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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 41, no. 1037: January 28, 1888

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January S8. 1S83 The iiecord and Guide. 108 c4v ^\ ESTABLISHED Wjh\fLRpH 51*^^ i968. "25^ " tblAUUSMtU V/l De/oteO 10 Hea,L Estate . BmLDif/o Aticj^itectjiv ,}{ousEh'oLD DEeoF^ATioti, BUsitlEss Atb Themes of GeHeraI Ij'iTcn.Es j PRICE, PER. YE.lIl m ADVANCE, SIS B0LL4RS. Pi'Mished every Saturday. TELEPHONE, - - - JOHN 370. Communieallons should bo addressed to ' C, W. SWEET, 191 Broadway J. T. LTNDSEY, Business Manager. Vol. XLI. JANUARY 28, 1883. No. 1,037 the eetabliahraent of au E.x:ecutiv6 Department of Industry, Com- meroo, Agriculture and Mining. It favored alao tbe improvement of our riveraand iiarbor;?, and urged that some of the surplus in the Treasury be set aside for that purpose. Tbe absorption of the tele¬ graph lines by the government was also urged, A communication from the London Chamber of Commerce was received respecting the attitude of the business public of Great Britain towards tbe assumption of the telegraph by tho government. The experiment had, it seems, been a success from every point of view. The Post- ofiice service was better than that of the private companies. The rates were lower, and there has been an enormous development in the number of messages sent. The increass of the number of empJojes in the Post-office because of the added telegraph service had not brought with it any of tho evils so much feared in this country. Hence the Board of Trade, with scarcely a dissenting voice, favored the natioualiziug of the telegraph service of the coua try. Great projects are being aired iu the newspapers—one is to run a tunnel under the EiSt River, so as to connect the railway system of Long Island witb the Central Road and with tbe local iines on this island. Then the same tunnel is to be built across the city to Oth avenue, where it is to be connected with the tunnel under the Hudson River, now in a state of suspended animation. II seems to us, however, tbat the bridge over Blackwell's Island is fifjt in order, and ought to be under way before many years are over. When completed it would render available for residence a healthful and desirable region back of Astoria and^ running along the south shore of Long Island Sound, But this is not aM. Several ambitious projects for bridging the Hudson have also been ventilated. Tho old project of throwing a bridge from Fort Washington to the Palisades has been revived, aud we hive no doubt but what in the fullness of time it will be built. The Poughkeepsie bridge is nearing completion, and when the trains fiom the West begin to use it New York city will lose a good deal of its New England trade. A bridge between Fort Washington aud Fort Lee would have a great advantage over the bridge at Poughkeepsie, aud would help New York at the expense of Boston and other Eastern cities. The next revival of business will undoubtedly see some of these projects undertaken. The remarks made by Orlando B. Potter and Alderman Conkling at the Real Estate Owners' and Builders' meeting the otber evening express, we judge, the general feeling of ali interested in realty as to the non-lasation of personal property. It is not right that all the burdens of the State should be thrown upon real property. As was well said at the meeting, the owners of costly yachts and jewelry, as well as securities, get the advantage of our police and our courts in the protection of their property and they should bear their share of the public burdens. Under our present system our richest citizens pay no tax at all. But the diificulty is how to get at the delicquenis. An equitable tax would be one on incomes, but that can only be levied by the general government. Special taxes levied upon the rich owners of personal property would drive them out of the city and they would carry their great business abilities and capital with them. It is true that Mr. Potter denies this and gives figures to show that in Boston and Philadelphia personal property doe.s bear its share of the municipal burdens, But it bas been demonstrated that any attempt to levy personal taxes ia this city would induce capitalists to go elsewhere. Washington has got to be a favorite meeting place for conven¬ tions of all kinds. As yet it has no hall large enough to accommo¬ date the great party conventions, but it has ample accommoda¬ tions for bodies wilh less than a thousand members. Then, naturally, it ia an attractive place to every public-spirited citizen. Anyone who has the means likes to pay a visit every few years to tbe nation's capital, Then, again, Washington is now a handsome oity, and contains many objects of interest. The time will come when it will be a great city, although it will never become either a trading mart or a manufacturing centre. Its mild winters are attractive to Northern and Eastern people, and its educational advantages will in time be regarded