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The following dispatch, which appeared in the utter incapacity to deal adequately with the New Bedford Mercury, is highly suggestive : question.
William H. Matthews, Treasurer of the New The tariff was an issue in the last campaign, Bedford Copper Company, last evening received a but the issue was whether it should be reduced telegram from Representative Randall, as follows:
by Democrats or by Republicans. No one main"The tariff bill passed with some amendments.
tained in 1888 that it ought to be increased. Your section not changed, and you are all right."
The prediction may be ventured that as certain
Democratic papers overestimated the intelligence Those Democratic papers which confidently
of the Republican majority in the House, the predicted that the McKinley Tariff bill would
latter much more have underestimated the intellinot pass the House, gave the Republicans of that gence of their “constituents." body credit for too much intelligence and independence. The passing of this bill is certainly one of the greatest feats of legislative
No arguments displaying any ingenuity have
been advanced in favor of the bill. Excluding engineering to be found in our history. Probably not half of those who voted for it regarded
the demagogic clap-trap regarding patriotism and
American versus Foreign interests, the difference it as perfect, or as nearly perfect as any bill that could be drawn. It is tolerably certain that the
in the rate of wages between this country and bill could not have stood an unrestricted debate.
Europe has been chiefly relied on by its proThe course of the Speaker in recognizing more
ponents. The argument from this source first Democrats than Republicans during the debate,
made its appearance about 1840, but not in its
present form. It was not then claimed that a testifies that in his opinion the bill had more to
tariff would enable the manufacturer to increase fear from its friends than from its enemies. It is hard to decide which is the more surprising,
the wages paid. Wages were then, as now,
higher here than abroad; and up to that time the skill of Mr. McKinley and his colleagues, or the pliancy of the great body of the Republican
the opponents of a high tariff had pointed to members. A better illustration of Professor
this fact as an objection to the stimulation of inHuxley's words could hardly be desired:
fant industries, alleging that such industries
could never become self-sustaining as long as the The alternative of dominion does not lie between
labor engaged in them was so much cheaper in a sovereign individual and a sovereign multitude, but between an aristarchy and a demarchy,-that
Europe. The important point to be noticed is, is to say, between an aristocratic and a democratic
that a marked difference in the rate of wages oligarchy. The chief business of the aristarchy existed previous to a really high tariff. is to persuade the king, emperor, or czar, that he If the question whether the tariff really does wants to go the way they wish him to go; that of
raise the rate of wages could be seriously enterthe demarchy is to do the like with the mob.
tained, the method of deciding it suggested by Mr. McKinley's success with the "mob" has
Mr. Laughlin, formerly of Harvard College, been quite phenomenal.
would be conclusive. The prices of goods ex
ported from this country, and sold in foreign The feeling of recklessness and irresponsibility countries, cannot possibly be raised by tariff. manifested toward the close of the debate must Certainly England or Germany would not pay us strike almost any one with amazement. It is any more for wheat or corn if we placed a duty almost inconceivable that any man could vote upon them, and its price at home could not be any lightly for a measure which the most stupid higher than its price abroad; for in that case member of Congress cannot fail to see would none would be exported. The wages in indusaffect injuriously many important branches of tries of which the product is exported cannot, business, with the hope that it would be amended then, be directly raised by a tariff, and
wages in in the Senate. Granting that these men really this class of industries are fully as high as in believe that the prosperity of the country is in protected industries. But it is asserted that the creased by taxing imports, no one of them could existence of protected manufactures creates a possibly think that, with a duty already averag demand for labor, and thus indirectly raises ing about forty-five per cent, there is any press wages,—that the rates paid by manufacturers fix ing need of increasing that duty. The most the rates paid in other industries. probable supposition is that the feeling of reck According to the census of 1880 the working lessness was caused by a consciousness of their force of the United States was 17,392,099. Of
these less than 2,000,000 were engaged in occupa gress are paid for two hundred days of their tions which can be said to be protected from tine in the year, and that the Senate, composed foreign competition by the tariff. It cannot be of eighty-four members, consumes six of these reasonably asserted that the wages paid to days in examining the merits of gold and silver; 1,990,915 persons fix the rate paid to 15,401,184 it is evident that the cost of the investigation persons; it is exactly the reverse. A man must will be $12,600. For every day that the Senate be very thoroughly blinded by partisan prejudice passes in this research, the people pay over to assert solemnly that the tail ways the dog. $2,000, and it behooves them to consider whether
is worth the candle. The most remarkable thing about the whole
There is not any good reason why Congress matter, however, is the readiness with which pro
should be employed to canvass the comparative tectionists assert that no perfect protective meas
virtues of gold and silver. What would be ure can be devised, -none which will not work
thought of one who would employ the members injustice to many interests and sections of the
of the Senate at $2,000 a day, to investigate the country. This is the one wholly suflicient objec
relative advantages of wool and cotton for clothtion to the principle,-that it is unjust; that in
ing, of felt or straw for hats, or of calf-skin and its workings to benefit a few people, it injures a
kid for shoes? Yet, in sober reason, the one great many; to do a little right, it does a great
pursuit is as plausible in itself, and as likely to wrong. There is room to question whether a
result to our advantage, as the other. As a nation may not with profit pursue an unjust for
matter of fact, we leave individuals to decide for eign policy; but it is certain that an unjust
themselves the utility of wool and cotton, and if domestic policy, if persisted in, will lead to disaster.
