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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 70, no. 1809: November 15, 1902

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November 15, 1902. RECORD AND GUIDE. 717 # # estabushed"^ WARpH 2iy> lass. DwtrjED p Re\L Estate . BuiLDiflo ^Rjy^iTEcruRE .KouseHold Descs^K. BUSH/ESSAlbTHEUESOrGEfjEB^l l^TtRfST. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANXE SIX DOLLARS Published eVery Saturday Communications should bo nddresacd to C. W. SWEET. 14-16 Vesey Street, New YorK 3. T."LINDSET. Business Manage c Telephone, Cortlandt 3157 •■Entered at Ihe J^st Office al N<^n York. A'. Y.. as second-daxs maUer." No. 1809. Vol. LXX NOVEMBER 15, 1902. SO far has liquidation and consequent decline in prices on the Stock Marlcet proceeded that a rally ought to be in order. But against this view is the fact that money does not return to this centre as it was expected to do at this time, and this not only makes supplies small, hut also raises curiosity as to why it is so. Following the heavy selling of the first two days this week there was for a time really good buying, but the pressure of stock became too great and a relapse was the consequence. Weakness in special issues would indicate that a Western party who have ibeen trying to do great things, speculatively, with some hitherto highly respected properties and had ambitious designs towards others, have some difficulty in maintaining their pecuniary equi¬ librium. Positive denials of this have been made and yet the quotations for the securities in question are conspicuously the weakest. The market is in that stage, an intermediate one on a downward movement, where weakness becomes localized. Indicating not only extreme weakness in special places, but also that a bear party is forming and gaining courage for sys¬ tematic operations. They are helped by present and prospective scarcity of money. It is anticipated that the banks will show In to-day's statement that losses of currency have been offset by a contraction of loans due to the week's liquida¬ tion, but this can hardly be equal to the losses in other direc¬ tions. No new unfavorable feature has come to light, so that the state of the money market remains the one determining cause of existing market conditions, coupled, of course, with preceding inflatory tactics in stocks. There is encouragenient for a later period when money is cheaper in a number of cir¬ cumstances, chief among which is the voluntary advance of wages upon railroads whose management is conservative and entirely businesslike, and whose action may be taken to indicate that they regard the general business situation as satisfactory and the outlook for the coming year as good. THE similarity of conditions here and In Europe, which has Deen remarked of late, ends with the money market. For while stringency here is attended by active industries and rising wages, on the other side of the Atlantic the contrary is the case, and the best they can promise themselves is an improvement at some time or other. At the same time, regarded from this dis¬ tance the outlook contains more definite promise of bettering conditions. Much of the impatience that finds expression is unjustified. This is particularly the case with the complaint made of the slowness of recovery in South Africa, which was laid absolutely bare by the war; property and implements were destroyed, labor dissipated and a large part of the male popula¬ tion depatriated. The readjustment required is colossal and must take time. Mr. Chamberlain's visit is doubtless intended to hasten matters if possible, but such matters cannot be has¬ tened if they are to be well and permanently done. In other directions liquidation seems to have been fairly well accom¬ plished and recovery begun. France has had its medicine for over-indulgence in Russian industrials and Spanish and South American securities; the German iron and coal trade are Im¬ proving. Great Britain is favorably affected by the bettered conditions, or conditions better than were first reported in Aus¬ tralia and New Zealand and in India. In the last-named country tjie crop pi'ospects are much better than.they have been for a longtime. This is especially true of cotton, which is described as a "20-anna" crop, "16-anua" being the symbol of an average crop. The depression in Consols, while exciting remark, forbids prophecy, because the price has again gone down to panic flgyres without apparent just cause. Ne,\t April these securities will make a uniform return of 2V.i per cent., the 2%s being re- ^yced. to that denominated under the terms of the Goschen Act and the Government !