--Industries Now Being Devoured by the Money Power.The Money Power, as we have seen, has already devoured many of our great lines of industry. It is now enveloping every industry it has not already devoured, and is crushing them in the folds of its capital, preparatory to devouring them.
The Money Power is Crushing our Coal MinesBy their monopoly of transportation, the railroads are securing a monopoly of the coal supply for mines owned by them. In some instances, before the passage of the Interstate Commerce Law, they refused transportation to coal of other companies. They usually form a separate company which owns the coal mines, and they have given special rates to such companies.
Even under the "Interstate Law" regulating railroad traffic, their monopoly of coal mines is not hindered; for even if they made equal charges for their own coal and that of other companies, yet the charge for themselves is simply paid to themselves; so that they can still undersell all competitors. This state of things must give to mines owned by railroads the monopoly of the coal trade, and all other mines must be sold to them, or closed.
The Money Power is DevouringAs a rule, persons having gold or silver mines to develop always go to the Money Kings or their agents for the capital to develop them. And the Money Kings never put any money into a mine without having a majority of the stock given them, so as to secure to them its absolute control. They must have the lion's share in any enterprise before they will invest in it. They usually put in one of the original stockholders as their agent and manager; and generally the mine is so managed as to freeze out the other stockholders.
our Gold and Silver Mines
A shaft is sunk down upon the "lead;" if it proves to be rich, only the poorer levels nearer the surface are worked, till the outside stockholders become discouraged and sell out their stock cheap: then the mine is worked efficiently. But if, on the other hand, the mine proves to be a pocket, like the Emma Mine in Utah, it is puffed in the papers until outsiders have bought the stock; then the true state of things is revealed. Having full control of the mine, they are able, with their agent, to manipulate it as they please; and finally they thus get control of all valuable mines.
The Money Power is Devouring our Lumber TradeIt is evident that the Money Power has not yet gotten possession of all of our lumber forests and lumber mills; for, where it has gotten possession of an industry, it stiffens up prices to a uniform and profitable rate. The fluctuation in the price of lumber, and the cuts in prices between different dealers are evidence of the war of the Money Power upon all independent lumber men. The war can have but one issue. The ownership of the railroads gives such an advantage to the Money Kings in shipping their lumber to market, that, in the end, competitors must be crushed. The Money Power will get possession of the coal mines and the lumber trade, as it has gotten possession of the mercantile trade of New York City, of the oil wells of Pennsylvania, and of the great lines of traffic.
The Money Power is DevouringHaving full control of the wheat market, it would be the policy of the Money Power to make all possible profit out of the wheat before it reaches the consumer. To this end, the Money Power must manufacture the wheat into flour.
our Flour Manufactures
The high price of flour in comparison with wheat shows that the agents of the Money Power have a large number of flouring mills in their possession. The occasional sharp falls in the flour market, crushing mill owners of small capital, and the occasional purchase of mills by the Money Kings, as in a recent deal in Minneapolis, show that the Money Power has not yet gotten full possession of the flour mills.
The possession of the railroad transportation gives such an advantage to the Money Kings in the flour market as must, ere long, with the further advantage of their immense capital, give them entire possession of the flour manufacture. Their recent purchase of flour mills in Minneapolis shows their desire to obtain such advantageous ground in the business as will enable them to crush all competitors and get possession of the entire business.
The Money Power is DevouringThe London Money Kings are resolved to possess not only the trade in beef, but also the production of cattle. They laid their plans years ago, for monopolizing the cattle production of the Plains. It was they who killed off the buffalo. The destruction of the buffalo was thus effected: A high price was offered for buffalo hides in whatever quantity they were offered. All men who wished to hunt buffalo could get an outfit on credit and pay for it in buffalo hides. On these terms, an army of buffalo hunters was organized. Hunters lined the banks of streams where the buffaloes came to drink, and by shooting them down, drove the herds away; and thus continued to shoot them as, parched with thirst, they came to the streams to drink. Some shot the buffaloes: some skinned the carcasses: some hauled off hides. In two or three years, the buffaloes numbering many millions were exterminated.
the Cattle Ranches of the Western Plains
Nobody by the London Money Kings could have thus effected the extermination of the buffalo. None but they look so far ahead. Only they had money enough to equip such an army of slaughterers. Only they, in their immense world-wide commerce, had a market for such a vast number of hides. They had been obtaining hides for their trade in leather, shoes, and other leather products, from Buenos Aires, in South America. It was only necessary to substitute buffalo hides for South American, for two or three years, to secure the extermination of the buffalo.
