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hundred to one thousand millions of dollars for one, two, or three years, does it pot produce distress to have so much capital tied up ?
Q. That is not the case. The money is deposited in the banks.-A. But it is held there subject to the order of the court.
Q. But it is held there as a deposit; the bank holds it as other money.-A. I am not aware of that.
Q. But it is the fact.-A. I think not, sir. Under the law they are not allowed to speculate with it.
Q. It is not speculation.--A. My impression is that the proceeds are locked up. Q. Well, the money itself is not locked up.-A. Well, it is a matter of no importance whether it is the proceeds or the money, it is locked up as loug as the estate is in bankruptcy.
Q. It is kept from the creditors.-A. Yes; and they are generally business men. Q. But it is loaned out?-A. Are you speaking from actual knowledge, sir ?
The CHAIRMAN. I have had some knowledge of bankrupt estates, but it does not bear out your statements. Every bauk keeps a margin on hand, of course. If you can give us any instance of money being locked up, and kept from circulation, we will be very mucb obliged to you. Mr. HASTINGS. Yes, sir.
VIEWS OF MR. THOMAS GOODWIN. THOMAS S. Goodwin, who gave his residence as Port Richmond, Staten Island, and said his occupation was that of a physician, next appeared before the committte, and requested to be heard. His request being granted, he spoke as follows:
I bave spent half of my professional labors among families wbo are utterly unable to pay, for want of employment. I wish to speak to the point that has already been presented, the necessity of reducing the rate of interest, and to make money circulate. I hold that there is money enough ; its accumulations are unhealthy for a republic: they are only adapted for monarchical institutions. The remedy for the evil would be to bring the money we have already into natural 11se ivstead of having it capitalized out of the reach of those who need it. To accomplish this I propose an income iax of a progressive character, with a view to reduce the value of accumulated capital, lay a tax on it that will discourage vast accumulations, even compel them to be scattered, to make these vast accumulations impossible; by putting an increased percentage on increased accumulations, you will discourage the furor with which the coinmunity is induced to accumulate vast useless masses of property while the masses of the people are starving for want of the facilities which that money would afford.
Q. You would put a differential income tax-would you put it upon the assessed income. or on the value?--A. I would put it on both. Q. That, of course, would reduce the net income!-A. It would.
By Mr. THOMPSON: Q. If you taxed it up to such a rate that a man could invest his capital to better advantage in another conutry where the tax was less onerous, then what would you do?-A. Let him go with it. The country is better off without him.
Q. Then you think the country would be better off without that man than haring him with his capital ?- 1. If it could be got out of the country. Capital is like the circulation in the system; if the blood circulates properly, there is no danger.
By Mr. RICE: Q. Countries without capital don't sbow to the best advantage-don't show the best achievements. Take Turkey, for example. Turkey is a country with little capital?A. Allow me to suggest another; take the islands of the Pacific ; they are happy, and filling all the conditions of society better than we are.
Q. Would you be glad to see this country brought to the condition of the islands of the Pacitic ?-A. Not so low, but
Q. Let me formulate my argument in this way. Suppose the capital all got into the hands of a single man and another beld all the merchandise, and another beld the real estate. Now, how near do you desire to come to that condition? When that time arrived would it be an advantage to send these men away to another country?-A. It would. If these men and their capital could be got rid of it would put society in a fresh condition.
Q. In other words, if the man tbat had the capital and the man that had the mer. chandise went away, leaving the land to the people, the people would be better off :A. Yes, sir.
By Mr. THOMPSON: Q. Would not the climate be rather against that theors?-A. I was going to sas that we are now living in a European city on an American border. It is the doctrine of the United States to receive all.
