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Germany -- The Republican Model

Germany -- The Republican Model image
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Rcpublican campaign speakers make much of what protection has done for Germany, in building up manufactures, stimulating commerce and raising her lo high rank among commercial nations. In glorying in her prosperity, and in the same br'eath predictii.g calamity to our people, and espec'ally to our mechanics and laborera, they forget to teil their hearers that the Germán tarifï has not raised the wages of the Gerraan artisan and laborer to the level of the wages his fellovv "pauper laborer" gets in free trade England, and that none of them have becoine bloated aristocrats, bond holders, or land monopolists, ïf any of them have indeed, as in free trade England, become the owners of the modest homes in which they live. They also forget to say that even the Germán protectionist is too whe to lay a revenue tax on raw material, which simply hampers the manutacturer at the beginning of his process, and assures to the consumer a doubly taxed fabric. If they were honest, they would make it knovvn to their hearers and deluded followers that Germany levies no import duty on raw wools, and that her law-makers, protectionists as they are claimed to be, even consider yarns as raw material and admit them free of duty. Would not the exercise of a little of the same horse sense in legislation give new prosperity to our woolen manufactures, and at the same time better and cheaper clothing to our mechanics and laboréis? The same republican speakers insist that the Germán laborers come to this country to reap the benefits of our protective system. Perhaps they come for other reasons, - as protection by taxation on imports, there and here, ought to balance and offset each other, at least if levied on the same principie; and levied as they are, raw material being exempt in Germany, ought to induce the German artisan and laborer to stay at home. Do not tl" e other taxes - not so great a blessing in republican eyes as impost taxes - have something to do with the stampede? A letter from an Ann Arbor boy, now in Germany ,details these taxes something as tollows: 1. Six marks ($1.50) monthly on $1000, called "class tax." The same on greater amounts, but called "income tax." 2. Gewerbe, or tax on business. 3. City tax. 4. Rent tax - S per cent by the tenant on the rent he pays. 5. Church tax - to be paid whether an attendant upon the established church or not. 6. District tax - for roads and public buildings. 7. Dog tax - from 3 to 20 marks annually. And the correspondent adds, "No wonder the peoplc are poor." Taxation is evidcntly not considered a blessing; and disguising it under the name of protection to some favored industry, infant or antiquated,skilled or unskilled, cannot make it so, either in Germany or in the United States The high tariff of Germany does not insure high wages to the German weaver, calicó printer, or shoemaker, nor does ït give the mili owner or employer cheap fabrics to place on the niarket. The daily or weekly product of a Germán workman in factory and shop is so much less than that of a workntan in a Massachusetts mili or factory that the labot cost of the completed cloth or shoe is less in Massachusetts than in Germany, despite the pauper wages of the protected Germán operator. In Germany one weaver attends from one to three looms, in the United States six, and the product at Lowell excels in the same proportion. David A. Wells, whose facts and conclusions are undisputed, says: "In Germany, at such places as Erfurt, where wages of the workingmen emploved in the "boot and shoe industries reach the lowesl point, and are less than one-half the average American rates, the labor cost of a similar shoe is nearly ioo per cent greater, and the earnings of the Germán shoemaker are less than one-half what they are ín Massachusetts." And Mr. Wells also shows substantially the same results in considering other industries. These being facts, patent to all, need the American mili and factory worker have any fear of a cut in wages in the event of the Mills bill becoming a law?


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News