Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 25.djvu/55

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community requires, the proof being that in a market without favor they get the wage, and to increase the reward of other laborers beyond what in the same free market the community would freely give them. Whether the production would be continued at all if there were any success in these attempts, common-sense will tell us. Those who have done some hard work in the world will, I am sure, agree with me that it is only done by virtue of the most powerful stimulants. Take away the rewards, and even the best would probably not give themselves up to doing what the community wants and now pays them for doing, but they would give themselves up either to idleness or to doing something else. The war of the land-nationalizer and socialist is then not so much with the capitalist as with the workman, and the importance of this fact should not be lost sight of.


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AN EXPERIMENT IN PROHIBITION.

By EDWARD JOHNSON,

THE liquor question, like the poor, we have always with us; and at present, as at almost any time for many years past, the best method of dealing with it is being actively discussed in many parts of the country. Public opinion seems to be divided between repressive and restrictive legislation; and, in view of this fact and of the efforts of those who favor the prohibitory system to introduce it in localities where other methods have hitherto prevailed, the experience of Vermont, which has had a prohibitory liquor law for more than thirty years, furnishes an instructive lesson.

The Vermont law was passed by the Legislature of 1852. In the Legislature, as among the people, there was a close division of sentiment, the law finally passing by a vote of 91 to 90, and being ratified by the people of the State by a vote of 22,215 to 21,044—a popular majority of only 1,171 for the law. According to its terms, the law went into effect in March, 1853, and has ever remained the settled policy of the State. As originally enacted, it merely forbade the selling, furnishing, or giving away of intoxicating liquor, under moderate penalties, and provided for the appointment of an agent in each town, who should be authorized to sell liquor for medicinal and mechanical purposes, the profits of the sale accruing to the town. But, from the moment of its adoption until the present time, the advocates of the law have been continually engaged in enlarging its scope and strengthening its provisions. Each Legislature since 1853 has modified and amended the law in the direction of increased thoroughness, severity, and efficiency. Its supporters have indeed taken "Thorough" for their motto. Everything they have asked has been granted by