The CHAIRMAN. I think it proper to state that the committee has been very willing to hear everybody's views, but the time is coming now when it must begin to summon witnesses, and gentlemen who want to appear must send in their applications in advance. Tbe committee is desirous to obtain all shades of views, but after this it will summon witnesses. It has adopted the following resolution:
Resolved, That the committee invite employers and others engaged in business operations to give evidence before the committee, or in writing, upon subject-matter included in tbe resolution under wbich the cominittee is acting, and to send their aildress to the chairman in order that notice may be given as to the time when the evidence inay be taken.
Adjourned to Augnst 3, 1378, at 11 a. m.
New York, dugust 3, 1878. The committee met pursuant to adjournment. Present, Messrs. Rice, Thompson, and Boyd.
Mr. Thompson. Mr. Hewitt, in consequence of indisposition, is unable to be p 'esent this morning, and requests is to go on withont him, and we will do so. Mr. Williain A. Carsey is the first gentleman on the list this morning, and we are re:dy to hear him.
VIEWS OF MR. WILLIAM A. CARSEY. WILLIAM A. CARSEY appeared and made the following statement :
By Mr. THOMPSON: Question. State wbat organization you represent.-Auswer. I am secretary of the general committee of the Greenback Labor party, and a member in good standing of the Bricklayers' Union in this city, and had the honor to be elected president of our Trade and Labor Union in this city two years ago.
Q. In wbat capacity do you appear now ? -A. In those various capacities, as a workingman representing those organizations.
By Mr. RICE: Q. What is your own business ?-A. Bricklayer, and sometimes an editor. I came bere as a representative workingman to-day to present what I consider is needed for the immediate relief of the people. I don't wish to discuss theories, and will say very little about causes. We know the present condition of the country, and of the people in the country. The workingmen at my trade and others are idle most all of the time. In certain cases people don't get work on an average six months in the year. The wages we get don't suffice for the support of our families, and that is the reason I became au editor. Of course we have our reason for tbat-the want of proper legislio tion in Washington; and still we have an abundance of all the necessaries of life and suficient to support all our wants if we had proper legislation. The first thing we ask is the passage of the homestead bill before Congress.
Q. You say there is general depression of business; bave you any view in relation to what causes that ?-A. Legislation in the interest of classes.
Q. Specify any particular class.-A. Banking interests, lauded interesis, and railroad companies: we bave given away all the national wealth of the comtry to classes who employ or disemploy the people at their own pleasure. They regulate the supply by the wants of the market, and enslave the mass of the people, and, if they do not see fit to employ the people, those in their employ are thrown out on the community without ary means to sustain themselves or their families. Railroads pass into the bands of three or four men wbo have under their control some hundreds of thousauds of people They can raise or depress prices as they please, and they can cast out in the community, and they do cast out in the community, through improvements of all kinds and inventions of all kinds, their employés. Then we have the concentration of wealth in the bands of great manufacturers, great business men, and the middlemen ly that concentration of wealth have been cast out on the community without any means of sustenance for their families, and, as all the wealth is now earned, or held, rather, by individuals, a man disemployed for any cause cannot employ himself. There is no provision for his employment, and we ask legislation so that if a man possessing no capital of his own cannot maintain his family, then the government sball step in as employer. I would do tbat, and then men can get the means of supporting life. We have in the city thousands of people who cannot find employment. This bill would furnish a way for those people to make a living for themselves on the public lands.
