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the girl that does not live at home. These pin-money earners, who will work for any pay, are death and destruction to the woman on her own resources, for they keep wages below the living point. They have the right to work; what they must learn is the unselfishness of cooperation, that they may not degrade the value of labor.
In the factory the condition changes, for there there is no need to be well dressed and freshly laundered, and the pay is no less. Moreover, the demands of life among factory workers are satisfied with coarser conditions. Go lower in the economic scale and you find the woman who takes home work from the wholesalers, — who stitches fourteen hours a day on overalls, and earns, perhaps, seventy-five cents; or the drawn and haggard mother who toils with a pot of bitter tea always at her elbow and whose children begin to help as soon as they can hold needles. Not long ago there was a woman, deserted by her husband, who stitched all day on neckties, then crawled under her wretched covers and died with her baby, leaving two frightened children to find the way to help as best they could, with the forty cents due from the finished neckties as their inheritance. They fled alone through the night, half across a city still strange to them, to a woman inspector who had been friendly, and stammered their version of the terrible thing they had witnessed: they are now in a home, but the mark of that night has never quite left their faces. Such things may be too dreadful to tell; but they are not too dreadful to happen, year after year, where labor is the starved under dog.
WHAT BUSINESS MEANS TO ME1
By JEREMIAH DWYER
USINESS has been the pacemaker in the world's advancement. It has been the power that inspired discoveries and conquests. It has been the civilizer of savage places. It has produced the means and resources that have made it possible for humanity to climb the ladder. It has set many rainbows in life's heavens. Business is the master artisan that makes nations.
Where there is no business there is decay. That decay not only is mental and moral, but it brings, too, physical degeneration. Business is the red blood in the arteries of the world. It develops life. And where there is sound, healthful business in the life of a people there is a constant striving for all the higher, better things that make for the good of humanity.
All this, speaking generally, business has meant to me. That word, to my ears, rings synonymous with much of the world's development and achievement. It has been the power that waked and thrilled with life and activity the dormant possibilities of the globe. In the concrete, I presume business means to me just what a life's work in almost any sphere of activity means to any man.
Success in some form is the object for which all are striving. Belief as to just what constitutes that universally sought reward of effort varies in the minds of men according to the ideas of the individual. Success, to my mind, is not contained wholly in the mere piling up of dollars. It lies, rather, in achievement in the broader, more comprehensive meaning of that word — in the satisfaction of having proved that the work which has fallen to one's hand has been well done.
1 By courtesy of "System," Copyright, 1908.
The real business man is a man of constant service to his community. He does more than merely provide a commodity that is needed. He moves in a sphere which allows the exercise of every good quality that belongs to human nature. He is not a speculator, operating on capital consisting chiefly of "nerve" and paper-built schemes, who tries to make something out of nothing and that at the expense of those upon whom he can impose. He creates something. He provides something. He discovers and supplies a legitimate demand. He meets a real need with the substantial thing that will satisfy that necessity. He is not solely a chaser of dollars. He keeps an eye on the making of profits in his business, else he must show his lack of good business capacity — but inevitably he works for the welfare of the community in which he moves.
You will find the manufacturer or the merchandiser who is constructing his house of business with a view to permanent habitation, expending his money freely in the upbuilding, extension, and perpetuation of his industry or store. He is building for the future, aiming at the continuation of the results which his energy and ability have created even after he shall cease to be the directing power of the institution. Thus — and this is the point I am seeking to make — a very large percentage of the money he makes from his business goes right back into the business. It is put back either for the improvement or enlargement of his plant or store, or applied to some other end which will aid in the perpetuation of the enterprise. His money, thus employed, is a factor in community improvement. In bettering his own condition he betters, as a certain complementary result, the environment of his fellow men.
Such a man can not, by the very nature of affairs, become a mere money-grabber. He must seek, as I have said, a proper financial return on his products. If he fails to follow that rule he confesses that he has no business in the field of business. But — and this is our point — a very large percentage of the money rewards that come to the business man represents solely a means to an end. It affords the means of building more firmly, of constructing for the future, of securing sound expansion of business. And in thus building for himself no one can deny that he builds for the community in which he moves. A large portion of his business profits is turned to community benefits.
Whether or not he is influenced by altruistic purpose, the real business man plays his part always in conserving and advancing the public welfare. Business success demands it, business expediency secures it; for, as conditions of life better in the zone through which his activities extend, so the conditions for business better for him. The real builders of business — the men who want their establishments to live even after their efforts shall cease —contribute constantly to this result. By the very nature of the object which they seek, they are giving continually of their efforts and their resources, not only for the benefit of the present, but also for the good of the generations of the future.
Business has also meant to me, as it has meant to countless others, the endeavor to fit myself, to the best of my ability, for the work which has fallen to me. By reason of the natural conditions of the field in which he directs his efforts the business man must be a man of wide knowledge. In this day of business facilities that make the span of the market place coincident with the boundaries of the globe, the never-halting, ever-changing events of all nations are constantly turning the kaleidescope of trade conditions. And business genius and ability must be prepared to meet this contracting and expanding of the world's demand and supply. Without systematic study and acquiring of knowledge bearing on his particular line of effort the man of business fails to take to himself all the equipment of which he should stand possessed.
My life work has lain in the realm of manufacturing. The manufacturer — and I believe these statements apply to the man in any kind of business — finds it necessary to be fully equipped in the following respects if he is to gain the fullest measure of that success to which he aspires.
He must be a qualified judge of the value of all raw materials entering into the manufacture of his products, so that he may be prepared to take advantage of those purchasing periods that offer the best terms.
He must be a good judge of market conditions, so that he may handle the selling of his products along lines that will bring the best results to himself and his business.
He must be the possessor of an artisan's practical knowledge, so that he may know when he is getting full value for his investment in labor.
He must have a practical knowledge of the methods of work in each department of his plant, so that he may be sure that output and quality are up to the standard.
He must cultivate and develop — provided he has not been naturally endowed with these qualities — that tact and diplomacy and personal interest in men which may enable him to abate any friction or settle any disagreements that may arise among his employees.
He must follow set lines of business system. He must remember that the utilization of the most modern methods