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Does Protection Benefit The Farmer?

Does Protection Benefit The Farmer? image
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Editor Codrier: As long as human nature remains the same therc wil] al ways be two political parties in every state. One a party of progresa, the otlier of conservatism. In every community there will be found the man who ís quick to take advantage oí every irnprovement calculnted to benefit hia business, readily accepting new theories when once convinced of their foundation on fact, and in turn reaping the beneflts which follow an advanced stage in any pursult, wliile liis neighbor will not change the scythe for the mowing machine, the sickle for the reaper until compelled by force of circumstances, then lie will fall in line only to lind that liis neighbor of the sanguine temperament lias left him again in the lurch. The most successful man is he wlio possesses these two characteristics of push and prudence, mostevenly balanced. So the nation needs the conservative party a brake on the wheel ot' progress to prevent ruining into excessea in any direction. Tuis is the only valid excuse that the democratie party of this country can offer to-day for its existence. Every salutary measure adopted by our government for tlio last quarter of a century has met the most bHter and unquulilied opposition of the democratie party. Their camp Is one vast sepulclue of dead and forgotten issues once the pride of the party, now disowned and dishonored. And yet they control the government. Was there ever another sucli an instance known where unsuccessful rebels were intrusted with the government they failed to destroy in less than twenty years from the close of their rebellion f To the credit of the American people be it said, however, that the election of Grover Cleveland was brought about by a conjunction of circumstances uot likely to occur again. Had there boen a fair count in the South and in New York Cijy; had three K. Burchard gone over to Cleveland in '83 instead of '87; had t ík proliibitiouists voted as they preached; and last, but not least, had Cleveland's politlón on the tariff been understood Sefore election as it is now, the democrats would have had one more defeat to score up to their account. In the coming campaign it behooves the republican party to take up the gauge of battle as laid down by the democratie cbieftain in Washington and fight tiie battle on that issue. - Theie siionm lie no doubt which party will win on the question of a protective :aiiffdismissing all theories and putting this question as we do any other to the test of experience we know that the American nntion under the fosterinr care of a tarift' has reached a development which is the wonder and admiration of the world. We have had the number of farms incitae from 2,000 noo in 1860 to 4,000,0000 in 1880, and their value from 16,000,000,000 to over $10,000,000,000 in the same period. The production of cereals has increased from $1,230,000,000 bushels In 1860 to 2,700,000,000 in 1880. Under the protection which Mr. Cleveland declares Is mining the farmer, tliere are 28,000,000 more sheep in the United 3tate8 now than in 1860, and the home product of wool has Increased from 50,!K)0,000 lbs. In 1860 to 325,000,000 in 1880. Does this look like ruining the farmer? Iftlie argumenta of frce traders were sound, of course it would be only neeessary to him to free trade countries to find the farmer's paradise. We should expectto flnd every inch of available land under a high state of cultivation, the sheep industry particularly pro9perous and a constant disposition on the part of capitalista to lnvest In fiinning land. But is thl9 true! Unfortunately for those Americano who are constantly trying to tlirow open our parta and makour land a "dumping-ground" for all of Europe, thia Is not true, but preclsely the opposite of truth. Englaml a"l Holland are the two nations malutaining nominal fore trade, and it is a melancholy fact that farmers In those two countries are in the Iowest condition imaginable. Apart from the abominable system of land tenure in vogue in Englaml in free trade is slowly but siirely ruining the cultivation of the soil. " Land U going out of cultivation, over 2,(100,000 acres liaving been abandoned in England and Ireland alone. There are nearly 3.000 less farmers there now Ihan in 1870. John Brlght admits that British farmers as a a result of free trade have Io9t $1,000,00,000 in the last decade. In 1871 the census there returned 902,343 farm laborera while that of 1881 returned only 870,778, a decrease of about 10 per cent. The sheep indutry was brought into existence by strlngend protection in the 14th century, and under free trade it is rapklly falling off, there being 0,000,000 loss sheep now than in 1871. Agrioulture depends for ita puccess upon a market. Good soil and improved machinery are of no consequence f there is no market, but given tliU and a profit will accrue from poor laud, eveu if Ulied with antiquated utensils. A market to be of value must have certain characterlstics aniong which are: let. It must be treneral, that it must afford an opportuuity for the farmer to dispose of eveiything he can ruise upon his farm. A miirket which takes only particular commodity as h:y or wheat luis the iminediate effect of deteriorating the soil by forbidding that votatlon of cropa which every ploughboy knows to be so necessary to snecess farming. In addition to thia a farmer who must depend upon some one erop runs doublé the risk of him who has a market lor two Staples, and so on the risks of croy failures rcaching the minimum with him who has a ready market lor everything his land will produce. 2d. It must be cprtain. Nothing go ameliorates the condition of a man engaged in telling the soil as the consciousnesf thatho can eell his butter, hia wlieat, his surplus hay and corn, his poultry and his apples. In short that everything he grows will certainly bring a a fair price in cash whenever he chooses to delivur them. A man who does not know whether he can eell wheat or whether pork will be called for Is constantly working In the dark. He certainly cunnot have the oncouragement of bis brother, blessed with a good market. 3rd. It must be near. A market located at a distance wliile better than none is a poor one at the best. Sales must be made by agenta who are not noted for any scrupulous attention to the farmer's interest. A risk is run in the shipment of perishable gooda and bulk}' goods are eaten up by the freight. Having thus seen what, in part, con-t tutes a good market it next ocenrs to us how such a one can be procured. Were all men en gaged in farming evldently there would be no (Iemand for surplus producís except what was occasioned by the failure of crops In some particular locality. But when a portion of the people are withdrawn from the ranks ot' producers and become consumerg a market is at Once created, and possesses the above characteristics. Just in proportion as those wlio wlthdraw from fnrming to engage In manufacturlng locate near at hand and do a thrivlng business. The bmaller the percentage of the population engaged inf&rruing the greater the pmiiis, the higher the price of land, and the better wages are paid to farm laborera. The following table was carefully prepared by Mr. Dodge, chiefof the Stdtistioal Department of the Agricultural Bureau. COMPILED FKOM CENSUS RETURNS OF ïsao.