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Northern Wisconsin Agricultural and Mechanical Association / Transactions of the Northern Wisconsin Agricultural and Mechanical Association, including a full report of the industrial convention held at Neenah, Wisconsin, February, 1886. Together with proceedings of the Association for 1884, to January 1, '86
Vol. XI (1886)

Bright, C. M.
Taxation,   pp. 273-306 PDF (6.8 MB)

Page 294

I would just call your attention to a little matter that just
came to me as a matter of family interest.
I had a relative, a large iron manufacturer of New Jersey.
He was a millionnaire at one time, a large hearty whole
souled man, an honorable righteous man. The change in
the tariff reduced it below what he could possible manufact-
ure for, although he made every possibly effort. He put
forth giant energies to uphold his business. Little by little,
surely but slowly he had to sink under the current of in-
debtedness, and he went under as every iron manufaturer in
New Jersey at that time did, without a solitary exception.
When the whole iron industry of New Jersey and the adjoin-
ing states was prostrated, what was done? Right on the
market was placed English iron at double the figures it was
before. They would now recoup. They would get even
now for months and years, until they had ruined American
manufactures. They put their iron on the wharfs of New
York at lower figures than America could produce it. When
the American manufacturer was out of the market then up
went English iron. The consumer of this country had to
pay the difference. These are historical facts. In regard
to this distribution of land. Here are some city lots. They
are exactly of the same width, they are exactly of the same
depth, they are exactly of the same area. The one is a back
lot, the other, a fine corner lot and fronting a corner. Now
why should I take that lot on the corner? Why not be sat-
isfied with the lot on the alley? Just so much of God's sun-
shine is upon the one as upon the other. One is as rich as
the other. It is merely a matter of taste. You will say
there is nothing intrinsic in the value of the lot. Well there
are others that have their tastes, peculiarities and fancies and
whims. The result is that there are two orthree more want
the same. Now what could be done? Both cannot have it.
Only one can obtain it, and there must be some means
devised whereby one or the other will be the possessor and
holder of the lot. And the result is it would go into some
sort of competition. In land there is a preference. Just put
it up at auction. Now comes in the difference. I have not
as deep a pocket as my friend, when this bidding comes up.

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