Press enter after choosing selection

The Grievance Of The Tillers Of The Soil

The Grievance Of The Tillers Of The Soil image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

When Bouncer was in his 3-ith year he began courting a farmer's daughter, and bef ore ten moons had waxed and waned he married her. While yet his life was in ita teens, he had become inf atuated with the Ufe of a farmer, and his delight was, to sing with great gusto, the song ending with the words, "To reap and to sow, to plow and to mow, and to be a farmei's boy." .Now that he was married, he communicated his desire to his f ather-in-law who said: Yes, Bouncer, the life of a farmer is full of poetry and luxurious ease. Looking back upon my past life all of which was spent upon the farm, I cannot think of anything that could be more exhilerating and less free from fatigue than the work of a farmer, except perhaps the work of that dog yonder on the treadmill. I have been on the farm man and boy for sixty years and have nothing to show for my life's work butthe same oíd farm minus the stones and stumps that I began life upon. Everything we use from a harrow tooth to a reaper and binder is taxed by the Government at Washington, but no tax is laid for our benefit, and no thought is given to us by the men who make the laws. Only yesterday I was reading the tariff list to aee where it protected the farmer, but there was nothing protected on the farm but aheep's wool, and even that is no benefit to the farmer, becauseas a general rule, he raisea but few sheep, and the price of wool is not raised by the tariff because it decreases the number of woolen milis and increases the importation of foreign woolen goods. There ia a tariff tax on potatoes, and cabDage, and hay, which they say is for our benefit; but bless you when these are plentirul, the tax cannot help the farmer, and when they are scarce we have to buy them and pay the tax. The men who own coal and ore mines and the men who manufacture what the farmers use, have their combinations to restrict producten and raise price. They can stop the mines and the faetones whenever It pleases them to make additional proüts but the farmers cannot shut down the farms for there is seed time and harvest, and the work must be done at any cost. The farmer's margin of profit is so smalt and his erop so uncertain that they dare not combine even if their numbers were so limited as to enable them to do so. We must compete with the farming world, and svhether the price of our crops is fixed by speculators in New York, Chicago or London, we are powerless to help ourselves. Most of the farms hereabouts are mortgaged, and so would this have been had I not leased a portion of it to a gentleman who was prospecting for coal. He Daid me a bonus which kept me out of debt, but all farms are not mineral lands, and if they were, the gieat excess in minerals would prevent a raise in prices of farm lands The bankers are shrewd business men, and they last year employee! experts to appraise the val ue ot raim lands in some of the western states. It was found that in ten states the total sum of farm mortgages amounted to the enormous sum of one billion two hundred and ninety-üve million dollars. Here is the statement of the Chicago Tribune which you may read. It shows the amount of farm mortgages in ten western states as prepared by Mr. Harris. a banker living in Chicago: Ohio, $350,000,000; Indiana, $17o,L00,000; Illinois, $200,000,000; Michigan, 125,000,000; Wisconsin, SIOO.000,000; Minnesota, $70,000,000; Iowa, $100,000,000; Nebraska, 525,000,000; Kansas, .50,000.000; Missouri, 3100,000,000. Now Bouncer the average rate of interest on thesa mortgages is about 10 per cent., and as the average farm does notyield 3 per cent., on the ïnvestment tnese farms will In probability, be sold and the former owners become tenents to a landed aristocracy such as exists in Europe. Why don't the farmers economize, you say! They do as tar as possible, but thev are tanö taxed to death on everything they buy. Look at this list of articles I bought for your wife to assist both of you in housekeeping, and in making a good appearance on the Sabbath . One cooking stove, tariff tax, 45 per cent.; one heating stove, tariff tax 45 per cent.; one dozen knives and forks tariff tax 50 per cent.; one dozen glass goblets, tariff tax 59 per cent.; one half dozen spools of thread, tariff tax 46 per cent.; one package of needies tariff tax 35 per cent.; ten yards of oi cloth, tariff tax 50 per cent.; one-half dozen tin dishes. tariff tax 40 per cent. one dozen cups and saucera, tariff tax 55 per cent.; one hair brush, tanff tax 30 per cent.; one broom, tariff tax 30 per cent; one clock, tariff tax, 30 pei cent.; one Holy Bible, tariff tax, 25 per cent.; two pairs cotton stockings, tanff tax 40 per cent . ; two pairs woolen stock ings tariff tax, 63 percent.; one woolen dress pattern, tariff tax, 68 per cent. %ton of coal. tariff tax 75 per cent. chamber suit, taris tax, 35 per cent. There look at that. It is down in regular order just as I bought the things from time to time but that is not one half the tarifï tax- for I am taxed on my axes, ploughs, harness and oil. The nails I drive in my pig pen are taxed 49 per cent. and the very buttons on my old clothes are taxed 25 per cent. Last spring [ wanted to put up a little marble headatone to my wife's grave, and tbe tanff tax on the marble was 53 per cent. The sugar 1 put in my colïee is taxed 82 per cent. and the soap I keep for company in the spare room is taxed 36 per cent. No' Bouncer,don't be a farmer unies you eau see iirst your way clear to hav these taxes removed. I have been republican all my voting days smee tb party was flrst formeel. I learned t love Lincoln, Sumner and Garrison and these men all favored tree trad and low taxes when the war would b over. 1 voted for Arthur and he askec cougress to lower the tarifí, but thes new republicana with the assistance o some democrats are determined to mak the taxes higher, and give us f ree tobac co and whiskey. They will talk to yo about the rebellion and the old flag, bu you can't eat either of them, and the won't pay for seed or labor, and il yo get into debt they will not pay th judgment nor release the mortgage. Bouncer did not go into f armiug tha


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News