« ПретходнаНастави »
It destroyed the policy of paying out f the public funds in the Treasury, derived from taxes collected from the people, millions of dollars annually in the way of bounties to aid private individuals in the prosecution of their private industries.
It provided for the taxation, by States, counties, and municipalities of more than three hundred millions of taxable values which had heretofore not only been exempt from taxation, but had enabled unscrupulous persons, by fraudulent practices, to escape from their just share of the burdens of domestic government.
It placed upon the statute books the most drastic meas. ure against combinations, trusts, and monopolies engaged in foreign commerce ever enacted.
It provided for an Income Tax upon the wealth of the country, thereby placing upon the shoulders of the rich a due share of the burdens of government.
It recognized the dignity of labor by providing by law a National Holiday in the District of Columbia upon which the working people may cease from toil and unite in a peaceful celebration of their achievements and triumphs.
It enacted more than two hundred laws for the benefit of the people in different sections of the country.
Cause of Panic of 1893.
The Inevitable Result of Four Years of Republican
REVENUES FALL-EXPENDITURES RISE.
The False Cry of Fear of Tariff Legislation and Democratic Rule.
The strenuous effort made by protectionists to impress upon the minds of the people that the depression of last year was caused by the fear that the tariff would be reformed and that all that was necessary to insure a speedy return of good times was to cease the agitation of this question, in the light of the history of the last few years under high protection, was supremely ridiculous.
Could it be possible that the mere accession of the Democratic party to power in all the departments of the Government, upon the profession of principles under which the civilized people of every country of the world, which has practised them, including ourselves, had accumulated wealth and attained a higher degree of prosperity, had the effect, in so short a space of time, to convert a prosperous people into a helpless and dependent state? Is it not more credible that the great disaster which came upon us was the outgrowth of a false system of economy which, with all our matchless resources, we were unable to longer stand? Will not future generations, when they look back to our times to draw lessons of wisdom to guide them in the direction in which they should go, rather ascribe our reverses to our follies instead of our fears? Are the advocates of a restrictive policy ready to confess that notwithstanding our unparalleled resources, thirty years of protection had failed to establish our industries upon a foundation sufficiently firm to withstand even a proposition looking to a conservative modification of its structure?
If ever the influence and operation of a protective tariff could have brought wealth and happiness to a people, or measurably, have preserved the same from destruction by the ingress of injurious competition, most assuredly the last twenty should have been years of uninterrupted prosperity. Have they been? We challenge the advocates of protection to point to a period of like duration in the history of this or any other country during which there has been so many depressions, such serious conflicts between employers and employees, more factories. closed, or a greater number of commercial failures recorded. From 1873 to 1882, inclusive, the number of failures was 74,978, with liabilities aggregating $1,618,310,517. From 1883 to 1890 we were constantly on the verge of a financial crash. The Secretary of the Treasury was continually forced to purchase bonds and prepay interest to check the alarm. With all however that could be done we had the strin gency of 1883, the panics of 1884 and of 1890.
The number of failures during this period, including the years 1883 and 1890, exceeded 82,000, with liabilities more than $1,250,000,000. The failures, which numbered 6,738 in 1882, arose to 9,184 in 1883, and 10,907 in 1890, with liabilities aggregating $189,856,964. Not since the tariff revision of 1883 went into effect has the number of failures fallen below 9,000 in a single year.
During this period the conflicts between employers and employees increa zeď until riots and bloodshed became so numerous as to excite but little interest except in the most extreme cases. During the years 1883, 1884, 1883, and 1886, we had 2,977 strikes in 17,271 establishments, embracing 1,039,011 employees. The number of strikes increased from 471, affecting 129,591 employees in 1881, to 1,411, affecting 499,489 employees in 1886. During the vears 1882 to 1886, inclusive, lockouts occurred in 2,214 establishments, affecting 175,270 employees. The estimated wage loss to employees by reason of strikes an i lozkouts during these six years aggregated $59,972,440.
In 1890 the McKinley law went into operation and note the result:
Under the operation of this act the number of failures arose from 10,907, with liabilities aggregating $189,856,964, in 1890, to 12,273, with liabilities aggregating $189,868,693 in 1891, and the conflicts between employers and employees, which had theretofore culminated only in combats and riots, became battles between great forces armed with rifle and cannon. The number of failures in 1892 was 10,270, while in 1893 it reached the maximum height, 15,560, with liabilities aggregating $462,000,000, as against assets amounting to $262,000,000. In no country has there been such a disturbed and unsettled condition as we had. We reached a point. when idleness became so common that the feats of the tramp were considered. laudable avocations.
