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The Record and guide: v. 40, no. 1027: November 19, 1887

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November 19, 1887 The Record and Guide. 1437 THE RECORD AND GUIDE, Published every Saturday. IQl Broad.vsray, N. Y. Onr Telephone Call Is JOHN 370. TERMS: OIVE TEAR, in advance, SII DOLLARS. Communications ahould be addreased to C. W, SWEET, 191 Broadway. J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager. Vol. XL. NOVEMBER 19. 1887. No. 1,027 The "bulls" have been having their innings for the past three weeks in Wall street. Prices have been higher, the market broader, but it ia doubtful if the advance in prices will keep right on. True, the railroads are all doing well. The coal roads and the trunk lines will probably do still better, but we have overbuilt both houses and railroads, and the unwholesome land speculation of the West has not yet culminated. Then our foreign trade is not in a sound condition. Our crops are scantier than we supposed earlier in the season, aud we are getting a smaller money return from our grain and flour than any time in the last thirty years. Gold is no longer being shipped to our shores, and the death of the Emperor of Germany and the Crown Prince, which we are likely to hear any moment, would create a semi-panic ou the European bouraes, which would be reflected in our Stock Exchange. The speculative card has been Reading, which has clearly beeu advanced by the Morgan synilicate for the purpose of floating the large amount of bonds demanded by the reorganization of the com¬ pany. Those who have speculative lines of stock would do well to take advantage of this market to turn their profits into cash. The Union League Club has unanimously resolved to press upon the Legislature the necessity of adopting the Australian system of voting. The Republicans suffered in the last election by the machinery now used for getting votes iuto the ballot box. It is indisputable that the R-^publicau local machine, controlled by O'Brien, eo-operated with the two Democratic machines to elect Colonel Fellows, and to in other ways subserve personal, rather than party ends. The new system of voting does away in great part with the necessity for a machine. The tickets are printed at the public expense, and the voter is ushered into a room where he indi¬ cates his preference under conditions which involve entire secrecy. This puts a stop to bribery, which has become an appalling evil under our present system of voting. It is known that nearly fifty- thousand votes were paid for in this city, while throughout the Btate the use of money is quite as potent among the farmers and their laborers. The preseut system involves the raising of great corruption funds for carrying elections. Hence the assessments on candidates and the opposition to Civil Service Reform. With the new system there will be a great saving in the mere printiug of the tickets. The day before the last election the mails broke down, being unable to deliver all the ballots that were sent to the voters. Of course this reform will be fought vigorously by all the machines and politicians, for it would kill the occupation of the wirepulling **boy8." Every believer in Civil Service Reform should advocate this kindred measure, but it will probably take years before the change is finally effected. This has not been a particularly good season for local real estate. Vacant property has been slow of sale, due to the check given to new building enterprises by the tightness of money. But improved city property, if sold by executors, or in parti¬ tion suits by order of a court, never commanded better prices. It is very evident that investors believe in the future of real estate on this island. The land below Chambers street is des¬ tined to be the moat valuable upon earth. The greatest office building in existence, and yet to be erected, will give it the densest population to be found in any of the great capitals of other nations. There will be more people to the square foot and more business to transact than in any other commercial quarter of the civilized world. Nor will other parts of the city lag behind. Broadway will keep advancing in value, even should a parallel thoroughfare be constructed on the east side. Then the retail business of the city will give us more splendid stores than any now in existence. Every road built in any part of the country adds to the trade aud popularity of the metropolis. Of course there will be localities which will depreciate in value, but the investor cannot miss in laying his money out in any of the businesa streets or best residential quarters of this city. -------------------------■♦■ Land Commissioner Sparks has had a hard time of it. He has been trying to save the public domain from the corporation and land eharke, who are using all means to appropriate the land of the nation. For a time the President stood by him, but the malign influences are too powerful, and Mr. Sparks has been relegated