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Can heavy taxation make a country prospe...

Can heavy taxation make a country prospe... image
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Can heavy taxation make a country prosperous? Will the Courier answer ? It greatly puzzles us to understand how intelligent men can believe that taxing a country increases its prosperity. Lighten taxation. Xo political campaign in this country has done more to edúcate the peopie than the present one is doing. Everyone seems to be reading up on the tariffquestion, and never before were found so many people who could talk intelligently on the subject. The republican platform declares for a very high grade of protection and many of our republican friends teil how much betterit would be for this country if nothing were imported„ They claim that this would diversify industries and créate a larger home market. If this argument is true then we did the confedérate states a great service when we blockaded their ports during the civil war. We thought we were doing them considerable damage but according to the republicans, it seems we were only protecting their industries. Our contemporary down the street, who, whenever it is hit, jumps up and shouts, "its a delibérate falsehood" is so encouraged that it talks of a perfect procession to the ranks of the republican party. Possibly the encoufagément comes from the fact that the socialists of New York have made up their minds not to put a separate ticket in the field but to vote for the republican ticket be. cause it advocates protection. The socialists believe that they can best accomplish their ends in that way. The republicans are welcometo their socialistic allies. We want none of them. There can be no question that the tariff is a tax. By such a tax the government obtains its revenue. It is the proper way of raising its revenue. The tax should be sufficient to meet the expenses of a government economically administered, but it should be no larger. Any further taxation takes from the people that which is not needed by the government, and in that marmer unjustly burdens the people. A tax should be as light as possible consistent with good government. The present tax levied by the general government through its tariff yields an income much larger than the government needs. Therefore it should be reduced. That is the position oí the democratie party, and it is a position which is so plainly the only correct one that it ought to gain the vote of every intelligent man in the country for the democratie ticket. A conte.mporary, which we can hardly cali esteemed, so long as it bandies harsh epithets for argument, finds fault vvith a communica" tion which appeaied in our columns last week signed A. C. and devotes a column of figures to show that wages are high er in this country than in Great Britain. But it should not escape notice that from the Courier's own figures wages in Chicago are higher than in New York in certain trades and yet New York surely has as much protection as Chicago, and also it should not escape notice that wages are much higher in free trade Great Britain than in high tariff Germany. For instance carpenters who receive from $9 to $12 in New York (Courier figures) and $7.33 to $S.25 in Great Britain receive only $4.11 in Germany (U. S. Consul's report.) Why should wages in a free trade country be nearly doublé wages in a high tarifl country? Our contemporary should not attempt to support its position that a reduction of a tariff lowers wages, by an appeal to figures, for it" will get left every time. The first tarifif was placed upon wool in 1S24 and wool was then selling for froni 30 to 3S cents. It immediately decreased in price so that for six years it was bought as low as 20 cents, and in IS30 wool was sold as low as 16 cents. When in 1S32 the tariíf was greatly reduced, wool immediately aróse in price and in 1836 sold for from 35 to 50 cents. A second high tariff was imposed in 1842, and that year and the next wool sold for from 18 to 24 cents. Under the great reduction in the wool tariff of 1S47 wool immediately rose in price, and under the free wool tariff of 1S57 it aróse still higher. The cheapest grade of wool ia 1857 was 30 to 44 cents; in 185S, 27 to 32 cents; 1S59, 34 to 45 cents, and in 1S60 34 to 40 cents. This was under the ruinous(r) free vvool tanff. Then came the high wool tariff fixed during the war. Prices were inflated, if we use currency figures, but if reduced to a gold value ït will be seen that the wool grower never did any better under a high tariff on wool than hedid under the low one of 1857. The question is : If to remove the tariff on wool would now lower the price of our home wool, why did it not do so in the past? History teaches us in this respect. Our farmers under a high tariff are selling wool at very low figures to-day. Under free wool thirty years ago they sold wool at much higher prices. As the Evening News of Detroit well remarked, our manufacturéis must hay q foreign wool to mix with our American wool, and the more foreign wool is used for mixing the more American wool is needed. When a little school boy gets whipped he begins to blubber and cali hard names. The Courier ought to remember this. It should remember also that although a reputable journal may sometimes make a mistake it never knowingly prints a falsehood. No paper which does this deserves to exist. We are led to make these reniarks because the Courier of this week so far oversteps the bounds of journahstic courtesy and at the same time exposes its own ignorance, as to make the statement that the Argus told a delibérate falsehood last week when it stated that railroad ties were on the free list so that while the farmer had to pay a high tax on lumber used in building his barn, the Michigan Central was enabled to get lumber without paying any tax on the lumber. If the Courier had taken any pains, it could have easily ascertained that the Argus was correct. It ought also to know that the Argus would not knowingly allow a false statement in its columns. Mistakes sometimes creep in as they do in conversation or in all papers, but the editor of this paper believes that an editor who would lie in his pape1' would lie in private conversation and one who would be guilty of delibérate falsehood deserves the contempt of every decent man. If the Courier's siandard in this respect is nO{ so high as ours then it is all the worse tor the Courier and we should insist that it should not judge us by its own standard. Railroad ties are on the free list, why not put lumber that a farmer uses upon the free lis1 also? The Courier cannot answer, but that is no excuse for calling names.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News