The Money Kings saw a grand enterprise in devoting the Western Plains to the production of beef. As soon as the buffaloes were exterminated, they began to buy cattle in Texas, and cows and calves and young cattle in all the states, to start ranches on the Plains. This caused a boom in cattle all over the country; and multitudes of enterprising Americans organized cattle companies, and started cattle ranches all over the country; and multitudes of enterprising Americans organized cattle companies, and started cattle ranches all of the West, from Texas to Montana, mortgaging their property, and taking money out of their business, in order to take stock in the cattle companies. The boom in prices was kept up until the Plains were fully occupied with ranches; for the Money Kings had entire control of the cattle market; and they offered high prices as long as it was their interest to induce Americans to invest in the beef production. In a few years, the Western Plains were fully stocked with cattle ranches.
When the ranches were established, it was time for the Constrictor to tighten its folds. The agents of the Money Power were the only buyers in the cattle market. The Money Kings themselves owned many cattle ranches in the West. They could always have a supply of their own cattle in the Market to be offered to their agents, the cattle buyers, at a very low price, so as to force down the market on other cattle owners. It would make no difference to them how low the price of their cattle--for they were selling to themselves: It was money out of one pocket into the other. They thus kept down the market for cattle, until almost all American cattle companies are now broke.
A gentlemen largely interested in cattle companies told me, two years ago, that, at that time, fifty-seven percent of the cattle companies were broke. When we remember that many of the remaining forty-seven percent of the cattle companies are owned by the Money Kings, it is evident that almost all the American cattle companies have failed, and that the Money Power has now almost completed its devouring of the cattle companies.
In order to destroy these American cattle companies, and also to crush the farmers raising cattle, the Money Kings have forced down the price of cattle, in defiance of the law of supply and demand. The market for beef is active, and growing with the growth of our population. The supply of beef has greatly diminished in the last few years; two winters ago, a million cattle perished upon the Plains, from Texas to the Canada line: four hundred thousand perished in Montana alone. The cattle market is never glutted. Beef is consumed as fast as it is offered. Prices ought to be good in the presence of an increasing demand and a decreasing supply.
Furthermore, the consumer pays as high for beef as he formerly paid when beef cattle brought a fair price. There is no reason why beef cattle should not now command a fair price. There is demand enough; and the retail price is high enough. In view of the circumstances of the case, the pressing down of beef cattle to less than half price is an outrage upon our people. Beef cattle down to half price, with an active demand for beef, and a high retail price in the meat store: It is a shame!
It shows conclusively that the Money Power should no longer be allowed to control our prices.
The Money Power is now crushing and devouring the cattle companies, as it, a few years ago, crushed and devoured the other business interests of our country. It put down the price of cotton goods until it broke the New England mills, and then put up the price again when it had gotten possession of the mills: It put down the price of oil until it broke the oil men of Pennsylvania, and then, when it had gotten possession of the business, it put up the price of oil: It put down the price of iron wares until it go possession of the iron mills, and then it put up the price of iron. So now, the Money Kings are putting down the price of beef cattle, until they get possession of the cattle ranches, and the farms of our farmers, and then, when they themselves have entire possession of the cattle production, they will put up the price of cattle fast enough.
The Money Power is Devouring All BranchesA new era of the growth of the Money Power has recently arisen.
of Production and Trade in our Country
It is originating vast trusts which take possession of an entire branch of production or trade, and crush out all competition by the might of capital. A trust is a device for concentrating the investments of several Money Kings in a single line of business under a single head. For instance: where many Money Kings have invested in a line of trade, by organizing a trust, they put all their business houses in that line and their stocks of goods into a single company, and place them under one management. The trust is thus able to control the amount of production, and all prices in that line of business; and it can destroy all outside companies that are not in the trust. Thus, two years ago, a coffee trust was originated, which at once set to work to destroy all the coffee merchants not in the ring. It put down the price of coffee so low as to break down the competitors of the trust; and no sooner was this accomplished, than the trust put up the price of coffee to more than double.