to private life. The corporate and private interests which aim at acquiring, at small cost, the unoccupied land of the nation are too powerful to be resisted. The Democratic party is as impotent as was the Republican party in its fight against great land rings. There seems to be_, no way of focussing publio opinion on this important matter. The selfish interests are united and persistent, and the mere sentiment of the public in favor of the actual settler is ineffective. Chauncey M. Depew, in his admirable address at the Chamber of Commerce banquet, advocated subsidies to help our commercial marine. He said very truly ; Mail subsidies might build a merchant marine which would carry our flag once more over all the waters of the world, furnish a ready-made navy in time of war, and start vast shipyards upon the Delaware and arms of the aea north and south. Oue thousand flve hundred milliona of dollars is the value of the commerce of the United States, and all of it is carried under aUen flags. The English, the Germans and tbe French kiudly carry our peraous and our freight, and akim the cream of our trade. This is all well enough, and we have said as much over and over again in these columns, but Mr. Dspew was not so happy when he sneered at internal improvements in the following fashion : The political aagacity of the hour flnds no meana for preventing a surplus in the Treasury which threatens the credit and atability of business, and the demoralization of the government, and seeks to diminish it by appro¬ priating millions for dredging creeks which can only be utilized for eel pots and terrapin farms. It is natural enough, perhaps, tor the president of a railroad which competes with water routes, to discredit all efforts by the government and the people to improve our water transportation, but the members of the Chamber of Commerce are as vitally inter¬ ested in the improvement of our rivers and harbors as' they are in the recreation of a merchant steamship marine. We should utilize to the utmost our navigable streams. Canals are required to con¬ nect our rivers and lakes. Then all our harbors—none more than New York—need large expenditure to enable them to accommo¬ date the commerce whioh will some day be theirs. Ic is this oppo¬ sition to internal improvements on the part of the East which has kept closed our harbor to the great steamships of the world, unless advantage is taken of certain tides. The declaration by a court that a bucket shop is a gambling institution, because it trades in prices without delivering stocks or other property, will doubtless be followed by an appeal to higher courts, which will be profitable to the lawyers if not to the litigants. The dealing in *'futures "on the legitimate exchanges is, of course, entirely legitimate, but it may not seem so to the average juror. Certainly something should be done to abate the bucket shop nuisance, for its patrons are gamblers pure and simple. But the question is, how can it be done without interfering wiih the speculative dealings of the regular exchanges ? There is, it ig true, a vague popular impression that all specula¬ tion is harmful, but really every person in trade is forced to buy or sell with a view to future possibilities. He who buys a barrel of potatoes or flour does so in the expectation that he will sell them at a higher price. To stop dealings in futures would have a disas¬ trous effect upon the grain, provision and cotton markets. It would cause heavy fluctuations in prices, an unnatural demand for money and would result in a panic, John Stuart Mills has pointed out that speculation performs a useful function in the trade of the world, as it helps to equalize prices. Even raises the price of food it benefits mankind, as it thereby checks a waste which might lead to famine. The widening of Elm street and its extension to the Brooklyn bridge at thelowerendandto the Harlem River in the northern part of the city is again attracting public attention. So far the Broad¬ way property-holders have successfully resisted all efforts to con- truct a thoroughfare that would take from that central avenue some of its gorged traffic. But the whole city suffers from this massing of vehicles upon Broadway, and something must be done. The widened and extended Elm street is needed, but it should be free from horse-cars, so that there will be no impediment to up-town and down-town vehicular traffic. Another elevated road might be permitted upon the new avenue, but under restricted conditions: (a) Charge not to be more thaD|fivecents|per head; (b) every passen¬ ger to Iiaveaseat, and then the franchise to be given to the highest bidder, or rather the one who would give the largest percentage of gross receipts. Cheapness and the comfort of the passengers should be the first consideration. The return to the city treasury, while important, is really a subordinate matter. Then new thoroughfares are required to ['relieve the pressure of vehicles below the City HaU Park. It ie proposed to build a new