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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 32, no. 807: September 1, 1883

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September 1. 1888 The Record and Guide. 643 THE RECORD AND GUIDE. 191 Broadway, N.Y. TERMS: ONE TEAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS. Communicatioas should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway, J. T, LINDSEY, Business Manager. SEPTEMBER 1, 1883. Real Estate dealera, auctioneers, brokers and owners are invited to send a postal card to the offl.ce of The Record and Guide as to whether they are or are not in favor of the formation of an Ex¬ change which would deal exclusively in real estate. We wish to get an expression of opinion on this matter from bona fide real estate people. If a sufficient number favor the project, it will be an easy matter for those interested to come together and organize such an institution from the list so collected. Citizens' committees are being organized in all the principal cities to try and effect reforms in municipal matters. The good work of the Committee of One Hundred in Philadelphia has borne fruit, and the example of what Mayor Low has effected iu Broolvlyn has had its effect. In New York the Citizens' Aasocia- tiou of last year is again in tiie Qeld, but we fear it is being engineered for purely personal ends. Ita published prograuioie is provokingly vague. Nothing is said about the necessity for responaible government, indeed all it aima to effect is a balance of power party, eo that it can make terms with the lead¬ ers of the other parties. That is to say the newspapers are to be used to help the political fortunes of certain lawyers who are in league with Simon Sterne and company. This was all the Citizens' Association amounted to last year. Tax payers and others who desire good government should distrust any party which does not call for responsible executives in place of boards, commissions and legislative bodies. Then the reformers should make it plain to the public that they are not office seekers themselves. If there is a justifiable suspicion that the Citizens' Association is simply intended to make certain lawyers candidates for judicial positions it will certainly come to grief. Some of tbe financial journals are looking for gold shipments hitherward early in October. It is pointed out that the commer¬ cial balance of trade in our favor last year was $126,000,000. It is also noted that while our exports promise to be as large as laat year, our imports show a decided reduction. But there is sonie doubt about our importing gold. It certainly will not take place while the market rate of interest on the bourses of Europe ia higher than it is in New York. Then, have not the English and Continental investors paid the debt by the sale of American securities during the past spring and summer? Like other investors, Englishmen sell on a falling market and buy only when prices are rising. If we should have gold imports, or even a hope that the yellow metal will reach our shores, it will entirely change the temper of Wall street, and the liquidation which has been in process for some time would be arrested. Indeed, temporarily, the current would be reversed. We are inclined to believe that sometime this fall there will be a recovery in prices, and a better feeling in trade as well as in Wall street. The article on "Frozen Facts," in last, week's Rbcord and Guide, was copied in part by a city journal, but the paragraph quoted contained an error of the types which waa very provoking. We tried to point out that the greenbacker's theory of the value of the government fiat was justified by the different estimates put by the business world upon the greenback, the trade dollar and the standard dollar. But the word "not" somehow crept in, and made us appear to say the very reverse of the point we wished to make. In the current discussions about silver money it is taken for granted that the government, by its fiat, cannot give value to a metal which has depreciated ; but the trade dollar controversy shows how mistaken is this view. The standard dollar contains seven grains less silver thau the tradeldollar, yet the latter is driven out of circulation, and no one will now take them in exchange for a standard dollar. Then there is the greenback and the bank note, which have no intrinsic value whatever, yet they are preferred to coin for transacting ordinary business. Yet were one to heed the lamentations of the daily press over the silver coinage it would be supposed we were to be swamped by a worthlesa currency, when— as we have demonstrated in these columns—were we to keep on coining silver dollars up to the end of this century, their parity with gold would always be maintained. This has been proved by the history of France, where, with a population of 20,000,000 less, there is four times the silver afloat in the banks and iu the hands of the people than the total of our silver coinage. Henry Villard. Now that the Northern Pacific road has been completed, the time has come to place a just estimate upon the services of the very re¬ markable man who has brought that great enterprise to a success¬ ful iasue. Henry Villard is of German birth aud started in life as a poor journalist. In eighteen years be has achieved wealth aud distinction without at the same time compromising his good name. He has put brains, hard work and honest money iuto the great trans¬ continental line with which his name will alwaysbeindisaolubly connected, but so far no finauoial scandel smirches his fair fame. The road is well constructed and will be a benefit for evermore to the vast regions of country it passes through. It is a public im¬ provement of vital importance, not only to the great Northwest and the Paciflc coast but to the whole nation. If the victor of many battlefields ranks below the man who makes two blades of grass grow where one grew before, what is to be said of Henry Villard who has opened up vast sections of wild country for settle ment? Within a few years hundreds of thousands of happy homes will be planted from Lalte Superior to the Pacific Ocean on lands which now form part of a vast wilderness. The Record and Guide has not regarded any of the new trans¬ continental roads as being good investments for persons who wished to get a certa'.n raturn for their outlay of money ; but there can be no question as to the great value of these new lines to the country tbey pass through aud to tlie nation at large. From a large and national point of view these enterprises are more than justified. We cannot overdo railroad building iu the long run, for, as Poor in his last Manual points oui;, we will need eventually over 300,000 miles of road, whereas the close of this year will see only 115,000 miles completed. The Northi^rn Pacific may yet cause grievous losses to its pro¬ jectors but they can fairly claim to have subserved public ends by honorable means. So far as known there has been no designedly dishonest statements made to tlie public. Presideut Villard even now is engaged in an excellent work. He is advertising the country and especially the Northwest by giving German publicists, capitalists and editors a chance to see with their own eyes the marvellously rich regions he has opened up to settlement and civilization. Should this enterprise meet with uo disaster financially Mr. Vil¬ lard will take his place as the very foremost man iu WaU street. Vanderbilt has retired and Jay Gould cannot, iu the course of nature, long retain his present commanding position. Sbould Mr, Villard come to the front it would purify the financial atmosphere, for he is a man of honor, culture and commanding character. Curing the Woes of Labor. The Congressional Committee who are enquiring into the condi¬ tion of the laboring classes will be very much puzzled in making up their report. The remedies for the poverty of the masses sug¬ gested by the various witnesses are so diverse and conflicting, that the commission will probably ignore them all and submit some vague recommendations of their own. Inquiries like these are con¬ ducted in a somewhat better fashion in Great Britain. There in¬ vestigations are undertaken by experts, whose reports to Parlia¬ ment are of very great value, as they cover the whole ground, and are summarized by some of the ablest literary and scientific men in the United Kingdom. But this labor investigation will not be without its value. It shows at least the tendencies of current speculative theories. It will be noticed that nearly all the schemes involve the use of the central authority. The democratic dogmas which demanded liberty of action, and which resented the interference of government in the conduct of human affairs are no longer popular among the working classes. It is evident now that the central govern¬ ment exercises a powerful influence over the well-being of the community, and that the highest good is not attained by setting free the selflsh passions of men to spend their forces in acquiring property at the expense of their fellows. Common schools, public parks, the courts, the police, and even the tariff, are ali due to a kind of communal spirit, in which the state or nation undertakes to provide for the general good. Hence it is to be noticed that among the recommendations made to the Congressional Commit¬ tee nearly all involve the idea of enlarged powers by the general government. The latter is asked to nationalize the telegraph, to institute bureaus to look after the interests of labor and transporta¬ tion ; the post office is to carry parcels, and more than one of the witnesses urge the government to work the mines of the nation for the benefit of the country at large. Thia last may seem impracti¬ cable, but in ancient Greece the precious metal mines were worked