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railways, and in New York better transportation facilities, improved methods of building, freer building laws permitting a height of thirty stories by contrast with the London maximum of eight stories, the limited area and narrow shape of Manhattan Island, promoting greater concentration of population, and a more buoyant spirit with greater tendency to discount the future.
The average price of land in the financial district varies from $150 to $200 per square foot. Next in the scale comes the women's shopping district on Sixth Avenue from 14th to 23d streets, also on 23d, 34th, and 42d streets, and on Broadway from 9th to 23d streets, with an average scale of $60 to $100, and an occasional sale such as that at Sixth Avenue and 22d Street at $180 and the northwest corner of Broadway and 34th Street (having an area of less than 2000 square feet) at $350. The values on the other business streets might average as follows: 14th Street, north side, $35, south side, $60; 230 Street, north side, $65, south side, $120; 34th Street, $60; 420 Street, $70; Fourth Avenue, $20; Third Avenue, $9; Bowery, $15. The wholesale district on Broadway from Canal Street to Ninth Street varies from $30 to $60 per square foot, with the side streets from $20 down to $8. Residence values vary from $60, a fair average for Fifth Avenue above 42d Street, up to $75 for the very best locations facing the Park. The side streets just off Fifth Avenue from 34th to 70th streets vary from $10 to $30, and from 70th to 90th streets, from $30 to $20. The side streets from 59th to 70th, between Madison and Park avenues drop to $15 or $20 per square foot; from Park to Lexington avenues $10 per square foot; from Lexington to Third avenues about $5 per square foot. Land in the best residence district on the west side varies from $7 to $20 per square foot.
The persistent tenement occupancy of the lower east side is apparently due to the shape of Manhattan Island, the outward curve including territory away from transportation lines and hence not desired by business houses. Tenement districts wherever located average from $1 to $10 per square foot.
An approximate scale of normal values per front foot for cities of different sizes might be as follows, it being understood that
actual highest values in the various cities vary widely from any
BEST RESIDENCE, PER
3000 3,500,000 42,000 56,000
9000 The above table for business values is based on the consideration that each thousand of population adds from $12 to $16 to the front-foot value of the best locations. Reference to the plats will show how this scale applies to the examples given, it being noted that the populations stated are for 1900, while these cities have grown and values have increased in the past two years, – and it being particularly noted that the figures apply to only two or three corners in each city, adjacent locations being worth possibly only half as much as the best.
To sum up: the economic rent of business locations represents a normal proportion of the profits of the shopkeeper, running from 20 per cent to 40 per cent, less operating expenses and interest on the capital in the building. The value of business land is limited by what the locations can earn, this being continually increased by new inventions and improvements, both in transportation and in building construction, as well as by increase in the population and wealth of cities.
The economic rent of residence land represents the normal proportion of income, varying from 15 per cent to 35 per cent, which various classes can afford to pay for house rent, less operating expenses and interest on the capital in the building. The increase in residence values comes from larger individual fortunes and more of them.
The broad movements of value are that value by proximity, responding to central growth, diminishes in proportion to
distance from the various centers, while value from accessibility, responding to axial growth, varies in proportion to transportation facilities which frequently carry high values to considerable distances from the main center through areas of low value. The principal causes of redistribution of values are changes in transportation facilities, such as new service, elevated or underground lines, new railroads, bridges, tunnels, ferries, and the more gradual readjusting force of the reaction of new utilities and new occupied areas, which brings harmony out of the complex contending factors. Present tendencies are entirely towards greatly increased values at strategic points, although the general run of values for the great mass of medium business and residence property changes slowly, since such property supplies the wants of a large number of people of moderate earning power who cannot pay beyond a certain price. Moreover there is but little speculation in such property, a more sober view being taken of its possibilities and it being realized that the repair and depreciation account is increasingly large as property sinks in grade. Ordinarily a gradual lifting of values for all classes of property occurs in proportion to the growth of the city with the exception of the decaying sections left behind in the onward march, where values fall steadily, sometimes to the point of extinction. The point of highest value, responding in scale and location to the growth of the city, moves onward from the first business center, the crest of the wave being usually about the middle of the shopping districts, frequently strengthened by exceptionally large and handsome buildings, and its movements checked by strong cross streets. Apart from any factors which might deflect the line of growth, the land lying in its path is quite certain to increase in value, the time of such increase, however, being difficult to gauge, while the land which it has left behind is quite certain to sink more or less rapidly in value. In the largest cities, apart from the onward movement of residences, retail and wholesale shops, a financial section with even higher values arises in the territory left behind, where the banks, trust companies, brokers, and office buildings cluster close to the original center.
SOME ASPECTS OF THE LABOR PROBLEM
1. The Policies of Labor Organizations 1
The union has two general methods of improving the economic condition of its members. It may try to strengthen the strategic position of the individual workman in dealing with the employer, or it may take the function of bargaining altogether out of the hands of the individual. The former policy involves an attempt to diminish the number of competitors in the trade. The latter has no necessary reference to the number of individual workers, but involves the placing of the interests of all the workers under a single control, so that the whole amount of labor power available in the trade may be handled in the market as a unit.
The restriction of the number of competitors is undertaken chiefly through measures for diminishing the number of learners. It is to this end, at least in a great degree, that all the union regulations of apprenticeship, which are discussed below, are directed. For the same purpose, in trades which feel the competition of foreigners and in which at the same time the strength of the union is such as to promise effective control, restrictions are placed, by high union initiation fees or otherwise, upon the entrance of foreigners into the occupation.
Such regulations as these, however, play a relatively small part in the policy of the unions. That upon which they chiefly rely is unity of action. If the whole body of workers of a given kind can be brought into the union, so that the union can meet the employers as the representative of the whole, the position of the worker will be greatly strengthened. There will still remain the absolute perishability of his commodity, — the need
1 Reprinted from the Report of the Industrial Commission, XIX, 806-827.