I presume, Mr. Edwards, that you are not one of those persons who believe that there is nothing the matter with America; that you are not wholly content with existing conditions. You would scarcely be interested in Socialism unless you were convinced that in our existing social system there are many evils for which some remedy ought to be found if possible. Your interest in Socialism arises from the fact that its advocates claim that it is a remedy for the social evils which distress you—is it not so?
mists, the statisticians and the editors of our newspapers. I am not concerned, here and now, with the exceptional distress of such periods as the present, but with the ordinary, normal, chronic misery and distress; the poverty that is always so terribly prevalent.
Do you remember the talk about the "great and unexampled prosperity" in which you indulged during the latter part of 1904 and the following year? Of course you do. Everybody was talking about prosperity, and a stranger visiting the United States might have concluded that we were a nation of congenital optimists. Yet, it was precisely at that time, in the very midst of our loud boasting about prosperity, that Robert Hunter challenged the national brain and conscience with the statement that there were at lease ten million persons in poverty in the United States. If you have not read Mr. Hunter's book, Jonathan, I advise you to get it and read it. You will find in it plenty of food for serious thought. It is called Poverty, a