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152,101,001 acres, and the unsurveyed lands to the revenue from them would be increased which the Indian title has been extinguished one and a half millions of dollars per annum; 71,048,214 acres, (per table Z.) The adoption and, according to the same reasoning, if of these two measures, for the reasons stated in my previous reports, would augment the rev
they were reduced to twenty-five cents per enue a million and a half of dollars per annum,
acre, the revenue from them would be still operating as they would on 223,149,215 acres. greater, for the same reason that an averIt would, at the same time, increase the wages age duty of twenty-five per cent. on imof labor, by enabling a much larger number of ports, will produce more revenue than fifty the working classes to purchase farms at the per cent. would do. But whether there low price, whilst it would, at the same time, be a revenue standard of the public lands, augment the wealth and power of the whole
or what that standard is, if there be one, country. “When the public lands have been offered a
we are not informed. long time for a price they will not bring, the
Now it strikes us that the reason more failure to reduce the price is equivalent in its lands are not sold, is because more are not effects to an enactment by Congress that these wanted for settlement and cultivation, and lands shall not be sold and settled for an un
not because of their high price. To those limited period. The case is still stronger as
who want them, the public lands are very to the unsurveyed lands: there being an act of Congress forbidding their sale or settlement, cheap at a dollar and a quarter per acre"; and denouncing as criminals, and as trespass- to those who do not want them, they ers, the American pioneers who would desire to would be dear at twenty-five cents an acre. enter in advance into the wilderness, cover it A certain portion of the population of the with farms and towns, with the church and the old States desire annually to emigrate and school-house, extend over it the blessings of settle on the public lands. In other words, our free institutions, and enlarge by the axe and
there is a market for a given number of the plough, the cultivated area of the American Union.
acres of the public lands every year. The "Should the system proposed be now adopted, quantity wanted increases as our populathe surveyed as well as the unsurveyed lands tion increases, nor can it be essentially inopened to pre-emptors, and the Indian title ex creased by reducing the price of the lands. tinguished within the coming year, or that If the public lands were reduced to a dime which succeeds it, in addition to lowa and Wisconsin, we should soon have two new States, in the old States would not buy them.
an acre, the great mass of the population Winesota and Itasca, in the great valley of the West, adjoining Wisconsin and lowa. In: The Secretary's project, therefore, for instead of draining the old States of their popula- creasing the revenue, by a reduction in the tion, the graduation and pre-emption system price of the public lands, would be very will, in a series of years, increase their pros- likely to result as his project for increasperity by giving them customers in the west ing the revenue from imports, by reducing who will carry to them their products and re
the rate of duty, has resulted. ceive their imports or fabrics in exchange, in
By reducing the price of those lands creasing the transportation upon our railroads and canals, and augmenting our foreign as well
which have been a long time in the market, as coastwise tonnage. The distribution of the he would probably divert a part of the proceeds of the sales of these lands is prevented current of emigration to those lands, and for at least twenty years by the act of 28th thereby prevent the sale of those of higher January, 1817, setting apart and pledging their price, which would still farther diminish proceeds to the extinguishment of the public the revenue. The million and a half of debt. So far also as distribution may have been advocated with a view to favor a protective tariff, revenue, therefore, anticipated from this it is now proved that a tariff for revenue not project, is not likely to be realized, and only yields a larger income than the protective that sum will also have to be supplied by system, but also advances more rapidly, in a loan. series of years, the prosperity of the manufac
All the Secretary's estimates are 'ased turers themselves, by the augmentation of their
upon the exports, and consequent imports, foreign and domestic markets."
of 1847, and can, therefore wever be realThe present price of the public lands is ized except in years of amine in Europe ; one dollar and a quarter per acre, and the and yet, according to these estimates, he Secretary thinks, if their price was re will want a loan of $18,500,000, to carry duced to seventy-five or fifty cents per on the government the present year. Add acre, (although he does not say how much,) | to this the million and a half which he ex
VOL. I. NO. IV. NEW SERIES.
