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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 55, no. 1412: April 6, 1895

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Apiil e, 1895 513 OevGtiD to I^l EsTiME. BuiLorf/o ^KOfiTEeuni? .HousQfoiit Deqcbikk4 BiTsii/ess Mb Themes of Gitj&i^l lr/TCH.Esi. PRICE, PER YEAR IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS. Published every Saturday. Telephone,......Cortlandt 1370 ■ Uoiomunioations ehould be addressed to C. W. SWEET. 14-16 Vesey Street, J. I.'LINDSET. Businesa Manager. Brooklyn Office, 276-282 Washington Street, Opf. Post Offiob. " Entered at the Post-office al New Tork, N. T., as second-class mailer." Vol. LV. APRIL 6, 1895. No. 1,412 For Brooklyn matter, see Brooldyn Department immediateli follmuing New Jersey records [paae 573). TRADE conditions give no sigu of cliaiigp, wliich is forttmate for the East aud unfortunate for tbe West. A check has been given to the stock market by realiziugs and now an at¬ tempt is beiug made to dejiress prici'S because the Supreme Court has not rendeied ils decision in the income-tax cases. Rumorp, ■whose source may be easily guessed even if it initi'ht be haid to bring them home iu a ■way tbat rosponsihility for them couUl uot 'be avoided, are in almost hourly circulation that the decision will be au adverse oue. Of course, this is uothiug more nor less tbau pure guessing, with the wish perhaps shaping the guess, but the object sought is to induce people to believe that as a result of the court's finding the government will again be put into a condition of financial cuibarrassmeut with consequences to the stock market similar to those se<-n in Pebruiiry last. This is a piece of palriotisiu peculiar lo the Street. So far the results of this elaborate scare are very poor. Even the Grangers, with their bad sho'wing of earnings, aud the Coalers with disorganiza¬ tion ill the coal trade, have refused to respond. Au adverse decision, if it comes, '""ill uudoulitodly have an iiufavorable first effect, thoua-h offsets will he found in the escape from an odious tax, aud people will not forget that the Treasury can be helped by bond issues and the couutry at large by better business. INDIA does uot appear to be going to the dogs as a result of closing her mints to the free coinage of silver, as both Man¬ chester aud Denver declared she would do. Ou the contrary, the close of the fiscal year shows the national treasury to be in possessiou of a surplus instead of the deficiency which was ex¬ pected eveu iu official circles. This and other circaiiistauces shows that there is a distinct improvemeut iu the financial con¬ dition of India which will increase with the improvement of the value of silver. The Loudon Economist figures out that the depreciation in American securiiies officially listed in London since 1890 has amounted to $626,725,000, divided as follows : South American, $292,725,000 ; United States, $250,520,000; Canadian, $33,750,000. It uatontlly argues that with such extreme depreciation the eud ought to be at hand. As tbe list on which this calculation is based is ouly a partial one, the loss of value ou this hemi-sphere and eveu in the Uuited States alone is several times the enormous total given, which fact adds force to the ^cojiomJsCs deduction. The movements of prices iu the past week or two bave shown, commercially at least, "all the world akin," because the buoyancy of feeling and hopefulness for the future is seen everywhere. This sympathetic result has even touched Vienna aud stopped tbe decline 'whicb bad been under way there, Sucb a coudition as this which animates the whole Iradiug world could not become so conspicuously appar¬ ent uuless it were well imdei- way. Taking a wide-world view, it may he said that the wheels of commerce are now workiug ■with some regularity. ----------•—^—^- PREACHERS and the religious press continue to circulate (he ficlion that, tenements pay immense returns upou tbe investments made iu tbem, and this iu spite of the facts that receut investigations have brought to light. The way in which they adhere to this belief—for presumably they do believe it— suggests the obstinacy by the light of which in ancient days many a good raau walked iiuuecessarily to the stake. The Out¬ look, in a receut number, speaking iu the usual way of such journals—that is, without eL-amiiiation or apparent effort to obtain accurate informatiou—rtf the tenemeut-house question, naively says that the better class of tenements pay eight per cent and the poorer class twelve per ceut. Only those ignorant of the circum.stance8 surrounding New York reaby would be foolish enough to say tbatyiny class as a wliole makes any such retui'u in a city where tho demand for real estate investments is as keen as it is in New York City. It is rem.irkable that these false ideas should continue in circul.atiou amoug people who c!aim to be as desirous to do rieht and speak the truth as preachers and writers for the religious press do, iu spite of their continued failure to prove their statements