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startling figures. In Buffalo, the manu- or about £80. In 1890 the average had facturing population bas, in the ten years risen to 579 dols., or about £113. dealt with, increased by 144.6 per cent.; the interval there was an increase of 182 in Rochester, by 116 per cent.; in Chicago dols., or nearly 47 per cent.
Let us comthere has been an increase of 143 per pare these averages with those of previous cent.; in St. Paul, of 210 per cent.; in years. In 1850 the total number of hands Cleveland, of 118 per cent.; in Kansas employed in American manufactures was City, of 434 per cent.; and in Denver, of 955,000, and their average wages amount223.8 per cent. The claim of the New ed to 250 dols., or rather over £50. In South to be considered a serious partici- 1880 the average of the 2,719,000 bands pator in American manufacturing industry, then enumerated as similarly employed is supported by the fact that the manu- was returned at 350 dols., or, say, about facturing population of Nashville bas in- £70 ; so that in the interval there had creased by 43 per cent., and that of At- been an increase of average earnings to the Janta, Georgia, by 92.9 per cent. Ex uno extent of 40 per cent. So far, therefore, disce omnes.
as the figures allow a judgment to be What, however, is probably most of all formed of the situation, it appears that in remarkable in the recent census returns of the last decade the average increase of manufactures, is the fact that between wages was 7 per cent. more than the aver1880 and 1890 the actual advance of wages age increase for the previous thirty years. paid in manufacturing industry has in- The cities of the North, where manufaccreased to a larger extent than the increase turing industry has been the longest estabwhich took place in the previous thirty lished, appear to pay a considerably higher years. This appears to be so startling a rate of wages than the cities of the West statement, that it might be deemed to be and South. In New York, for example, altogether incredible, were it not supported the average of 1890 was 650 dols., by the sober and unbiassed testimony of £130 per annum, whereas in Chicago the a census report. But wbatever interested average was not more than 586 dols., or motives may come into play in the case of £118 per annum.
Denver has the higha single industry or individual, in making est average wages of all the cities tabustatements of wages, there is little or no lated, rising to 776 dols., or £156 per anreason to suppose that any sinister motive num, an increase of income that may go could possibly be allowed to interfere with to compensate to some extent for the risk the veracity of census agents in census re- to human life involved in the habit of ports ; nor is it easy to conceive of any shooting around," which is said to be adequate motive that could induce the characteristic of that advanced community. manufacturers of the United States as a Even in the textile industries, which have, body to make returns that are unworthy on the whole, pursued a tolerably even of credence. It is, indeed, notorious that tenor during the last ten years—although, of late years there has been a large rise in of course, making large headway, like wages paid in manufacturing industry all other manufactures—the official returns along the line. In some special cases the show an average of 332 dols. per employé wages paid appear to be more than equal in 1890, as compared with an average of to the incomes of professional men of 242 dols. in 1880, or an increase of 37 fairly good standing in this country, and per cent. Other figures, which might be they would be esteemed absolutely hand- multiplied to any extent, support the same some if enjoyed by professional men on general conclusion, namely, that whatever the continent of Europe. The strike at else the tariff has done, or has failed to Homestead, on the part of Mr. Carnegie's do, it bas at any rate permitted a higher men, took place against a proposal to vary rate of wages to be paid in 1890 than in the terms of an arrangement under which 1880. a comparative handful of men were enjoy- It is not, however, to be assumed that ing incomes of £300 to £400 a year, and the increase which bas undoubtedly taken that, too, for manual labor that was not place in the average rate of wages paid is remarkably difficult or skilled. In 1880 entirely due to the American Tariff. *Probthe average wages paid per employé in the ably, if the tariff had not been in operamanufacturing industry of the eight north- tion, the competition in manufactures from ern cities above tabulated was 397 dols., outside countries would