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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 41, no. 1047: April 7, 1888

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April 7, 1888 Record and Guide. 419 ,#l^@nl # ^ ^^ ESTABLISHED ^M,W\CH21'-i^ 1868. ^ DEV^TEO to K^\- BSWE , ©UlLDIf/c AP;Ct(!TECTJI^E ,KoUSEllOLD DeQORATIoH. BUsif/Ess Atio Themes op GeSei^I- I^tcrest PRICE, PER YEAR IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS. Published every Saturday. TELEPHONE, - - - JOHN 370, Communications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway. J. T. LINDSEY, Brtsiness Manager. Vol. XLI. APftIL 7, 1888. No. 1,047 "Wall street has been more lively for the past few days, and stocks have advanced so sharply that the " bears " were forced to cover. Several new factors were at work to produce thia result. The Western labor troubles will soon be over. Rates wUl probably be restored, and it may be found that the Western roads have formed a gigantic trust to maintain prices. It is certain that Chicago is buying stocks, but the main support of our market has been Euro¬ pean buying. We ought just now to be shipping gold, for the balance of trade is lieavily against us. Tbat we are not doing so is proof positive that European investors are picking up American bonds and stocks, which are inti-iusically very cheap. But the conditions are not all favorable, and it is not improbable that the lowest prices of the year are yet before us. The Treasury surplus ia accumulating, the tariff debate has not yet begun, and President Cleveland has not commenced vetoing necessary appropriations, which there is a strong probability he ^'UI do before the session closes. But the chances look to a more active stock market than we have had for the past sis months. The aale of the Jumel lots has made the city owners of unim¬ proved propei'ty feel quite happy. The falling off of new building on tliis island made vacant lot owners somewhat appreliensive. Prudent and far-seeing capitalists realize that tiiere is a practical corner tu real estate on this island. If house construction contin¬ ues at the same rate as during the last five years there wiU be comparatively few vacant lots this side of the Harlem River by the year 1000. There is no investment so certain of a good return as the putting of money into unimproved property within the limits of New York city. There is nothing to be said against investments in Kings County or on the Jersey shore, for population is increasing all around New York Bay with great rapidity. But there is two dollars to be made in New York to one outside of its limits in real estate investments. Just at present property may be slow of sale, but the ultimate result is^sure to be satisfactory. The newspapers with great unanimity are against strikes by the working men. They show, which is true enough, that these labor wars are wasteful, and that the men generally come out second best. Indeed, the journals seem to argue that no matter who may be in the wrong originally the workman, under any circumstances, must never strike. But it may be questioned whether, after all, the great corporations do not lose more than their striking employes. The men live somehow; they are sustained by their unions and their fellow-workmen, aud in time they get other employment. But the losses they inflict upon coi-porations are exceedingly heavy, and can never be made good. Take tho case of the Third avenue horse-car road. The dispute was over the compensation of a few of the minor employes, and would not have made a difference of a thousand dollars a year to the company, but Henry Hart and lua co-directors fought the battle out and lost so heavily that the market price of the stock fell off one-half ; no dividends were declared for a year, and then only a reduced one, and the value of the property haa been ' permanently injured. The strike on the Missouri Pacific two years ago was one of the prime causes of the dechne of the value of its stock from one hundred and ten to near seventy. Jay Gould would neither compromise nor arbitrate, yet the matter could have been settled iu a week's time, with but a trifling addition to the yearly expense account. Reading stock before the strike sold at over seventy-one : since the strike it lias been quoted at fifty-five. A loss of one million and a half is acknowledged. The C, B. & Q. is going tlirough a similar experience. It will be lucky if it gets off with a loss less than two millions. Yet, had it agreed to pay its engineers what all the other companies were paying, which was all that was asked, it would not have added more than seven thousand dollars per annum to its pay roll. Thornton, in his book on wages and labor unions, shows that in aU contests between labor and capital in England, where the employers were united, they alwaya liave had the best of it, but that the final issue was a correction of any real grievances from which the workmen suffered. The employers learned a lesson by the losses in strikes, aud subsequently always arranged matters so as not to have them recur. In tlie telegraphei-s' sti-ike the Western Union Company won an apparent victory, but the