These trusts are, in effect, corporations without a charter--without any authority from the state; and they are thus above government control. it is a new step the Imperialism of Capital is taking. Through these trusts, the Money Kings purpose to do as they choose, and crush out all competition with a high hand. They used to conceal their track, and hide their meanness as far as possible from the public eye. But now, emboldened by success, and intoxicated with the pride of imperial power, they unmask their aims, confident of their ability to override all opposition.
1) The Standard Oil Company is a great trust operating with many millions of capital, and throttling all competition in the petroleum market.
2) Many Americans invested their means in the manufacture of cotton seed oil. But the Money Kings wanted the oil for the manufacture of their bogus lard and butter. And they organized a "Cotton Seed Oil Trust" with millions of capital, and are taking possession of the entire industry.
3) A "Sugar Trust" has been organized, to take possession of the sugar production and traffic.
4) A "Whiskey Trust" is monopolizing the manufacture and sale of distilled liquors.
5) Recently, a "Cattle Trust" has been organized, to take entire possession of all cattle ranches, and the raising of cattle and production of beef.
6) Grand Trusts, each with millions of capital, are monopolizing production and traffic in salt, lead, cordage, nails, coke, lumber, sheet zinc, copper, crucible steel, and other products. Well did the English writer of the pamphlet soon to be quoted, say, "Nothing is too large, and nothing too small for English capital, and English enterprise."
All these Trusts, like the Coffee Trust, will put down prices till competition is destroyed, and then they will double the price of the article they monopolize. Individual competition against these grand monopolies is hopeless. If an outside company goes into the Trust, they stop its business, and give to it a part of the profits; till other establishments have been stated sufficient to supply the market without it, and then the idle establishment, with its trade and its business connection all gone, is kicked out in the cold to die. On the other hand, if individual enterprise do not go into the Trust, goods are put down in the markets which they supply, and their business is taken away. In the Trust, or out of it, outside enterprises are bound to be destroyed.
But Trusts do not merely war upon individual competitors. There is another aspect of their operations, in which they especially war upon our national prosperity.
Trusts are of two kinds--1)Those which operate in industrial products which are protected by our tariff; and 2)Those which operate in branches of production in which we fully supply our own market and export a portion of the product. To the latter class belong the Standard Oil Company, and the Cotton Seed Oil Trust, and the Whiskey Trust. To the former, belong the Crucible Steel Trust, the Cordage Trust, and other various manufactures.
In the manufactures which fully supply our own markets, we ought very soon to take possession of the markets of the world. And we would soon do so, if production went on unobstructed. But the Trusts come in and arrest production, and keep us limited to the supply of our own markets, in order to maintain high prices, for their own profit. The Trusts do not merely injure the public by putting up prices; but in order to put up the price, they commit a crime against the nation, by arresting our prosperity, and preventing us from supplying the markets of the world.
The Money Kings who are at the head of the Trusts are the London Jews who want to keep possession of the markets of the world for their English manufactures; and the only way in which they can do this, is to arrest our growth by the means of these Trusts. Such a crime against the national prosperity ought to be punished by the heaviest penalty.
Of a like tendency is the work of the Trusts which operate in those products, to which, not supplying our own markets, we afford protection by the tariff. The object of the Trusts is, to continue to obtain the high price derived from the tariff. And in order to effect this, they arrest production, so as to prevent our production from fully supplying our own markets and thus cheapening the price by home competition. They do this, in the first place, in order to get the high price of tariff production. But they have another object which they desire especially to accomplish--to prevent us from fully supplying our own market, and thus save it, in part, to their English manufactures. They know that, with unimpeded manufactures, we would in a few years fully supply our own market, and then, with our great advantages, would soon drive English manufactures out of the markets of the world. They wish especially to prevent this; and , as the only means of doing it, they organize these trusts, to limit our production, and keep us continually dependent upon English manufactures.
These trusts are really a conspiracy against the nation; and they ought to be treated as such. They are worst than murder; for they destroy many individuals by the slow torture of financial ruin. And they also strike at the national prosperity and the national life. They out to be suppressed.
The Money Power is Devouring the Retail TradeThe Money Power long since engrossed the great wholesale trade of the Eastern cities, and much of the wholesale trade in the West. It is now making rapid strides toward the monopoly of the retail trade of our cities and country towns.