anyone finds difficulty in deciding between the The fact that protectionists openly
two, we cheerfully let him bear the expense of recognize the essential injustice of the measure
investigating the properties of both and of exthey advocate, makes it difficult to refrain from
perimenting on either to his heart's content. grave suspicions as to that patriotism to which
And then, after he has completed his experiment, they lay claim. They seem to be avtokarákpitol,
we do not propose to be bound by his concluto use the word of the apostle, —"condemned
sions ourselves, nor seek to make others conform even in and of themselves.” “ For, though they
to his opinions. If we like, we propose to conbe not all persuaded that it is truth which they
tinue to use silk or flax, however firmly convinced withstand, yet that to be error which they up
our experimental friend may be that cotton or hold, they might undoubtedly the sooner attain
wool is better. And there is literally no advanto know, but that their study is more to defend
tage whatever in our attempting to prescribe a what once they have stood in, than to find out
uniform money. If one kind of money is better sincerely and simply what truth they ought to
than another, the fact will be discovered with persist in forever.”
more ease, expedition, and certainty by letting
individuals experiment with all the kinds they The United States Senate spends its time dis can think of, at their own expense. If one man cussing the question whether gold or silver, or offers me a cow, another an acre of land, a third both, ought to be money. True, Mr. Dolph said a bank-note, a fourth a mortgage, a fifth some that there was not a single member of the Senate silver, a sixth a gold-piece, while others tempt who did not favor both gold and silver as money, me with sticks of tobacco or postage-stamps in but the remarks which are made in the course of exchange for the wheat I have, why not let me discussion-hardly to be dignified by the name take my choice—and the consequences !
Yet of debate-speak more strongly for the fact than this is really all that is claimed for free banking. general assertions of this kind. The fact is, that When Senators talk about the “rights” of gold the Senate is engaged in a contention over the and silver, they talk nonsense, as they themrelative merits of gold and silver as money. selves, and as everyone else, ought to know. Meanwhile, the salaries of the members are paid Silver and gold have no more right to be money in gold. Supposing, for the moment, that sala than molasses candy has; but then, on the other ries constitute the only expense of the Senate, it hand, neither have they any less right. When is interesting to consider what the cost to the the Government monopolizes the business of people may be to have this question ventilated in making coined money, it creates by that very act this manner. Suppose that members of Con the difficulty which it must forthwith proceed to
solve—at an expense of $2,000 a day. And this greater; but--and here is the cream of the matexpense we must continue to incur, in the face of ter-other people can be made to bear the exthe fact that there is but one solution to the prob pense; people who do not take any interest in lem—to abolish the monopoly of coinage. When the experiment at all, who are thoroughly conthe problem x+y=1 can be solved, we shall then vinced that 15 is not only the minimum, but also be able to say how much gold and silver, and at the maximum sum of 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. what ratio of the two, the Government should coin money. As the algebraic problem is much the simpler, why not pay the Senators $2,000 a
Now, if we employ 414 members of Congress day to work over that awhile ?
