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June 13, 1885
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Publi.-ilu'd every Satnrdatj.
191 Broadwav, 1>T. "ST.
ONE TEAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS.
Cotnmunications should be addi-essed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
3. T. LINDSEY, Business Mauager.
JUNE 13, 1885.
Business continues dull. The same story is told on all tbe ex¬
changes of the world. There are no factors in eight to stimulate trade
anywhere, and unless the unexpected should occur the summer
promises to continue iu its present listless business rut. Of tbe
twelve thousand brokers who are catalogued ar, members of the
various city exchanges, it is doubtful if more than five hundred
make a bare living. The little spurt in jirices recently on the Stock
Exchange has no significance.
It has been deemed best by the directors of the Real Estate Ex¬
change not to attempt any novelties in the business of that institu¬
tion until next fall. Were the brokers to meet as suggested during
the summer months the attendance might be small and tho attempt
at co-operative action a failure. But the experiment of developing
the possibilities of the Exchange will be thorougldy tested next
September. There will probably be a call of securities such as have
relation to the real estate interests.
So it seems we are to have no more tall apartmeut houses, as the
Governor has signed the bUl prohibiting their construction in future.
Even in the absence of any law it is doublful if there would be any
more high dwellings for several years to come. They are under a
cloud just now. It will be to the advantage of those in existence
if no others are built. Eight or ten years from now it is not impos¬
sible that there may be a demand for more of such structures, in
which case the law can be amended, for there are localities in which
a tall dwelling would be unobjectionable.
The Jesse Hoyt will case drags its slow length along to the utter
disgust of all decent people. The only apparent object of the con¬
test is the division of an estate among a lot of " eminent" lawyers,
the instrument used being a poor girl who has been the inmate of
an insane asylum and who ought to be protected by the law instead
of being plundered by its machinery. Even the Surrogate is getting
tired of the wearisome spinning out of this contemptible exhibition.
The community ought to organize into a Committee of the Whole
to protect litigants and estates against the monstrous practical
injustice of our courts.
We have souething to learn from the Old World, as will be seen
from the report of Mr. Lathrop, our consul at Bristol. That excel¬
lent officer has taken the trouble to compare fourteen municipali¬
ties in England with a similar number in the United States, and
his report, which will be found in our " Business World," is not
pleasant reading to enthusiastic believers in a Democratic form of
governmeut. It will be seen that our municipal debts are much
larger than those of England. It seems that the taxation in the
English municipalities is on an average only .|3.69 per capita, while
it is 114.18 in the UuitedStates. Each inhabitant of the fourteen
English cities owes $21.56 of the debt; in America $41.56. There is
no disguising it. Municipal goverment with universal suffrage
has not worked well. Our local rulers are wasteful, and often dis¬
honest. There is uo hope but in lodging larger powers in executives
and sternly limiting the indebtedness of each locality by State
law. Governor Pattison, of Pennsylvania, deserves credit for veto¬
ing an enactment permitting Philadelphia to increase its indebted¬
The half holiday movement during the summer months received
the endorsement of the Real Estate Exchange at the last monthly
meeting of the directors. This movement has been the counte¬
nanced by the Chamber of Commerce and the several exchanges,
and promises to become as popular in the large cities of this coun¬
try as it long has been in England. Time was when Americans
were the most overworked people on earth. The bulk of our people
then labored from twelve to fourteen hours a day, and except Sun¬
days had only two holidays in the year. The number of our holi¬
days have since increased, and the hours of labor have become
shortened by law as well as custom, and the favor with which
this half-holiday movement has been received shows that the
average American can appreciate play as well as work. The
workingman is more [than^ half right in complaining that he
has uot received the full benefit of modern invention. The mechan¬
ical appliances brought into play during the last fifty years ought
to have done something to relieve the toil of the operator as well as
add to the profits of the employer. True it has done something,
for production has been cheapened, which is a benefit to con¬
sumers ; wealth has increaseil, and labor has been rendered less
toilsome and exacting. Benjamin Frankliu said, in his time, if all the
idle people were kept employed that five hours a day would be suffi¬
cient to do all the work of the world. When he said this modern
machinery had not come into existence. Decidedly the working
hours of all classes should be shortened.