The First Stroke of the Money Power at the Retail Trade of the country was the establishment of the great house of A. T. Stewart & Co., in New York City. A. T. Stewart was a Scotchman who, for years, occupied a little narrow place on Broadway a few feet wide, where he peddled needles, and thread and tape. he suddenly bloomed out in a palatial building, with a thousand clerks behind his counters, and twenty million dollars worth of goods upon his shelves. At the same time, there was a branch house of A. T. Stewart & Co., in Glasgow, Scotland, and other in Germany; besides establishments in Belfast, Ireland, and in Paris. The peculiarity of his style of business was, that he had in his House a number of departments; and, in the various departments, goods of every variety, of the best quality, and at the cheapest wholesale prices.
1) Many stories have been told to deceive the public, as to the means by which Stewart could sell such excellent goods so cheap. One story was that he bought his goods at auction, and very cheap, because they were the tail end of stocks, and damaged; and that Mrs. Stewart renovated them, and thus enabled him to fool the ladies of New York, and make them believe them new goods. The story is absurd. A. T. Stewart could not have kept up his stock by auction purchases; nor could he have obtained such goods at auction. It is only a clumsy attempt to account for a fact inexplicable by all the laws of business.
2) A. T. Stewart could not have accumulated in any regular business the immense fortune of one hundred million dollars which he was credited with possessing at the time of his death. His colossal business, so suddenly established, and the excellent quality and low price of his goods, can only be accounted for on the hypothesis that the London Money Kings appointed him head agent and Manager of a great retail house which they established in New York, and supplied with goods, in order to strike the first blow for the monopoly of the retail trade of New York City. This accounts for the immense establishment which sprung up like Jonah's gourd, in a night, and the colossal business: it also accounts for the superior quality of the goods; and it explains how, supplied from the manufactory direct, he could retail his goods at wholesale prices.
3) The events following his death show conclusively that A. T. Stewart was an agent of the Money Kings.
a) He was closely watched by Judge Hilton, who dined with him every Sunday on pretext of friendship, but really, no doubt, to talk over business and compare notes. At his death, Stewart left his business in Hilton's hands. And the American people were soon afterward shocked by the intelligence that Judge Hilton had cheated poor Mrs. Stewart out of all her husband's property, giving her only one million dollars for the entire estate of which Stewart died possessed.
Now, this is absurd. Mrs. Stewart was a very sensible woman. She had perfect knowledge of the value of her husband's estate. Judge Hilton could not cheat her out of one hundred million dollars worth of property, giving her only one million dollars for it. But if he showed her papers that proved Stewart to be the agent of the London Money Kings, she would sign the transfer conveying to Judge Hilton the property that belonged to the Money Kings, and say nothing about it.
2) The heirs of A. T. Stewart afterwards brought suit against Hilton for the property, alleging that he had obtained it from Mrs. Stewart by fraud, and the whole matter was investigated in court. It was there proved under oath, by Hilton and the bookkeeper of the House, that A. T. Stewart was only worth about $8,000,000--that he owned no interest in any real estate--that he had no interest in the palatial building in which the business was done--that he had no interest in the grand buildings erected by A. T. Steward & Co. at Saratoga--no interest in the house of A. T. Stewart & Co. in Glasgow, Scotland, nor in the German house. It was sworn that he had no interest in the business, except a commission on sales. In other words, he was simply the agent of the London Money Kings, who were the "Co." that owned the business.
3) The arrangement Hilton made of the business showed that he was only an agent in the matter. If the business had been really Hilton's, he would have continued to carry it on and make millions out of it every year, as Stewart had done. But instead, he closed out the business in a short time, attempting to deceive the public as to the cause of failure, by the farce of giving offense to the Jews, by excluding them from the hotel built by Stewart, at Saratoga.
These Mammoth Retail Stores Everywhere1) Three immense establishments were started in New York City on the model of Stewart's, keeping in the various departments everything, the goods excellent, and retailed at wholesale prices. And these stores were avowedly in the hands of agents.
2) And now, in all large cities, are to be found these immense retail establishments on the plan of the house of A. T. Stewart, and each with an agent at its head, managing the business for a percentage of the profits. There are several such stores in Kansas City. One of them does such an immense business that, as I was informed, the commissions of the manager amount to over sixty thousand dollars a year. The Money Kings pay their agents well.
