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The Tariff And Laborers

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Four years ago the republicans declared that in the event of the election of Cleveland diré ruin would run rampant - from east to west - and north to south, business of every name and nature be paralized, and the country go to the "demnition bow-wows." Republicans engaged in manufacturing or other enterprises made threats that they would stop the wheels of their factories and turn their employees over to idleness and starvation if the free people of the United States dared to defeat Blaine and g. o. p. Cleveland was elected. Blaine issued his after-election pronunciamento, shook the soil of his native Pennsylvania and adopted Maine from his garments, and hied himself to Europe to witness, from a safe retreat, the predicted explosión. It didn't come, and so Blaine has ventured to return, to assist his admirers and followers in setting off another bunch of firecrackers and throwing up a few sky rockets in aid of another business convulsión, failing a political revolution. Forgetting the utter failure of the prophecy of 1S84, the same birds of evil omen are again croaking in unisón all over the land. Again ruin is staring the manufacturer in the face; again is the mechanic and day laborer to be turned into the street, and his family condemned to eat the bread of the pauper, or compete for his bread with the pauper laborer of Europe. And this because the democratie house has passed the Mills bill, which puts lumber, salt, wool and a few other articles on the free list, and reduces the tariffduties on an average ot 7 per cent on the whole list. The farmers have. been already fleeced out of five or ten cents a pound on the season's vool clip, though the later increase in price may save their flocks from the wholesale slaughter which took place between the years 1876 and 188 1 under the highest tariff ever imposed on wool. And mechanics and laborers, even in Ann Arbor, are daily told that protection is what insures high wages, and that the moderate reduction of the tariff duties, proposed by the house at the instigation of the president, will ttirow them out of employment altogether, or reduce their wages to a mere pittance. If it can be established, and it cannot, that the wages in the clothing, woolen or other milis of New England; or in the iron and steel f urnaces of Pennsylvania, Michigan or Illinois; or in any of the factories of New York or New Jersey are at all dependent upon the tanff, there are few protected industries in Michigan, and none in our city or county, the employees in which stand in the least danger of having :heir wages cut or being thrown out of employment. The law of supply and demand, and not the tariff, regulates the wages of the laborer, and his danger is in the importation of competing brain and muscle rather than manufactured fabrics. There is no danger ahead for our stone and brick masons and carpen ters because lumber has been put on :he free list and the duty on other auilding material decreased. The next Christian association hall, school nouse, church, club house, store or dwelling will not be put up in Windsor and shipped out to our city on trucks. Our furnitura manufacturers, and wagon and cart makers will not shut up shop and discharge :heir men, or cut down their wages Decause of a smaller duty imposed on the raw material they use; the horses of all the surrounding country will not be sent over to Canada to be shod because the duty on iron is decreased; our manufacturers of tinware, with tin plate free of duty, will not manufacture less than heretofore or transfer their plants across the oorder; our shoemakers will not whistle graveyard tunes or indulge n cuss words because the cobbling of the future will be done by Sanucks at home; the flour we eat will till be ground in the city milis, and taking off the duty on wheat will offer no reason for reducing wages, and, perhaps give us no cheaper bread ; hack-drivers and eamsters and draymen will not find heir occupation gone - their work must continue to be done from the old stands," and our day laborers of whatever vocation, will not need to '. oin the " Knights of Rest," because 1 ur cellars will be dug, our slreets - nade and repaired, and our ; iTork done by the pauper labor in ither Bohemia, Hunsrary, Italy or i oland.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News