have made it impossible to pay so high a rate of wages, Carnegie recently stated that it was, on but the American States carry on a very the whole, the greatest free-trade ineasure active and a very real competition among that the United States had ever known, themselves, and they are bound to look to reducing the duties on many articles and the keeping down of wages, as far as they increasing them only on a few. The imcan, in the rivalry of one district against ports of articles admitted free of duty into another. Finding that high wages inust the United States in 1891 were 43.3 per be paid, in order to provide for the bigher cent. of the whole, but this percentage cost of living, and keep the working man has not varied much of late years, so that in a good humor with the fiscal arrange the figure cannot be held to prove much. ments of the country generally, the Ameri- But it is certain that the McKinley Tariff can manufacturers work with might and has not succeeded in stopping the flow of main to make that labor as efficient as it imports into the United States, for in the can possibly be made. This has been se- year 1891 the imports of all kinds were cured in a remarkable degree by the intro- 55 millions more than in the previous duction of labor-saving appliances of every financial year.* Only 8.3 million dols. of kind. As a consequence, the increase of this increase appears in imports from the wages, already shown to have occurred, United Kingdom, so that we have not has been accompanied by a considerable participated in the advance to the extent increase in the annual value of the prod. that might have been expected. But uct obtained per employé. The census however that may be, the official records returns, indeed, show for the eight North- of prices in the principal markets of the ern manufacturing cities already tabulated United States show indubitably that there (No. I.), that the average value of the bas been a considerable fall within recent per capita product was 1,648} dols. in years. Only one or two examples need 1850, and had advanced to 2,136} dols. be cited. In the New York markets, in 1890, being an increase of 488 dols., wheat (red winter) has fallen from 1.270 or about 30 per cent. Elence it would per bushel in 1880 to 98 cents in 1890 ; appear that an advance of wages, to the beef has fallen from 10.44 dols. per barrel extent of about 47 per cent., has proceed to 6.96 dols.; lard has fallen frorn 7.91 to ed, pari passu, with an advance in the 6.33 cents per Ib.; medium wool has fallaverage value of the product to the extent en froin 55 to 37 cents, and standard cot. of 30 per cent.; but, of course, when we ton sheetings have fallen from 8.51 cents come to absolute figures, it appears that to 7.0 cents per yard. These are subthe average value of the product shows a stantial reductions, and falling, as they do, much larger increase than the average rise coincidently with a great increase in the in the wages paid. This fact explains how earnings of labor, go to show that the it happens that wages have increased con- condition of the working classes of the currently with a general fall in the value United States during the last ten years of the prices of commodities, and with a has been greatly ameliorated, whatever greatly enlarged and increasingly prosper- complaints and statements to the contrary ous business on the part of manufacturers. may have been made.
There appears to be a general impression Nor has the United States suffered in in this country that the McKinley Tariff the direction that the Tariff reformers apbas had the effect of increasing the prices pear disposed to think shouid have hapof commodities generally. No doubt it pened-namely, in that of contracted forhas had that tendency as regards certain eign trade. On the contrary, the imports important productions, but the general of commodities into the United States course of prices has been downward for a between 1880 and 1891 increased from comparatively long series of years, and 667 to 844 millions of dols.
-an inneither the McKinley Tariff nor any other crease of 177 millions ; while the exlegislative measure or proposal has been able to arrest tbis movement. Nor would * No doubt this would be to some extent it be proper to omit reference to the fact due to the fact that although nine months of that the American people themselves do this period were subject to the McKinley not allow that that Tariff has been calcu- tariff, there was a very large influx of import's
during the previous three months to avoid the lated to advance prices except in a very duties that came into force on October 1st, few special cases. On the contrary, Mr. 1890.
