Relation of Labor to Land
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[Report of the Committee of the Senate upon the Relations between labor and Capital. Vol. 2. 28-37]
RELATION OF LABOR TO LAND.
J. K. INGALLS sworn and examined.
By the CHAIRMAN:
Question. Where do you reside?—Answer. In the city of New York.
Q. How long have you lived here?—A. I have lived here on and on for the last thirty years.
Q. You present a written memorial or statement to the committee at some length?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. To what does it relate?—A. It relates to the question of the relation of labor to the land.
Q. You may state in brief terms your general views and the substance of the paper you desire to file.—A. We start with the proposition that all sustenance to human life and the satisfaction of all human wants are derived from labor upon the land and the spontaneous productions of the earth; that all social wealth is the product of labor upon land and the opportunities which occupancy of the land affords; that without the land labor is simply an abstraction and can produce nothing; that ownership of the land carries with it the ownership of the persons who must live upon the land; that labor has been burdened and despoiled in all ages of the world; in barbaric times through ownership of the person of the laborer, in more civilized times through the ownership of the land. We deprecate the idea of private property in the land which is not limited to occupation and improvement, and especially such ownership of the land as enables the owner to exclude from access to that which he does not want those who do need it. We regard this question of conflict between labor and its employers as far deeper than the mere struggle between them. That is the point merely on which the friction of our system of trade and industry comes. Monopoly of the land gives power to exclude men from the land and compels men to sell their labor, which is only an abstraction, and in which there can be no freedom of contract, because there, is no liberty on the part of the workman to combine his labor with the land or with these elements which enable him to produce. This, of course, involves rent, and by its relationship to money and the circulating medium involves interest. Both of these in this country amount to hundreds of millions of dollars each year, which are abstracted from the productions of labor, and for which no return whatever is made and for which no service is rendered.
We have dealt very unfairly with the public land question in this country; we have taken that which was given to us as a trust for the unborn generations to come, and given it over to rapacious and greedy corporations and speculators and to States. Not only are vast tracts in States held by our own people, but the moneyed nobility of Europe are founding in this country large estates, upon which American citizens cannot enter without the privilege of the foreign, and perhaps the absentee landlord.
Q. What evidence have you of that assertion?—A. I have no positive evidence in regard to the last statement, because I have taken it merely from the reports which I have seen in the papers.
Q. What reports have you seen?—A. That there was a party composed of Lord Dufferin and a number of others, whose names I do not remember, in this country prospecting and taking up lands.
Q. An item that we have seen in circulation in the papers recently?—A. Yes; and also some time ago—some months ago.
Q. Go on.—A. There are many large estates in this country. I would say that there seems to be a sort of superstition that these large estates break up and fall ultimately into the hands of the people; but that is not true at all. Such cases are only the exceptions. The rule is that these large estates are continued and increase in growth constantly.
Q. What illustrations or evidences are there of that assertion?—A. The evidence of the large estates in this city, as the Astor estate, the Lorillard estate.
Q. Those are not agricultural in their character?—A. Not agricultural, but it depends upon their power to monopolize the land.
Q. Do you consider the monopolization of land in the city the same?—A. The same precisely.
Q. The same as the monopolization of agricultural tracts? Which is more hurtful or injurious?—A. I do not think you can distinguish between them—they are parts of the same system.
Q. It depends upon the absorption of values rather than of surfaces?—A Yea, it depends upon their ability to control what I think Stuart Mill terms the unearned increment, which means the increment that has been robbed from labor.
Q. What instances of such absorption of large unearned increments ire there in this city?—A. I was going to mention the Astor estate, the Lorillard estate, the Rhinelander estate, and a large number of others.
Q. How extensive and hurtful do you take these absorptions of the land in this city to be that you have mentioned?—A. I am not able to give you statistics with regard to these estates.
Q. What hurt has the Astor absorption, for instance, done, or what harm does it do; where is the evil?—A. It prevents the workingman from obtaining a home without renting.
Q. Does it f The workingman obtains his home by buying it, does he not 1 Would not this land have been just as valuable at any given time when the workingman or any other man wanted to purchase it if the ownership had been out of the Astors as in the Astors?—A. With the same system, yes.
Q. I do not mean with the same system; but suppose the Astors had owned only the houses they lived in, would not the concentration of commerce and wealth at this point, which is the result of great events, the development of the whole continent and world-wide changes, have given the same value to the land without reference to the ownership whether in the Astors or somebody else?—A. No, sir; I think not.
