The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79
What State Competition Will Do
What State Competition Will Do.
Genuine, but sympathetic, State competition, when any monopolized line of production cannot be purchased satisfactorily by the State, will effectually and beyond a shadow of a doubt, regulate wages, conditions, and surplus labour for the workers, and prices and quality of goods for the consumers in every line of industry to which State competition is honestly applied. The reason is that private employers would find it necessary to follow the example and standard of excellence set by the State, by paying similar wages, by providing agreeable surroundings, by abstaining from adulteration, and by charging reasonable prices to the consumers for their products. Otherwise the workers and their trade would gradually, but surely, drift to and expand the people's State enterprises. The State factories, farms and works would no doubt be handi- page 23 capped to some extent by the inefficient surplus labour, but it is the bounden duty of the State (the people) to find steady employment, and at least a respectable maintenance wage for every citizen. The State cannot afford, under any circumstance or set of circumstances, to neglect this humane duty and responsibility. Active and honest State competition, coupled with gradual public ownership, in connection with our lands, industries and medium of exchange will go most of" the way, and as fast as the Independent-Labour Party will move, towards the final solution of our industrial, labour, monetary and other national problems.