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classes or capital are emboldened by it to undertake new ventures or to enter channels they would not otherwise do, that is a matter which does not affect the prime object of protection and cannot be controlled by legislation. It was not England's tariff system, but her free-trade system, which tended most to sustain her landed aristocracy. Out of the ten richest men in the United States, nine have accumulated fortunes in speculative and commercial pursuits, other than manufacturing, and one in manufactures that had to deal with protected articles.
So as to trusts. Protectionists say the facts do not support the theory that protection leads to trusts. The worst trustridden countries are free-trade countries. Trusts in America are quite frequently the result of English genius and capital. The Standard oil, Chicago gas, Street railway, Electric lighting, Cotton seed oil, Sugar deal, Reading deal, Richmond terminal, and others, which rank as trusts or combinations, exist in spite of the doctrine of protection and in no way concern it. It is by no means certain that these combinations are harmful to the public at large. For every one that finds an existence by reason of dealing in protected articles, ten can be found that would exist, tariff or no tariff
Protection has made the manufacturer content with a reasonable profit . An annual profit of ten per cent. is barely possible in this country in the best-established manufactories. Said Mr. Bright in the English Parliament, in 1842: "America, as an independent country, has been a more valuable customer to England than she could possibly have been as a colony. On all the goods exported to America during the last quarter of a century you have made a net profit of forty per cent." Prices of home manufactures can therefore be trusted to home competition, but foreign prices cannot be trusted at all, unless they are forced to meet our home competition. This was particularly glaring when England was charging $150 for a ton of steel rails which afterwards, and in the face of our home competition, she was glad to get $40 for. The removal of duty from tea and coffee in 1872 caused a rise in their price. There was a reason for the rise in coffee, because Brazil immediately levied an export tax on it. But neither tea nor coffee have been so cheap since 1872 as before, when tea paid fifteen cents and coffee two cents a pound duty. They avoid home competition entirely.
The protectionist supports his doctrine by calling in as a witness the material growth of the country since 1861, and comparing it with that of countries wedded to free-trade. He confidently asks judgment on the practical workings of his policy, and claims for the results a fulfillment of the prophecies of Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison, Jackson, Benton, Clay, Webster and even Calhoun, who in 1816 made his famous appeal in favor of the protection and importance of manufactures to the "national strength and perfection of our institutions," and in "binding more closely our widespread republic."
During thirty years of protection, and notwithstanding the wastage of four years of war, our population has grown at the rate of one million annually—a greater rate than that of England, France, Germany and Austria combined. Our wealth has grown from $17,000,000,000 to nearly $50,000,000,000, or at the rate of $ 1,000,000,000 a year. There has gone Into our savings $885,000,000 yearly, or almost hnlf as much as the savings of the entire world. The manufactories, mines and forests of Great Britain produced $4,- 500 000,000 in 1886, an increase of 30 per cent. since 1850. The same products in the United States in 1880 were valued
at $5,500,000,000, an increase of 160 per cent. since i860. Since 1860 our farms have more than doubled in number and increased in value from $6,000,000,000 to $ 10,000,000,000, while their products, which were $1,800,000,000 in i860, were $3,800,000,000 in 1880.
In 1880 the entire products of Great Britain—farms, factories, mines, forests and all—were $6,200,000,000, or $172 per capita. Of this product she exported $1,300,000,000. In the same year the total products of the United States were $10,000,000,000, or $200 per capita. Of this product $9,176,000,000 were consumed at home. Thus our home market consumed more than Great Britain consumed and exported, and more than double the combined exports of Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Holland and Austria. Besides this consumption of home products, we imported $700,000,000 as against $335,000,000 in 1860, and exported $750,000,000 as against $373,000,000 in 1860.
Protectionists do not claim that the system of protection is, or ever has been, perfect. It is not possible to make it so. But it has proved in practice that the arguments of its opponents are unsound. It has established itself as an essential part of our commercial and business habit and thought, and is open to the same equities, and laws of progress and adjustment, as any essential feature of industrial welfare. Its destruction, however, cannot be tolerated. Attack on it must be resented. It is not a system which can be trusted to its enemies for safe-keeping, or modification. Its friends are its natural custodians, and they alone are capable of perpetuating it in the forms best calculated to make it repeat its past triumphs for labor, capital and the general welfare, and to fit it for the legitimate requirements of a still more growthy and imposing future.
In 1890, under what was known as the McKinley Tariff, the principle of protection was applied with a better understanding of its merits than under any former Act. The application was not indiscriminate, but with a view to protecting by duties tho labor that entered into what we could make or produce at home, and of relieving from duties what we could not make or produce at home. The Act had an existence of only four years, but protectionists found in its operations the strongest historic argument in favor of their doctrine that time had up to that date produced.
They found that at the end of the protective era of 1861-1894 the county had reached its highest degree of prosperity, with a general diffusion of the comforts of life never before enjoyed by its people. The national treasury was in excellent condition, the country's credit above par, manufacturing, mining, fanning and all industries were prosperous, labor was in demand and well paid, commerce was active. Hence they naturally pointed with pride to that vindication of their doctrine found in the statistics at command, for they had seen the total wealth of the country according to the census, rise from $16,159,616,000 in 1860 to $62,610,100,000 in 1890. Railroads had increased in the same time from 30,626 miles in length to 167,471 miles.
As to manufactures they pwinted to the following census figures:
Capital in manufactures, 1880,
Employees in 1880,
Value of products 1880,
More factories were started in 1892 than in any preceding year, and in the same year the foreign trade increased $128,000,000 over that of 1891, or $400,000,000 over the average for the preceding ten years. Coastwise trade showed a proportionate increased.
No. of depositors in saving funds I860, - - $ 693,370
"" " " 1890, - - 4,258,893
Deposits in saving funds 1860, - - - 149,277,000
"" 1890, - - • 1,524,844,000
Rate of wages touched the highest point in time of peace.
Valne of farm products I860, - - $1,364,000,000
"" 1891, • - 4,500,000,000
The national debt decreased $245,000,000 from 1891 to 1893. The national income was more than enough to meet the annual expenditures.
The principal of protection was practically eliminated from our economic system by the passing of the Wilson Tariff of 1894. Pending its passage, and after the country passed through the throes of a depression which, at times, could hardly be distinguished from panic, so great was the change, or threatened change, in its economic policy. Protectionists found another powerful argument —the most powerful of any that had ever come to their support—in the condition of industrial financial and commercial affairs that set in in 1893 and lasted till 1897. They saw the manufactories of the country closed by the thousand, and innumerable hands thrown out of employment. They saw business of every kind pass into bankruptcy, credits ruined, commerce curtailed, products with