Press enter after choosing selection

The Industrial Crisis

The Industrial Crisis image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

The conntry suddenly awakens to the disagreoable tact that the reveuue of 1 S7i2 4 and the oxpenditure already rated are not likely to balance. Next we find that not only roduetion in the price of labor is made and cheerfully submitted to, but the actual and general want of etnployraent is now imminent. It seems to be but too true that while a miserable üuancial system has made the price of necessaries higher in the United States than in any other country, the monopolists themselves, in whose behalf and for wliose " protection " this vicio'is system was framed, are not prosperous ; that oven they are not rieher by as much as the mass of people aio poorer. The faot is, they overdid it. Manufacturera who thought they could live securely so long as the tariff stood put their immense earnings, squeezed out of the peopie, into unproductive property. A Yankee factory now feels as much the injury of the tariff as did the people who were obliged to consume the goods made in that factory. The bricks, the cement, the glass, the putty, the slates, tho wood, iron, paint, varuish, above all machinery, coat in average, on account of tho tariff and inrlation, doublé their actual valué. Then camo dear money, dear material, and dear wages. All this went on as long as the fiuaucial balloon floated. When it was pricked and collapsed uil that it floated went with it. Yho fact is, the American industrial system during tho last twelve years has been the production of dear goods for the American inflated dearmarket. Afinancial trouWe reduces trade, and the American manufactnrer has no outlet for goods except at home. He now has the home trade with a vengeance. An example of this is the carpet trade. This industry employs some 15,000 hands and produces some $27,000,000 goods. - Most of these hands are entirely out of work ; a limited number are employed at half-time and reduced wages. The protection of the home -made carpet averages 70 to 75 per cent., and of course the American carpet never sought a foreign market. In fact the export of American carpet was in 1872, 870 yards, valued at $l,u42. Now in this lies much of the present pinohing for employment. Had the carpet trade, producing $27,000,000 cárpete, only had an oulet of $4,000,000 or $0,000,000, hard times in the home consumption would have been tided over without shutting of the milis. Auother example is the flannel trade, in which there is much distress. We don't import any flannel. The duty averages 110 per cent. on cheap flannels. On the other hand, although we produced 58,966, 2J8 yards in 1870, and perhaps 70,000,000 yards now, we don't export a thousand yards. The manufacturer wanted the home market, and the manufacturer has got it. But that is all he has got. No outlet, no clearing of stock in foreign markets, is open to him. In other words the nionufacturer has for twelve years been putting all his eggs into one basket and the basket issmashed. But there are signs of new times. It is quite a common saying among manufacturers that, now since labor is coming down, raw material must be made free, and the American artisan must gird on his armor and tight the foreign competitors, not only in the home market, but in foreign countries ; and there are already very sanguine expectations of' victorious fields in India, China, and South America. Indeed, the crisis promises to open a new era. Manufacturers are willing to aban' don the blind belief on the twelve yearsworshipped idol of Proteotion. Dear as the lesson of the present crisis for the time being is, it will be a blessing it' it proves the means of opening that free trade and competition in foreign lands that 40,000,000 of the most enlightened people in the world are entitled to. And whaï a commentary such a result so obtained will be upon the wisdom of our legislators and the unenlightened selfishness of the class in whose exclusive terest our tariff has been framed.


Old News
Michigan Argus