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The Farmers' Burdens

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Tlia Kansas City Times says the farmers are no longer rich. They no longer have more than they can spend. In oui once prosperóos agricultural districts they are reduced almost to poverty. In the eyes of the public fanning has ceased to be the pleasant and profitable occupation of a former generation. In the older states it is a common thing to see farm houses going to decay, while in the new states dugouts and ahanties are the rule. Every where may be seen the track of the loan agent and the blight of the mortgage. The fact cannot be disguised that the farmers of the west are growing poorei every day, while the farmers of the south are seriously hampered in their progress. And yet this is all wrong. Agriculture should be the great sonrce of the nation"s prosperity, and when it decays the entire country will suffer. It will not do to say that the farmer are idle and thrif tiesa. They work hard. They are economical. They make the best of their hard lot. It is easy enough to explain the present state of affaire. Our farmers pay a heavy tas on nearly every article they buy, and nearly all they sell must go at prices fixed in the markets where the producers of the world compete for buyers. If a protective tariff puts inoney in the pockets oi those who are engaged in manufacturing pursuits, it does not compel them to paj higher pricos for agricultural products. The value of everythingraisedon a farm ia largely detennined by the price of oui surplussupplyiTi foreign markets. Farmers, therofore, when they sell have to compete with the producers of the world, and when they b-jy they have to pay aD exorbitant tax to a privileged class on our eastem seaboard, for whose benent the McKinley bill was enacted. In conclusión, our Kansas City contemporary declares that our farmers nnder existing conditions are mere serfs, and will never be any better off until we have tariff reform. These are stubborn facts, but tariff reform is not a sufflcient remedy. We must overhaal oui entire systems of finance and taxation. We nrast have a cnrrency that will meet the wants of this rapidly developing country, and we must have local banks of issue that will not outlaw the farmers by rejecting real estáte as a security foi loans. When we get all these reforms we may expect to see the agricultural interest enjoy its olden prosperity, but not before. - Atlanta Constitution. A Hint to Railroads. The Listener saw a sight the other day vhich has moved him to make a protest. On the Back Bay, at the crossing of the Boston and Albany and Providence railroad tracks, a gang of men were engaged in burning up a lot of railroad lies. Bvidently the ties made capital foei, for the fire was crackling merrily. They were evidently disused but oy no meana rotten. Of course the railroad would not venture to keep ties in place on the roadbed until they were rotten. The Listener has often seen ties burning on the tracks near the city, but never before so far within the city itself , and actually within a short stone's throw of the homes of the poor people who would have been only too glad to relieve the railroad corporation of every stick of their disused ties at an hour's notice. Did it ever occur to you, Messrs. Railroad Superintendents or Directors, or whoever is responsible for this destruction of good f uel, that your old ties would give at least a little warmth to a good many households that have had none, or next to none, through all this crue] weather? There would be no need oí advertising for people to come and take the ties; every laborer among the number who work at the task of destroying them must know families who would be glad enough to get them. The railroads could actually save money by giving the wood away.