Q. Wbat provision do you propose by that bill ?-A. The government will assist people by transportation, loan of seeds, and tools, and lumber, avd other pecessaries to settle on the public lands, those materials to be loaned to them for five, ten, or fifteen years at a low rate of interest, to be paid back to the government, as the government It says:
of Australia, Canada, Brazil, and our own government before the war, and as Connecticut and other States did with the people. In the early days Connecticut, Massachusetts, and other States assisted the people to settle on farms. It was a good policy at that time, and we consider it a good policy to-day. The money wonld be safely invested by the government, and would cost the government nothing but the printing of it, and it would be paid to the government with interest, and to the benefit of the country and the people at large. The next relief we ask for the people is the development of our count by a great system of internal improvements, such as the Hudson River improvement, the Mississippi River, canals, docks and harbors, and the Texas Pacific Railroad, those roads and canals to be built by the government engineers, and our own citizens to be employed on them, and paid a fair day's pay for a fair day's work, and if a man would not do a fair day's work, employ another man in his place. The money to do that work might be greenbacks, as we employed our soldiers during the war and paid them in greenbacks; any government currency the governinent sees fit to issue. Those measures, by employing our people and putting them to work to produce wealth, would lead to the inflation of prices. All speculative men, seeing the rising prices, would invest in business. To-day, through the withdrawal of the currency, prices are falling, and the result is that any man tbat embarks in any business will be bankrupt. By the time be bas built a house prices are so depreciated his house is mortgaged, and we cannot expect any property until there is an intlation of the currency, an employment of the people, and a rise in prices.
Q. Do you mean that the depreciation in values is yet going on ?--A. I have here the Herald of the day before yesterday. It is not a paper in our interests, and not apt to tell the truth in its editorial columns, but it gi ves the business news. ** July proved to be a disastrous month in business circles, and sixty-seven failures are reported in this city with aggrégate liabilities amounting to $5,738,171. This shɔws an increase of thirteen failures over the record for the month of June and an increase in the total liabilities $1,400,000.” Every one of those meu that failed pulled down some other houses connected with them.
Q. I ask yon whether in your opinion the repeal of the bankrupt law has not bad something to do with increasing the number of failures ?--A. It certainly has had such an effect, but under this bankrupt system any man that wishes to defraud his ereditors could bave gone into bankruptcy without waiting for the effect of this law.
Q. A limit has been fixed to the operation of that law. Has it not, in your opinion, had the effect to increase the number of failu res ?-A. It had this effect. An honest man that wished to pay his creditors would continue to struggle to pay them, but a man that sees this bankrupt repeal hanging over him, that has a doubt that he can pay his debts, he will rush in and take advantage of the bill, and by so doing destroy convidence, and pull downl other men that attempt to carry on business, and one failure will produce another. As a future remedy we would advocate industrial education. We hold that our present system of education is false. It is a commercial system. We teach our children to be clerks, merchants, lawyers, and ministers. We don't teach them to earn a living by industrial labor. The result is the young men of America don't like to learn farming or mechavical business, and it is as necessary that we should educate our farmers and mechanics as to educate lawyers and doctors. We bave a surplus of lawyers and doctors and middlemen in the market to-day because of our system of edncation, and it would be as wise to establish great mechanical schools as to establish West Points and Annapolises to instruct people in the art of war.
Q. Is there not a surplus of mechanics, as of lawyers and doctors 1-A. Yes, sir; but not as great a surplus of them as men without halt a trade who try to make their living by their wits. Look out on Broadway at twelve o'clock any day, and you will see 100,000 people who have no visible means of support. In connection with that system of industrial education we believe we should have a bureau of industry as we have a bureau of agriculture, so as to have an intelligent system of production and consumption in this country. Under this present system we have no intelligent guide for the mercbants or business men to regulate their productions by. Every man speculates and takes his chances. We should have a bureau that would collect information as to the productions of the country, so that an intelligent man, by studying the report of that bureau, can estimate the amount of crops to be produced next year; and if we had a bureau of industry it would not only benefit the working classes, but would benefit every manufacturer and producer, for he would know the amount of goods in the market and the amount likely to be required the succeeding year in the market. We desire to abolish the contract system on all public works for two reasons. One reason is that by the contract system the labor, given out as it is to the lowest bidder, necessitates swivdling on the part of the contractor. I have been a contractor myself and speak from the card. You must estimate on the worst materials in the market and the low. est labor in the market; and the system has become so corrupt that you must estimate on swindling in some manner by collusion with the inspector or by cheating the man yon furnish the work to. For instance, this great Bergen tunnel through New Jersey: as a praclical inechanic, I know that parts of that tunuul are but a shell; that twenty or thirty
yards of that tunnel, where it ought to be filled in and made solid, has been left unfilled and a shell built np by the time the inspector came around. Some of these days there will be an accident in that tunnel, and it will be considered inevitable. That Hackensack bridge, that goes across the marsh, has been tilled in with all sorts of loose stutt. Lots of materials bave been dumped into the piers without any cement. One of these days the piers will give way and we will have an accident there, as it will be called. So it is in building a house; I myself have worked on houses where they took up bricks by the armful and dropped tbem in the wall without a bit of mortar.