pects, but will not get, from the public | therefore to predict, that instead of thirtylands, and the amount wanted will be one millions of dollars from the customs, twenty millions. Thus he says :
the treasury will not receive over twenty
six, and probably less than twenty-five “ The new tariff has now been in operation millions. Had the Secretary given us the more than twelve months, and has greatly aug- imports and exports from the first of Demented the revenue and prosperity of the coun
cember, 1846, to the first of December, try. The net revenue from duties during the 1847, we could have predicted with more twelve months ending 1st December, 1847, under the new tariff, is $31,300,000, being confidence. Supposing, then, that all the $8,528,396 more than was received during the other estimates and calculations of the twelve months preceding, under the tariff of Secretary are correct, which they are far 1842. The net revenue of the first quarter of from being, and he will need a loan, the the first fiscal year, under the new tariff, was
present year, of more than twenty-five mill$11,106,257 41 cents, whilst, in the same
ions of dollars. Now an addition of sevenquarter of the preceding year, under the tariff of 1842, the net revenue was only $6,153,826
teen per cent. to the present duties, 58. If the revenue for the three remaining properly distributed over the whole of quarters should equal in the average the first
, | our imports, would have produced just then the net revenue fron duties during about that sum, and this would be a much the fiscal year of the new tariff would be more statesman-like measure, than a loan $44,425,029 64. If, however, the comparison of twenty-five millions of dollars in the is founded on all the quarterly returns for forty present, or any other condition of public eight years, (as far back as given quarterly in Credit likely to exist, under the administhe treasury record,) and the same proportion for the several quarters applied to the first tration of President Polk and Secretary quarter of the year, it would make its net rev Walker. enue, per table C, $40,388,045. Although the On the 14th of March, 1842, Sir R. net revenue from duties already received, being Peel, then Premier of England, made the $15,506,257 41, during the five months of this following exhibit to the House of Comfiscal year, would seem to indicate its probable mons, as his estimate of the sources and amount not less than $35,000,000, yet it is estimated at $31,000,000 for the fiscal year ending amount of the British revenue, for the year 30th June, 1848, and $32,000,000 for the suc- ending the 5th of April, 1843 :ceeding year, in view of the possible effects of the revulsion in Great Britain. Although our I estimate the revenues, says the Premier, atprosperity is ascribed to the famine there, as Customs,
£22,500,000 though Providence had made the advance of Excise,
13,450,000 one country depend upon the calamities of an
7,000,000 other, yet it is certain that our trade with Great Taxes, (land tax, we suppose,) 4,400,000 Britain must be greater in a series of years, Post Office,
500,000 when prosperity would enable her to buy more Crown Lands,
150,000 from us (especially cotton) and at better prices, Miscellanies,
250,000 and sell us more in exchange, accompanied by an augmentation of revenue.'
Total, £48,350,000 To realize the Secretary's anticipations From the above table it will be perand estimates, our exports, during the ceived that more than one hundred millpresent year, must come nearly up to ions of dollars, almost one half the two hundred millions of dollars. Sup- enormous income of England, is derived
tariff on all our im- from the customs. The amount of exports ports to be seventeen per centum, which and imports, upon which that enormous is nearly two per cent. more than it was sum was to be collected, are not given, last year, and that our imports do not and we have not at hand the means of exceed our exports more than five per ascertaining, but we may be sure, that the cent., which they probably will not do; then imports rather fell short than exceeded to raise a revenue of thirty-one millions | two hundred millions of dollars, and of of dollars, will require our exports to ex- ' course, the average duty on the whole ceed one hundred and seventy millions of import exceeded fifty per centum. This dollars, which every well-informed man is the English doctrine of free trade! which knows will not be the case. We undertake Secretary Walker lauds so highly, re
duced to practice, for the British tariff has oppressiveness of English taxation pronot since been so modified, as to reduce ceeds from the excise, the land tax, the the amount of revenue from the customs window tax, and the hearth tax-in short, a single million of dollars. The only ma from the taxes properly so called, and not terial reduction in the British tariff, which from the imports, which, properly speakour free trade party bruit so much, is the ing, are not taxes. Except for the necesreduction of the duties on bread stuff's saries of life, no man pays an impost and provisions, which never amounted to unless he pleases, and the necessaries of a million of dollars a year.
life are the subject of imposts to a very The population of the United States small extent in any country, because, as may be estimated at twenty millions, and a general rule, every nation produces its until the last year our exports of domestic own necessaries of life. A nation that products, in value, never exceeded about depended on other nations for any conone hundred millions of dollars, sometimes siderable portion of the necessaries of life, a little more, and sometimes a little less. would be in a very precarious condition, The population of the British isles may and could not long exist as a nation. be estimated at twenty-eight millions. Besides, the domestic product in every There can be no doubt, but what the nation always regulates the market for exports of the United States, in propor- the necessaries of life, such as bread and tion to their population, are, and always meat; and hence, the importer, or foreign have been, equal to the exports of Eng- producer, and not the consumer, must pay land in proportion to her population. As the impost on these articles. Therefore England manufactures nearly everything it is, that the market price of flour in for herself, it is natural to suppose that England regulates the price of flour in ours would be the largest, but suppose Ohio. If a duty of one dollar a barrel them to be equal; then if twenty millions is laid on flour in England, flour immediof people export one hundred millions of ately falls a dollar a barrel in Ohio. If produce, twenty-eight millions of people that duty is taken off, flour rises a dollar would export one hundred and forty mill a barrel in Ohio; so that an English imions of produce; or if we take the last post on flour is, in reality, a tax on the year as the base of our calculations, and people of Ohio and others, who supply that twenty millions of people exported the English markets, and not on the peoone hundred and fifty millions of produce, ple of England. A duty of a dollar a then, by the same rule, twenty-eight mill- barrel, would not raise the price of flour ions of people would export two hundred to the consumer ten cents a barrel. The and ten millions of produce, so that the balance of the impost would have to be average of duties would still be about fifty paid by the producer. Hence, the hunper centum upon the whole imports of Eng- dred millions of dollars of revenue, which land. This exhibit of the English Premier England annually collects from her comshows what an enormous amount of reve merce, is not paid by the people of Engnue may be collected from imports with land, but by the people of the whole out oppression or inconvenience to the world with whom she deals. This is one people. Although England collects over of the main-springs of England's power. one hundred millions of dollars per annum She levies tribute upon the whole world, from her commerce, which does not ex but pays tribute to nobody.