ports of home or domestic merchandise There has, nevertheless, been a strong disincreased from 823 to 872 millions of position on the part of otherwise wise and dols.man increase of 49 millions. These worthy men to set down the system of unitedly represent a larger increase than which it was the potent instrument as has occurred within the same interval on archaic, absurd, and subversive of national the part of any other country in the world. well-being. America has not unnaturally And what is perhaps more important is resented the interference of England in the fact that although agricultural produce her fiscal arrangements, and has felt is, and probably will always remain, the “riled” at the pitying terms in which her staple trade of that country, yet there has Tariff follies have generally been commisbeen a sensible increase of late years in erated. England, on her part, has apthe exports of what are described, in the peared to think that the American Tariff official “Report on the Foreign Com- was more or less a device of the enemy to merce of the United States,' as “the damage her special commerce. This is products of manufacture." In 1880, 83.2 no new thing. Many years ago Washingper cent. of the total American exports ton Irving spoke with a considerable dewere agricultural, 9.6 per cent. were prod- gree of bitterness of what he regarded as ucts of manufacture, and 7.1 per cent. the unfriendly attitude taken up by Engwere products of forests, fisheries, and land toward his country, and he added mining. In 1891, however, manufactur- that “ should thoso reverses overtake her ing products had risen to 19.3 per cent. from which the proudest empires have not of the whole-having more than doubled been exempt, she may look back with re— while the exports of agricultural prod- gret at her infatuation in repulsing from ucts had fallen to 73.7, and of other prod- her side a nation she might bave grappled ucts to 6.9. This is surely not a bad rec- to her bosom, and thus destroying her ord for a country that has adopted protec- only chance for real friendship beyond the tion to home manufactures on such a large boundaries of her own dominions.'' Since scale,
then, happily, the two nations have come Enough has probably now been said to to understand each other somewhat betshow that the American Tariff, however ter, although probably a good deal yet re. mistaken it may be from an English point mains to be done in that direction. Interof view, and however inapplicable its oper- course of a friendly character has increased ations might be to the totally different cir- with the increase of commercial relations, cumstances of the mother country, does America has been our best customer, and not appear to have been a particularly bad consequently our best friend, as the folthing for the
Americans themselves. lowing figures show :
III.–VALUE OF THE TOTAL EXPORTS FROM TIIE UNITED KINGDOM TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES,
STATED IN AVERAGES OF QUINQUENNIAL PERIODS, WITI THE PROPORTIONS OF SUCH
Incidentally it will, of course, be re- country commodities that the country marked that this record proves the futility needs or desires. A large part of the of a tariff in regard to keeping out of a above exports from Great Britain to the
United States, amounting in the aggre- prosperity does not now depend upon the gate, for the period 1855–1889, to the Tariff, as it formerly is supposed to have colossal sum of £785,000,000, was duti- done. Aincrican manufacturers, in spite able, and on much of the total the duties of high wages and other draw backs, are were high, but the Tariff has been ineffect- exporting increasingly large proportions ual to prevent the Americans from pur- of their products to outside markets. We chasing eren protected goods in English have seen that in 1891, about 20 per cent. markets.
of all the exports from the country took From another quarter the United States the form of manufactured products. have no doubt suffered by their Tariff, other words, the products of manufacture, and suffered severely. Fletcher of Saltoun which in 1860 were exported to the exdid not mind much who made the laws of tent of only 451 million dollars, and in a country so long as he had the making 1880 had reached 79 million dollars, were of the songs. Great Britain may para- in 1891 sent abroad to the extent of over phrase this remark to the extent of declar- 169 millions. This alone appears to jusing that she does not much care what arti- tify the contention that the principal inficial trammels and restrictions may be dustries are now strong enough to be able placed on our commerce, so long as we to take care of themselves. The agriculhave the command of the ocean-carrying tural interest, on the other hand, does not trade. Thirty-five years ago the merchant now appear to be wedded to the principles marine of the United States was perhaps of Protection to the same extent that it the most potent factor in the carrying was until recently, having found out that trade of the world. So recently as 1868, the Tariff does not really assist them in 46 per cent. of the total tonnage clearing disposing of their agricultural produce, or from American ports were American bot- in selling it at a better price. The artisan toms. But in 1890 the proportion of and the working population generally, on American-owned tonnage clearing from their part, question whether the Tariff has American ports in the foreign trade had been the highly effectual instrument for fallen to 22 per cent. Little more than raising and keeping up their wages that thirty years ago American ships carried they were led to believe it would be ; and fully 12 per cent. of the whole amount of the strike riots at Homestead and elsethe foreign trade of Great Britain, but in where are regarded as a very strong mani. 1890 this had fallen to only 0.4 per cent. festation of protest on the part of the inThe principal influences that have con- dustrial classes against the inefficiency of tributed to this decline were the civil war the high-tariff system from that point of and the revolution in shipping business view. On the other hand, the workingcaused by the substitution of iron for tim- classes note, with not a little discontent ber, but the Tariff has been the main and chagrin, that while their wages were cause of the failure of the American mer- being very recently reduced, under the cantile marine to regain any considerable operation of a stringent tariff, the great part of its former ascendancy. Nor, so fortunes of the employers are becoming long as the Tariff is continued, will the greater ; and whether these colossal forUnited States be likely to rival Great Brit- tunes are due to the Tariff or to some ain in this enormous business.
