From the editorial page of the Hickory Daily Record, March 10, 1907; S.H. Farabee, editor.
The Nation’s Coal
Coal is a natural resource that should be held for the benefit of all the people, but a comparatively few persons control the output in the United States. Ordinarily soft coal is selling in the United States from $8 to $12 a ton, depending on how far it has to be hauled by rail.
Unless the government is able to bring the mine operators to their senses, the mines should be confiscated and the coal sold to the people at reasonable prices. We are not unmindful that labor has been high at the mines, but that cannot explain the extortionate prices charged dealers for the product.
If the situation is not remedied by another year, the government should assume authority to do something.