She merely ceed the commerce of the United States humbugs the nations with the phantom of more than one-third, yet this enormous free trade. sum is annually paid by somebody, with So long as no duty is imposed on tea, little or no complaint by the people of coffee, and spices, an opulent farmer and England, except the trifling sum collected a comfortable liver in our country will be on bread stuffs. Take away the corn under no necessity of consuming a single laws, which have not yielded a hundred article in his family on which either a tax thousand pounds sterling a year for the or a duty has been paid by anybody. last twenty years, and there has been little How absurd then to talk about an impost or no complaint by the people of England, being oppressive to the people. What about the duties on English imports. The we call the comforts and luxuries of life,
are the principal subjects of duties, and sions absurd, as we shall proceed to show. these are usually prized in proportion to We owe an apology to our readers, for so their cost. The stronger an article smells long a quotation of such stuff, but we of money, the more distinction its use will could not well abridge or divide it without confer, and the more it will be coveted by marring its beauty. The Secretary says: those who have the means of paying for it. “In my report of July 22, 1846, it was shown There is therefore no danger that high that the annual value of our products exceeds duties will ever prevent the importation of three thousand millions of dollars. Our populaforeign products, to the full amount of our
tion doubles once in every twenty-three years, exports. The history of English commerce
and our products quadruple in the same period furnishes abundant proof of this fact. A
--that being the time within which a sum comduty of four or five hundred per centum pounding itself quarter yearly at six per cent.
interest will be quadrupled—as is sustained does not prevent the consumption of to- here
here by the actual results. Of this $3,000,bacco in England, from which the govern-000,000, only about $150,000,000 was ment derives an enormous revenue. The ported abroad, leaving $2,850,000,000, used greater portion of this revenue, it is true, is at home, of which at least $500,000,000 paid by the consumers, but up to some
is annually interchanged between the sev
eral States of the Union. Under this system, thirty or forty per cent. the producer would the larger the area, and the greater the pay a part. So a duty by our govern- variety of climate, soil, and products
, the more ment, of two or three hundred per cent. on extensive is the commerce which must exist wine and silks, would not prevent them between the States, and the greater the value from being imported and consumed in of the Union. We see then here, under the large quantities. Who ever heard of an system of free trade among the States of the article of luxury being so dear, that no- Union, an interchange of products of the an
nual value of at least $500,000,000 among our body would buy it ? High duties are as
twenty-one millions of people ; whilst our total much and even more complained of by exchanges, including imports and exports, producers, than by consumers ; but if the with all the world besides, containing a popuduties are included in the price the con- lation of a thousand millions, was last year sumer pays for the goods, the producer $305,194,260, being an increase since the new would have no cause to complain of the
tariff over the preceding year of $70,014,647. duty. If a duty of a dollar a barrel on
Yet the exchanges between our States, consistflour raised the price of flour a dollar a
ing of a population of twenty-one millions, be
ing of the yearly value of $500,000,000 exbarrel in the English market, what cause changed, make such exchange in our own would the American producer have to country equal to $23 81 per individual annually complain of the duty ? Every nation of our own products, and reduces the exchange strives, by treaty or otherwise, to have its of our own and foreign products, (our imports products subjected to as low a duty as and exports,) considered as $300,000,000 with possible by foreign governments; but if the
all the rest of the world, to the annual value
of thirty cents to each individual. That is, one consumer pays the duty, they need give themselves no trouble on that subject. If, annually of our own products as much as
person of the Union receives and exchanges then, England collects a revenue of over a seventy-nine persons of other countries. Were hundred millions of dollars on her com this exchange with foreign countries extended merce, how easily could the United States to ninety cents each, it would bring our imports collect half that sum on their commerce.