Q. Would you by Congressional legislation attempt to regulate the privato business of corporations ?-A. No, sir; not at present. We don't expect to accomplish those reforms for a generation, but the government has the power and authority to regulate its own work by the day system on public work, and the example of the government will go a great way to establish the system on private work.
Another reason we are opposed to the contract system is this: The contractor must estimate on the lowest labor in this market and in the foreign market, and he employs the lowest labor to be found-Chinese and Italians--and the American cannot compete with these people, and under the contract system he is driven out of employment. In the city of New York there are but 17 per cent. of the workingmen employeddriven out of employment by cheap labor competition-and I don't consider it a wise system of this government to drive out its own people and bring in other people. The Pacitic road was built by importing Chinese labor. Before building that road the people in California were all prosperous, and the people in Colorado were prosperous. To-day they are in a worse condition than the East. We believe in a protective taritt. I do not consider it right to export our raw material to foreign countries to be manufactured and import labor or manufactured goods in its place. We don't consider it a wise system to export $300,000,000 of raw materials and import $600,000,000 of man!factured goods. We produce an abundance of raw material, and have enough food in this country to feed our people, and we don't consider it a wise system to import manufactured materials and leave our people to starve; and we lose by the exchange of money, and by the injury we do our people, and we think the legislature should pass laws forbidding the exportation of raw materials and
the importation of manufactured goods that we could wanufacture ourselves. That is all I would suggest as to the remedies.
Q. How wonld yon provide for the revenues of the government ?-A. If we employ our own people, the people can afford to pay taxes to the government, as we did during the war. Daring the war, owing to the operations of the Alabama, we were a self-producing people.
Q. Wbat mode of taxation would you suggest ?-A. We consider the only bonest system of taxation a direct taxation on every person according to the woulth he possesses.
Q. An income tax ?-A. Yes, sir ; we think the wealthy man, who enjoys the protection of this country and its laws, slould pay for that protection in the ratio according to the protection he receives. If the government benefits a man to accumulate a million dollars, he should be willing to pay for it. If a man is a poor man, he shoule pay a direct income tax accordiog to the amonnt he receives. I would like to impress upon the members of this committee the belief I have, from studying this question-and I have studied it for years—that unless soniething is done this winter we cannot pass through this year without trouble. I am a member of all the trade organizations, open and secret, and I know tho condition of those people, and I would ask the members of Congress to impress upon the minds of their fellow Congressmen the necessity of passing measures to employ the people and give them an opportunity to earn their living. The men are willing to wait for these and other reforms, if you give them a chance to earn a living for their families; and I know, from studying the matter, that, unless something is done to employ the people, this winter cannot pass without a continuance of the labor riots of last summer.
By Mr. Rice: Q. In view of what you bave said, I should like to ask you two or three questions. You believe in a protective tariff, and you also believe in a duty upon exports, that is, in preventing our raw material from being exported—you believe in imposing a duty on imports and a duty on exports ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. So that the industries of our own country may be built up and made to do all the work that is to be done here?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. You believe in a bureau of industry. Now, has not the government attempted to do the work which you desire a bureau of industry should do by various bureaus, such as the Bureau of Agriculture and the bureau of the Department of the luterior, which is collecting statistics about as fast as it can. It is in that live that you desire to have the investigation made, I suppose ? —A. Yes, sir; but we would want to bave a boreau established with power to recommend measures of relief.