Q. Do you not suppose that to-day all the land in this city would be just as valuable if it was equally divided among all the inhabitants of the city as it is now vested in large tracts in single individuals?—A. That is not the point I make, that it should be equally divided. There are large numbers of lots even in this city which are unoccupied, and the; would be occupied but for the power to monopolize them.
Q. You do not contemplate an arrangement by which a man can get a piece of land without buying and paying for it?—A. No, sir.
Q. You say that the fact that the Astors own so much land is an in jury to working people in getting houses. I am not trying to controvert your idea, but to see what it is based upon.—A. Without rent.
Q. And your reply is that the Astors have come to hold this unearned increment. That is a value which increases as time goes on, is it not?—A. That depends on circumstances.
Q. It is doing so in this city?—A. Yes.
Q. Now, suppose at any particular time a workingman wants to get a home in New York City, can he buy it just as cheaply of the Astors or of these other large owners as he could if the Astor estate and these other large estates did not exist at all under a single owner?—A. I think none of these estates sell any houses.
Q. If they did not own this land would it not be just as valuable in the hands of anybody else?—A. I think not, because then it would be in the market.
Q. What ground have you for saying it would be in the market at any lower price?—A. It is not in the market at any price now.
Q. I do not know in regard to that?—A. The lands are withheld.
Q. That is the reason you suppose they will not sell the land at that market price which other or smaller holders would be willing to take. Do you say that?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. How do you know that? Do you know individual owners would sell the land any cheaper!—A. I know that from the general law of trade, supply, and demand; where a part of a thing is price is raised.
Q. Now, assuming that what you state is correct, is it not a fact that the Astors, the Lorillards, and the Rhinelander family own, comparatively, but very small portions of the land of this city!—A. No; the Astors own a very large share.
Q. Do you mean very large in regard to its surface or only large in value?—A. I mean a large extent of surface.
Q. Do they own one-twentieth part of the surface of Manhattan Island?—A. Yes, sir; far more than that.
Q. Combined, what proportion of the entire surface of this island do those estates you have named own?—A. I have not examined carefully.
Q. Do you feel confident they hold one-eighth?—A. I say I have not examined that carefully.
Q. If they do not hold more than one-eighth part of the surface of the island they cannot do great harm, can they?—A. I think the withdrawal of one-eighth of any commodity from the market would create disturbance.
Q. Here is Brooklyn, with communication by ferry for a great many years and now by the Brooklyn bridge, and here are ferries to the Jersey shore and the opposite side of the Hudson, and even if the Astors and Rhinelanders and other families did not own land here in New York, would it not be the better way for working people to avail themselves of these means of transit and get homes very much cheaper a little farther off?—A. That they have done for the last fifty years, and as fast as they have done it the land around them is bought up by speculators and they are shut in again.
Q Through speculators?—A. Nearly fifty years ago the price of land on Long Island was as high as it is now.
Q. That is a fact that you know about, that fifty years ago the price of real estate on Long Island was as high substantially as it now is!—A. In some parts accessible.
Q. What parts do you mean?—A. The parts now occupied.
Q. Of course the thickly settled parts were valuable then as they are now, but how was it as to the suburban parts and the cheaper portions?—A. The price of the land in the suburban parts was about the same as it is now.
Q. Do you mean that the same identical land was as valuable then as now?—A. The same land.
Q. Is not any of the land more valuable now than it was then?—A. Oh, yes; much more valuable where it is built up, of course.
Q. Then it follows that the same land, or some of the same land, was less valuable at that time than it is now?—A. Some of the land was held then at a price equal to what it would now bring.
Q. I suppose the growth of Brooklyn has gone in another direction, and left that land about as it was!—A. No; it is entirely built up now.
Q. Then unoccupied land, or land that was unoccupied twenty years ago, was then held at as high prices as it now brings! Some unoccupied land was then held at as high a price as the same land now will bring, although occupied and improved by city buildings?—A. I do not mean the improvements. I mean the land.
Q. Although the land is occupied?—A. Yes.
Q. But the ground rent would have been the same then as now. How extensive is that fact?—A. I wish to say that that was connected with the line of speculation of 1835.
Q. It was an abnormal state of things?—A. It was probably an abnormal state of things.
Q. And during fifty years the same land has been very much cheaper?—A. At times it has fluctuated up and down.
Q. I was speaking of a permanent state of things fifty years ago as compared with the permanent condition of the present time?—A. There is no permanent condition of the price of land any more than there is of commodities.