and exports up to $900,000,000 per annum, But Mr. Secretary Walker will find that and our annual revenue from duties to a
sum exceeding $90,000,000. An addition of this cannot be done by reducing the duties
thirty cents each to the consumption of our on imports.
products exchanged from State to State by For what
purpose the following fanfaro our own people, would furnish an increased nade was put into the Secretary's Report market of the value only of $6,300,000 ; we are at a loss to conceive. Perhaps he whereas an increase of thirty cents each, by a thought he could darken counsel by a system of liberal exchanges with the people of cloud of statistics and big figures
, and all the world, would give us a market for an
additional value of $300,000,000 per annum of thus conceal his blunders from the public
our exports. Such an addition cannot occur but if this was his object, he will find by refusing to receive in exchange the products If mistaken. His facts in the follow- of other nations, and demanding the $300,notation are all false, and his conclu- | 000,000 per annum in specie, which could never
be supplied. But, by receiving foreign products of last year, the largest ever made ducts at low duties in exchange for our ex in the United States, did not exceed, and ports, such an augmentation might take place. probably fell short of fifteen hundred millThe only obstacle to such exchanges are the
ions of dollars in value. duties and the freights. But the freight from New Orleans to Boston differs but little from
It is a well established principle of pothat between Liverpool and Boston ; and the litical economy, that the consumption of a freight from many points in the interior is nation must, and always will, about equal greater than from England to the United States. its production. If then three thousand Thus the average freight from the Ohio river millions were produced in a year, three to Baltimore is greater than from the latter thousand millions must, in some form or place to Liverpool; yet the annual exchanges of products between the Ohio and Baltimore
other, be consumed in a year, or it would exceed by many millions that between Balti- not answer the purpose for which it was more and Liverpool. The Canadas and adja- produced. Now does any man in his senses cent provinces upon our borders, with a popula- believe, that this nation ever consumed, in tion less than two millions, exchange imports one year, products of the value of three and exports with us less in amouut than the
thousand millions of dollars ? Suppose the State of Connecticut, with a population of 300,- people of the United States to be twenty 000 ; showing that, if these provinces were
millions, and the average consumption of united with us by free trade, our annual exchanges with them would rise to $40,000,000.
products per capita would be one hundred It is not the freight, then, that creates the chief and fifty dollars in value. Now can any obstacle to interchanges of products between man who has any knowledge of the daily ourselves and foreign countries, but the duties. fare of the great mass of our population, When we reflect, also, that exchange of pro- believe, that men, women, children and ducts depends chiefly upon diversity-which is slaves consume upon an average products greater between our own country and the rest of the world, than between the different States of the value of one hundred and fifty dolof the Union-under a system of reciprocal | lars per annum ?. The thing is wholly infree trade with all the world, the augmentation credible. One hundred and fifty dollars arising from greater diversity of products would would enable each individual to pay two equal the diminution caused by freight. Thus, dollars a week for his board, and have fifty the Southern States exchange no cotton with dollars a year wherewith to clothe himself. each other, nor the Western States flour, nor
The people of the United States would be the manufacturing States like fabrics. Diversity of products is essential to exchanges; and much indebted to Mr. Secretary Walker, if England and America were united by abso- if he would make good his assertion with late free trade, the reciprocal exchanges be- regard to their wealth. The great mass tween them would soon far exceed the whole for- of our population do not consume food of eign commerce of both ; and with reciprocal free the value of thirty dollars a head per year, trade with all nations, our own country, with its and although a great many (yet a small pre-eminent advantages, would measure its an- number in comparison to the whole) connual trade in imports and exports by thousands of millions of dollars."
sume ten times that amount, yet if we set
down sixty dollars a head as the amount This learned Report, in which the Sec- consumed by each individual, it will probaretary says he has shown that the annual bly be a liberal allowance, which would amount of our products exceeds three make the annual consumption twelve hunthousand millions of dollars, we have dred millions for twenty millions of people ; never seen, and we are therefore unac and this is probably the full amount of our quainted with the process of reasoning by annual production. which he thinks he has shown that mag There is another process of reasoning nificent fact. We suppose, however, that which will conduct us to about the same he has made use of the statistical tables conclusion. Exclude women and chilmade out under the direction and superin dren, and those classes who do not labor, tendence of the Commissioner of Patents. and it will leave about one-fourth of the But we care not for his statistics or his population for productive laborers. In a estimates. We know, and every man of population then of twenty millions there common sense who will reflect a moment will be five millions of productive laborers. upon the subject, may know, that they Now these laborers must average six hunare false to an enormous extent. The pro dred dollars each in order to make an aggre