other causes of a more csoteric character, As regards the future, two important there is a disposition to give the Tariff and crucial questions are suggested—the the fullest credit for them. The man in first, will the Tariff be radically modified ; the street does not stop to reflect that and the second, supposing a free-trade John D. Rockefeller, the richest man on policy were to be demanded, can the the American continent, made his fortune United States afford it ?
of 125 million dollars out of the Standard There appears to be but little doubt that Oil Company, with the success of which there is a very large and influential section the Tariff had little or nothing to do ; of the American people who have now that Mr. W. W. Astor, who has also a come to the conclusion that the United fortune computed at 125 millions, became States can afford to walk without the rich through the appreciation of the value crutches of Protection. With or without of real estate ; that the Vanderbilts, with the Tariff, the nation has been exceedingly their joint fortunes stated at 195 millions, prosperous, as
we have seen, But its had practically no assistance from the
Tariff, but depended mainly upon the cated, and elaborate as our own. There manipulation of railroad stocks ; and so are only two main branches of incomewith many other of the greatest fortunes custoins and internal revenue. Public of the time, which have been built up, lands, miscellaneous sources of income, either on the remarkable natural resources and direct taxation, are each credited with of the United States, and the means taken relatively small contributions toward the for their development, on the vulgar basis total net revenue of the country, but of of the increment of value in 66 town lots, the total net ordinary receipts for each of or on the firmer basis of the superior in- the last two financial years, the Customs dustry, sagacity, and enterprise of their have contributed 56 per cent., and inter
Nor does the average onlooker nal revenue 30 per cent., making a total take pains to make himself acquainted with of 86 per cent., and leaving only 14 per the fact that Ainerican industries are now cent. to be provided from other sources. to a large extent hindered, instead of If, therefore, the Tariff were to be got rid being assisted, by the protective system- of entirely, the Government of the United tbat the immediate effect of that system is States would at one stroke do away with to increase the cost of commodities, or 56 per cent, of their present federal revrather to hinder the full extent of their enue—a step that is not in the least degree natural fall, so that wages bave to be kept likely to be attempted. But it is not only up to the range of prices ; or, put in an- possible, but probable that the United other way, that the high range of wages
States could reduce their present tariff is generally more apparent than real, and revenue from forty-five millions sterling to that but for the high range of labor costs, about one-half of that amount, which the United States would perhaps compete would bring it to about the level of the successfully in neutral markets, in refer- customs revenue of the United Kingdom, ence to the manufacture and sale of many without going beyond the taxation of commodities, into the production of which articles de luxe. Such articles as wine, labor enters as the principal element of liqueurs, spirits, scents, and other luxuries cost.
are being imported into the United States All this is, however, being borne in in increasingly large quantities. Most of upon the minds of the American people them are already subject to duty-some in an increasingly convincing and vivid of them to heavier duties than are levied degree. The arguments of manufacturers for purely revenue purposes on articles of are more feeble and have less potency luxury in the United Kingdom. Silk
But now comes the alarm- goods, for example, have hitherto conist theory of the doctrinaire politician or tributed a larger sbare to the customs reveconomist, who says that the Tariff is still enue of the United States than any other needed for public revenue purposes, and individual commodity, excepting probthat if it is abolished the country is likely ably one, and silk goods might fairly be to go to the dogs. In other words, the taxed as ministering to the wants of the question is distinctly raised-can the luxurious. As regards wines, it is true United States afford to introduce free that the people of the United States are trade, either in a complete or in a modi- less addicted to their use than the people fied form ? This is an issue that is likely of this country or of Continental counto be debated very largely in the discus- tries. They possess, besides, in Califorsions that lie in the future, and it is one nia, New Mexico, and Colorado territories of which we may expect to hear not a that appear to be as well suited for the little made by the avowed champions of cultivation of the vine as many notable tariff reform. It is, moreover, a question districts in Europe, so that the revenues the true and satisfactory solution of which from wines might fail to come up to our can only be attempted by a close examina- own with the same, or approximately simtion of the existing sources of revenue in ilar, rates of duty ; but, on the other hand, relation to the several branches of public the people of the United States import expenditure ; but although this may ap- many things from Europe that are entitled pear to be a very formidable inquiry, it is to be classed as luxuries, which we in Engreally much less so than it seems. The land produce for ourselves, and which revenue system of the United States is might be scheduled for revenue without probably not even so cumbrous, compli- estraint on ordinary industry. Assuming
than of yore.