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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 65, no. 1677: May 5, 1900

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May 5, 1900. RECORD AND GUIDE. 761 Si*^ mm DE^p[^ESTAIE.BmLDlKGAp!^rrECTUREMcRJSEHOU)DEaffltA^ BifsDfess aiJd Themes OF GeSer^I Ifhrap*!-. PRICE PEH YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS. Puaits/ieii every Saturday. TELEPHONE, CORTLANDT 1370. Communications should be addressed to C. W. SWBST. 14-16 Veeey Street. /. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager. "Entered at the Post.-omcc at mw York. N. T.. as second-class matter." Vol. LXV. MAY 5, 1900. No. 1677. -T- HERE Is no change in the main feature of the stocli market. i It is still a traders' market, and the movements from day to day represent the changes in the professional mind. How¬ ever the big bad news having had its chance to show its power and having met witb some resistance, there ought to he a change in the general direction of quotations. Within a comparatively short time prices have had to contend with the steel stock job- hery strikes, new valuations of local companies for tax pur¬ poses and gold exports, all of which favored bear operations, yet the declines effected cannot be considered heavy, and m some cases where the influence of the bad news was not direct, the falling off is very small indeed. The gold export movement promises to dwindle down to very light proportions, especially In view of a renewal of shipments hy the Transvaal, the first since the outbreak of the Boer war last October having been made this week, and the bettered prospects for a resumption of mining under British regulations. The strikes cannot have in- lured the business of the railroads materially, and the new as¬ sessments have had surprisingly little effiect upon the stocks concerned. It is not easy to estimate the increased tax demand these assessments will create. The final figures Include the old assessments, consequently to estimate the new burdens created it is necessary to substract the valuations for tangible property from the final assess¬ ments. The new burden is the tax, at whatever rate may ■be eventually fixed in August nest, on the remainder less the amount paid to the city for car license fees and percentages of earnings. On this basis, with a 2,30 tas rate, the new burden on Metropolitan Street Railway would be equal to 2 per cent, on the outstanding stock; in the case of Third Avenue, 2.8 per cent; Brooklyn Rapid Transit, 0.9 per cent; Manhattan Elevated, 0.9 per cent; Consolidated Gas, 0,4 per cent How far these bur¬ dens can be met out of surplus or from economies in operation, depends on the earning powers and conditions of the several properties. It may be taken for granted that endeavors will be made to offset them in one way or another. This, or the belief that the assessments cannot be maintained in the courts, accounts for the comparative strength of tiie Traction and other issues affected. On the whole, it may be claimed that the market has taken all the bad news of the past few weeks very well, and the natural inference is that there should now he a fair reactionary movement. NEWS of the signing of the Davis School Bill reaches us at the moment when we are told by responsible city officials that we have before us another interval of waiting for minor improvements, owing to the bond issuing power being exhausted by rapid transit and other large works. The Davis Act will operate to increase expenses and taxation, while the holding up of the minor improvements diminishes the ability of the assess¬ ors to increase tas valuations. This is an unfortunate combina¬ tion. A more important matter is the way things operate to break down the barriers that have been put up to prevent ex¬ travagance in our municipality. Mayor Van Wyck explained the objectionahle pecuniary consequences likely to follow the en¬ actment of the Davis bill when he so properly vetoed that meas¬ ure. The Legislature in repassing the bill over that veto, and the Governor in signing it, seem to have been more impressed by the noisy demonstration made in favor of the bill at the hearing before the Mayor and its hearing on the coming elections, than hy the merits of the question involved. They are, however, de¬ ceived if they think that demonstration displayed the wishes of the community which, at the moment, would prefer lighter tas bills and more improvements, and would like very much indeefl if occasionally its wishes regarding its own personal affairs, as constitutionally expressed, were respected by the Legislature and the Executive. We have had occasion to refer to the matter before, but have never had so good reason to demand a larger measure of home rule for this city than is afforded by the thrust¬ ing of the Davis Act, with its accompanying extravagance, down the city's throat. There are matters and circumstances attend¬ ing the passage of this bill that call for attention, particularly the way in which the school teachers have made themselves a sort of petted class, but these we leave to others to deal with, contenting ourselves with protesting against the enforced ex¬ travagance that the measure imposes and the way in which its enactment violates the powers given the city to protect itself against just this kind of infliction. Modern May Day. STRIKES AND STRUGGLES DISPLACE FLOWERS AND FETES. IT is significant of the hard and cynical condition of mind that modern conditions of industrial life have brought about, that May Day with its poetical past, should be selected as the day on which the worker should declare his petty war against his employer, and that a sordid battle should be begun at the moment when the year offers its best promise for the happiness of man. But so it is, and that is why last Tuesday's papers con¬ tained several columns of news of strikes and trade disturbances with their usual accompaniment of personal violence and the tyranny of those who are loudest in proclaiming their determina¬ tion to be free. Of the strikes themselves there is little to be said. They are the result of prosperous times and the ease with which demands for increased pay, or lessened work, or hoth, have been enforced in the past year. They are, of course, well timed from the strikers' point of view. In the building trades where they are most plentiful, work is now well underway, and it is necessary that it should go along without interruption if it is to be profita¬ bly completed before the inclement season returns to stop opera¬ tions. In the railroad world, where unrest among the workers is only too apparent, a harvest is being gathered that is, or ought to pay for many sacrifices and weary years of waiting and inter¬ ruptions are most of all to be dreaded. The record of Monday's strikes given in the newspapers is probably only partial, and in that record it is only stated here and there how many men aro involved in the several disputes. This notwithstanding, they showed that about 13,000 members of the building trades in var¬ ious parts of the country bad celebrated May Day by strikes, and we know that some other thousands in Chicago and St. Louis had then been already engaged in a long struggle, which is not yet ended, with their employers. If we could count the railroad men, the mill and machine hands and employes in many other branches of business who left their work this week, we would see that they represented an interruption to business of enormous proportions. Where the disputes have involved only small matters of pay, or time, they seem to have been easily adjustable; the parties have been irreconcilable only where one sought to invade the province of the other; where the workman claimed the right to select his co-laborers, or in other ways to interfere with the bus¬ iness direction. It is this attitude that is prolonging the strug¬ gles in St, Louis and Chicago, and which must end in the im¬ poverishment of the men and their unions, because the employ¬ ers cannot invite their own ruin by surrender. On this aspect of the case it is agreeable to find the public on the side of the em¬ ployer. It must be borne in mind that the unions, plentiful as they seem to be, are in the aggregate composed of only a mod¬ erate percentage of the working population of the country, and the majority, who comprise unorganized labor, including besides clerks, bookkeepers, the multitude who cannot organize for united action, rather envymenwho can get a good living by work¬ ing only eight or nine hours a day. When these violently interfere, as they too often do, with others who are willing to accept conditions they despise, they are condemned by the courts and the public at large. Even the block-type sympathy of the yel¬ low journals is withheld, and that is sure proof that there ia nothing in the present strike movement that calls for outside support and encouragement; that it is not based on hardship, poor pay, or unduly long hours, but on a power to disturb or destroy conditions that the country as a whole is anxious to maintain. None blame the men for getting all the pay they honestly can, but the question must present itself whether they are not push¬ ing their success too much; whether, when the contracts, which now make the employer so pliant, are completed there will be others to keep up the pace of business activity and employ the same number of hands at the increased rates of pay. It has been axiomatic for generations that high rates of pay come on the crest of the wave of prosperity, and it would be easy to argue from precedent that the success of labor disputes in the matters 1