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The Cost Of Transportation

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I he farmers have been taught that the cost oi' transportaron depends upon t)ie will of a few men, and varies with their agreementsorquarrel. Thequondam'pedluT of Verniont feil out with Vanderbilt, and their quarrel was worth during the year 1870, one-fifth of a cent per ton per uiile to the farmers ; $9,000,000 on the erop of wheat alone, if it had all been shipped at the reduced rate. In July, 1872, somebody raised the rates from the West tive cents per cental. His act cost the farmers rnillons of dollars. Is it strange that our greatest industry grows restive under fluctuations which it can neither foresee nor comprehend? Elsewliere tho world moves. The beneficent progress of civilizatiou in other lands is toward oheaper transportación and botter wages for the producer. Ji n-s: :i. pushes railroad through her vast territory in order that her subject ruay obtuiu at the Baltic aud Black Seas better pay for their industry. We cannot maintain sufficient private markets of our own, nor foice upward prices iu those great markets of the world upon which ours depend. If, while the world makes transportation oheaper, we make it more costly, the los? will be our own. This the farmer believes we are doing. He declares that others, who stand betwten him and theconsuiuer, atnass groat wealth, whilo pinching economy barely saves him sunsistence and does not kecjj him from debt. His belieft; as to the cause of existinsr evils and the best edy, whether correct ornot, will soos tuke the shape of laws. He has the votes. Bofore that power, Iegislatorg drop like leaves shaken by theautumn wind. Governors, politicians of all grades, eiush each other in their hurry to seize the new standard. Lawyers who do not tbrget the Ditrtmouth College case alrcady rind themselves ineligible to the judiciary. Has not this same generation set its heel upon the Dred Scott decisión 'í Reverence for judicial precedents is a dam which tíoods have cerried away. Re straints devised by founders of our government no longer bar the people trom their will. We have trusted all power to to the majority. If its opinión is in errcr, wo have but one remedy, - that freedou of discussion which remaius the onlv safegaard of our institutions. There are always cowards enough to shout with the majority, right or wrong. But the times now demand men who cüu teil a majority whereift it is wrong, and by what measures its its just aimsniay be reached. Progress toward cheaper (ranpportation Las in tact been arrested. The evil can bo removed only by removing the cause. But mistaken remedies will not onlv fail, they will inflict upon agriculture itself the gravest disasters. By diniinishing the cost of transportaron, the railroad has made agricultura possible in a large part of the Northwestern States. The extensión of railroads has given to the farmers a great part of thtir wealth, and the natural alliance, a blessing to both, oannot be broken without


Old News
Michigan Argus