The Cortland Democrat, Friday, May 24, 1889.
The legislature has adjourned. The character of this body will not furnish a very strong argument in favor of a longer tenure of office for Members of Assembly.
The republican party believes in granting pensions to soldiers, while they give the offices to politicians. They make the old veteran feel that he is a pauper, while they reward the political trickster by giving him power and place.
Ex-Senator Saunders, father-in-law of President Harrison's son, has been appointed a member of the Utah Commission at a salary of $5,000 a year. The President seems inclined to take care of his own family first of all. Baby McKee will undoubtedly come in for a fat office soon.
Erhardt, who succeeds Magone as collector of the port of New York, will find that nearly sixty per cent of the Custom House clerks, inspectors, appraisers, watchmen and laborers are republicans. There will be but few democrats to discharge but as Mr. Erhardt is a practical republican politician, civil service rules won't stand long in his way and the office will undoubtedly very soon be managed entirely by republicans.
Bermuda potatoes are quoted in the New York markets as worth from four to seven dollars per barrel, while American potatoes are a drug in the market at fifty cents per barrel. What is the matter with the tariff on potatoes? Isn't it about time it was getting in its work in favor of the American potato grower? If the farmers of Cortland County ever needed its assistance they need it now. Can it be possible that these Bermuda potatoes were raised by "pauper labor," shipped here "as ballast" and pay a tariff of fifteen cents per bushel, and yet bring two dollars per bushel? There must be something wrong about the tariff or protection would surely protect.
The Albany Journal (Rep.) referring to the rascality of the legislature, says: "The Republican party's managers in the interior counties should see to it that no more of the purchasable ilk come back to Albany." The Journal ought to know and probably does know, that its advice will go unheeded. The party managers of the interior counties are in favor of the slick sort of politicians and will not only assist them to obtain the nominations but will vote for them after they are nominated, with a full understanding of the fact that their candidate belongs to the "purchasable ilk." Indeed, it seems to be the general rule in these days, that an official who has an opportunity to dispose of his vote or influence for hard cash, and does not at once close the bargain, is looked upon as a fool. He gets no credit for integrity, but is looked upon with contempt for what they term his wonderful simplicity and his political career is soon ended. On the other hand if he has an eye to business, takes all the bribes that are offered and comes home with a handsome bank account to his credit, and has voted on the right side on all local bills, he is counted a good man and is pretty sure of a reelection. Such a state of public opinion is to be regretted but it cannot be denied that it exists and it will continue to be so, just so long as church members and men who lay claim to morality contribute funds to be used in purchasing votes. There is a large field of labor in the ranks of the republican party for an evangelist and there is no better time to commence work than the present.
Six Thousand People Homeless.
QUEBEC, May 17.—The Saint Sauveur fire has burned itself out. Seven hundred houses were burned, and as a large number were tenements occupied by more than one family, the number of families rendered homeless will reach 1,200; comprising about 6,000 souls, Application has been made for use of the Government building to shelter those who are camped out in the fields. Food is being distributed liberally by the clergy. A majority of the homeless belong to the working class and, as insurance rates were almost prohibitive, very few have anything to fall back on. The total loss is estimated at $600,000; insurance $130,000.
Carnegie's Two Reductions.
PITTSBURGH, May 17.—A notice will be posted at Carnegie's Homestead steel plant to-morrow, announcing that a new sliding scale, based on the selling prices of steel blooms, will go into effect on July 1, at the expiration of the amalgamated scale. It is stated in the announcement that the scale must be signed for two years, and after that either party can withdraw from it upon giving six months' notice. The new scale made up is on the basis of $27.50 per ton for steel blooms, with the minimum at $25. It will be a reduction averaging twenty per cent, and will fall most heavily upon the high-priced men, whose wages will be cut in some instances from fifty to sixty per cent. The new scale is similar to the one in operation at the Edgar Thompson plant of the same firm, with the exception that the scale will be based on blooms instead of rails. If the Carnegies are successful in introducing the scale, it will probably be adopted in all the other steel mills.—New York Tribune.
