California And The Californians By David Starr Jordan

 -  Rumors of golden
chances have brought in a steady stream of incompetents from all regions
and from all strata of - Page 16
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Rumors Of Golden Chances Have Brought In A Steady Stream Of Incompetents From All Regions And From All Strata Of Social Life.

From the common tramp to the inventor of "perpetual motions" in mechanics or in social science, is a long step in the moral scale, but both are alike in their eagerness to escape from the "competitive social order" of the East, in which their abilities found no recognition.

Whoever has deservedly failed in the older states is sure at least once in his life to think of redeeming his fortunes in California. Once on the Pacific slope the difficulties in the way of his return seem insurmountable. The dread of the winter's cold is in most cases a sufficient reason for never going back. Thus San Francisco, by force of circumstances, has become the hopper into which fall incompetents from all the world, and from which few escape. The city contains more than four hundred thousand people. Of these, a vast number, thirty thousand to fifty thousand, it may be, have no real business in San Francisco. They live from hand to mouth, by odd jobs that might be better done by better people; and whatever their success in making a living, they swell the army of discontent, and confound all attempts to solve industrial problems. In this rough estimate I do not count San Francisco's own poor, of which there are some but not many, but only those who have drifted in from the outside. I would include, however, not only those who are economically impotent, but also those who follow the weak for predatory ends.

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