for 200 days, the cost in salaries is $10,350 a day. The Senate has been engaged in the attempt to
solve an equation with two, or twenty, or two That the National House has also been en thousand, unknown quantities; the House has been gaged in an equally arduous and interminable occupied with trying to discover the greatest sum task, can be seen by throwing its problem into of a column of figures. It will not be said of us in algebraic form. The question is, how to make
that epitaph for which we are preparing the the people richer without performing labor. It
data, that we have been penurious or pusillaniis true that the method actually adopted for ac
To spend $10,350 a day for the advance complishing this result would lead us to suppose
of the science of Mathematics, is more than any that the problem is how to make the people
other people would do. The last word will not richer by wasting labor. For if articles of con
be Misers; it will be IMBECILES. sumption are produced here which might be bought cheaper elsewhere, the inference seems
INCONSISTENCY. rigorous that labor has been wasted, and if this very means is to make us richer, it must be that I found an amusing case of inconsistency in the waste tends to wealth. But this may be regarded report of an address delivered in Chicago by as the accidental and temporary mischief of an Prof. Thos. Davidson before the Woman's Club, unperfected method, the end in view all the a few weeks
ago. The report is very much while being merely to produce wealth without abridged, and may therefore represent the views labor. The idea is simply to take all the corn of the speaker quite inadequately; but it seemed and wheat, the cotton and wool, the iron and cop to me that one effect of condensing was to bring per, the gold and silver, the fur cloaks and straw nearer together, and thus render conspicuous, hats,-in fact, to take all the annual product of opinions which are quite inconsistent one with industry and to add the separate quantities to the other. Premising, therefore, that my only gether, so that the total shall be greater than if authority is this newspaper report, Professor they had been added together in a different Davidson said : order. This will be a very valuable discovery That much of the present social difficulty was when it is made. Every business man can then, due to the want of absolute justice which obtained at the end of the year, take his ledger and make between the State and the people. it yield him a profit ad libitum, just by taking the That it was the people's right to be free to figures in a different order. Suppose his income pursue happiness, and the duty of the State to from several sources has been 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. If see that such right was in no way abridged. his business is very miscellaneous, perhaps his in That laws which restrained virtuous people come has been 1 from corn, 2 from cotton, 3 from from pursuing happiness because vicious people iron, 4 from gold, and 5 from straw hats. His abused a privilege or a right, were unjust to the problem is really one in maxima and minima, as his good. son at college will tell him at a glance. How to That in the wake of these unjust laws come add 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 together so as to make 16, or, complications that call for still other laws which if possible, 17. Now, if he sends his son to college are equally unjust. till he can solve his problem for him, it will cost That restricting the rights of one class that him $1,000 a year, or thereabouts.
If two or
another class may be restrained, is not justice. three hundred business men club together, they That any departure from justice is a step in can send 330 sons to college at reduced rates. the wrong direction. By sending 330 sons to Congress, on the other That the State should leave to all the right to hand, the cost will be from five to ten times pursue happiness; and that those who did not care
to embrace the opportunity, and get enough of the departure from justice is a step in the wrong material wealth of the country to make themselves direction"! happy, should suffer the consequences.
Equally aberrant from justice, and hardly less So far, so good; but the effect of abbreviation injurious in effect, is the compulsory aspect of is droll. The reporter makes the professor say State education. “ It is the people's right,” says in the very next breath:
Mr. Davidson, “to be free to pursue happiness.” That the State should raise the standard of Then it cannot possibly be right to compel them morality and intellectuality among the people by to pursue happiness, still less to pursue it in any educating the strong and the weak alike. Educa particular way, as by forcing them to go, or to tion should be made compulsory for the rich as send their children, to school. Compulsion being well as for the poor, and the education should wrong, then the effects of compulsion must netake a wider range than the present.
cessarily be bad. Education even of the widest Justice, we are assured, and nothing but jus conceivable range, much less of that range likely tice, is right, and “restricting the rights of one to result from State supervision, is not the only class that another class may be restrained, is not desirable pursuit or attainment in life. To comjustice"; nevertheless the State should arrogate pel children to go to school must inevitably reto itself the function of educating all alike! sult in diminishing the share they get-in some But what is the justice of such a performance ? cases of other desirable things, such as food, or Evidently there is no justice whatever in the clothing. Thousands of children work for their proposition, but only utter, inextricable, hopeless living from an early age, and by doing so are confusion, ,--a confusion which may best be de better off than they would be if they did not scribed in the words of Mr. Spencer:
work. Every curtailment of their opportunity “ The like confusion of ideas caused by look to supply their daily wants is a departure from ing at one face only of the transaction, may be justice, is an infringement of their rights, is an traced throughout all the legislation which forcibly abridgement of their happiness, and no consideratakes the property of this man for the purpose of tions of future welfare or of good intentions can giving gratis benefits to that man. Habitually possibly reconcile the aggression with justice. when one of the numerous measures thus charac Another
way in which compulsory education terized is discussed, the dominant thought is con works evil, is by taking the care and responsicerning the pitiable Jones who is to be protected bility for children's welfare from those on whom against some evil; while no thought is given to the responsibility should rest. A third way in the hard-working Brown who is aggressed upon, which compulsory education, at whosesoever exoften much more to be pitied. Money is exacted pense, works evil, is by conferring a benefit on (either directly or through raised rent) from the those who otherwise would have lacked it, therehuckster who only by extreme pinching can pay by increasing their chances of long life. But her way, from the mason thrown out of work by those who would lack an education but for the a strike, from the mechanic whose savings are State, are generally unfit for long life, and they melting away during an illness, from the widow should be left to go the way of nature as quickly who washes or sews from dawn to dark to feed as possible, lest they produce others like themher fatherless little ones,-and all that the disso selves. lute
may be saved from hunger, that the children The inconsistency involved in the views attribof less impoverished neighbors may have cheap uted to Professor Davidson is so gross, that I lessons, and that various people, mostly better should have believed, but for what followed, that off, may read newspapers and novels for nothing ! the reporter had dropped a negative or two. Un
Doubtless it is true that the greater part of fortunately the remarks that follow leave no the money exacted comes from those who are doubt that the confusion belongs to the speaker, relatively well-off ; but this is no consolation to and not to the reporter. We are told that “when the ill-off from whom the rest is exacted. Nay, monopolies arise on the one hand, and organizaif comparison be made between the pressures tions arise on the other to oppose them, it is selfborne by the two classes respectively, it becomes evident that the State is not doing its whole duty. manifest that the case is even worse than at first A just State would step in and put an end to the appears; for, while to the well-off the exaction strife between capital and labor, whenever these means loss of luxuries, to the ill-off it means loss two come in conflict with each other.”
