Social engineering – policies aimed at influencing behavior by carrot and/or stick – has been going on almost as long as humans have been gathering carrots and/or sticks. Here’s an example from 1915, as reported in a page one story in the Minneapolis Tribune.
City Jobs Will Go
to Married Men
Council Gives Preference to Common Laborers With Dependents.
After Them Will Come Citizens – Non-Citizens to Be Third Choice.
Rule Will Take 300 “First Paper” Residents Off the Payroll.
Outlining a new policy which is to govern the employment of crews on city construction work in the future, the City Council yesterday afternoon decided that married men and those with relatives dependent upon them should be given preference over all others by heads of departments employing common labor. Men who have lived in the city for over one year and who are citizens of the United States will have no difficulty in getting work under this system.
As many laborers in the employment of the city have their homes outside the city limits, the Council decided these men should be second choice in the selection of construction crews. Non-citizens who have taken out their first papers will be third choice and those who have no papers at all must wait until all others have found work before they can be employed in the different crews. Married men will be given preference over the single workers in each class.
300 Will Lose Jobs.
The new rule will put 300 first paper men out of jobs and will be the means of the same number of citizens and residents getting work. In the former group are many men who have worked for the city for over 30 years, but who have neglected to get their first citizenship papers. Many are home owners and taxpayers with large families, but they will be dropped from the payrolls next week to make room for the married citizens now out of work.
Alderman Dight refused to vote on the resolution setting forth the new system, declaring he could not conscientiously vote to throw men out of their jobs. He offered a motion directing the Minneapolis Street Railway company to build an extension from Twenty-fifth street and Thirty-sixth avenue south to Forty-second avenue and Fortieth street, saying this work would relieve the condition of unemployment which now prevails in the city, but the motion was sent to the committee on street railway matters along with another motion for an extension on Crystal Lake avenue north from Twenty-sixth avenue to the city limits. The Dight motion asked that work be started at once and the new line be completed within six months.
|Car 1389 of the Como-Harriet line in Minneapolis about 1911. (Photo courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society) |
More from Yesterday's News
A century ago, the Minneapolis post office hand-sorted a half-million letters a day. More than 2,000 arrived with mangled or incomplete addresses. Here's how patient specialists dealt with letters that "would baffle an expert in hieroglyphics."
On a friendly wager, a Minneapolis man set a blistering pace in the vertical portion of an unusual duathlon: an 8-mile run followed by a 75-foot chimney climb.
How many children does it take to move an old, decrepit house six miles? The answer, Minneapolitans learned back in 1896, was about 10,000.
In a United Press story published in the Minneapolis Tribune, a Yale man who probably managed to avoid frat houses during his undergrad years demonstrates that you can be right about all the facts and still come to the wrong conclusion.
This Minneapolis Tribune story is a mess. But the headline is sublime.