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October S, 1888
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Published every Saturday.
191 BroadTTv-ay, N. "5r.
Our Teleplione Call Is.....JOHN 370.
ONE YEAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS.
Ck>mmtmicatious should be addressed to
â‚¬. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
OCTOBER 2, 1886.
The business situation is unchanged. We have entered into a
period of prosperity, which looks as if it might last for the rest of
this crop year. The only difficulty with the railroads is their
inability to secure cars with which to convey all the freights offered
them. There has been an active demand for all manufactured goods.
The building trades continue to flourish, but there are signs that
there may be trouble with the work people. The stonecutters are
making excessive demands. This, with the plumbers' strike, is
creating uneasiness among builders of houses, and is checking, the
filing of new plans; but notwithstanding, the fall business in real
estate, not only is quite large, but promises to be very active up to
the opening of winter.
cance. A local vote for an exceptional candidate is generally
meaningless. A party with life in it must have a national organize,
tion. The laboring people have not got this, nor are they likely to
for many years to come. Henry George's radical views on the
land question will be regarded as chimerical and revolutionary by
the whole farming community; indeed by everyone who has a
stake in the soil of the country. There is uo reason to be apprehenÂ¬
sive of any vote that may be polled for a labor candidate in New
York city at a time when the regular party organizations are
disorganized and all at sea.
A correspondent seems to think the time has come for the organÂ¬
ization of a party representing the laboring classes, and he gives
an inkling of what he thinks the programme of the new political
organization should be. We hope he is mistaken, for we never
wish to see any one class of the community organized to control
all the other classes. The Eepublic of our fathers will end on the
day the working classes are organized into one body to make their
interests supreme in the councils of the nation. We have protested
against the monopoly of political power which the lawyers have
held in this country for the last hundred years, simply because we
believe that it is not wise to hand over the interests of all classes to
the control of any one profession. The slaveholders were dominant
in the councils of the nation at one period, and their influence was
an evil one and had a disastrous ending. The manufacturers are
now very influential in both the great parties, a fact which has not
been an advantage to the general interests of the country. Were the
wage-receiving class to act as one body in politics it would be even
more harmful to the public weal.
The venerable Edward Hincken, of Boyd & Hincken, whose firm was the
last of the agents of the old packet lines, casually remarked to a reporter:
"Those who put any more money in sailing vessels will be likely to receive
as much substantial return on their investment as they would if they
invested it in a snowball. There is no money in them now. There never
will be again. We have only one sailer left now, and she is just about to
start from Havre. She carries oil, and that is about all we can expect of
Does not this fact justify all that has been said in these columns,
as to the non-utility of the contests between American and British
yachts. The only justification for horse racing is the improvement
in the breed of the animal, but what value is there in finding the
best models for sailing vessels, which now have only an historical
and not a business interest. It would be far more to the purpose
if our idle rich men were they to put their time and money into
experimenting with electric launches or in testing the new motors,
of which we hear so much from the other side of the water. The
propulsion of the Volta, between Dover and Calais, is a fact of more
interest than a million such victories as that of the Mayflower over
Luckily it is almost impossible to organize new national parties.
Practically there has never been but two political organizations
since the beginning of our government. They have been known by
many different names and have often changed their political platÂ¬
forms, but brand new parties do not come into existence as did
Minerva, who, according to the clas&ic myth, sprang full-grown
and full-armed from the brain of Zeus. What the laboring
people may do is to influence existing party organizations to accept
portions of their programmes, and hence the student of the politics
of the period will try and study the drift of opinion among the wage-
receiving class, for unquestionably the labor organizations, particuÂ¬
larly the Knights of Labor, will induce the politicians to accept
such of their ideas as would be likely to attract votes if put into
convention platforms. Party organizations are a growthâ€”they
cannot be created de novo.
It is barely possible that Henry George may receive a very large
vote for Mayor. The working people are well organized. The
canvass will, of course, be in the hands of the trades unionists and
the Knights of Labor, and the officers of the various organizations
will have the control of the machinery. These are not all noisy
" blatherskites," as is popularly supposed, but are the best organizers
and coolest heads in the various trade organizations. The difficulty
that taxpayers and rich reformers have in creating political
machines is that they have to depend upon purchasable "heelers "
to attend the polls, peddle out tickets, and watch the counting of
the votes. But the workingmen have a far better class upon whom
they can depend to do this kind of essential work; hence we expect
to see Henry George receive quite a large voteâ€”one, too, which will
be honestly counted, for the politicians would not dare to cheat
them, as the laboring men will keep tally-lists accounting for
those who actually deposited their ballots. George, not being a
workingman himself, will excite no jealousy, for workingmen will
not vote for people of their own class. In all free countries they
prefer lawyers, saloon-keepers and literary men, to which last class
the labor candidate for Mayor belongs.
Even should Henry George be elected Mayor, which does not
seem humanly possible, it will not have much immediate siguifi-
Not Quite the Terminal Company Needed.
New York may very properly be called the truck terminal city.
If you go to Chicago, Boston, Baltimore, Buffalo, or any other city
of commercial pretensions, you find the railways, the warehouses,
and the waterways so closely related that merchandise can be
handled by elevators and other machinery without noise or confuÂ¬
sion, and with the utmost dispatch. Even in Brooklyn, where, as it
is known, an immense shipping business, often as the expense of
New York, is now being done, a perpetual Sunday seems to reign
along the water front; and were it not for the trucks that cross the
East River from New York warehouses, the pavements along
Furman street, and other streets in the vicinity of the Atlantic and
Erie basins, would rarely need repairs. But in lower New York we
seem to be rapidly approaching a condition of perpetual blockade.
The oaths of truck drivers, mingling with the crash of interlocking
vehicles, is a sound too familiar even to attract attention, and the
spectacle of scampering throngs, knee deep in mud and filth in
rainy weather, trying desperately io dodge under uplifted wagon
tongues and to keep from beneath the feet of horses that weigh a
ton, is a comedy in which every citizen is frequently obliged to
play a chief role.
We think this hubbub all due to the immense amount of business
transacted. But we never made a greater mistake. Between
Canal street and the Battery there is room for four times the
present volume of commercial traffic, and it could all be done
quietly, without tumult or confusion. Our troubles spring, first,
from, want of proper arrangement in locating warehouses, and,
second, from lack of engineering skill and constructive enterprise.
There are miles of buildings on West and South streets where the
site of each building should represent a small fortune, yet where
the entire property is barely worth the cost of keeping the walls
upright. This, of course, results from the neglect of the water
front as the proper place for the location of warehouses. But this
is not the only cause for our disabilities. No steps have been taken
to reach the warehouses that have been improperly located on
interior and cross-town streets at a distance from the rivers except
by the primitive agency of trucks. In these circumstances and
not in the excess of traffic will be found the explanation of the
blockades that occur in the lower part of the city.
The Record and Guide has given a good deal of attention to this
subject, and waited patiently for a practical response from capitalÂ¬
ists more sensible than those who invested 150,000,000 in ;the West
Shore Railway. It is coming at last, but in a very curious and
incomplete form. The truckmen are discovering that it will be
impossible to perform their labor much longer on their present
lines, and they are agitating for the formation of a truck company.
It costs 25 per cent, more now to handle merchandise by the truck
system than it cost eight years ago; and by the natural law of
increase the addition in cost during the next eight years wiU be
much more than 25 per cent. But they hope to stop the increase
by forming a company and placing the traffic under better regulaÂ¬
tion. If working uiader a general direction they believe that they
can prevent some of the long waits that now cost the owners of
double trucks |2.50 an hour.
It is to be feared that these truckmen have before them the task