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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 51, no. 1316: June 3, 1893

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June ?,, 1898 Record and Lruide. 8t7 B^ISJrtst AlfolHEMES Of Ct^ER^ l^TCflf ll PRICE, PER TEAR IIV ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS. Published every Saturday. TBLBFHOita^ .... Cortlandt 1370. CommuDlcatlODB ahould be adilressed to C. W. SWEET, 14 & i6 Vesey St. J. 7. LINDSEY, Bitsiness Manager, "Entered at the Post-offlce at New York, N. F., as second-class matter." VOL. U. JUNE 3, 1898. No. 1,3! 6 ALL tbat can be said of the stock market is tbat each week brings us nearer to the end of a process of liquidation whose extent cannot be measured. Tbe most anxious glances are now cast towards the West, so much depending on the crop con¬ ditions, and the results of the Fair, in which tlie city of Chicago itself has bo much at stake. The way in which Chicago took hold of the Fair and has carried it up to the point of the financial test lias been a matter of general admiration. There is no question about the success of the Fair as a great exhi¬ bition compared with its predecessors, but what the money market wants to know is, will the pecuniary return be iu proportion to the effort and outlay? First results have not been encouraging, and Chicago is feeling the strain of waiting. If precedents count for anything there is good hope for the Fair's financial success. The early months of opening of thegreat Exposition have not been the beat, but no doubt is telling and will contiue to tell on Chicago properties. In other directions there is still a want of certainty of the carrying through of large undertakings, and consequently quotatiors suffer, notably in the instance of Richmond Terminal and Reading; but it ia highly probable that the worst has been seen in both these cases. While the great exchanges for securities and commodities are suffering, it is encouraging to note that in small lines, that attract little attention outside of themselves, good reporls are made, both of business and prices. There is, too, the thought that it is in times when the outlook is gloomiest that the improvement is nearest. Here and there can be seen things that are cheap and that should attract, if peoi^le only have the courage to buy. THE reports that have been circulated this week to the effect that the Pennsylvania irou and steel manufacturers have decided that a reduction of wages is absolutely necessary to a con¬ tinuance of business is, we believe, the precursor of a movement in the same direction which must yet take place in very many branches of industry. During the past few years wages generally in this country have been forced up by the trade unions with too little regard for any considerations beyond the immediately selfish one of getting all that the employer could be forced to yield under fear of boycott or strike and the loss attending a sudden cessation of operations. There cau be no doubt that in many cases wages far above the warrant of conditions have been thus extorted, and though for a time this could be endured, all that was needed to l)ring about the inevitable readjustment wa.s such slack times as ■we have been having for the past twelve months. Indeed, the ex¬ isting dullness is in no small measure due to the unreasonable con¬ dition of the labor market, which in part has been bolstered up by the excessive protection of the McKinley tariff. Tbe unhealthy stimulus, the impossible promises of.that ill-concocted piece of leg¬ islature, is largely responsible for the undue advance in wages. It undoubtedly threw a great deal of what we may call imagina¬ tion into our commercial life. It begat loose calculation, a ready extension of enterprise in more or less unprofitable directions, an impairment in many quarters of that reasonable conserva- tivism and commercial frugality which is essential to steady prosperity.; Naturally, Labor was in demand, aud naturally, too, Labor made all it could of the opportunity. Opposition was slight. Wages rose with these general results—the prices of domes¬ tic commodities stiffened and advanced while abroad (the higher tariff excluding to some extent the foreigner's goods) wages fell until the increased "protection" ofthe McKinley law was neu¬ tralized and importations on the old scale recommenced. Our friend the Tribune was unable to see that its jubilation over the reduction of wages abroad was the joy of misunderstanding, for every decline of wages in Europe brought the foreign manufacturer nearer to our own market despite the higher tariff. Of course, with large impor¬ tations and the coming of slack times the question of wages waa bound to receive some determined consideration from the manu¬ facturer and employer. Reduction became inevitable, and it is very likely indeed that in the time immediately before us the work¬ ing classes will have to forego some of the adva,nce8 they have been able to make in the last few years. Trades unions are always less effective with a falling market than with a rieing one, and we shall not be surprised to see for a time avery decided diminution of their power in the industrial world. Dividends or No Dividends ? DURING the past week a small paragraph has been going the rounds of the press telling tbe public that the increase in the assessed valuation of real estate in this city during the last twelve months amounted to .?160,000,000, of which a considerable portion was due to the greater value of property in the 12th Ward—that is, Manhattan Island north of 86Lh street. As with so much pise wliich the fif teen-dollar-a-week reporter is permitted to dole out to tlie adult population of New York, the statement in detail is quite incon-ect. There was no such increase as that staled, which is something like two-thirds too large. The exact figures are not at this moment obtainable, as the work of the Department of Taxes and Assessments is not yet complete. Still the statement is true to this extent—there is a large increase to record, and much of the increase, whatever it may be, is due totbe development]of the upper wards. But thatis notour poiut. Year by year the value of real estate in New York increases by millions. The process is a steady one and few persons outside of the Tax Department pay any heed to it. In referring to it now our purpose is to interject it into the con¬ sideration of the Rapid Transit problem, for it should be there—a matter of extreme significance which hitherto has been quite overlooked. If any well-informed person will sit down for a moment witb pen or pencil and outline New York's chief necessities inthe direction of better transportation, he will find, we believe, when he has com¬ pleted bis work, that he has elaborated a scheme which cannot pos¬ sibly be a dividend-paying project. The Rapid Transit Com¬ missioners themselves made the attempt at the outset of their labors, ami reache