|The income of an individual may be made up
from any one, two, or three of these sources according to the nature of his contribution
to the product. But the laborer is always worthy of his hire. Should the owner of the land
and the capital have the power and the greed to disregard the claims of the man who
contributed the labor, and pocket the entire product, he is manifestly a robber whether
the jailors can catch him or not.
In many thousands of homes the indoor partner of the firm, who undertakes to discharge the domestic and maternal duties within, is just as truly a contributor to the product gained, as the outdoor manager who conducts the business and controls the wages. The woman in the home has a right to a definite share in the wealth she produces through relieving the man of certain indoor cares and enabling him to give thereby larger effort to his special trade of calling.
But, say you, the highest services can not be measured by dollars and cents. It is sordid to talk about paying mothers to be mothers, and giving a wage to wife to be wife! True, there is a class of services transcending all rewards; but because the wife of your bosom does not take you by the throat saying, "Pay me that thou owest!" should she be made to feel like a pensioner on your bounty every time she needs a pair of gloves? The family tie is a sacred union - the most sacred on earth. It is full of mystery and God-appointed sanctity. But does it not at the same time recognize the existence of some very plain and practical rights founded on simple justice as between man and man? Two human beings have voluntarily contracted to unite their forces for mutual help and advantage. The fact that they pledged themselves to the partnership "Till death do us part" but adds solemnity to the duties and obligations on either side. That the partnership carries divine sanction makes all the more inviolable those duties and obligations. That the interests involved are the most precious to the state, - the building of homes and the rearing of its citizens, insures the guardianship of society over those duties and obligations.
Of this partnership, the one member goes forth in the morning, whether to dig ditches or to add figures. The world knows him as the bread winner for the firm.