Q. You wish to develop the fact that these large ownerships really do mischief?—A. Yes.
Q. If they do not do any substantial mischief the public ought not to get that impression. You may go on further with the other points you had in mind. You were speaking of the absorption of the land in single ownerships, and its injurious effects in city and in agricultural regions alike.—A. The evil lies in the nature of real estate as property.
Q. Is your theory this, that individuals should not own real estate, but that the community should own it!—A. No; my theory is that the individual should own that which he needs; that the use of land belongs to the man.
Q. Would you give him what is called in the law the fee-simple, the title absolute in himself and heirs, according to the rules of inheritance?—A. No; not according to the rules of inheritance.
Q. You would not give him the chance to dispose of it by will?—A. No; I would state in regard to these large estates that some of them are substantially entailed, as far as I am informed (though I do not know of my own knowledge), by this process, by the father deeding to the son while he is yet living, and through family tradition and parental influence insisting that that shall be done again it can be perpetuated to the latest generations.
Q. Assuming that the fathers continue to produce sons, and that the sons continue to do as the fathers have done; but is it not the general fact that real estate, like personal property, under the natural operation of the laws of inheritance and of devise, breaks up and is redistributed?—A. No, sir; those are the exceptions to the rule.
Q. Are you able to mention a great many instances, aside from the Astors and those you have given here, taking the whole country together?—A. I can mention a number in many parts of the country.
Q. Do you suppose you could mention a hundred?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. Or that you could mention a thousand?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. What relative proportion would those thousand ownerships bear to the great mass of real estate in the country?—A. I would say that in cases where those estates are broken up they do not pass into the hands of the people, they pass into the hands of the class to which they belong; they pass into the hands of those with capital and means enough to absorb them into another estate. That is what I mean to say.
Q. What would you do with a man's estate when he dies?—A. I would have his executors given a certain length of time to dispose of that land to those who need it for occupation, of course to be divided among the heirs and legatees, without exceeding the limit.
Q. What would the executors do with the proceeds?—A. The proceeds I should not object to going to the heirs.
Q. Suppose they take those proceeds and buy up more land?—A. They cannot do that under the limitations which I propose. I propose limitations which will not allow that to be done. The difference between real estate and personal property is well known, I suppose, generally. In the first place, land is not property in any such sense as we own personal property; it is not the product of any labor; it is not a subject which can be increased as productions of industry can be increased on demand being made, but is limited, absolutely limited. The domain of every town, city, and country is limited; it-is a limited extent which cannot be added to.
Q. But is its productiveness limited?—A. Its productiveness is not.
Q. In the same sense you might say that the size of a piece of personal property is limited; it can occupy only so much space.—A. I do not mean that.
Q. Go right on with your explanation.—A. I meant that there could be no increase of supply, as in commodities. When there is an excessive demand it produces an excessive supply in response.
Q. If you can increase the productiveness of land do you not increase the supply of land, in one sense?—A. The supply that comes from land.
Q. If you make an acre produce twice as much as before you have two acres of land, practically.—A. In that sense it can be increased.
Q. Is not that the precise sense in which you can increase personal property t—A. No, sir; you can add another thing of the same size and shape every way.
Q. Precisely; but then you have got two. Have you not got two acres of land by making the one twice as valuable as it was before; and that you can do by combining labor with it?—A. Well, it may be done, but I have not seen it done.
Q. It is a very common thing.. They have done it up in New Hampshire by putting manure on the ground, and plowing it in.—A. If that fact, that a man can double his land would prevent his wanting more, or would induce him to part with one-half of it
Q That may be, if he had not the means of improving the whole of it—A. In that sense it might be said to be increased.
Q. But suppose that man you speak of, whose estate you are dispersing, sells the land, as you wish to have him or his executors do, when yon consider this power to increase the value of the land, should he not be allowed to reinvest in land, buy manure and put it on land that is worthless, it may be?—A. I see no objection to that. I do not propose a limit of that kind.
Q. I thought you proposed a limit on the amount of land a man should occupy. You do not object to the reinvestment in real estate, then, if a man makes it valuable?—A. Not where it is upon the same extent of surface.
Q. Why is it not just as well for him to keep his property in that same piece of land as to sell that piece of land and buy another?—A. It is a great deal better, so far as the public interest is concerned.