(The in of necessaries."
verted commas refer to the reporter's epitome.) It is, indeed, profoundly true that "every Now it is not self-evident that monopolies and
organizations of laborers result from the omis just as dangerous." According to the sion of its duty by the State; on the contrary, it commonly received legend more singers is extremely probable from the evidence inde
were necessary to lure sailors pendently collected by several competent persons,
upon the rocks. that this industrial condition, so far as it works harm, is the result of the State's meddling with affairs which do not belong under its care—is
But though Mr. Clarkson may not be the result not of sins of omission, but of com
very strong in Greek mythology, he unmission. In the second place, the notion that a doubtedly knows a great deal about the just State will step in and put an end to the strife practical workings of the "spoils system." between labor and capital, is absolutely inconsis His speech as reported is very interesting, tent with the notion that the business of the State
but doubtless he could from his personal is to leave people to pursue happiness after their
experience have given us some information own fashion. Simply because there is strife be
which would have been more interesting tween labor and capital, it does not follow that there has been aggression on one by the other;
than anything he saw fit to say. To one and even if there has been, all that a just State
very interesting fact, however, he did call can do is to repress individual aggressors; by no
our attention. “I believe that the United means can it justly compel the buyers and sellers States Government is a political and not a of labor to assume a different attitude toward business organization.” Here is an imporeach other.
tant truth excellently stated. Governments That we are being entertained with words
are not, and never can be, business partnerinstead of ideas, is further made plain by the
ships. Some of Mr. Clarkson's corollaries statement that “practical anarchy followed the
are also perfectly sound: for instance, fall of glorious old Rome, and in practice, the
that the Government will never be run on weak were then the slaves of the strong." But where is the anarchy when the weak are the
business principles. A few persons, who slaves of the strong ? This relation looks sus
know more about business than they do piciously more like arch-archy than like anarchy. about politics, have a theory that business And in the case of France in 1789, alluded to by methods might profitably be introduced Professor Davidson, I am at a loss to see how into the Government; but the prospect of changing the government of a corrupt aristocracy, this is very small, and the desirability of it first for the rule of experts in philosophy, then for the domination of experts in the guillotine,
Not that business
methods are not better than political finally for the sway of an emperor, leaves any interval of anarchy. Tyranny-à la bonheur, but
methods in many respects, but they are anarchy-not as yet.
out of place in a government.
Another inference, from which a large
number will dissent, is, that fitness for the POLITICS vs. BUSINESS.
duties of an office should not be the sole, or Great cleverness will not preserve a man even the chief, test of appointment. This from blunders, if he ventures to speak of illustrates very forcibly the difference bethat with which he is unfamiliar. A classi tween the political and the business point cal allusion is a fine thing with which to of view. It being conceded that the oflices garnish a political oration; it adds a cer are political offices, however, the legitimacy tain cogency and authority, as well as of the inference becomes apparent. It is a elegance, to the words of the speaker ; but euphemism to say that offices are bestowed unless the audience is very ignorant
very ignorant out of gratitude as rewards for party it is best to be sure that the allusion is ac service. But the man who has shown curate. In his very clever speech before willingness and ability in working for his the Norfolk Club last Friday, Mr. Clarkson party is a valuable man to keep on good spoke of “words sweet as the music of terms with, and a dangerous man to disapSappho luring the sailors on the rocks, and point. If he wants an office, as he gener