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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/23

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THE EFFECTS OF PROTECTION.

the farmer. In return, lie gets the "home market"; but, inasmuch as he gets precisely the same for his grain, whether it is sent to Liverpool or to Pittsburg for consumption, this does not seem quite compensatory.

As might be expected, the manufacturing interests make a better showing than the agricultural. Yet even in this favored branch of business the percentage of increase in 1850 and 1860 is greater than that between 1860 and 1880; if the rate shown in the former period had been maintained, the manufactured products for 1880 would have been greater in value than it is shown to be by the census by about a billion dollars. It will be observed that these figures are based upon the products of the census years 1860 and 1880, and, as the year of 1860 was one of great depression and that of 1880 of great prosperity, the facts are more strongly in favor of the low-tariff period than is indicated on the face of the figures. Thus, though the manufacturing interest is supposed to be the particular beneficiary of protection, it, too, shoulders some of the burdens of the tariff; and the New York "Evening Post" publishes a list of two hundred manufacturers who favor a reduction. Some industries, such as ship-building, have been nearly destroyed by the high tariff on everything which goes into a ship, and while in 1860 there were twenty ship-yards about New York, there is hardly one left. So with many manufacturers of hardware, which is made altogether too expensive to be readily marketable, by reason of the high cost of the material of which it is made.[1] And countless derangements and dislocations of industry might be instanced as manifestly due to the tariff. The loss of the carrying-trade has perhaps been sufficiently dwelt upon, but it is still somewhat startling to be brought face to face with the fact that, while in 1860 our ocean marine equaled England's, it at present is about seven per cent of that great country's, and is yearly decreasing. It is calculated that nearly four billion dollars have been paid out on American ocean freights since the war, of which the Americans have got very little. Not only have we lost the carrying-trade, which was rapidly falling into our

  1. In the "New York Times" of July 18, 1888, Mr. Frank Wilkeson makes a remarkable showing of the effect of the tariff on iron- and steel-making. He computes that pig-iron ought to be produced in Alabama and on the southern shore of Lake Erie at $7 per ton cheaper than anywhere else in the world, and with no reduction of wages whatever. (Moreover, he takes no account of natural gas.) He claims that iron is now made in Ohio and Alabama for little more than that amount, and that the duty of $7 per ton has simply enabled furnaces to stay in Pennsylvania, where every element of cost is very great except the cost of labor, and that the manufacture of iron is thus unnaturally expensive and profitless to everybody. Pig-iron has within eight years sold for $40 per ton, and manufacturers claim that it costs them $15. Mr. Wilkeson says, "The iron-works which will inevitably be built on the shores of Lake Erie will bankrupt every blast-furnace and rolling-mill in Europe." But not so long as a high tariff and combinations protect every manner of extravagance.