Q. Then why is it necessary or right, if you are to allow the reinvestment of the estate in land, to compel the estate to sell that which it already has?—A. Only on a question of public policy.
Q. That is just what I am asking you; why as a question of public policy ought it to be done?—A. It ought to be done because while there are people who need land and have not land, there should be some provision of our public policy by which it could be obtained.
Q. But the same parties who are to buy this estate on sale may just as well take their money and put it into the other land in which the property of the estate will be invested after the sale is made. Unless this is to be a gratuitous distribution or a vesting of the land in the public and renting it out by the public I do not see that anything is gained; but there may be. You can explain it, perhaps. You would have the lands of the estates sold within a limited time. What else would you do in the distribution of a man's property that is different from the present order of things?—A. I would put real estate upon the same basis as personal property is held.
Q. Is it not now?—A. No, sir.
Q- Why not?—A. It requires a certain process of law to; be gone through.
Q. Very slightly different!—A. The recording of deeds.
Q. But is there any substantial difference?—A. There is. It is assumed that a man is in possession of that of which he is not in possession.
Q. Is not a man in possession of the land that he occupies?—A. Not unless be occupies it.
Q. Is he not just as much as a man is in possession of a horse he owns l»at that another man is using and paying hire for?—A. No, sir.
Q, Why not?—A. It is in the nature of the thing itself. The horse is u value which has been produced by labor, by care, by exertion, the putting forth of human efforts. The land is a thing which has not been so produced.
Q. Is there much substance to that distinction?—A. I think there is.
Q. What is the land worth before labor, human effort, has been put on it?—A. It is worth in some places $10 or $15 an acre.
Q. That is because labor has been put on land somewhere else close by?—A. Yes; but it has not been put by the owner who claims the land.
Q. Is it essential who puts it there!—A. Yes; I think it should belong to the one who puts it there.
Q. That may be; but the fact that the value is there does not depend on who did the labor. That is combined with the land. In other words, why is not labor, human effort, just as necessary to make land of any value as it is to make a hoe handle or a plowshare or a domestic animal of value?—A. It is undoubtedly, but the price which land will bring does not involve that, but involves another thing entirely, which is the privilege of exclusion, of excluding the land from occupancy by the people.
Q. It may be easier to avoid the effects of exclusion from the use of personal property because other people can produce like personal property more readily, but in the principle itself is there any difference?—A. I do not see any in the principle itself, only in its application.
Q. Then it is a difference in degree and not in principle, and that is what I was asking you about. We have occasion to use different policies in reference to the one from those in reference to the other, it may be, and our laws recognize it to some extent, but it is a matter of detail rather than of principle. Now, had you other points in your mind that may not be touched upon in your paper?—A. No; I think not. I wish to say that we regard it as possible for Congress to revoke the lands which have been squandered upon the railroads, especially where they have been forfeited by non-compliance with the terms.
Q. But where the grantees have complied with the terms of the grant, do you understand that there is any practicable way of recovering them to the public?—A. Only where these grants were not in good faith to the public.
Q. Where by the statutes that are upon the records of the country, and in accordance with those statutes, the companies have entered into possession and have complied with the conditions imposed, do you understand that there is any way to get the lands from them again?—A. I am not a constitutional lawyer, still I suppose that the right of eminent domain would include that—anything which was in the line of equity and justice.
Q. But you know that the right of eminent domain is never exercised but by compensation to the private owner whose land or property is taken for public use. Now, is it any advantage to the public?—A. I understand that, and where these lands are in the hands of innocent parties they cannot be reached, of course.
Q. Suppose that there was fraud in the original grant, which, as a matter of fact, would have to be established, of course, and suppose that the public should have known of the fraud since the statute was passed, and have slept upon the fraud, and meanwhile allowed the Union Pacific Railroad Company to mortgage its lands to other parties, who have advanced their capital in good faith, is there any way of getting those lands but by paying off the innocent mortgagees or holders?—A. No, perhaps not; still, if the principle of limitation could be applied it would remedy these results.
Q. It might be applied to all lands which have been forfeited and to all lands remaining in the public.—A. Yes. Our point is specially that the unsquandered lands should be placed under the homestead act wholly. We have petitioned for the last thirty or forty years regularly to Congress, and even when these railroad grants were passed to have the railroads required to sell only to actual settlers, but the whole thing was ignored.
Q We will examine your paper carefully and give it consideration?—A. Thanks.
The memorial presented by Mr. Ingalls is as follows:
87 HUDSON STREET, New York,
September 10, 1883.
