May 17, 2020
Simple Arithmetic

Henry George, Jr., In The Menace of Privilege (Grosset & Dunlap, 1905):

In the city of Cleveland, Ohio, not long since, a disreputable house was raided by the police. The inmates were arrested. Among them was a woman who, because she could not pay the fine imposed, was sent to the workhouse. When she had there worked out all but $26 of the fine, an offer was made by a woman acquaintance to lend her that sum and thus enable the prisoner to regain her liberty. The offer was refused.

This surprised the workhouse officials, who reported the case to the mayor of the city, Tom L. Johnson. He questioned the prisoner, asking why she did not take her liberty. “I want my liberty,” she replied; “ but if I borrow $26 to wipe out that amount of fine still against me, how shall I repay it? At present I have no other way of doing so than by going back to the old business. It would take fifty-two times at 5o cents a time to meet the debt. I prefer to stay and work off the $26 here in the workhouse! The mayor pardoned her.

Posted by Jerome Doolittle at May 17, 2020 03:43 PM
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This story not only illustrates the quality of virtue, but also the tragedy caused by inflation since the days when a hooker was unmistakably a hooker, and a buck, by some strange coincidence, was still a buck.

Fifty cents a trick? Today, even in Cleveland according to some online "escort" websites, similar favors for a very brief fling could easily cost you $500. Not to mention the $130,000 or so you might have to pay on the side via a shady attorney if you plan to be President of the United States.

Yours very crankily,
The New York Crank

Posted by: The New York Crank on June 2, 2020 4:34 PM
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