Q. You want that systematized and made more thorough thau it is ?-A. It ought to be uvified and collected together. We have those different departments and commissioners.
Q. Speaking of the farmers, for instance, you know there are already officers of the government who are engaged in collecting these statistics and in making their reports ?-A. Potato-bug commissioners.
Q. Yes; that is what you want, is it not ? – A. Yes, sir. Speaking of our present potato-bug commissioners, I was in Leavenworth City, Kaps., wben the first grassbopper reached there. They covered a space of less than a quarter of a mile. If there bad been a systematized bureau of industry, of agriculture, those grasshoppers could bave been destroyed with an expenditure of $10,000.
Q. Ought not the State governments to do that rather than the Federal Government, with a general supervision on the part of the Federal Government?-A. It would be more complex to attempt to establish a system of that kind by States, and they would conflict with each other. We are concentrating everything in the hands of the general government. The working classes are not opposed to the centralization of power in the hands of their own servants at Washington.
Q. You believe in a strong central government ?-A. We believe in a strong centralized government.
Q. Which should oversee all these general matters of progress and reform, and should establish a thorough and efficient system of internal improvement, as I understand ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. They should be carried on by the general government ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. How about a Navy ?-A. If we had our way with the Navy, we would build 100 or 200 vessels and put them to useful employment; make then cruisers, suitable for war in war, and, in peace, to be put to use in commerce. We would put our sailors to work, and put the soldiers out on the prairies to make homes for themselves.
Q. You favor a liberal expenditure for those purposes 1-A. We believe it is wiser and better to invest capital in labor, and the sooner we do it the better. We can not be too liberal when we employ it in useful industry.
Q. You say you would have the government build the Texas Pacific Railroad !--A. That would be enough for this year.
Q. You would have it build railroads wherever they are needed ?-A. Yes, sir; I think the government should build its railroads for the people.
Q. Suppose you should find that some other road was needed more than the Texas Pacific Railroad, what then 1-A. I only cite that as an instance.
Q. All these roads that run from one point of the country to a distant point you would have the government superviso then. How would you have the government build them-build them directly by its own employés, or through contractors ?-A. Directly through its own employés, and pay cash for the roads it builds.
Q. What do you think has been the result of experience heretofore in having the government build those works itself ?-A. They bave been good when the government has done it, and not given it to agents. The Erie Canal is an instance, and during the war the Government employed two millions of men and built railroads and forts and dug canals. Some of them were failures. The government can carry on any enterprise, if it attempts to do it, vastly better than private individuals can. Take this building, for instance, the fire department of the city, and the police department, and all the other departments that benefit the rich they are always done by the government. We ask the government, that watches over its moneyed classes and gives them government money for their gain, that it shall do the same for the working classes. If it is good for the rich men, it ought to be good for us.
Q. I want your opinion as to whether the building of railroads and other improvements could be done to better advantage by the government directly rather than by corporations or parties employed by the government, and perhaps aided by the government to build them? Does not the government get cheated more in its day's work than individuals who are looking alter their own workingmen do?-A. No, sir; I don't think it does.
Q. You think the government, with a tbon and men to work for it, would get as much work from them as a contractor with the same pumber of workmen ?-A. Yes, sir; if the government likes to have that work bonestly conducted and employs competent workmen, it can have the pick of the brains and labor of this country. It can carry that work on just as well as any contractor, and it has no middlemen's profits to pay.
Q. Is there any danger that politicians wonld get into control of those works ?-A. There is no reason they should, any more than they should get control of the postoffice.
Q. But they do get control of it a good deal ?-A. That is for you, gentlemen, to remedy at Washington.
Q. But suppose we cannot, you have got to help 118.-A. We are willing to belp you, and you can if you wish to. You can get a man to do his duty as a public ofticer by fine and imprisonment, if necessary, and the government should see that this work is