National Geographic : 1906 Sep
ANIMAL WEALTH OF the leading exporters of boots and shoes, in spite of the fact that the average price per pair is $1.52, as against 95 cents for those exported from Great Britain, and about all of this difference goes to the American workman. A TENFOLD INCREASE But the great increase in exports of leather, and particularly in boots and shoes, does not compare with the increase in output for domestic consumption. This is shown in the product of the man ufactories of Massachusetts, where the increase of value of shoes made was $70,271,966 in 1905, as compared with 1895, when the increase over 1885 was only $7,405,548. A tenfold increase does not look as if the Massachusetts shoe markets were being injured by a small duty on a portion of their material. No wonder that Governor Guild and the Boston papers can boast of the great prosperity of Boston and vicinity. Here is a recent extract from the Boston Globe: Boston is the center of the wealthiest and best purchasing community in the country without any exception whatever. In the purchasing ability of the average per son Boston is far ahead of all according to the national census. Per capita wealth of the people of Boston, $1,942; New York, $1,337; Philadelphia, $1,127; Chicago, $1,016; St Louis, $918. One-twentieth of the wealth of the United States is within 50 miles of Boston. One-fifth of the savings of the people of the United States is in the Massachusetts savings and cooperative banks to the credit of Massa chusetts depositors. GOVERNOR GUILD ON MASSACHUSETTS PROSPERITY Governor Guild said in his annual ad dress to the legislature of Massachusetts last January: Massachusetts, fourth from the foot in area, is seventh from the top in population, fourth from the top in the annual value of her manu factures, and third from the top in the annual amount paid in wages. Measured by assessed valuation of the property in her borders, Mas sachusetts is exceeded by but two States. THE UNITED STATES 523 Fourth from the foot in area, Massachusetts is third from the top in wealth The annual value of the manufactured prod ucts of Massachusetts increased by but $175, 173,033 between 1885 and 1895. It increased by $300,267,558 between 1895 and 1905. The total value of goods made in Massachusetts was $1,150,074,860 in 1905. On October 31 the total amount on deposit in our savings banks was, in 1885, $274,998,412; in 1895, $438,269,861, and in 1905, $662,808,312. The increase in the last decade was greater by over $58,000,000 than in the decade that pre ceded it. In 1885 the average deposit for each person of population was $141.64; in 1895, $175.69, and in 1905, $220.67. The gain in de posits per capita in the last decade was greater by nearly one-third than the gain in the pre ceding decade. We do not envy Massachusetts her great prosperity. We all rejoice in it. With free hides, during the three or four awful years the result of the Wilson Gorman tariff on general business, cattle hides on the ranges of Western States, such as Wyoming, were not worth the taking off. In killing beef the hides had necessarily to come off, but even then they were thrown aside and never shipped, because the railroad freight charges alone amounted to more than the hides would fetch in market, and so they were thrown aside by the thousands and rotted where thrown; whereas now, in these same States, with railroad charges equally as high, each hide brings several dollars and adds just that much to the worth of every head of cattle. DUTY ON HIDES A GENERAL BENEFIT The duty on hides has been of general benefit and of injury to no one. Neither manufacturers, merchants, nor working men have been affected adversely by the operation of the duty; on the con trary, all have been benefited through in creased employment, increased wages,. and increased sales, while the cattle grower has certainly benefited by a larger sale of his product at profitable prices. I do not deny that the duty increased the price of hides somewhat, but the in creased value is of slight moment in the cost of each pair of shoes, but is of much concern as to each cattle hide.