It Won't Do.
Congressman A. J. Warner, of Ohio, who has bten classed as a
leader among the Democratic silver men, has been won over to
advocate a scheme which is intended to embarrass the ,bi-nietallists
and lead to the repeal of the Silver Coinage Act. His rather com¬
plicated plan is said to be endorsed by Samuel J. Tilden, Secretary
Manning, George S, Coe, Mr. Stewart, of the United States Trust Com¬
pany, aud other so-called noted New York bankers, but some of these
gentlemeii repudiate the scheme. It is proposed to issue certificates
upon the deposit of silver bullion which shall not be a legal tender
in transactions between private parties, and the value of which
shall be determined when issued by the price of silver in gold, and
when redeemed to be at the prevailing discount with the yellow
metal. In other words, Mr. Warner's scheme is a complete sur¬
render. It establishes gold as the only measure of value. After
the stoppage of the coinage of the silver dollars no owner of silver
bullion would be fV)ol enough to put it on deposit at its gold value
to be redeemed wheu the purchasing price of gold had been aug¬
mented. What is cursing the trade of the world to-day is that the
price of all commodities is expressed in gold, a metal the production
of which is steadily diminishing, or rather, it would perhaps be
more accurate to say, which stands still while population and pro¬
duction are constaatly increasing. The working world, therefore,
is forced mouth by month to furnish more products for less money.
It is this financial policy which is ruining trade in every civilized as
well as uncivilized country on earth to-day, for no one wants to
produce on a declining market. It would be financial suicide for
the United States to accept any scheme which does not look to the
rehabilitation of silver as a measure of values.
There are other features in the Warner programme which are also
objectionable. It would look like an inflation based on silver bul¬
lion. But we have plenty of unused money now, and no matter
how mucli more of it there might be it would not enhance values
when the whole commercial world concurred in looking to gold
alone as the yard stick. There is no relief to be obtained from any
scheme that does uot involve the use of sih'er, to be coined without
limit, at a fixed ratio with gold. The real peril we are incurring is
that the distress may become so intolerable that there will be an
overwhelming demand tor fiat money. Our Supreme Court, despite
the provision of the Constitution, which provides that only gold and
silver can be a legal tender, has decided that Congress has the power
in peace as well as war to issue irredeemable money and make a p'ece
of paper a dollar. We have always regarded that decision as mon¬
strous, but it has been declared law, and the gold mono-metallists
and the bankers who are adding to the burdens of debtors, ruining
the business community and inflicting untold misery on the work¬
ing classes, may as well make up their minds that they have got to
accept silver or prepare for a deluge of paper money.
Our Local Colleges.
It was noticed at the commencement of Columbia College the
other day that while many money prizes and medals were dis¬
tributed among the graduates who had pursued tbe regular classi¬
cal course that there was scarcely any recognition of the graduates
of the School of Mines. This last department is really the pride of
Columbia College. The students work harder in the scientific
training to which they are subjected, and in every way the standard
to which they must conform is higher than in the arts department.
The graduates of the classical courses for the last forty years have
not shed any particular renown upon our foremost local seat of
learning. Columbia turns out well-mannered and well-informed
young gentlemen, who make good business men and public
spirited citizens, but one looks in vain in the college catalogue for
the eminent names which adorn the lists of alumni of Harvard and
Yale. The chance for Columbia to regain its old renown is for it
to encourage the scientific students. It has begun well in this
respect, but it ought to do far better.
The New York University has taken a new lease of life pecu¬
niarily in securing the Rev. John Hall for its chancellor. Its real
head, however, will be another clergyman, who will act as vice-
chancellor. Why is it that an educational institution representing
NewYork should look to the ministry for its managers? While the
clerical profession is to be honored of all men the fact is undisputed
that its members do nijt make good business men and have little