Is Thy Tenant A Dog?
"WHAT'S wages?" asked Snap.
"Wages are—They are some of the wealth a workingman makes, which he gets for making it."
"What is wealth?"
"Wealth, of course, " I said, "is anything which people want, produced from land by work."
"Oh! But I thought it was you workingmen who made all things. Why don't you keep them all?"
"Because workingmen are like draft animals: they don't appreciate their power, and they don't unite. They distrust one another."
"I wouldn't do that. But, then, I'm only a stupid beast. What are you?"
"I'm—I'm—looking out for myself," I said.
"When I caught the rabbit, you gave me the skin and bones. Was that my wages?"
"I suppose so."
"If I'd caught him on your land, I'd have owed you another rabbit for rent, wouldn't I?"
"Yes, but you got him on Monopole's land. He owns all the land here. He would charge you rent, only he doesn't know you catch rabbits. "
"If the crop of rabbits failed so I couldn't catch two a day, then how could I pay?"
"I guess you'd have to dig potatoes at night with your paws: like me at the harvest time," I added bitterly.
"Why, then," says Snap, "the rent gives employment and diversified industries."
"Yes, like the tariff, " I said. "But, then, it accumulates capital."
"What's capital?" asked the dog.
Said I: "Capital is that part of wealth used to produce more wealth. When I gave you your breakfast, which enabled you to run all day after the rabbit, that was an advance of capital."
"I see," says Snap. "Then, if you'd charged me interest, you would have kept the bones, and I'd have had to starve on the skin.
"I'd have to feed you anyhow, because I own you."
"Does old Monopole have to feed you?"
"No," I said, "of course not."
"Then hadn't you better get old Monopole to own you?"
"Nonsense!" I said angrily. "This is a free country."
"Why," says Snap, hotly, "you told me Monopole owned it."
"Yes," I answered. "But the men are fr—that is, men can't own a man in the United States."
" What's a man?"
"A man is a reasonable animal."
Snap rolled over laughing, and laughed himself into a fit. I don't know what he was laughing at, but I don't like dogs with fits.