>till withholds its borrowing intentions. The Tetiirn, however, on the iaecurlty may explain tlie decline in the price in a time of hard money, because none, except those who have no other investment resource, will buy a security that nets them less than can be readily obtained in the open market for their money, unless the prospects for an early advance in the quotation are better than they are now in the case of Consols. With the opening of the new year, however, it is anticipated that the Government will renew sinking fund and redemption purchases. By this time, too, the public will be In a happier frame of mind. Capital vs. Capitalized Labor. A GREAT deal Is naturally written at present about the con¬ flict between labor and capital; but at least one aspect of this struggle would be better described by calling it a con¬ flict between two forms of capital. The large bodies of em¬ ployees, that work in the various trades are far from being in the position of their predecessors fifty years ago, who were fre¬ quently paid less than a living wage, and were fighting des¬ perately to wring from their employers a chance to live a decent life. They have gradually won for themselves a working day, which leaves them leisure and strength for other interests, and a rate of wages, which enables them to live In comparative com¬ fort and to put by a very tidy sum in the savings bank. They are for the most part well organized, and their organizations are possessed of sufficient money to stand the strain of strikes and lockouts. In short, particularly in the skilled trades, the work¬ ingmen are themselves capitalists in a small way. They can frequently better afford the loss of wages occasioned by a strike than the employers can the loss of business, and the conse¬ quence is that they are gaining constantly upon their employ¬ ers; they are continually obtaining increases in remuneration and decreases in the hours of labor. Between the years 18S0 and 1902, the wages for bricklayers increased from 30 to 60 cents an hour, those of carpenters from 20 to 50 cents, those of masons from 30 to 55 cents, and those of plasterers from 30 to 60 cents, those of hod-carriers from 17 to 33 cents. Thus the wages paid in the building trades have doubled in twenty years, and this is an illustration of the way the financial position of the working classes has generally improved. As Secretary Root showed in a recent campaign speech, there were in 1900 five times the num¬ ber of workingmen in the country than there were In 1850; but they were receiving ten times the amount of wages. These wage- earners have deposits in the savings banks alone amounting to $2,507,094,580. The effects of this improvement may be traced in a great many different directions. In the first place instead of being on the defensive, as they once were, the unions have become ag¬ gressive. During the bad times, for Instance, which succeeded the panic of 1873 they lost ground, and their wages were de¬ creased anywhere from 10 to 30 per cent.; but during the hard times that came twenty years later In 1893 and thereafter, their position was so strong that they were able to maintain all tho advantage they had won during the prosperous years. Thus under present conditions they are able to gain constantly on their employers during periods of good business, while they lose little or nothing during periods of bad business. But, of course, increases in wages and reductions in the hours of labor are not the only ways in which they have been able to secure their posi¬ tion. By means of the sympathetic strike they have obtained for union labor almost a monopoly in the building trades, while at the same time they are constantly forcing their employers to submit to various restrictions, in the conduct of their businesses, the purposes of which are to make the work of the employee easier, lighter and more remunerative. Finally organized labor is exceedingly aggressive politically. It has secured the recogni¬ tion of the union rate of wages on all city jobs, and it uses its political influence, as in the case of the Pennsylvania tunnel, to prevent or hinder the city to enter into an extremely valuable contract, just because the railroad will not tie Itself down to rigid conditions in dealing with its employees. That the power of the labor unions is destined still further to increase Is a fair inference from the whole recent movement of labor conditions. The employees in the building trades are In a peculiarly strong position, because they are much more effec¬ tively organized than are their employers; but they are only pointing the way, which their less skilled and fortunate breth¬ ren will surely follow. Yet just because the labor unions are becoming so strong, they must be willing to assume responsibil¬ ity as well as power. If the conflict has become one in which many thousand small capitalists are face to face with a much smaller number of large capitalists, the larger number of small capitalists must be willing to submit to the same restrictions as their opponents. Their organizations must be incorporated, so that they c^a be held accountable' for the non-perlormauce Qt