A year ago almost to a day, Andrew Carnegie reduced the wages of the men in his iron and steel mills ten per cent. By its so-called "protective policy" the Republican party for years had transferred millions of dollars from the pockets of the people of this country into Carnegie's pockets. Carnegie, of course, wanted that policy kept up. When he reduced wages ten per cent a year ago, he told his men and the public that he did so because he was "afraid" the people would re-elect President Cleveland. He told his men that a reduction of wages was necessary because the Democratic party was in power. As he was about to sail for England, to take James G. Blaine to Cluny castle in his four-in-hand, he told workingmen through the New York Tribune how the Democrats were bringing about suffering and privation. In an interview in the New York Tribune, May 23, 1888, Carnegie said:
"About labor? I think that this year will see a great depression in all branches of labor; in fact, almost a complete paralysis in many branches. That, of course, means great suffering and privation for the poor. It is a very sad prospect, but I can see no remedy just at present under the existing state of things. How do I account for it? It is all owing to the great uncertainty in regard to the tariff."
Thanks to "fat" furnished by Carnegie and others of his kind, the Republican party won at the November election, the "uncertainty in regard to the tariff" was removed, and the people are still to be compelled to pay millions in taxes for the benefit of Carnegie and his kind. Instead of increasing wages or even maintaining them, Mr. Carnegie this year, after the triumph of the "protective system," reduces wages twenty per cent, double the reduction of last year, and in some instances more. Mr. Carnegie has little to say about the "beneficent doctrine of protection to labor" this year. He even finds no comfort in the "home market." His explanation of the reduction of wages, this year, is as follows:
"The truth is, our country can not consume the amount of pig iron which it has the capacity to produce. The eastern drop has been hastened by southern competition. You know I told the legislature, in my address, that this competition would soon be felt. It has come sooner than I expected. That the consumption of iron and steel is as great as it is, arises from the fact that owing to the advance in prices abroad the American manufacturers are left for the first time in almost complete control of our home markets. But even under these conditions the country can not take the amount we are prepared to make, and prices must rule low until a number of furnaces and mills conclude that it is better to stop for a while than to continue running. It seems probable that this will soon occur, for furnaces can not afford to pay the prices demanded for ore and run at the rates now ruling for pig iron."
These two reductions of wages by Carnegie last year and this year, may be studied with advantage by every man who works for wages in the country. The lesson is so plain that no newspaper need teach it. The facts are simple and easy to understand. Even the New York Tribune sees that men are beginning even more earnestly to feel and think about the injustice of the tax system, for it plainly declares: "The American workingman is also a ruler of his country. No governmental policy will stand long which does not commend itself to him as just and beneficent. * * * * If manufacturers wish to break down the protective system they have only to make working people feel that it is not for their benefit."—Albany Argus.
A good many paper mills are going up.
The anthracite coal production is 100,000 tons per day.
Knoxville and Nashville, Tenn., are looming up as great manufacturing centers.
Dr. C. M. Bliven of Ithaca is said to have recently cured eight out of ten horses afflicted with lock-jaw.
Saturday afternoon Del and Jimmie Mudge, aged respectively 13 and 9 years, who reside near New Berlin, were playing near their home, and the earth caved in upon them, killing both.
Watch movements are now made so cheaply by machinery that they cost at wholesale less than a dollar apiece.
Notices were posted last week Friday of a reduction of 10 per cent in the wages of all the employees of the Dickson Manufacturing Company of Scranton, Pa., to take effect May 15th. The reduction affects about 900 men.
Rev. John A. King, of Old Forge township, Pa., was jailed Monday, charged with having assaulted Julia A. Heiss, a respectable girl 15 years of age. King is a Salvation Army preacher and the girl had attended his meetings.
Friday morning an enormous sturgeon was captured in the vicinity of the lower dam at Oswego. A man saw the big fish in the river and started for a grappling hook. During his absence, however, another man tackled the fish with a pike-pole and succeeded in landing it. It weighed 128 pounds.
Sunday morning some boys in Binghamton found a ''queer looking tin box." They thought it would be fun to see if the thing would explode, and laying it on a stone walk struck it with a stone. It exploded and carried away a part of Charley Costello's right hand. It was a railway torpedo.
In the supreme court at Auburn Friday afternoon the jury in the case of Mackie against the town of Locke, returned a verdict of $4,000 for plaintiff. Mr. Mackie was thrown from his conveyance and seriously injured. He claimed the road was in a dangerous condition. As soon as the jury announced the verdict court adjourned.