These Stores are Breaking Down All Other MerchantsThe House of A. T. Stewart broke down one thousand retail merchants in New York City, many of whom became his clerks. In all our cities, these grand agency retail stores are monopolizing the retail trade. I found such stores in many of our country towns. They always keep immense stocks of goods of all kinds in their various departments, which they sell at retail at wholesale prices--and their counters are swarming with customers. The old merchants are being driven from business.
I have found these stores in different towns in Missouri, Iowa and Kansas, where I have lectured. The American merchants are driven from business, and have to leave town. All who live by the merchants are also thrown out of employment. The towns are slowly dying. I recollect, in a town in Iowa, where I delivered the lecture on the Money Power, on the next morning as I walked along the street, a man came out of his grocery store and invited me to enter. When I went in, he wrung my hand with tears in his eyes, and said:
"Ah Sir, one of those Jew stores you told about last night is established here in town. They make a specialty of groceries, they say, and profess to sell them at cost. My business is ruined, and the business of the dry goods merchants also. The people are swarming into the Jew store to get things cheap. And I do not know what we are going to do."
What can they do but get out? How can a man with only a moderate individual capital compete with people who have the capital of the world at their back? They can afford to sell at a loss for a time, till they get possession of the trade. The American merchants can only give up the struggle and retire from business. If things go on as they are, in a few years more, the Money Power will have monopolized the retail traffic, as it has monopolized and is now monopolizing all the other branches of business in the country.
The Money Kings never carry any business by storm. Their approaches are always quiet and stealthy, their methods secret and tortuous. But they never yet have failed of accomplishing their end. A few years more will put them in possession of all the mercantile business of the country.
A New Discovery:While this work has been passing through the press, I have heard of a new method of attack upon the stores of our country towns. It is like everything else that the Money Power originates--very effective, and sure of success if not arrested; and it has all the traits of secretiveness, cunning, craft and slyness, that mark everything that emanates from that source.
A New Method of Attack by the Money Kings
The * * * * Store System, as stated by one who knows, is based upon the following plan: If a person has a small capital to engage in the business--$500 or more--the promoters of the plan will furnish him goods at a very low price to that amount, and as much more without interest, to be paid out of the business. On the other hand, the party binds himself to purchase a certain amount of goods every month--not large; and to sell the goods for cash, and at a fixed price, from thirty to fifty percent lower than any other merchant can afford to sell them. He will thus inevitably bankrupt all competitors.
This system has purchasing agents all over the country, to buy up bankrupt stocks as fast as the old merchants are broke. This system, of course, must be furnished with goods from New York, at first; but after the merchants begin to break rapidly, the bankrupt stocks, purchased very cheap, will keep up the supply of goods, until the new stores are in full possession of all the business.
A list is made out of all the states and territories, with the available towns still unoccupied--one store to be started at a place.
This System is already widely established over the country, and, as my informant says, is making the merchants "open their eyes wide." The Money Power is resolved to root out our country town merchants, and themselves take possession of the business.
The Money Power is Devouring Our FarmsSo vast is the income of the Money Power from its various sources of wealth, that it can no longer find investment for it in its immense loans to the nations of the old world--in its loans to states and counties and cities and municipalities and corporations--in building new warehouses and ships for its ever extending commerce--in erecting new factories--in building new railroads--in opening new mines--in starting new mercantile establishments. All these vast branches of enterprise can not afford the Money Power sufficient investment for its enormous and constantly increasing income.
It can only find investment in mortgages of city property and improved farms, and in the purchase of new and grand branches of business.
1st. Farms Mortgaged.Until I began to lecture on the Money Power, I had no idea of the extent to which our farms have been mortgaged to the Money Kings. I thought that perhaps one-twentieth of the farms were mortgaged. I knew that Dakota was shingled over with mortgages; but I supposed that the condition of Dakota was exceptional. I was astonished upon reading an article in the New York paper, evidently intended to sooth the public mind, stating that the public need feel no uneasiness about Dakota--that statistics proved that there are more land mortgages in the state of New York in proportion to area, and value, than in Dakota! I was astounded at the statement. The Lord have mercy on New York!!
I thought that, in Missouri, the people surely are out of debt. I knew that they are economical, and not over venturesome and enterprising. What was my surprise when, in the first place where I delivered my lecture on the Money Power, a good citizen said to me:
"I don't know much about prophecy. But I do know that what you say about these foreign capitalists is true. To my certain knowledge, at least two-thirds of the farms in this community are mortgaged to foreign capital."
