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Review of Reviews.
NEW YORK, JANUARY, 1903.
THE PROGRESS OF THE WORLD.
It is a good practice, whether in ingmen's families have been able to pay a Meaning of private or in public affairs, to take standard price for coal, and the trouble has " Progress.'
account of stock at the beginning of been due simply to the lack of a sufficient a new year,—to review and consider the past, to amount to supply the demand.
If the purchasgive some thought to the future. Every year ing power of the people had been far less, -as must have its difficulties to cope with, and there in some former seasons of industrial depression, promises to be no surcease, in this world, of per —the coal famine would not have been so formi. plexity and of struggle. But if it can be seen, dable, because the demand from all classes would as past events fall into perspective, that right have been smaller. With factory and business principles are gaining more general recognition
establishments of all kinds running at full presin private and in public life, and that true civili.
and of them operating with shifts of zation makes some solid gains as each year goes
labor by night as well as by day, the shortage by, there is room for hope, and the optimist is of fuel has been due in part to the uncommonly vindicated. The great public concerns are the large demand for it in boiler-rooms, growing out progress of peace and good-will among men ; the of a high state of general prosperity. diffusion of that kind of true education among the children of the people that fits for all the
This condition that we call “good
"Good Times" relations of life ; the growth of justice and of and the Wage- times," moreover, has been widely
Earner. tolerance; the narrowing of the domain of tyr
extended throughout the country. anny and of oppression in the world ; the ad. The autumn crops of no State or section were vance of science and of new kinds of useful seriously below the average when taken as a knowledge that alleviate human distress ; the in whole, and this, in a country of such diversity crease of efficiency and productiveness in agri of climate, soil, rainfall, and other physical conculture and industry, giving a larger sum total ditions, is a remarkable fact. The iron and steel of wealth and a steady rise in the working manufacturers have had the largest year in their man's standard of living, with such improve history by an enormous margin of gain over the ments in the economics and mechanics of dis banner year 1901. Nearly all our other industribution as may insure the widest possible tries have good reports to make. The earnings spread of prosperity and comfort among the of the railroads have been much larger than people. In these things there has been progress. ever before, and many of them have advanced
the wages of their employees by from 10 to 20 If we mistake not, the year 1902 has
There cannot, of course, be a brisk witnessed in the United States by demand at good, profitable prices for what everyHigh Tides.
far the highest total of economic body has to sell without some corresponding inproductivity ever attained in any single year. crease in the price of those things that everyIt has also witnessed the widest diffusion of body has to buy. The consequence is, that along comfort and prosperity. In town and country with abundant labor and good wages there has alike, there has never before been so much been a noticeable increase in the average cost of lucrative employment for all who are willing living. The advantage that the community, as and able to work. In spite, for example, of the a whcle, derives from these periods of industrial great anxiety in New York and other large activity with profitable prices consists, most of cities on account of the shortness of the coal all, in the abundance of employment for every supply, there has been very little need for dis body. The dread of the poor man is not so much tribution of fuel as a matter of charity. Work the high cost of living as the lack of work.
''Bad Times" Be Abolished ?
It remains to be seen whether, under that here and there such men should be so much May
the new economic conditions that intoxicated by success as to be arrogant toward
now prevail, it may not be possible certain other forces in the community with largely to avert those sharp periodical reactions which they have not as yet had full opportunity that in other days were attributed by many to measure their relative strength. The coal people to overproduction, but which were in strike has begun to teach them that organized fact due largely to unwise uses of capital and labor can, when necessary, make a very strong the imperfect organization of credit. With bet stand against organized capital ; and that the ter knowledge and better control of these in strongest force of all is the public opinion of the struments of production, it ought to be possible country, to which the agencies of government to discourage wild speculation, and to keep a must sooner or later respond. fairly normal and harmonious relation between supply and demand, production and consump
The miners had last month practical
Scope of the tion. The past year has shown a great growth Anthracite ly completed their testimony before
Inquiry. of understanding and knowledge in the field of
President Roosevelt's strike commispractical economics. The protracted discussion sioners. They had introduced testimony which of questions having to do with the relations of threw much light upon the painful conditions labor and capital has been highly useful. The that exist even in those few coal-mining districts discussion of trusts and corporations has also that have been noted for their superior treatbeen valuable, and bids fair to lead gradually to ment of labor, and for the philanthropic activisome steps for the better public oversight and ties of the operators. It is to be hoped that the regulation of these powerful institutions. commissioners will not flinch from a thorough
and symmetrical inquiry into the real causes of The great coal strike has been a very this strike. They ought not to come short of a from the costly experience for the country, full understanding of the patient efforts made Strike.