wheu challenged, and in spite of the facts that have beeu published, which go to prove conclusively that the tenements as they would have Ihem do not pay at all. The Outloolc is not an organ of sentimcutpure and simple, aud if it really knows that tenements can be made to pay twelve per cent, it ought to make that fact clear. A demoustration of that kind, one would be uniinswerable, would do more to improve the conditiou of tenemeuts thau auytliiug else, because there are many people who uould be satisfied to purchase on that basis and returu a large part of the income to the tenants ill the way of improvements. As we have pointed out before, several have sought this remarkably attractive invest¬ ment with that very laudable inteutioo, but have failed to find it. THE opiniou, which has beeu giveu wide circulation, that the recent deuisiou if the Court of Apjieals against the Trinity corporation settled the question of the coustitutiuu- atity of any legislation relating to tenements that may be passed this session at the request ot the Tenement House Commission is clearly an assumption ou the part of its makers. The opinion, which, by the way, was not the utiauimous opinion of ihe Court, held that a certain requireluent of the Consolidation Act was within the police powers, by which, for the good of the commu¬ nity, the coustitiitioual rights of the individual are in eftect somewhat ciutailed. But tbe oiiiuioa stated also that such re¬ quireiuents must be reasonable iu their nature and iu the cost they involve. It was because these couditious were iu tlie view of the Court observed in the order of the Health Depart:tnent on the Trinity corporation to supply water to each lioor of their teuements, as well as because the oidcr in itself was a pi^oper exercise of police powers for the benefit of the moral ami physi¬ cal welfare ot the comnumity, that the Court fonud as it did. It maybe reasonably taken then (hathad (hcordei'of the Health Board been one that did uot directly atfect the well-being of the occupants of the Trinity tenemeuts, or oue extravagant in its nature and unreasonable iu the matter of cost, the decision of the Court of Appeals would have been diHerent to what it was. To say then, that the executiou of any laws passed, by the present Leg'islatnre at the request of (he Tene¬ ment House Commission canuot be opposed on constitutional grounds is to assume that their provisions will violate none of the couditious which the Court of Appeals has said must accom¬ pany the exei'cise of police powers. Looking at the Tenement House bill, eveu anieuded in the sevei'al particulars reported by us, this seems to ns au unfounded assumption, and that on the contrary there are several matters, which we have pointed out already, that are unjust aud unreasonable aud from which, if they are enacted, the Courts will protect the tenement house builder and owner. LABOR commissions seem destined ouly to emphasize the difficulties involved in auy attempt to impfovc the condition ofthe workiug classes. Judging from recent reports on both sides of the Atiautic the two greatest of these difficulties are the danger involved in the assumption by the .inthorities of auy sort of arbitrary powers in the settlement of matters that .hitherto h.ive been decided by the law of supply and demaiid, and iu inter¬ fering with the liberty of the individual by compelling a pro¬ vision for the future which will never otherwise be made. So far as we have a right to assume anything, we may take it that the framing of a law so elastic, so broad iu principle and so perfect iu detail that it could be applied with equal justice to both employer aud employed iu regulating the terms aud rerauueration of service is an impossibility. But a measure to compel insurance against bad times, sickness or death, may he auother matter. If a governmeut cau imnose an income tax.for the benefit of the nation, why canuot it collect a eiiuilar tax for the benefit of the individual? The experiment is about tp be tried iu some of tbe Swiss cantons. The results will be looked for with great interest by sociologists of every shade of think¬ ing. In the Cant'in of St. Galleu a law, or ordinance, to compel insurauce against loss of work by all who earn less, thau five francs a day has beeu passed, though those wbo earn more than flve francs a day are free to join it. The least that tlie insured will receive when out of work is a fi-anc a day, but any one teim of benefit is not to endure beyond sixty days. A mau who is earning five ffancs, or a dollar a day. is for obvious reasons the one who liuds it hardest to save anything; yet he isthe very one who is iu the greatest danger of long s|)ells of uuremunerated idleness. Putting seutimeiit aside aud looking at the matter arithmetically there can be uo doubt that it is doing that man a service; to distribute his earnings with some kind of equality over good times aud bad. In the good times his means aro lessened but iu the bad ho is saved from a great deal of the inconvenience and suffering which he must endure if they come