operators have been better treated ever since. Mr. Austin Corbin has been obliged to make concessions to the miners, and after the bitter experiences of the C, B. & Q. it is not likely that railway systems wfll risk similar losses if their employes have any real cause of discontent. At this time the conditions of trade are against the laborers ; they are cer¬ tain to lose every time they engage in a fight this year. They would do well to consent to some reduction in wages rather than quarrel with their employers, for work will be slack all this year, due to the mismanagement of our finances by Congress and the Adminis¬ tration, ------------->- ——— The question as to how to jjut an end to, railway strikes is begin¬ ning to be discussed in an intelHgent way, not indeed by the news¬ papers, but by business meu and college professors. Professor Had¬ ley, of Yale, does not think conspiracy laws or arbitration will be effectual. He favors greater consideration on the part of corpora¬ tions to their employes. The working people, he says, should look to their employers for good treatment, promotion and increase of pay, rather than to labor unions. One of the largest stock houses on Wall street, Moore & Schley, seem to favor in their circulars the proposition first put forward by The Record and Guide, that the government should assume control of the employes of the trans¬ portation lines, making them, iu fact, part of the police force of the nation. John H. Davis & Co., another Wall street house, advocates a licensing system—tJiat is, every engineer, conductor, switchman and brakeman must not be permitted to serve until they have passed an examination and received a certificate of fitness; tins license to be revokable when there is misconduct on the part of the recipient. Of course, this would be government conti'ol under an¬ other form, for it would entail a Federal Bureau and regulations and penalties prescribed by Congress: Something clearly must be done. Our business community cannot -permit corporations or their employes to block up the avenues of travel for days and months. Talk about Anarchy; we are having it in its worst form. What with armed and riotous workmen on one side and Pinkerton's sharpshooters on the other we are rapidly drifting back to the state of affairs prevailing iu the Middle Ages, when the leading families had their armed retainers and were often able to defy municipal and local governments. This last trouble was precipitated by the officers of the C, B. & Q. road. Manager Stone, it seems, told the engineers to "strike and be damned." Mr, Ai-thur has repeated over and over again that the corporation wanted a strike and deliberately provoked one. The Rock Island, in a formal legal document, says the C, B. & Q. has been creating confusion in order to force all railroads west of the Mississippi to form a vast trust to put an end to railroad wars in the far Weat. The conduct of these Burlington oflicials is very different from that adopted by the N. Y. Central R. R., whicli has never had any strikes. President Chauncey M. Depew, in a recent interview, tells how the Vanderbilt lines treat their employes. " I don't like to advise others, but my way is to keop my door constantly open to our employf^s, see their committees, hear their demands and remedy their grievances when it is possible to do so and when the demands are reasonable. The main elements of success iu this world are good sense, good temper and minding your own business. That's how we kept out of the fight in 1877." " What is your opinion of the Brotherhood of Engineers?" " I always found them a very inteUigent body of men, and Arthur I look upon as a man of good sense and courage, to whose wisdom the Brotherhood owes its present strength." : The Rhode Island State election, as well as the local elections held tliroughout the couutry, have been quite generally in favor of the Republicans, This ought to be a reminder to the Democratic Administration that popular favor is fickle and tliat a dawdling Congress which neglects the business interests of the counti-y may be a peril to the party iu power. The Democrats are committing serious mistakes. They are neglecting the business taterests of the nation, they are opposing civil service reform, and, locally, they are favoring the free sale of liquor at a tune when the current of feeling all over the couutry demands high license and legislation to restrict the sale of strong drink. President Grover Cleveland stands well with the country. He has a great advantage in being ah-eady in power, for the past traditions of our country favor the re-election for a second term of any President who has done fairly well in his high office. But the country will not stand a return to the spoils system. The demand from aU localities is that the liquor business should be taxed to make good at least the damages it inflicts on the community. Then if the party in power fails to meet the just expectations of the business public by a proper financial legislation, even Grover Cleve¬ land may be beaten for the Presidency, It will be recalled that the Democrats are not as numerous in this Congress as they were in the last.