but the lessons the American people by Mr. Mitchell and the representatives of the have learned by reason of it could not perhaps miners through nearly two years to arrive at be mastered in any less expensive way. The some basis of permanent understanding with the country had looked on rather indifferently at operators. From the public point of view, their the spectacle of a group of common carriers il inquiry will be incomplete, furthermore, if they legally assuming the business of operating coal do not acquaint themselves with all the facts mines, and subsequently forming an agreement relating to the combination of railroad comamong themselves amounting to a method for panies which alone was responsible for this promonopolizing the production, transportation, tracted labor difficulty, and which acted as if it and sale of an article of common and necessary wanted the strike, in the belief that it could
This association of interests was able, first, once for all break down labor organization in to bring into subjection the independent owners the anthracite regions. and operators of coal mines ; next, to obtain arbitrary profits by increasing the cost of coal
The greatest underlying task of the to all consumers. Finally, it attempted to put the Concern for people of any civilized and self-gov. labor of the coal-mining regions into a position
erning country is the transmission of of virtual servitude ;--that is to say, into a po. its best wisdom to the rising generation. Our sition where the employer should dictate to the destiny as a nation is bound up with the quesworker the price at which the worker should tion of education. We have perhaps never in sell his labor. Such a situation is intolerable our history had a year in which so much valuain a free country. The first step toward relief ble effort has been made in the educational field. was fought successfully by the United Miners, The public schools are improving their methods, who undertook to vindicate the principle that in and public and private money is being expended the making of contracts of employment each never before,—not merely to prevent the side is entitled to a hearing. The miners were growth of illiteracy, but to make education prac. not claiming any right to control the business tical and useful, and to make the individual an of the operating companies. They were simply efficient worker and a good citizen. In the claiming the right to have something to say South especially there has been a renewal of efabout the market price and other conditions of fort along educational lines, and this is due in mine labor. The trust managers have, many of considerable part to the work of certain new them, come into places of large power and re educational boards, which have found not merely sponsibility by sudden methods that remind one generous financial backing, but what is equally of Arabian Nights tales ; and it is not strange necessary--wise methods of obtaining the maxi
mum of educational results
We publish an article in this number important thing to note is the splendid deter ery" and Rural of the Review upon the remarkable mination and spirit of the movement which is
progress that our Post Office Departopposing child labor, and which is certain to win ment has made during the past year in the exits cause in the near future. We have such tension of the free - delivery system to rural questions in one form or another always with us, communities. A movement of this kind once and eternal vigilance is the price of continued entered upon cannot well be checked. Such progress. It is reassuring, therefore, to note, upon advantages cannot be arbitrarily extended to a the whole, that there is a steady improvement few favored districts without clamor for like in social conditions in this and in other regards. favors from the rest of the country. This postal Child labor laws need revision and better enforce innovation well illustrates the steadily improvment in Pennsylvania and New York.
ing outlook in the United States for life in the farming regions and away from the great population centers. With better roads, better schools, the increase of coöperative enterprises like butter and cheese factories, the telephone, and many other of the modern methods and devices that are making life easier and pleasanter in the country, there is a marked improvement in the value of farm lands and a fresh zeal for agricultural education and rural science, and some prospects that there may be established a reasonable balance between city and country. Constantly increasing numbers of city dwellers are finding it possible to spend a considerable part of their time in the country, while, on the other hand, an increasing number of people from the country spend occasional vacations in the large towns and cities. Thus, the peculiar advantages that belong to each mode of life are becoming better distributed.
As for our cities, with all their Countrifying faults and shortcomings, they are in
many ways better places for their inhabitants to live in than they used to be. For one thing, they are spreading over more ground,
and transit facilities are accelerating the subur one of its biennial municipal campaigns. The ban tendency. The electric trolley is adding chief organized factors in the recurring fight for large fresh-air zones to all of our populous towns supremacy in city government are already careand helping, in a marked manner, to lower the fully preparing for the contest.
With January average death rate. In old days, in all of our 1, Seth Low completes his first year as mayor, cities, the death rate was larger than the birth following the Tammany administration of Van rate, and population was only maintained by ac Wyck. Mr. Low has been handicapped in many cessions from without. That condition is com ways. The civil-service laws and conditions are pletely changed, and improved sanitation and such that it has been extremely difficult to weed better understanding of public and private rules out inferior and unworthy public servants and of living tend to give us a lowering death rate, replace them with honest and efficient men. The large exemption from epidemics, and a prevail. mayor had full authority, however, to name the ingly vigorous and well-favored town population. heads of departments, and, as we explained at New York has been the most congested of our the beginning of the year, his choices were regreat cities, but the past year has seen the de- markably good. In our opinion, his administravelopment of plans which are to bring about an tion has, in its principal methods and results, almost revolutionary improvement in the hous. been a gratifying success. The police situation ing conditions of the people.