Since the passage of the new tariff act trade has become active, idle factories are starting up and the hopes of the people are once more animated by the belief that a long period of solid prosperity is in store for them. The trouble was not that tariff legislation was threatened, but rather that it was not an accomplished fact. The long delay was the result of Republican opposition in the Senate, and to that party should be charged the increased misery and suffering which resulted from the same.
The Cause of the Panic of 1893. The commercial depression and monetary crisis which swept over the country in 1893, and from the effects of which we have but partially recovered, has been persistently charged, by the leaders and the press of the Republican party, 'as the result of Democratic success at the last election, and the fear that the policies espoused by that party would be carried into effect by Congressional enactments. It is not the purpose of this chapter to enter into any labored argument to prove the absurdity of this accusation, but simply to recall the facts which preceded our reverses and leave the student to draw his own conclusions. Before tracing the commercial and financial history of the last ten years, which cast a flood of light on this question, it is in order to remove a few fallacies which have found lodgment in the minds of a great many sincere persons.
Silver Money. Not a few believe that the disaster which came upon us last year was the result of the limited silver policy which had been pursued since the demonetization of the white metal in 1873. On the 1st day of July, 1893, we had in silver coin, $496,687,573, and in Treasury notes, issued in payments for purchases of silver bullion, under the Sherman act of 1890, $140,855,611, making a total circulation of $637,543,187. This is by far the largest volume of silver ever ip use as a part of our circulation. We have, in times past, enjoyed the greatest prosperity, with a much less supply, and it cannot, therefore, be said thət the crash of last year was the result, solely, of a deficiency in the volume of silver money. Whatever influence the silver question had upon our prosperity, and, it is not intended to here claim or argue that it did not have an important one, it is certainly evident that it was not solely because of a scant supply of silver money.
Ample Currency. Again, miny were firmly of the opinion that the result was caused by an insufficient supply of money, and this belief was strengthened by the fact that a large amount of clearing-house certificates and other substitutes bad to be issued to tide over the stringency. The scarcity of currency, however, was the result and not the cause, as these certificates were soon retired by the return to circulation of the money, which, at the first approach of the storm, had sought safety in retirement. That this opinion was erroneous is fully established by the fact that on the 30th day of
une, 1892, we had a total circulation, including gold, silver and paper money, of $1,753,953,744; the largest per capita in the history of the country.
In what has been said as to the quantity of silver and the total circulation per capita, it has not been the purpose to argue to any one that we have all the silver we can use, or that the volume of our circulation is fully adequate to the requirements of the people. These are questions entirely outside of the purview of this chapter. All that it is inten led to he e impress upon the mind of the student is, that the recent panic resulte l from causes other than simply the scarcity of silver money, or an insufficiency in the volume of our circulation.
Real Cause. What, then, was the primary cause? Was it the result of a fear upon the part of the people that the Democratic party would carry into effect the policies it had advocated? Did the great business interests of the country become alarmed at the election of Mr Cleveland, in 1892 ?
The people in the great commercial and financial centers of the country endorsed him in such a decisive manner as to demonstrate, beyond controversy, the supreme confidence they had in the wisdom of the policies he represented. Even if this had not been the case, if the Democratic party had succeeded to power under the leadership of an untried captain, and the great business interests of the country had harbored forebodings as to the future, does any one believe that a collapse from a sound, stable and healthy prosperity could, for that reason, have come upon the country so suddenly and with such terrible force.
That the disaster which so soon followed upon the advent to power of the Democratic Administration was the direct result of the preceding four years of Republican rule can be demonstrate l as clearly as any fact in governmental affairs can be established.
A comparison of the receipts and expenditures of Mr. Harrison's with Mr. Cleveland's first term presents many striking contrasts. Comparison of receipts and expenditures, exclusive of postal, for four years beginning
June 30, 1885, and ending June 30, 1893.
It will be seen from the foregoing table that for the four years of Mr. Cleveland's administration, the total receipts were $62,291,711 less; the tot il expenditures, $281,641,258 less, while the surplus was $219,349,548 more than during Mr. Harri- ' fon’s. Still more important facts may be noted by a further examination. The revenues increased every year during Mr. Cleveland's term, beginning with $336,439,723 in 1886, and ending with $387,050,058 in 1889, while the reverse, with the exception of a single year, is true of Mr. Harrison's. During the latter's term the revenue fell from $403,080,982 in 1890, to $354,937,785 in 1892, and $385,819,626 in 1893, and the surplus revenues from $105,344,496 in 1890, to $2,344,674 the last year of his term.
It is an unquestioned fact that an increase in the revenues of the Governinent is the highest evidence of the prosperity of its people while a diminution of the eme is a sure indication of depression.