"And your branch store absorbed the profits of the three small ones.
"And you absorbed the profits they had been making?"
"You are disgusted because the railroad has absorbed your profits?"
"Then the business game is to make profits out of others, and to prevent others from making profits out of you.
"Yes, that's it, except that we do not object to the others making profits so long as they are not extortionate."
"By extortionate you mean large; yet you do not object to making large profits yourself?
"So the Trust took your profits away from you," Ernest said, "and you’ve gone into politics in order to legislate the Trust out of existence and get the profits back?"
Life sums itself up to you in profits. You have a firm and abiding belief that you were created for the sole purpose of making profits.
You see the powerful interests rising and growing more powerful day by day; you feel their mailed hands descending upon your profits and taking a pinch here and a pinch there--the railroad trust, the oil trust, the steel trust, the coal trust; and you know that in the end they will destroy you, take away from you the last per cent of your little profits.
When you squeezed out the three small groceries here in Berkeley by virtue of your superior combination, you swelled out your chest, talked about efficiency and enterprise, and sent your wife to Europe on the profits you had gained by eating up the three small groceries.
You don't say that you like to squeeze profits out of others, and that you are making all the row because others are squeezing your profits out of you.
"When he says "free opportunity for all," he means free opportunity to squeeze profits, which freedom of opportunity is now denied him by the great trusts.
It is true that we smaller capitalists are after profits, and that the trusts are taking our profits away from us.
"Do not forget," he said, "that we had tacitly agreed that liberty in your case, gentlemen, means liberty to squeeze profits out of others."