has been the most difficult to cope with, prin
cipally through conditions that no man as chief Not only is the main underground of police could in one year have overcome. neuolentinizi transit system rapidly approaching Colonel Partridge, who had served as commis
completion, but there has been adopt sioner of police, now retires, - for reasons ed a plan which is to give the Pennsylvania of ill-health in part, and also in part because his Railroad Company a vast terminal station in the management has been criticised as lacking in heart of the city, with a tunnel connecting Man vigor. Nobody has said a word reflecting upon hattan Island with New Jersey and the American his character or his intelligence. continent to the westward, and with Brooklyn and Long Island to the east. This project, to
Mr. Robert Fulton Cutting, the head gether with other tunnel in course of con
Mr. Cutting's of the Citizens' Union, made a valuastruction for trolley lines, will make it feasible
ble review late in November of the for many more New Yorkers to live in New work of the new administration by departments. Jersey suburbs, while, with new bridges and His summing up was a remarkable tribute. Even rapid-transit tunnels now under construction or in the police department, he found that much had definitely agreed upon, the residential develop been done to make things better. High praise, ment of Long Island will be enormous. The backed up with ample facts and figures, is acNew York entral Railroad system, moreover,
corded to th rork of the board of education, that has within the past year decided upon a plan of the health department, that of the department for greatly increasing its terminal facilities in of water, gas, and electricity, the park department, New York, and for bringing in its suburban as the department of charities, that of correction, well as its through trains by electricity. Its the new tenement-house department, the dock projected improvements will add greatly to the department, and other branches of the service. transit facilities of the adjacent parts of the The New York public is particularly fond of States of New York and Connecticut. Thus, sensational events; and the vast improvement Manhattan Island will tend more and more to in the administration of the various departments become a place for the concentration of offices of municipal government has not been sufficientand business enterprises, hotels, theaters, and ly spectacular to be fully appreciated. The New public places of various sorts, while population York newspapers print scores of columns about will spread itself over increasing suburban areas. some ineffectual raid upon an alleged gambling
house, while the public knows almost nothing The city of New York has assumed about the amazingly fine work of the health deOne Year of Mayor Low.
a metropolitan character of such im partment, by which thousands of lives are saved,
portance that its chief affairs are no or of the improvements in the educational de. longer of merely local interest. Its well-doing partment, which are of vital consequence to the or its ill-doing must in some measure concern future of scores of thousands of children. We the whole country. Even where its problems have no hesitation in pronouncing Mayor Low's are peculiar rather than typical, they concern, administration by far the best in the history of after all, a city that in some sense belongs to the New York since it attained any degree of metronation at large. This year it is to go through politan importance.
A propos of the unprecedented recent the terms of general law. Ingenious evasions Conditions of Life in New increase in the value of real estate in by the Legislature had gradually built up for
certain parts of New York, it is in each city a separate code of charter legislation, teresting to note the fact that the authorities so that no two municipalities in Ohio were govhave now determined to assess real estate upon erned alike. The new system cannot be given the basis of full valuation. Mr. Andrew Car unqualified praise ; it lacks scientific balance, negie has come home from Europe to enter his and fails to focus responsibility. The English splendid new home on upper Fifth Avenue ; system, which centers everything in one board and we make this allusion to his New York of directors called the town council, is the simhouse because it reminds us of the fact that plest form of city government; and in the long the building department reports, for the past run, other things being equal, it is the best. year, only forty or fifty new private residences The American method has been to divide auon the whole of Manhattan Island. The build thority between an elected municipal council ing of individual residences has practically and the mayor, with a strong tendency in recent ceased within what was formerly New York years to centralize in the mayor an almost comCity. Immense business blocks, hotels, and plete and unrestricted power of appointment and apartment houses have been going up by the of control over executive business.
The new hundreds, and population has been growing Ohio plan is hard to classify, and difficult to unapace; but the people of Manhattan Island are derstand, except as it is examined concretely. dwelling more and more in tenement-houses There is a council, which in the large towns is and apartment buildings. The separate house principally elected from wards, with a small belongs to the dwellers north of the Harlem proportion elected on general ticket. The mayor, River, in Brooklyn, and in the Long Island, of course, is elected by the people, and he has Staten Island, and New Jersey suburbs. Most considerable power of appointment and removal, of the few houses now built from year to year and has a veto power upon the acts of the council. belong to men of great wealth.
But it is neither in the hands of the The new municipal code of Ohio went
A Complicated Ohio's New
mayor nor yet in the city council Code for into effect on November 15. It had
that the principal administrative auCities.
been prepared, as our readers will thority is reposed, but rather in a separate body remember, at a special session of the Legisla called the board of public service, consisting of ture called by reason of decisions of the Su three or five members elected by the people on preme Court of the State. Ohio's constitution general ticket, having charge of all public works requires that cities should be chartered under and contracts, with an immense appointive power