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lishes itself upon the ruins of Tsarism. The conservativeprogressives, who assumed the reins of government immediately after the abdication of the Tsar, seemed almost as imperialistic as their autocratic predecessors in their attitude towards foreign questions; for imperialism, in the sense of territorial expansion, may be a concomitant of democracy as it is of autocracy. Had the ultra-radicals, who ousted the conservative-progressives, stopped at changing Russia's internal administration and refrained from ignoring their obvious obligations to foreign nations, Japan would have welcomed their advent. But it is now inevitable that the general disintegration under Bolshevik rule will result in the substitution of King Stork in the form of Germany for King Log who was the Tsar, if the Allies do not follow up the sending of the American-Japanese forces into Siberia with strong measures for the prevention of further German penetration.
It is not probable that Germany, riding on the crest of the Russian débâcle, will at once make herself the mistress of the erstwhile empire of the Tsar. Even Germany cannot undertake everything at once. It is, however, certain that, given a protracted period of disorganization in Russia, Germany will gradually become a dominant factor not only in European Russia but in Siberia. The Russians, slow, easygoing, and ill-organized, are now no match for the Germans either in warfare or in the arts of trade and industry. Even before the outbreak of the present war the Germans were the predominating economic factor in Siberia from the Urals to Vladivostok. With tens of thousands of German prisoners of war set free throughout Siberia, and with German political influence behind German economic prestige in the same region, it is within the bounds of reasonable prophecy that Siberia will continue to be a source of worry both to Japan and to China.
But Japan's greatest concern lies in the Chinese question. It is tragic, and yet comic, that, while China is talking of
sending troops to the western fronts and of joining Japan in the intervention in eastern Siberia, foreign and especially British newspapers published within her own jurisdiction, should be urging European intervention in that very country. The country is torn by discord, its people harassed by continuous internecine warfare, its leaders eager to promote their selfish ends, its administration devoid of efficiency and ridden with incurable corruption. We in America, looking at it across the vast Pacific, talk of the growth of republicanism in China, but many Europeans living in China shrug their shoulders and emphatically declare that political chaos is fast leading her to the verge of disintegration. Let us be frank and admit that China has been permitted to continue her existence as an independent state, not because she has capacities for independence, but because the powers have agreed not to slice her up. And in bringing about this agreement Japan has largely been instrumental, though China does not recognize that fact. In short, China owes her existence to the sufferance of the powers; and they have already discussed the need of international supervision of China. Here, then, is an extremely embarrassing situation for Japan, which has cherished the hope that the Asiatic counterpart of President Monroe's celebrated doctrine might be enunciated by her not only for China's sake, but for her own safety.
From whichever side we may view the situation, Japan's status among the powers seems far from secure; and this is the dominant note in the views expressed during the war by the leading men of the Empire. But it is perhaps not too much to hope that the co-operation between the Island Kingdom and the United States in Siberia may be the beginning of a new and better era for Japan in world politics.
TO FRANCIS LEDWIDGE
KILLED IN FRANCE, JULY 31, 1917
By GRACE HAZARD CONKLING
“Shall I meet Keats in some wild isle of balm
Dreaming beside a tarn?”—Francis Ledwidge.
Lover of the lane-rose, of rainy trees,
FALLACIES OF WAR FINANCE
By C. REINOLD NOYES
UCH absurd theories on the subject of financing the war
are being advanced, not only by those who cannot be expected to understand the consequences of their plans but also by many who should know better, that it is small wonder public opinion on the subject has become quite unsound. For instance, we hear of the “conscription of wealth.” As a matter of fact, most of the wealth of the country exists in a form that could not possibly be used in war work. Again, a professor of economics proposes that the increased market value of securities created by increased earnings should be heavily taxed. He overlooks the fact that taxation of the earnings themselves will wipe out all such intangible values with appalling suddenness. Last year's stock market testifies to that.
Two of the current fallacies are particularly interesting because in exposing their error one gets a clear conception of the gist of the whole matter. The first of these fallacies is that there is a choice between paying for the war during its prosecution and paying for it afterwards by retiring the bonds issued at the time. The other fallacy is the notion that a nation can become bankrupt through the expense of
As a matter of fact, the reverse is true in both cases. The entire expense of war must be paid during its prosecution, and this expense cannot possibly cause national bankruptcy.
Wrong ideas lead to wrong actions. We cannot finance the war effectively if we attempt to determine the right proportion between taxes and bonds on the principle that the former represent what we can afford to pay now and the latter the part we can unload upon our children. And if the
fear were allowed to creep in that we might not be able to pay the costs at all, it would have a paralyzing effect upon the whole financial structure. The situation is a serious one, and it behooves the intelligent citizen to get to the bottom of the problems involved by examining the simple fundamentals of our business or economic life.
In our daily occupations we are all engaged in doing and making things for each other. Then we exchange them. This is all there is to business. What we give in exchange we are said to produce. What we take in exchange we are said to consume, though we all obtain in addition a portion of more or less permanent property which we use but do not actually use up. This exchange is absolutely and constantly equal. The value of what each of us gives and what each of us gets is appraised by the market, and the exchange is balanced almost at once.
This is certainly very simple. But there is a something called money which enters into the transaction. When that little factor appears at the door, intelligence flies out of the window. Our idea of this otherwise obvious affair becomes confused and erroneous.
We know we are paid in money for what we give, and that we pay in money for what we get. So we say we are “making money,” "saving money,” and “money will win the war.
It is true that we make our exchanges in terms of and by means of money. Sometimes we use cash. More often we use credits at the bank and pay by cheque. We use money (or credits) as a handy medium, receiving it temporarily for our product until we are ready to pay it out for what we wish to use or consume. No one keeps it long, not even the richest, because it is not worth keeping. It is perfectly useless in itself. Each individual has a little stock of it which he keeps turning over. This stock is like a small reservoir that has money running in at one end and running out at the other. But the level remains much the same.
Money is a small part of our national wealth. It could