"MINERS in Hocking Valley seven dollars and fifty cents a month?" said the Professor of Social Economics. "Oh, the cure for that is to raise the standard of living. My patron, the good Mr. Stonefellow, is just shipping champagne and cigars to take the place of their beer and pig-tail plug. Then they won't work so cheap."
"That is right," said the Charity Organiser. "What the poor mostly want is a want. To be sure, they want breeches now; but that's not what I mean. "
"It seems to me," said the Ignorant Man, "that a man without breeches has a very definite want."
"They should have a change of heart, not a change of raiment," observed "General " Bungalow.
"We must teach them temperance by books," said Mr. Templar. "Then they could save all their seven dollars and fifty cents for food and luxuries and—and— breeches, you know."
"A higher tariff is what they need," said Mr. Homestede. "You see, if they paid more for everything, then those who supply them would have more money to buy their coal."
"But," said the Ignorant Man, "the Creator made the coal for the land-owner; and the Sans-culottes are not allowed to mine it. It isn't their coal."
"That's an abstract question," murmured the University Settler. "The thing to do is to get near to these poor miners, and then we shall understand their needs."
Said the Ignorant Man, "I understand that they need breeches now."
"It should be made more profitable to have the country opened up," remarked Mr. Subsidy.
"I would rather make it less profitable to have the mines shut down," said the Ignorant Man.
"Nonsense! That's Utopian. What is needed is to make the miners all church members," said Dr. Mission Nary.
"Like the mine-owners? " asked the Ignorant Man.
"Now you haven't studied this problem," said the Professor. "It's very complex, but this diagram will make it clear. W A N T are the axes. Let b represent the supply of necessaries.—"
"Breeches?" asked the Ignorant Man.
"Don't interrupt," said the Professor. "Then x will represent the cost, and a the men: therefore, the curve b a x is the efficient demand. Now, to find the marginal utility of b if we extract the square root of b"—
"Will the square root of b cover a man's legs? " inquired the Ignorant Man.
"No," whispered the Professor, "but our theories about it will cover man's inhumanity."