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IMPROVED FARM CONDITIONS.
(From Report of Department of Agriculture.]
1866. 1867 1868. 1869 1870. 1871. 1872. 1873. 1874. 1875. 1876. 1877. 1878. 1879. 1880. 1881. 1882. 1883. 1881. 1885. 1886. 1887. 1888 1889. 1890 1891. 1892 1893* 1894 1695* 1896* 1897. 1898. 1899. 1900. 1901.
$411,450,830 437,769,768 424,056,649 522,550,509 540,520,456 430,355,910 885,786,210 411,961,151 496,271,255 484,674,804 456,108,521 467,635,230 440,280517 580,486,217 670,714,499 759,482,170 783,867,175 658,051,485 640,735,560 635,674,630 610,311,000 646,106,700 677,561,580 597,918,829 754,433,451 836,439,228 642,146,630 591,625,627 554,719,162 544,985,534 491,006,267 501,072,952 552,023,428 629,210,110 751,220,034 921,555,768
$232,109,630 308,387,146 243,032,746 199,024,996 222,766,969 264,075,851 278,522,068 300,669,533 265,881,167 261,396,926 278,697,238 385,089,444 825,814,119 497,030,142 474,201,850 456,880,427 445,602,125 383,649,272 330,862,260 275,320,390 314,226,020 310,612,960 385,248.030 842,491,707 384,771,678 513,472,711 322,111,881 213,171,381 225,902,025 237,938,998 310,602,539 428,547,121 892,770,320 819,545,259 323,525,177 467,350,156
$94,057,945 123,902,556 106,355,976 109,521,734 96,443,637 92,591,359 81,303,518 93,474,161 113,133,934 113,441,491 103,844,896 115,546,194 101,762,468 120,533,294 150,243,565 193,198,970 182,978,022 187,040,264 161,528,470 179,631,860 186,137,930 200,699,790 195,424,240 171,781,008 222,048,486 232,312,267 209,258,611 187,576,092 214,816,920 163,655,068 132,485,033 147,174,719 186,405,364 198,167,975 208,661,233 293,658,777
$17,149,716 23,280,584 21,349,190 17,341,861 11,326,967 10,927,623 10,071,061 10,638,258 11,610,339 11,894,223 12,504,970 12,201,759 13,566,002 15,507,431 18,564,560 19,327,415 18,439,194 16,300,503 14,857,040 12,594,820 13,181,330 11,283,140 16,721,869 12,009,752 16,229,992 24,589,217 15,160,056 13,6 12,222 13,395,476 11,964,826
9,960,769 12,239,647 11,875,350 12,214,118 12,295,417 16,909,742
$7,916,342 18,027,746 24,948,127 20,298,164 20,792,218 20,264,015 18,415,899 27,794,229 27,997,824 27,367,522 24,402,691 21,629,130 24,454,301 28,714,444 30,090,742 88,862,513 80,768,015 29,120,423 29,779,170 32,867,696 81,840,510 29,464,390 37,672,032 32,614,271 42,140,502 45,470,842 38,026,062 28,729386 27,134,127 29,312,413 22,491,241 25,142,189 23,064,359 29,594,254 21,075,271 49,706,163
*Democratic and low-tariff years
WHAT PROTECTION HAS ACCOMPLISHED—THE RECORD
OF SUBSTANTIAL RESULTS IN MATERIAL CONDI-
[From the American Economist.] President McKinley in his message to the extra session of Congress March 15, 1897, referred first to the necessity of ample revenue, “not only for the ordinary expenses of the Government, but for the prompt payment of liberal pensions and the liquidation of the principal and interest of the public debt."
The President found the Treasury in a Democratic conditionthat is, a most deplorable condition. The free-trade Wilson-Gorman law had created a yearly deficit and President Cleveland had sold bonds four different times amounting altogether to $262,000,000. To show the revenue under the Wilson-Gorman law and the Dingley law the following table has been prepared:
The above average of customs duties under the Dingley law would be much larger but for the small amount of the year ending June 30, 1898, the first year of the law. It must be remembered that during the few months preceding its enactment enormous quantities of foreign goods were imported to anticipate the higher duties, but the average for the last three years is over $240,000,000, or $80,000,000 more than the average of the Wilson-Gorman law.
