Human Exploitation in the United States

By Norman Thomas | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
REAL ESTATE VS. HOMES

All real wealth, that is all the material things which we enjoy, come from the application of labor to land or the products of land. Even the enjoyment of the more intangible good things of life which of themselves cannot be monopolized by any private ownership, requires some tangible place on which or from which mankind can appreciate them. The glory of the dawn, the majesty of deep woods, the manifold beauties of the ever changing sea—these things may be the common heritage of men, truly possessed, as moralists tell us, by him who has eyes to see rather than by the holder of the title deed; nevertheless, it has taken a long struggle which has not yet resulted in glorious triumph to establish the principle that the propertyless public may have access to forests and ocean.

The development of public parks by the United States Government and by states and municipalities is one of the encouraging signs of the times. Too often these parks in cities, by ocean side, or in the forest, have required that men through taxation should buy back at an exorbitant price that which never should have been alienated from public ownership. It is still true that in our recreations as well as in our working and sleeping hours we pay tribute to the landlord.

Title to land in the United States does not rest upon occupancy and use but upon some legal deed. The great American game of land speculation, to which we have already called attention, must be remembered as an important part of the background not of one chapter but

-13-

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Human Exploitation in the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Human Exploitation in the United States *
  • To My Wife *
  • Preface vii
  • Contents *
  • Introduction xiii
  • Chapter I- Land and Those Who Live on It i
  • Chapter II- Real Estate vs. Homes 13
  • Chapter III- Farming for Exercise 4
  • Chapter IV- Men and Trees 72
  • Chapter V- Mines and Miners 92
  • Chapter VI- New Sources of Physical Energy 119
  • Chapter VII- Working for Wages 137
  • Chapter VIII- Working Conditions 164
  • Chapter IX- Unemployment 183
  • Chapter X- Women in Industry 215
  • Chapter XI- Exploiting Our Children 231
  • Chapter XII- The Negro 258
  • Chapter XIII- The Labor Struggle 284
  • Chapter XIV- The Consumer Pays 304
  • Chapter XV- Little Owner, What Now? 327
  • Chapter XVI- The Government as Exploiter 357
  • Chapter XVII- In Conclusion 374
  • Bibliography 391
  • Index 399
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