I traveled widely through Missouri, and everywhere I found statements that two-thirds to three-fourths of the farms are under mortgage!! In Iowa, the same state of fact exists. In some counties of that state, the farms were mortgaged for one-third their value; and after a number of farms were bought in by the mortgagee for eight dollars an acre, the amount of the mortgage, all the lands receded to that price. A gentlemen told me that, in one of the counties of Iowa where he had investigated the state of things, the property valuation of the county was $3,000,000, and there are $2,000,000 worth of property mortgaged. Perhaps this is an average of the condition of things in the state.
In Kansas, a very large proportion of the farms are mortgaged--a much larger proportion than in Iowa or Missouri.
In Nebraska, as I am informed, the agents of the Money Lenders are to be found in every neighborhood. They go through the country like lightning-rod agents, urging the farmers to borrow money on five years time, secured by mortgage on their farms.
2nd. Land Loan AgenciesIn any of the large cities, if you go into the office of one of the Farm Loan Agencies which has agents all over the state, and ask for a loan on your farm, the agent will ask where it lies: tell him the county, and he will ask the township; and as soon as you tell him, he will step to the wall and, after a moment, will draw down the map of your township and will show you your farm. They are prepared to mortgage and buy every farm in the whole country.
A banker said to me: "The money line of these Land Loan Companies always has three points--the agent in the West, who loans the money; the intermediary in the East, from whom he gets it;--but the third point in the line is always London. There is where the money comes from.
How the money for the loans is obtained was told be by an agent who loans large amounts every year, through a large number of subagents. he sent his mortgages to a little bank in an Eastern state; from which the money was sent to him. That bank transferred the mortgage to the third party from which the money came originally. And this third party is the Money Power of London, or some of its immediate agents.
The Money Kings hide their trail in these loan transactions without difficulty. They need only to buy up the stock of a bank or an insurance company, in some Eastern state; and then, through such an agency, they can loan millions of dollars--and the American people think it is simply Eastern American capital! Thus, a little bank in Connecticut can loan millions of dollars every year, when it is only making in its regular business some twenty thousand dollars a year.
The money is London capital, as is evident from the vast amount of it loaned in this country. Billions of dollars have been loaned upon farm mortgages, to say nothing of the vast amounts loaned on city property. No American banks or insurance companies could loan such immense amounts of money.
The London Money Kings have, in this country, an income of many hundred millions of dollars, every year, derived from interest of loans--from the profits of their various lines of investments--from the various industries they have monopolized--and from the various lines of traffic they have taken possession of. They invest in the United States all the income derived from their investments in this country; and statistics prove that, besides this, they are sending to this country, annually, a large amount of specie for investment, being a portion of their profits derived from their vast trade with the outside world. It is manifest that the Money Power is loaning in the United States many hundred million dollars every year.
We have about reached the end of our tether. About two-thirds of the farms of the country are now mortgaged for one-third of their value, on five years time. In the ten great states of the West and Northwest--Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas, the valuation of farm property, according to the census of 1880, making a liberal allowance for the increase of value, amounts to $7,000,000,000. It is estimated that the farm mortgages in those states amount to $3,400,000,000. The farms are usually mortgaged for one-third of their value on five years time. The amount of farm mortgages given above is probably excessive. One-half the estimate is most probably nearer to a correct statement. We may perhaps safely say that, in the above ten states, two-thirds of the farms are now under mortgage for one-third of their value on five years time.
How much of the other one-third of the farms is now owned by the Money Power it is impossible to say. Thousands of agents have been loaning money all over the country for more than twenty years, on improved farms and plantations. Down South, in Mississippi or Alabama, ask in any neighborhood about the grand plantations of the past, and they will tell you those plantations are under mortgage or owned, as the phrase is, "by foreign capital." The Southern plantations passed into the hands of the Money Power in the hard years following the war: the Western farms are passing to them now. Many of the plantations of the South and many of the improved farms of the West have had the mortgages on them foreclosed, and now belong to the Money Power. If we include the farms on which mortgages have been foreclosed together with those now mortgaged, we can see what an immense area of our country the Money Power will own, when the mortgages they now hold shall have been foreclosed.