To the Senatorial Committee:
GENTLEMEN: I am requested by the executive committee of the National Land Reform Association to submit to your attention the following propositions and suggestions:
(1.)—The sustenance of human life and the satisfaction of material wants are wholly applied by human labor from the land and its natural productions.
(2.)—All social wealth is the product of labor, intelligently directed; but deprived of land and the opportunities which occupancy of the land affords man's exertions can produce nothing or even be put forth.
(3.)—As a necessary deduction from the above axioms, the right of any and every human being to life depends, ultimately, upon his right to occupy the land and to enjoy the opportunities to labor thereon It also necessarily follows that whoever lives without labor of his own lives from off the labor of others.
From the earliest times productive labor has been burdened and despoiled; ownership of the laborer was the method in- barbaric days by which the dominant class appropriated to itself the greater share of all industrial production. With the disappearance of that form of servitude, however, the appropriation of the products of labor by those who do no labor has not ceased. For the man who owns the land eventually owns those who live and labor upon it, and is able by reason of his exclusive ownership to appropriate as large a share of the production as if he owned their persons. From Out laws of private property in land grows the lordly privilege to exclude all other persons and to prohibit the application of labor except upon such terms as shall please, the owner.
The founders of our Government supposed they had remedied the evils attending British landlordism when they prohibited titles of nobility and abolished the right of primogeniture and entail; but the potency of all these still adhere to the system of private property in land, which we have retained, but which is subject to none of the restraints or responsibilities which characterized the feudal system. There are numerous estates in this country of great magnitude, and which are growing larger each year. They date back for a century or more. I may mention as an instance one in this city, which has steadily advanced for three-quarters of a century. It is now in the possession of the fourth generation, and is virtually entailed in the family through a tradition which requires the possessor to deed, in his lifetime, the estate to his eldest or favorite son.
Private monopoly of land enforces rent, and which at the start takes from labor sore than twenty-five per cent, of the earnings of labor. Aside from what is usually embraced in rent, taxes, repairs, and improvements, the annual rental is counted by hundreds of millions, and for which no labor or reciprocal service whatever is given in return.
Through laws for enforcing payment of debts, exaction of usury, and a manipulated currency, quite as large sums are constantly absorbed as interest, profits of corners, in trade, stock gambling, &c. These have all to be abstracted from the annual production, often absorbing the whole plant upon which important industries depend, and thus, as in a crisis, throwing much labor out of employment altogether. Then there is the share which falls to the employer and owner of the plant, before it can be determined what wages shall be paid the laborer.
The friction of this whole system falls just here—between the employer and wage worker. The pressure under which both at times suffer, and which begets the antagonism between them, lies far deeper than any disparity of compensation which they respectively receive; for unless the employer is also capitalist or landlord, or combined with them, be cannot, however disposed, greatly wrong the other. The worker could not be seriously oppressed but that he is landless and homeless, because the only recourse for self-employment, the land, is monopolized, This alone produces the constant increase of the class of wage-workers for which there is no corresponding increase of the demand. I have found, from some observation, that the employer of a few men obtains just about as much income to himself as he pays in wages to his workmen; but 1 am satisfied that this disparity in their remuneration alone would not cause the dissatisfaction and depression which exist.
I have thus briefly sketched the causes which operate to produce the poverty and distress of the disinherited toilers, who by patient effort develop from our common patrimony the necessaries and luxuries of life. That personal indolence and improvidence contribute largely to the destitution and suffering which exist I do not deny; but there can be no doubt these are mainly induced by the very system of wages itself, which divorces the worker from any personal interest in that which he produces, and also by the spectacle which our society presents, wherein honest labor is despised and luxury is the reward, not of toil, but of idleness and vice.
I deem it useless to devise schemes to remedy these evils. No league between employed and employer, however cordial and faithfully carried out, could be of more than temporary benefit. Only a return to natural law, a scientific adjustment of the two primal agents in production, land and labor, and the restoration of man to his normal environment, and freedom of action therein, can effect any salutary change.
The domain of our nation is already well-nigh given over to monopoly. Enough to form seven States of the size of New York has been bestowed upon corporations, for no legitimate consideration, and the nations right of eminent domain has been nearly abdicated by our Congress. The roads sell these lands to settlers, it is true, but they also sell to speculators in large blocks. They sell on time at interest, which will keep the settler in bondage from generation to generation. The lands art; often taken back with improvements on foreclosure, and when only a part of the purchase-money remains due the entire property, as in times of depression, is taken to satisfy
But in addition to the home aristocracy, who affect land monopoly, we have the titled nobility of Europe founding vast estates, from which the American citizen is to be forever debarred, except as a tenant or serf of a foreign and perhaps absentee landlord.
