The normal profits of a
business concern in the United States are six, eight, ten, and sometimes
twelve percent. But war-time profits -- ah! that is another matter --
twenty, sixty, one hundred, three hundred, and even eighteen hundred per
cent -- the sky is the limit. All that traffic will bear. Uncle Sam has the
money. Let's get it ...
Beautiful ideals were
painted for our boys who were sent out to die. This was the
"war to end all wars." This was the "war to make the world
safe for democracy." No one mentioned to them, as they
marched away, that their going and their dying would mean
huge war profits. No one told these American soldiers that
they might be shot down by bullets made by their own
brothers here. No one told them that the ships on which they
were going to cross might be torpedoed by submarines built
with United States patents. They were just told it was to be
a "glorious adventure."
Thus, having stuffed patriotism down their throats, it was
decided to make them help pay for the war, too. So, we gave
them the large salary of $30 a month.
All they had to do for this munificent sum was to leave
their dear ones behind, give up their jobs, lie in swampy
trenches, eat canned willy (when they could get it) and kill
and kill and kill ... and be killed.
Half of that wage
(just a little more than a riveter in a shipyard or a
laborer in a munitions factory safe at home made in a day)
was promptly taken from him to support his dependents, so
that they would not become a charge upon his community. Then
we made him pay what amounted to accident insurance --
something the employer pays for in an enlightened state --
and that cost him $6 a month. He had less than $9 a month
Then, the most
crowning insolence of all -- he was virtually blackjacked
into paying for his own ammunition, clothing, and food by
being made to buy Liberty Bonds at $100 and then we bought
them back -- when they came back from the war and couldn't
find work -- at $84 and $86. And the soldiers bought about
$2,000,000,000 worth of these bonds!