3rd. The Money Power Is Crushing FarmersThe Money Power is crushing the farmers so that they can not pay their mortgages and save their farms. Having two-thirds of the farms of the country mortgaged to them, the Money Kings are putting down the price of all farming products, so that it is impossible for the farmers to pay off their mortgages. The Money Kings are the only purchasers of produce, and by establishing Boards of Trade, which are absolutely subject to their control, they are able, through them, to fix prices to suit themselves. By the agency of the Boards of Trade, and by their monopoly of the traffic in all farming products, they have put down the price of farming products, until it is impossible for the farmers to pay off the mortgages on their farms.
The Money Power Has Put Down the Price of BeefWe have already seen how the Money Kings have put down the price of beef, in defiance of the laws that regulate business prices, wholly setting aside and annulling the law of supply and demand.
The Money Power Has Broken Down the Wheat MarketTwo years ago, our wheat crop was fifty million bushels short. It was naturally expected that the price of wheat would rise. I saw a quotation from a Liverpool paper, at the time, stating that it was expected that the price of wheat would be high, owing to the short American crop and the active demand, and expressing surprise at the low price of wheat that prevailed in America. The price was put down by the imperial power of the Money Power over the American markets.
When it was known that the wheat crop was fifty million bushels short, the price of wheat was seventy cents a bushel. It was naturally supposed that the price would go up. A syndicate of Cincinnati capitalists, acting on this business probability, organized with a capital of $12,000,000, to operate in the Chicago market; not to put up the price of wheat to ninety cents or a dollar a bushel, which the condition of things would have warranted, but merely to keep the price up to the existing rate of seventy cents a bushel. The had capital enough to make their operations a sure success under the rules of the Chicago Board of Trade, which only allowed wheat to be sold as it was delivered into the elevator. The regular average amount of delivery was about three hundred car-loads a day, and they had money enough to purchase this amount of daily delivery, until they could make their operation a success.
But the wheat operators of Chicago had the elevators all over the Northwest full of wheat: they ordered the Chicago Board of Trade to rescind the rule which prohibited the sale of wheat except as delivered into the elevators, and allow it to be sold out of the cars; and when their order was obeyed, they rushed down to Chicago from all over the Northwest three thousand car loads of wheat a day! They sold the Cincinnati syndicate wheat at seventy cents a bushel, till their $12,000,000 was gone; and then, when they had broken the syndicate, they at once put down the price of wheat to sixty cents a bushel.
It was a great outrage! When the wheat crop was fifty million bushels short, and the supply was inadequate to meet the demand, wheat, according to all the laws that regulate prices, ought to have gone up to at least one dollar a bushel. To put down the price, under such circumstances, lower than it had ever been before, was an outrage--a violation of all the laws of trade--a revolutionary overthrow of the law of supply and demand.
In the same way, and at the same time,
The Money Power Broke Down The Cotton MarketTwo years ago, a Southern syndicate was formed, to sustain the cotton market at the low price at which cotton was then held. A capitalist at Houston, Texas, headed the movement, with $15,000,000 at his back. But the Money Kings now own many of the cotton plantations of the South; and they delivered cotton to the syndicate at the price offered, till the $15,000,000 were gone; and then, when they had broken the syndicate, they immediately put down the price of cotton one and one-half cents a pound!
The Money Kings have the cotton market completely in their grasp. As one of their agents said, "the planters had as well struggle against the course of the seasons as against the prices fixed by the Money Power." They have put down the price of cotton, until it will not pay wages to the laborers who produce it. It could not be grown at all at the present price, if the Negro laborers did not take their pay in a part of the crop, so that they share the oppression and poverty of the planters. The Negro laborers are barely able to subsist, by raising their own provisions; but they are brought down to the condition of the Hindu peasant.
Two years ago was an era in the history of American prices. That was the time when the Money Power boldly and openly went into the Boards of Trade and crushed all opposition, and put down prices to suit themselves, in open defiance of the law of supply and demand, and all the laws that regulate prices. Before that time, other persons dared to operate in Boards of Trade, on the indication of the markets under the Law of Supply and Demand. But the Cincinnati and Southern syndicates were so completely crushed, that no man will ever again dare to interfere with the Money Kings in their manipulation of prices in Boards of Trade. The Money Kings then made so terrible an example of their opponents as to deter all others from repeating the offense.
