Monday, February 4, 2013
TALKED ON THE COMING BALL
TALKED ON THE COMING BALL.
Mr. Gunton Thinks the Rich Should
Spend Their Money Here. The New York Times - February 4 , 1897
"The Bradley-Martin ball" was the subject of President George Gunton's lecture last evening at the School of Social Economics, 34 Union Square.
"The Bradley-Martin ball," said Mr. Gunton, " is about as prominent a topic of discussion these days as the making: of McKinley's Cabinet. The difference, however, is that we can not have much to say about the Cabinet, while we can have lots to say about the ball.
"The present state, of the public mind is in a fever akin to an epidemic against wealth. The manner in which a large amount of money is to be spent has given to a number of sentimentalists an opportunity to cry out against such profligacy. Let us see if there is not another side to this question. I do not mean the side of the Bradley-Martins, because they probably look at it only from the standpoint of fancy costumes.
"If such affairs are bad for the laborer, I am opposed to them, whether they be given by the Prince of Wales, the Bradley-Martins, or the Vanderbilts. No greater mistake could be made than for the masses to set themselves up in opposition to those who are at the top of society. It is much better for the laboring people if the wealthy spend their money here instead of taking it to Europe. I don't want the man who is above me to get down to my level of living. I want to be helped up to his level.
"If the Bradley-Martins spend $300,000 on a ball some of that money is bound to percolate down through the different strata of society to the humblest laborer. You can't expect to have expensive things if you drive the wealthy out of the country to spend their money. What we want is for them to spend it here, where it will promote art and architecture and elevate the social life of the different classes. Better forty times spend $300,000 on a ball than to distribute the money among the poor and thereby encourage pauperism."
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