Nearly every day come reports of strikes, or threats of strikes, from rail-roads, mines, and munition factories, menacing a suspension of those great activities which would spell ruin to the country. The problem thus created is unusually complex; with the rates of transportation or coal production lowered and limited, an increase of wages and a shorter working day in many cases cannot be given. On the other hand, any walk out of the strikers would tie up our whole industrial organization, and make difficult or well-nigh impossible the exportations to our allies at the present hour.

Our whole economic life seems whirling in a vicious circle: the government sets a maximum price on staples, to reduce the cost of living; labor strikes for higher wages and shorter hours, there by increasing the cost of transportation and manufacture; increased cost sends prices soaring again; until the government's price regulations are encountered, and a new circular motion sets in.

The present is no time to embarrass the government with strikes, unless the provocation be instant and overwhelming. All classes, rich and poor, are making every sacrifice in their power to help win the war. It would never do that these sacrifices be nullified by the pretentions of any one class. The strikers can no longer put forward increased cost of living as an excuse, for in a few months the cost of living will decrease under government supervision; nor should a shorter day be asked. The sacrifice that is most immediately in the laborer's power is work, increased and steady work. Albert Thomas, the French socialist, told every French workman that his country expected him to work "even to sickness, and even to death." Such is the spirit that France has shown; such is the spirit that should be shown in America as well. And until it is shown by every class, we shall not be working with our maximum power in the cause for which our army is fighting and ready to die in France today.