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Harvard, Yale, and Princeton indicated in the Herald Tribune Poll that a majority of their students disapproved of Government Old Age Pensions for Needy Persons, where as the score for the rest of the country, in the general grown-up poll, came out 89% in favor of such pensions.
The reason for the disapproval shown by Harvard, Yale, and Princeton students is not hard to find. All three are situated in New England, where grown-up as well showed a larger percentage of common sense. Moreover the three colleges recruit their students mostly from the weal-thier classes, classes who expect to be paying for, rather than to be receiving, the benefits.
Assuming the permanent, or continued break-down of the capitalist system, assuming that politicians of the future will show themselves as to-tally unintelligent, dishonest, and incompetent as politicians of the past, assuming that leaders in business continues to defend monopoly and lying advertisement and tariffs and liberty without law, then the best thing to do seems at least to insure that the innocent victims of such activity be provided for by the Government.
But if there be a grain of hope in the recently interrupted improvement in the administration of government, and in Miss Ida Tarbell's "new type of business leader", exemplified by Mr. Owen D. Young, then Government Old Age Pensions are Unnecessary to ensure security for the aged, Government Unemployment, Government interference in all walks of life with their confiscation and redistribution of wealth. All are less effective and permanent than a revived and revised capitalism.
The proof of this can hardly be more conclusive than the example of the Government's other scheme for taking money out of the hands of one group and placing it in those of another, the redistribution implied in payments to veterans. This began with an entirely commendable and necessary end, the reward to soldiers who had risked their lives in defense of their country.
This short of huge vote-getting subsidy is much more dangerous than straight, under-cover bribery. When Rhode Island votes were bought and sold at $1 a head, Lincoln Stiffens could stir the most tremendous and universal indignation by "exposing" the fact. But now the politician has a perfect weapon; he deals with larger sums of money, and it not only does not break the law, it is the law. Any accusation that a President has been buying votes of Youth, Age, and Farmers, pumped huge sums into Kentucky and Maine just before elections, meets only with the most tremendous applause at the man's Progressiveness, Humanitarianism, Fearless and Unselfish Devotion to the Best Interests of the People, Political Ingenuity.
The minority of Harvard Students were voting with nine out of every ten of their fellow citizens. Let us hope the clamor of the newly self conscious aged can be put off indefinitely and yielded to so gradually, that the eventual effect won't be chaos, and then the Happening Here.
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