as very desirable, not only for people who have families, but by adults who wish to secure special training. It is a notable fact iu the history of nations that great cities are not made so much by commerce or manufactures, but by boing the seats of power. London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Madrid, Pekin and Yeddo have grown to be what they are, because they are the chosen residences of kings, courts, and the government departments of their several nations. And it ia this fact which given assurance that Washington, despite its unfavorable location for trade, will in time grow into a mighty city. Among the bodies which have recently met at Washington was the National Board of Trade. Its proceedings were very interest- ingi though very meagrely reported by ihe daily press. It favored President Cleveland, in his message transmitting the report of the Pacific Railroad Commissioners to Congress, expressed himself as utterly opposed to any scheme that would necessitate tbe gov¬ ernment taking possession aud running the road for tbe benefit of the business community. But why not? Outside of Great Britain every government in Europe manages vast railroad properties. In Germany the principal lines in every direction are run by the State under the direct management of a military staff. The service is excellent, honest, and extremely profitable to the treasuries of the several nations. In Germany taxation is comparatively light, not¬ withstanding its vast military establishment, because the railroad profits which iu this country swells the fortunes of the Goulds, Vanderbilts, Uuutingtons, Stanfordsandthe hosts of other railroad millionaires, in that country ia paid into the national treasury and thusbenefils tiie community by lightening taxation. In view of the new transcontinental lines recently opened to the Pacific it would be very desirable tbat the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific should be conducted by our government under the direction of our army eagineers. It is absurd to say that the work could not be done better and cheaper than it has been under the management of the railroad corporations in tbe past. These roads which cost about ^95,000,000 to construct today represent an outlay by Gould, Hunliogton and their associates of over $460,000,000, Investigating the Trusts, The House of Representatives haa authorized its Committee on Manufactures to investigate the "trusts,'' about which we have heard so much lately, There is uo objection to having all the facta connected with these great monopolies published in some official shape. What is to be deprecated is the hostile attitude which the House has assumed towards these organizations, based upon the popular x>rejudic6 against them, The resolutions which were passed, authorizing the inquiry, prejudged these trusts, and the Representatives generally seem to regard them as something noxious—au excrescence, in fact, upon the business of the country. This is not the attitude which should be assumed pending a judi¬ cial, impartial investigation. As our readers know, we have held that these trusts are a legitimate evolution from past business necessities. They have come into existence because they meet a public or rather a business want. A weekly financial paper, quoted elsewhere, argues that these apparent monopolies bave been brought into existence to counteract the fall in prices and the alarming diminution of profits in all branches of trade, duo primarily to the demonetization of silver. But the remarkable thing about these great " combines" ia that they are a revolt egainst the lessons of the political economy taught by the English writers in that eo-called science, as well &s their echoes in tbis country. Ac::ording to that school of thinkers the ideal state of trade was free competition. There should be no restraints either by government or in any other way upon the liberty to buy in the cheapest and sell in the dearest markets. Free trade, no monopoly, and laissezfaire were the mottoes of this Manchester school of political economists. The great mercantile and trading classes in all countries were all converted to this Tiew ,^^ and finally became partizans of this school. '.j^H The first to protest against free competition were the skilled ^^m workmen. They said it was all very well for those who had capi¬ tal, and plenty of it, but unlimited competition meant for them the payment of starvation wages. To eke out their miserable in¬ comes they brought their wives and children into the labor mar¬ ket, but with unrestricted competition it was found eventually that the whole family earned no more than the husband or father did before the wife and children were called in to assisthim. In the struggle for business it was tbe most merciless employer—the one who was harshest to his workpeople—who survived, The " boss' who wished to pay fair wages was driven out of the field by the skinfiint. So labor unions were born—they were a protest against competi-