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the side of every proposition which will tend to make men intelligent, virtuous, and temperate, we nevertheless regard these questions—important as they are—as secondary to the great issues now pressing for solution, and upon which not only our individual prosperity, but the very existence of free institutions depend; and we ask all men to first help us to determine whether we are to have a republic to administer before we differ as to the conditions upon which it is to be administered; believing that the forces of reform this day organized will never cease to move forward until every wrong is remedied, and equal rights and equal privileges securely established for all the men and women of this country. We declare therefore,
1. That the union of the labor forces of the United States this day consummated shall be permanent and perpetual—may its spirit enter into all hearts for the salvation of the Republic, and the uplifting of mankind.
2. Wealth belongs to him who creates it, and every dollar taken from industry, without an equivalent, is robbery. "If any man will not work neither shall he eat." The interests of rural and civic labor are the same; their enemies are identical.
3. We believe that the time has come when the railroad corporations will either own the people or the people must own the railroads, and should the Government enter upon the work of owning and managing any and all railroads we should favor an amendment to the Constitution by which all persons engaged in the Government service shall be placed under a civil service regulation of the most rigid character, so as to prevent the increase of the power of the National Administration by the use of such additional Government employees.
We demand a national currency, safe, sound, and flexible, issued by the general Government only, a full legal tender for all debts, public and private, and that without the use of banking corporations, a just, equitable, and efficient means of distribution direct to the people, at a tax not to exceed two per cent. per annum, to be provided as set forth in the sub-Treasury plan of the Farmers' Alliance or some better system; also by payment in discharge of its obligations for public improvements.
We demand the free and unlimited coinage of silver and gold at the present legal ratio of 16 to 1.
We demand that the amount of the circulating medium be speedily increased to not less than $50 per capita.
We demand a graduated income tax.
We believe that the monies of the country should be kept as much as possible in the hands of the people, and hence we demand that all national and State revenues shall be limited to the necessary expenses, economically and honestly administered.
We demand that postal savings banks be established by the Government for the safe deposit of the earnings of the people and to facilitate exchange.
Transportation being a means of exchange and a public necessity, the Government should own and operate the railroads in the interest of the people.
The telegraph and telephone, like the Post Office system, being a necessity for the transmission of news, should be owned and operated by the Government in the interest of the people.
The land, including all the natural sources of wealth, is the heritage of all the people, and should not be monopolized for speculative'purposes, and alien ownership of iand should be prohibited. All lands now held by railroads and other corporations in excess of their actual needs, and all lands now owned by aliens should be reclaimed by the Government and held for actual settlers only.
Plumed Knight.—A sobriquet of James G._Blaine, originating in a speech of Colonel Kobert 6. Ingersoll, who said: "Like an armed warrior, like a plumed knight, James G. Blaine marched down the halls of the American Congress and threw his shining lance full and fair against the brazen forehead of every defamer of this country and maligner of its honor."
Political Bargain is a corrupt arrangement whereby a politician promises support to a measure or man in consideration of similar support to be given to some measure or man of his choice. The election of John Quincy Adams in 1824 was charged to a bargain between him and Henry Clay, the price being the Secretaryship of State. Clay was, as a matter of fact, appointed to this position, but although the charge clung to him, and in after years injured him politically, there is no proof of its truth. Clay always denied the charge. Political bargains are now so common as not to be matters either for surprise or comment.
Political Boss is a politician that absolutely controls his party or faction. Such were Tweed and Kelly in New York.
Political Workers. (See Boys, The.)
Polk, James Knox, was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, November 2, 1795. He died at Nashville, Tennessee, June 15, 1849. He was graduated at the University of North Carolina and admitted to the bar. In politics he was a Democrat. He was a member of the House of Representatives from 1825 to 1839, and during the last four years was speaker. From 1839 to 1843 he was Governor of Tennessee; from 1845 to 1849 he was President. During his administration the Mexican War was fought and the Oregon boundary dispute was settled.
Poll Tax.—A poll tax is a tax levied on every head or poll of the population. It is a direct tax, and in its original form bears necessarily more heavily on the poor than on the rich; the tendency at present, therefore, is to supply its place with an income tax. Congress has power, by Article 1, section 9, of the Constitution, to