in bad years, and sixty-nine cents a ton in good years, for certain standard seams in and about Pittsburg. This is the basis to which wages are adjusted over the entire region ; so that the man, for instance, who gets thirty cents a ton in the thick seams and easily worked coal of Pocahontas measures, at the week’s end has the same sum in hand as the man who is paid twice this per ton in the narrower seam and more friable coal of western Pennsylvania. Such a scale is the basis of the adjustment in wages in the Midland, in the South Wales, and in most of the other English mining districts.
Begun more than once in the anthracite region, it has never survived there the increasing and uneven competition of bituminous coal. It is an attempt, necessarily rude, to adjust the differences between the varying cost of products, and to bring all the coal, so far as may be, to a common value. It has, of course, in this country, the serious difficulty that it keeps running for a few months in each year mines which would be instantly closed if better situated seams were worked the year round, producing coal as cheaply as possible. This maintains the great army of men, 271,027 in number, who, even in a brisk and driving year like 1899, only average 234 days in the year, though the number of days in which they are actually employed on what is known as laborer’s work, instead of actual mining, is, of course, larger than this. At best, however, this leaves nearly two months in the year idle in the best mines, whereas the Massachusetts manufacturing statistics show that from three to four weeks is the average in which men engaged in manufacturing are without wages. As exports grow, continuous employment will doubtless increase ; but these, in 1899, were, for bituminous coal only 4,044,354 tons, and for anthracite 1,707,796 tons, — in all not three per cent of our total product, an insignificant share.
Of anthracite the proportion is still less ; but the experience of bituminous mining sufficiently shows that the problem of labor in coal mining, as indeed does the experience of every mining district in the world, can be considered only as a whole. By steady economic gravitation in every such region, the movement is continuous toward the aggregation of capital, if not under one corporate ownership, under one united management ; and the converse of this is equally certain, — the gradual union of the men under a single organization. On both sides this brings grave evils ; but the only evil which a republic cannot face and must not permit is the manufacture of paupers. The dangers of this product outweigh all other dangers put together. What has taken place during the last twenty years in which anthracite coal has been going through this destructive competition is that, at the very end, during the last three years, an increase of demand, due to cheaper Western freights and a rise in the level of life calling for a better domestic fuel, has brought the consumption to a point where it is about 10,000,000 tons; say a sixth below the possible product. When the consumption was only three fourths of the product, an equilibrium seemed impossible. Now that they are more nearly balanced, there has come about, year by year, in spite of public protest and often public alarm, a steady increase toward common action on the part of the capital engaged in mining coal, bitterly as this has been resisted by the independent operator, who values his independence as highly as any other citizen or business man. Through an economic and social law which has always come into play at other times, and will in this industry, there has, after years in which a division in capital led to a corresponding division in labor, come a sudden marshaling of all the labor in the anthracite mines under one labor direction. This has been secured, not by the volition of the miners as a whole, less than a tenth of whom voted for last fall’s strike, but by the energetic work of a small minority, capably led, which worked an industrial revolution, as most revolutions, political, social, and economic, have been worked, by minorities.
The grave peril to which this brings both the state and the maintenance of order can scarcely be exaggerated ; but great as the peril is, he would be a rash man who pronounced the perils of the state from the steady deterioration of wages and of labor through the mining regions a danger fraught with less serious consequences to the true object of a state. The attentive reader of the causes which have created the present situation will not deem it possible to dogmatize as to the equitable adjustment of anthracite wages, or will doubt that such an adjustment ought to be made in the light of all competitive conditions, and not on a special plea for either capital or labor.