lived in the hope of having a roomful of people sewing for him or her some day. Their endlessly vital interest in “business” and their unflagging ambition to get further up the ladder and become masters in their own sweatshop, enabled them to work without the slightest sense of oppression or injustice which, after all, is the sorest thing about poverty. The Jews never regard work as a calamity, but neither do they regard subordinate positions as permanently theirs. Thus, they spend their energies in getting up and out rather than in lamenting the inconveniences of the place where they are and trying to improve it.
All this is individually excellent but socially harmful. The result is that, until recently, the lower ranges of employment were wholly unsupervised, and the higher circles never felt the necessity of devising industrial reforms and benefits. The record of the great Jews in charity is very noble; their record in industrial reforms is nil. With commendable sympathy toward their own people they will donate a part of their profits to rectify some of the human need resulting from the method by which they made their profits, but as for reforming the method by which they get their profits in order that the resulting need might be diminished or prevented, apparently it has never occurred to them. At least, while there are many charitable names among the wealthier Jews, there are no names that stand for an actual, practical humanizing of industry, its methods and its returns.
This, of course, is unfortunate; but it is intelligible; more than that, it is explanatory of many things for which the Jew is blamed by those who do not understand his nature. The Jew will go part way in sharing the results of his prosperity; he has not gone any length, save upon outer compulsion, in sharing the processes, or sharing wealth in the making. And while the social effect is the same as if this were done out of cruel insensibility and inhumanity, still it must be said that mostly it is done not out of such feelings, but out of the Jew’s ingrain conception of the game of business. Some proposals of industrial reform appear as crazy to him as would a proposal to credit one baseball batter’s hit to his opponent’s score, just as a matter of humanity.