The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79
The Mosaic Land Laws Should be Brought Up-to-date
The Mosaic Land Laws Should be Brought Up-to-date.
That the spirit of the Mosaic code should be applied to the institution of, land ownership, bringing it into harmony with the needs of mankind to-day.
It is estimated that when Persia perished 1 per cent. of the people owned all the land; Egypt went down when 2 per cent. owned 97 per cent. of all the wealth; Babylon died when 2 per cent. owned all the wealth; and Rome expired when 1,800 men possessed all the then known world. We are drifting steadily toward a like condition throughout the civilised world to-day. In 1889 Thomas G. Shearman, in the "Forum," declared that "within thirty years the United page 8 States will be substantially owned by less than one in 500 of the male population." That prophecy has been practically fulfilled. Chas. B. Spahr, in his "Distribution of Wealth," says that "one-eighth of the families in America receive more than half of the aggregate income," and that "the richest 1 per cent. receives a larger income than the poorest 50 per cent." That condition is rapidly becoming true of nearly every country, and mainly through the private appropriation of rent. It is estimated that one family, of which John D. Rockefeller is the head, possesses wealth to the amount of one billion dollars. Think of it. If Mr. Rockefeller had begun at the birth of Christ, making a dollar a minute day and night, and had accumulated it all, it would have taken him till the year 1912 to amass a thousand million dollars. Social conditions that make such accumulations possible are a disgrace, alike to Christianity and civilisation. Such conditions stir up discontent, class hatred, and bitterness. They breed socialism and anarchy. They foster those elements and forces which bring on violent revolutions. They imply, not a dry rot, but a fermenting, festering rot in the body politic. What we need is