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August 27. 1S87
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Published every Saturday.
191 Broad^v^ay, KT. "^.
Oar Telepbone Call Is
OIVE TEAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W, SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
AUGUST 27, 1887.
The volume containing the netv Building Laiv passed at the last
session of the Legislature, the Mechanics' Lien Law and the recent
amendments thereto, the Law Limiting the Height of Dwelling
Houses, and the Tenement House Law, is now ready. There has
been an unexpected delay in the publication on account of the very
elaborate indexes which were necessary to make it as perfect as
possible. The work is edited by Mr. William J. Fryerf Jr., tvhose
notes will make it valuable to all interested in the building trade.
This volume will also contain a Directory of Architects in New
York, Brooklyn, Jer<iey City, Newark and Yonkers The book is
handsomely and strongly bound, and for sale on and after to-day
at the office of The Record and Guide/or One Dollar.
The steadily lowering quotations on the Stock Exchange has
been a puzzle to the " street " in view of the generally prosperous
trade of the country, the steady improvement in railway returns,
and the certainty of a large influx of gold this fall. But the
explanation is very simple. Money is very scarce, mercantile paper
has to submit to a charge of 8 to 9 per cent., while it ia impossible
to get time loans at 6 per cent. These high rates would not
discourage the bulls in stocks, if there was any buying public, but
for a number of reasons, while some investors keep picking up
cheap properties the average speculating public vrill not touch
railroad securities. Our most active bull campaigns have been
when money was very tight, but at that time the outside buying
People who contemplate building this fall will naturally have to
consider this matter of the scarcity of loanable funds. They will ask,
is there any reason to suppose that money will be easier ? The hope¬
ful indications are, the flow of gold from Europe which promises
to continue. A 6 per cent, market in New York and a 2)^ per cent,
market in London, Pans and Berlin usually leads to a transfer of
money frora the foreign to our home financial centres. Then bond
sales, the payment of pensions and the anticipation of interest will
get considerable money out of the Treasury and into the channels
of trade. What occurred last Wednesday and Thursday shows the
effect of the action of the Treasury upon the market. Wall street
will have it that the depression in stock values is due to Jay
Gould. He declares most earnestly that he is no longer a factor in
stock speculation ; that is, he neither buys nor sells securities spec j-
latively, and there is some reason for believing that he is telling
the truth. The fact is that we have more use for money than the
available supply, which accounts for the depression in prices with¬
out crediting Jay Gould with having a hand in the matter.
In all countries it is found necessary to have a national bank to
regulate financial matters. Nominally we have had no such
institution in this country since General Jackson's time. During
and since the Civil War, however, the Treasury Department, in
connection with the associated banks of New York city, have
together fulfilled many of the functions of a national bank, espec-
iallv in the way of relieving the money market when there was a
snarl. But at the last session of Congress a law was passed which
permitted the banks of the leading Western cities to become
"reserve" banks, thus taking away the accumulations of funds
which made New York the great money centre. This in effect
cripples the New York banks and gives them less power to relieve
any unnatural money stringency. Unless all the signs are decep¬
tive, the time will come for organizing some machinery to do the
work for us as performed by the national banks in other countries.
The Labor party has opened the canvass with great vigor and
enthusiasm. It is evident that its leaders will work hard to poll a
large vote. They talk of being able to cast 200,000 ballots.
Should they do so it would create a panic among the politicians of
the existing political organizations. It is to be noticed that
although Henry George claims to be a Jeffersonian Dimocrat and
opposed to the Socialists, the platform he upholds favors a govern¬
ment telegraph system, postal savings banks, and the ultimate con¬
trol of the railroads by the general government. Then these labor
people want the municipalities to furnish not only water, but light
and heat. This is certainly State Socialism of a very pronounced
kind. There is no reason to believe that the Labor party, with all
its aggressiveness, will be able to do as well in the State election as
it did in this city last fall.
The party press are very much puzzled over this Labor movement.
At first they were disposed to favor the Socialists so as to create a
breach among the followers of George and McGlynn, but subse¬
quently the Tribune and other^Republican journals began to speak
kiadly of the movement, as it promised to offset tne Prohibition
vote and give the State to the Republicans. This view of the situa¬
tion disquieted the Democratic organs, and the World and Brooklyn
Eagle at once manifested a desire to conciliate Henry George and
his followers. Indeed, there is a possibility that the more unscru¬
pulous Democratic leaders may want to support the Labor State
ticket and unite with the latter party in the local nominations.
Between the Labor men and the Prohibitionists and the desire of
the old party leaders to carry elections at any cost of principle it
looks as if there will be some surprises in store after the election is
over in November.
One point made in the Labor platform is a good one. The
Georgeites want to introduce in this country the Australian—that
is to say, the present English election machinery. This involves
the printing of the tickets by the State and national authorities,
and the choice of tickets in the presence of a government inspector
when the voting takes place. This will get rid of the "machines"
which exist because of the necessity in this country of raising
money to get up processions, hire workers, provide polling booths
and supplying tickets. There is no excuse for this army of workers
in the English system, which, by the way, has been presented very
ably to the American public by City Chamberlain Ivans. By all
means let us reform our election system. Indeed, we can never
have real civil service reforna until we do. The " boodle " Alder¬
man and the Judge and Congressman who pay for their nomina¬
tions are the fruits of our American system.
England pays $3,500,000 to get its foreign mails to their destina¬
tions. This country pays $ii35,000 annually, of which less than
$o0,000 goes to vessels which carry the American flag. As a con¬
sequence, England and other foreign nations monopolize the ocean
steamship traffic. We pay a profit of $160,000,000 per annum to
foreign steamship lines for carrying our products abroad and bring¬
ing the merchandise of other nations to our shores. England has
just granted a subsidy to the Northern Pacific Steamship Com¬
pany, which runs between Vancouver and China and Japan. We
discourage our steamship lines in every possible way.
The Financial Chronicle regrets to notice a tendency in all
government towards "paternalism." It gives quite a catalogue of
instances to show how the government is assuming new powers
and functions. The Interbtate Commerce law is one example.
The demands of the Prohibitionists, the laboring people, and of
those who advocate national help to education, all show the drift
of opinion and events with the object in view of using the central
authority for the benefit of the larger interests of the community.
The paper we are quoting from is quite in despair at this drift of
things, as it portends a departure from the ideas upon which the
Republic was founded, and may lead to a bureaucracy. In this,
the Chronicle undoubtedly voices the views of the men of wealth,
the leading spirits of the corporations, and the employing class
generally, as well as the old Jeffersonian Democrats.
The Evening Post has been one of the papers which has con¬
sistently claimed the efficiency of individual or corporate manage¬
ment over that of government manipulation of a business enter¬
prise ; but this paper has found one instance at least, in which the
government machinery for doing things is better than that of the
corporations. Its subscribers in the Adirondacks cannot get their
papers on time. Investigation shows that the postoffice adminis¬
tration was prompt and efficient, and that the trouble was with the
Delaware & Hudson corporation. The New York Central was also
to blame. It seems the express companies were also inefficient and
exorbitant in their charges. Says the Post:
The express business in the Adirondacks is even more irritating in its
mismanagement than the mails. There are two companies, the National
and the American, which make a pretense of transporting goods in a
prompt and satisfactory manner, but neither of them does it. Before the
two railways were extended into the woods, all express packages were taken
by rail to Ausable, and from there sent to their destination by different
stage liues. In that way packages which left New York at night would
reach the hotels iu the woods on the foUowing night. Now that the rail¬
ways are running passengers who leave New York at night reach the hotels