Although customs duties do not regulate our internal revenue, yet the latter is affected to a great measure by a wise tariff law. Protection makes prosperity. It gives employment and high wages, and consequently increases the purchasing power and consumption of the people, and the greater the consumption of certain luxuries the greater the internal revenue. Twice have the war taxes been repealed, $70,000,000 or more altogether, and yet our revenue is
sufficient for the expenses of the Government, although expenses have been largely augmented by the results of the war and normal increases in every department. We have already paid the Spanish war debt, we are reducing our national debt every month, and we have refunded a large part of our interest-bearing debt into 2 per cents.
“Uncle Sam” is the only one on earth who can borrow money at 2 per cent and the bonds be at a premium at that.
In other words, the Dingley law as a revenue measure has proved to be the most successful of all our protective tariffs, and as com-, pared or contrasted with the law of 1894 and previous free-trade laws it is simply a case of plus or minus-surplus or deficit.
Employment and Wages.-Samuel Gompers, president of the American Federation of Labor, estimated that over 3,000,000 men were out of employment during the free-trade period from 1893 to 1897. He also stated that the wages of those employed had been constantly forced down, adding this sound economic doctrine:
"It is agreed by all that the wage earners are the principal consumers of American products, and it necessarily follows that a reduction in wages involves a diminution in the power of consumption and consequently a proportionate decrease in production, and naturally, also, in the force of labor required for the production. A reduction of wages, therefore, results in an increase in the army of the unemployed.”
In 1899 Mr. Gompers, in his annual report, referred to the revival of industry as a matter for general congratulation, and to-day it is claimed that no man in the country who is worthy and willing to work need be out of employment.
This is the lesson of the two tariffs—the difference between free-trade and protection. What does it mean to have 3,000,000 men idle? At $2 per day it means a loss of $1,800,000,000 a year in wages, or $9,000,000,000 in five years. That is more than all the gold and silver in the world. It means a loss of $3,000 each to 3,000,000 families, and $3,000 will pay for a lot of food, a lot of clothes, a lot of education, a lot of comfort.
But this is not the only charge to make against the Wilson-Gorman free-trade law. For those who had work there were short hours, short weeks, and short months, even at reduced wages. Our farmers lost $4,500,000,000 from 1893 to 1897, while the depreciation of all values, the loss of dividends and general incomes cannot be estimated, all due to the fact that we were employing others to do much of our work, or it was not being done at all..
Happily, however, we can turn from those awful years to the past five years under the Dingley law. With employment for all and with increased wages we find our home market demanding all we
can produce. Not for a month, not for a year, but year after year, with no sign of abatement. Labor in the United States was never so well off as it is to-day, never so fully employed, never so well paid. Not even the most pessimistic free-trader will deny that. And this condition of our masses is the foundation, the framework, and the whole structure of prosperity. It is this great purchasing power of our wage-earners that is to-day keeping our mills busy, our railroads running to their very highest capacity, our farmers rewarded to the limit of their industry, and our great army of clerical, professional, and mercantile workers fully occupied with liberal recompense. Every person who toils with hand or head belongs to our great army of labor, and each and every one, no matter in what line of work engaged, is benefited by the tariff law now in operation, and will be so long as that law is undisturbed.
Not only are we all employed at high wages, but all over the country hours of labor have been shortened, so that the workingman has an extra hour or two to spend with his children, to work in the garden, to read and enjoy the delights of life and home.
From every view point, then, the laborer is better off under Dingleyism than under free-trade. Tables of figures to show this are useless, for the fact is known and accepted by all. Not alone in the factory, but on the farm is labor in demand and well rewarded. The dollar-a-day average of a few years ago has given place to a $2-a-day rate, while thousands are receiving $3, $4, and even $5 a day for manual labor and splendid salaries for clerical and professional work. This will continue so long as we continue to do our own work, and that is insured by the Dingley law, which protects American labor and industry.
Our Postal Revenues.--Nowhere is the effect of protection or free-trade-prosperity or adyersity--so apparent as in our postal revenues. It would seem as if no one could be so poor as to have to forego the 2-cent stamp, that no matter how poor business got the 1-cent circular could still be sent out. Consequently our postal revenue should always show a constant increase to keep pace with population. Following is a table showing our total postal revenues for the past fourteen fiscal years:
1889... 1890.. 1891.
$82,499,208 82,665,463 89,012,619 95,021,384 102,354,579 111,681,198 122,680,000
1893. 1894. 1895.