I hold this tendency even more dangerous to our national well-being than the wild speculations which seized our men of wealth at the close of the last century, and occurred often in the early half of this. Those efforts were intended mostly as commercial speculations and failed, as they were quite sure to do. This, however, is a maturer purpose to establish large family estates, with a general system of rentals, or of bonanza farming or stock raising, and which makes the cultivator necessarily a tenant or wage-worker, with precarious employment and uncertain wages. So far has the system already proceeded to reduce the status of the laborer that our corporation magnates, and even your committee seem to think it worthy of remark, if found that labor is better paid in this country than in the tax-ridden and ill-governed countries of Europe.
That lands may remain cheap in certain localities gives no relief or refutation to our theory . The privilege lo occupy land is what makes price. Supply and demand operate here to make that price "all the traffic will bear." and whether the price is high or low makes little difference. The needy are excluded just the same; and it should also be borne in mind that the cheaper the lands the more easily are they monopolized by capital, and are usually sold only in large blocks, so that it is almost impossible to buy a small farm at a cheap rate even in the South, where titles are often found defective.
The only legislation we would suggest is the repeal of all land laws which give protection to titles to land not based on personal occupancy. The principle of limitation to private property in land, or its reduction to the same status as personal property, can be realized without any derangement to business or individual distress. It can be made prospective. After a certain date let no title be recorded which does not specify that the said tract is within the prescribed limits, and only required for occupancy and cultivation by the owner. Let this repeal not operate during the lifetime of any present owner as to land already in possession, and let him have the power to transfer his land to others under the prescribed limit. Let the executors, on the death of large landholders, have one or more years to dispose of the surplus, after heirs and legatees have received their proportions under the limitation.
By such a change in the system of land tenure no wrong would be wrought to any. It would secure the greatest benefit to all who are desirous of making for themselves and families independent homes, are capable of self-employment, and are willing to work.
It may be a question how far the reform indicated could be inaugurated by the General Government, but it can, as indeed it already has, recognized the principle of limitation to the acquirement of the public lands, as under the homestead act. Had that act been framed in accordance with our recommendation and been carried out in good faith, the interest of the country and the condition of labor would have been greatly improved The lands would have been taken up consecutively, so that the patient and industrious settler would have been near to markets and all social and educational facilities. Railroads would have been built as fast as needed, without subsidies and without the revolting spectacles of corruption we now behold.
Congress can at least undo some of its unfortunate work. It can put what land yet remains unsquandered wholly under the homestead act. The grants made in betrayal of that trust which committed the patrimony of the coming generations to their care can all be declared forfeited, especially where strict compliance with the terms of the grants have not been complied with, and where the land has not passed into the bands of innocent parties.
In view of the past, however, the outlook is not encouraging, that under the sway of party politics Congress will do anything but foster giant corporations, grant subsidies, and shape legislation generally to favor capitalistic adventurers, who flock to the lobby and cry "give! give!!" but who are first to volunteer the advice that no legislation is required to protector inform the workingman that he has liberty of making contracts and full freedom to work and lay up his earnings and become a millionaire, and ought to ask nothing more, and that the only way in which he can be possibly benefited is to have the Government secure capitalists and large corporations in their monopolies by high protective tariffs, steamship subsidies, railroad grants and franchises, and privilege to bankers to furnish a circulating medium to the people, &c, while keeping open the doors of the nation to the wholesale importation of the impoverished and demoralized laborers of all other countries, to compete with our own.
It will be well for us to reflect that we are rapidly pursuing the same course which through absorption of the lands debased the citizenship of the Roman republic, and paved the way for the empire under the Caesars, nineteen hundred years ago. Unless this course is changed the indications are that this country will not pass away before an organized oligarchy will control our Government wholly, or conspire for its overthrow. The heart sickens to contemplate in anticipation the struggle which the misled people are certain to make to regain their sovereignty when they once clearly apprehend the peril to which it is exposed.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
J. K. INGALLS,
Corresponding Secretary N. L. R. Association.
Joshua King Ingalls, "Relation of Labor to Land," Report of the Committee of the Senate upon the Relations between labor and Capital, 2nd ed. (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1885).