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October SO, 1883
1 he Kecord and uuide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE.
191 Broadway, N. Y.
ONE TEAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS.
Commuriications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Buainess Manager.
OCTOBER 20, 1883.
The time has come to cry halt in the great bÂ«ar campaign of the
fall of 188S. Thia paper has foretold the break in prices and given
the reason why. But we now believe that values have been
unduly depressed. The bears in stocks have made so much money
that they are flushed with victory and will continue their attacks
upon the market, but investors can now purchase with confidence,
provideri they exercise judgment. We ought also to see better
prices before the close of the year for our wheat and cotton. There
are better times coming, but perhaps not right away.
The construction of the new bridge over the Harlem River at
Second avenue will soon be under way. Contracts have been given
out for a portion of the work, and we are assured that it will be
prosecuted vigorously. It is understood that the Suburban Rapid
Transit Company is building this bridge, and will soon commence
the construction of its traÂ«ks in the Twenty-third and Twenty-
fourth Wards. This ought to cause an immediate rise in value in
the annexed district, for property on the other side of the Harlem
.will soon be available for improvement. The bridge and the new
railroads will necessarily bring large areas into the market.
The ease of money is phenomenal for this season of the year.
Money is generally easy when a bear speculation is under way ;
it is bull markets which create a demand for currency. But much
of the ease is undoubtedly due to the continued issue of silver cerÂ¬
tificates. These are a perfect currency, better than any a bauk
can issue, as they are based upon the actual deposit of coin, dollar
for dollar, in the government vaults. It should be borne in mind
that these silver certificates are generally paid for in gold. The
denominations callpd for are generally of ten and twenty dollars,
and are extremely useful in payments for moving the crops in the
South and West, where national banks are few in number.
Taxpayers have nothing to expect from the result of the coming
fall elections. Neither the Democrats, Republicans nor Citizens
announce any programme for giving us a better city government.
Even the Anti-Monopolists and the Constitution Club people prom
ise nothing but to support honest men for office. An entire and
radical change iu the machinery of our local government is
demanded, but the politiciana who control the several factions are
intent merely upon a distribution of the spoils. The revelation of
the condition of affairs in the Controller's office is simply appalling,
and there is every reason to believe that all the departments of our
local government are in a most unsatisfactory condition. We want
home rule and responsible city government, but none of the newsÂ¬
papers seem to be interested in reform, and not a word is said about
the new charter at the meetings of the various bodies that are
nominating candidates for the coming election. Voters generally
are extremely apathetic. We will probably continue our present
wretched system for several years, when an explouon will corae
that will startle tbe community and force apathetic citizens to
institute reforms. There ought to be an active canvass to return
the right kind of Senators and Assemblymen, pledged to specific
reforms, but nothing is done. The Citizens by the way did well to
dispand. The reform movement they started was a contemptible
Nearly every authority which has appeared before the Senate
Commission hag arraigned oar present system of common school
education as being too literary. The " three r's " do not suffice iu
this industrial age. Boys and girls must be trained to work as well
as to read and write. The American workingman is now at a disÂ¬
advantage with the French, German and Swiss artisan who has
been educated in the technical schools oC those countries. The
leading workmen in all our manufactories and shops are foreigners.
It is the American and the Irishman who are "the hewers of wood
and the drawers of water," and who are "bossed" by the artistic and
skilled workman from over the water. This is galling to us as a peoÂ¬
ple, especially in view of the exaggerated value we have heretofore
accorded to our common school system. Peter Cooper was a decade
ahead of his age. His "Union" is a model of the school of the
future. Facts are to be taught hereafter as well as letters. The
eyes and the hf^uds are to be trained as well as the memory. In
twenty years from now there will be fewer bookkeepers and clerks
and a vastly greater number of skilled and artistic work people.
When that time comes we will be released from the tyranny of the
trades' unions, for when the bulk of our workmen are trained in
our technical schools, the limitation in the number of apprentices
by these trade organizations will be of no avail, for skilled labor
will be abundant for all industrial work.
