Remedy has been attempted by alternately shifting from one to the other of the old political parties. It has been done so many times without substantial benefit that it has become a farce. Voters must realize that the old party leaders shout the ideals the people had in the original formation of the parties. Party leaders do that for propaganda purposes only. They proclaim good, and do evil. They invent all sorts of words and phrases and adopt platforms, all of which are not so bad in themselves, so far as they go, but are simply used as propaganda to fool the voters. In practice, not only are the ideals deserted but they are flagrantly violated.Some background on the Esch-Cummins Act (from Wikipedia):
The frequent panics forced upon the people are created by manipulation for the benefit of profiteers. Between panics we have what in comparison are called "good times." But times are never as good as they would be if business were done in the easiest and most proper way.
When a panic seems to be ended the people start in the build up again, thinking to profit by what they learned in the squeeze. But most of us learn nothing by panics except that we are hit severely. Just how and by whom we are hit, comparatively few of us know.
Before reviewing certain acts, it is well to observe the plan of the capitalists as stated in an article of thirty years ago. It was not intended for the public, but was propaganda to hold the big bankers together. The article was as follows:
We (meaning the bankers) must proceed with caution and guard every move made, for the lower order of the people are already showing signs of restless commotion. Prudence will therefore show a policy of apparently yielding to the popular will until our plans are so far consummated that we can declare our designs without fear of any organized resistance.
The Farmers’ Alliance and Knights of Labor organization in the United States should be carefully watched by our trusted men, and we must take immediate steps to control these organizations in our interest or disrupt them.
At the coming Omaha convention to be held July 4 (1892), our men must attend and direct its movement, or else there will be set on foot such antagonism to our designs as may require force to overcome. This at the present time would be premature. We are not yet ready for such a crisis. Capital must protect itself in every possible manner through combination and legislation.
The courts must be called to our aid, debts must be collected, bonds and mortgages foreclosed as rapidly as possible.
When through the process of law the common people have lost their homes, they will be more tractable and easily governed through the influence of the strong arm of the government applied by a central power of imperial wealth under the control of the leading financiers. People without homes will not quarrel with their leaders.
History repeats itself in regular cycles. This truth is well known among our principal men who are engaged in forming an imperialism of the world. While they are doing this, the people must be kept in a state of political antagonism.
The question of tariff reform must be urged through the organization known as the Democratic Party, and the question of protection of reciprocity must be forced to view through the Republican Party.
By thus dividing the voters, we can get them to expend their energies in fighting over questions of no importance to us, except as teachers of the common herd. Thus, by discrete action, we can secure all that has been so generously planned and successfully accomplished.
The facts stated in the foregoing article are only too true. We have a tremendous responsibility to overcome the imposition of imperial wealth. For more than sixty years the odds have been tremendously against us. While we have been fighting questions of no importance to the wealthy, electing men to Congress because they claimed to belong to a political party which we happened to favor, irrespective of party these Congressmen have passed numerous bills for the benefit of profiteers, giving them the opportunity to exploit us through such measures as the Federal Reserve Bank Act and the Esch-Cummins Railway Act.
Even before the acts named became law, the profiteers were protected by legislation and combination of trusts. But wealth demanded even more than the strong arm the government had previously given. Through Congressmen whom the voters elected and through other public officials, the wealth group got possession of natural resources like water-powers, minerals, forests, etc. But the greatest of all public gifts were the new bank act and the new railway act."
The United States had entered World War I in April 1917, and the government found that the nation's railroads were not prepared to serve the war effort. On December 26, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson had ordered that U.S. railroads be nationalized in the public interest. The Esch–Cummins Act of 1920, or Railroad Transportation Act, returned railroads to private operation after World War I. It authorized the government to make settlements with railroad carriers for matters caused by nationalization, such as compensation and other expenses. It also officially encouraged private consolidation of railroads and mandated that the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) ensure their profitability.