Boards of Trade Are Instruments Controlled At WillBoards of Trade are instruments controlled at will by the London Money Kings, and may be made to register their will. Under the rule of the Chicago Board of Trade the Cincinnati syndicate was perfectly safe in its operations: they had enough money to pay for all the wheat that could be offered them under the rule of the Board of Trade. When Armour went into the Board of Trade, and demanded that the rule should be changed, so as to enable the agents of the Money Kings to break down the Cincinnati syndicate, and the Board of Trade at once complied with the demand, the fact was thereby established that Boards of Trade are conquered by the London Money Kings, and made agencies by which to regulate prices as they see best, and that all persons are to be broken down who attempt to sustain against them the law of supply and demand. That was a practical announcement of the fact that the old law of supply and demand is wholly abrogated, and the will of the Money Kings is put in its place, as the sole regulator of prices in our modern age.
The law of supply and demand can only regulate prices when there is a free market, and the free competition of buyers and sellers operates to regulate prices. But there is no such competition now: the agents of the Money Power are the only buyers of all produce. Boards of Trade are subdued by them, and answer to their manipulations. By the might of Capital, they can regulate prices in any Board of Trade. They control absolutely the Chicago Board of Trade, and Chicago regulates the price of produce for the whole country. They can fix all prices to suit themselves by their imperial power over the markets, in utter disregard of the law of supply and demand, and in utter violation of all the laws that regulate prices.
The time has come for the public to consider this question of prices, and find out some new way in which we may regulate prices, and keep them at a proper and uniform standard. We can never suffer the Money Kings to regulate prices and ruin our farmers by their arbitrary exercise of imperial power, thus subverting all the legitimate laws of trade.
As long as it is left to them, they will do as they have been doing: they will put down the prices of all produce while it is in the hands of the farmers, so as to buy it cheap; and then, when it is in their own hands, they will put up the price, so as to sell it high!! This has been their regular habit for years. How long are the American people going to stand it! How long will they suffer themselves to be plundered by these capitalists? When the old method or regulating prices by the law of supply and demand is no longer operative,
we must find some other way by which to regulate prices.
And it will not be difficult to find a much better way. One method will be presented in this work, later on. Either it, or some other method will have to be adopted, if we do not intend for the Money Kings to freeze out all our farmers, and get possession of their farms.
The Money Power Determined to Have the FarmsNo farm product, except hogs, brings a fair price. And the price of hongs is owing to hog cholera. With the danger of cholera, the farmers would not raise hogs at all, but for the inducement of a fair price. No Western farmer, at present prices of grain, and beef, and other produce, can pay wages, pay taxes, and support his family in comfort--much less pay off his mortgage. Some of the newspapers, setting forth the views of the Money Power, are already saying that the farm laborer of the Northwest must submit to a reduction of wages. And other newspapers declare that our farmers must lose their farms, and let us have the Tenant Farm System that prevails in Europe.
The wages of the farm laborer may be reduced, but this will not save the farmers. At the present price of produce, no mortgage can be paid off.
A distinguished gentleman of Iowa told me that he, not long since, traveled in the same seat with a general agent for farm loans who has many subagents in different counties of the state; and, in the course of conversation, he asked him if the farmers could pay off their mortgages? The agent laughed at the idea. He said it was impossible--that he had orders not to foreclose, except as a last resort. The Money Power means to have the farms--but it wishes to appear indulgent.
Conversing with a banker in Kansas, a very clever gentlemen, I spoke to him of the great evils that would follow the loss of the farms. He laughed pleasantly, and said, "I think the farmers will have to lose their farms." From present appearances that must be the result. If things continue in their present grooves, in a few years more, the Money Power will have foreclosed its mortgages, and will own in fee simple two-thirds of three-fourths, or even a larger proportion, of the farms of the country.
And then, when the farms have been devoured, it will be an easy matter to finish the merchants and grocers of the country towns. When the Money Kings own the farms of the Northwest, as they do many of the cotton plantations of the South, they will pay off their peasant farm laborers, as they now pay off the Negro laborers on their Southern cotton plantations, with orders to their own stores. Then all the outside merchants who are not already broke by the stores established by the Money power, will have to give up business. The merchants will have the sad grace accorded to them which the Cyclops accorded to Ulysses, of being the last to be devoured.
Then the Money Kings will have accomplished their aim. They will have everything in the country. America will be the Ireland of the New World--its people peasants, groaning under the yoke of foreign landlordism.
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