A Warning to Debtors.
All customers of the national banks as well as debtors would do
well to read the address of E. C. Bohne, at the recent Convention
of Bankers at Louisville, Ky. Thia document was suppressed in
the reports of the New York papers, which are all thick and thin
advocates of our national bank system, and are committed in
every possible way to gold monometallism. Stripped of all
verbiage, Mr. Bohne'a address, which will be found elseÂ¬
where in this issue, is an appeal to the tanks to put the
screws on and ruin all their embarrased customers. Hia theme is
the appreciation of gold. His arguments, facts aod figures go to
show that the substitution of the one precious metal for the two
has caused and is causing a ruinous depreciation in prices. He
gives Mr, Goschen's table, showing that during the last ten years
the market value of all articles, except tobacco and spirits, has
depreciated from twenty to fifty-two per cent. Tbe creditor class
haa been greatly benefited and the debtor class fearfully embarÂ¬
rassed by the steadily increasing value of gold, for this is the real
phenomenon which accounts for the depressed trade and increasÂ¬
ing number of bankruptcies here as well as in Europe. BimetalÂ¬
lism prevailed for seventy-five years up to 1873. Germany, in
receipt of milliards of French gold, demonetized her silver aud sold
it as a commodity on the markets of the world. In the
same year the United States also discarded silver. The
result was a panic in prices, which impoverished Germany,
Austria and other formerly silver using countries. The United
States had its panic, from which it did not recover until the passage
of the Bland bill in 1878. Among the worst sufferers were the
merchants of monometallic England ; all engaged in che Asiatic
and East Indian trade suffered terribly by the tumble in exchange,
due to the depreciation of silver, the sole currency of the Asiatic
countries. The trouble in England culminated in the failure of
the Bank of Glasgow.
Mr. Bohne in the paper we publish declinea to discuss the quesÂ¬
tion of bimetallism. He simply points out the obvious fact that
prices have declined and are declining, and draws the natural
inference that matters will get worse before they are better. He
appeals to the national banks to look out for their own interests.
They must keep themselves informed touching the solvency of
their customers, and if the latter are too enterprising and Irheir
business becomes too extended they must be ruined by the withÂ¬
drawal of all bank facilities. This is very natural advice; the
money lender, as such, can think only of himself ; his business is
to profit by the misfortunes of those who borrow hia money. The
national banks just now are withdrawing their currency, because
its circulation is no longer profitable. Their New York press
organs, with the object of still further injuring the mercantile
community, are denouncing the issue of silver certificates, the
most safe and perfect form of paper money ever devised, and which
has helped and is hel:ung so greatly the planters of the South and
the farmers of the West to move their crops without drawing upon
thia centre, and thus still further distressing the business men who
desire to borrow money. That we have not too much currency is
shown by the fact that the amount per capita in the United States,
taking into account gold, silver and paper, averages only about
twenty-eight dollars, against thirty-three in Belgium and Holland,
and fifty-seven in France.
The national banks, in withdrawing their currency and denying
help to our over-venturesome traders, and so embarrassing them,
are only obeying the law of self-preservation. They were instituted
to make money for their stockholders. But their present attitude
ought to convince the business world of the mistake it haa made in
condemning silver aa a money metal, and upholding gold monoÂ¬
metallism, which is the cause of nearly all the woes which are now
afflicting the business world. Since Germany adopted the gold
unit of value, other nations have followed her example, notably
Holland and Italy. Aa Mr. Goschen pointed out, one thousand milÂ¬
lion dollars in gold bas been required in the laat ten yeai s to satisfy
the currency requirements of the United States, Germany, Holland
and Italy, that is, rather more than the total production of gold
in that period, not taking into account the large quantity of gold
used in the arts. Hence the ahrinking of the "yard atick," the
measurer of all values, which has had such disaatrous results
throughout the commercial world. The doubfing up of our curÂ¬
rency by resumption in 1879, gave us an advantage over the rest of
the world for a few years, but the murder of President Garfield