17 February 1866. N. 1173.

The Economist, 17. Februar 1866. S. 185.
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Money market.

Oriental demand for silver very much diminished. Supplies of gold coming to the Bank. Continental exchanges improving … we certainly hope that perhaps, even next week, the Directors of the B.o.E. will be able to diminish their rate of discount.

The Economist, 17. Februar 1866. S. 187–190.
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The Report of the American Commissioners on Revenue (appointed by the President)  Zusatz von Marx.
(Blue Book.)

1) Effects of war on people: „the consumption of coffee in the U. St. decreased from the annual average of 200 Mill. pounds in 1860 to less than 80 Mill. pounds in 1863. During the same period consumption of sugar decreased from 31 to 19 pounds per capita; and of tea for the whole country about 23%.“ the rise of price caused by the immense issues of Gvt paper money greatly straitened all classes mit small fixed incomes. Even now the Commissions estimate 60l. before the war as equal to 100l. now. Such a diminution of effectual income contemporaneous mit immense increase of taxation.

2) The original parts of American finance are breaking down. Z.B. die Yankees erfanden wӓhrend des Kriegs 6% tax on the industrial products of the country, subject to some exceptions and modifications. Nun question: What is a product? The law decided that a thing was produced when it was „made“. Of course when it is completed, and the only test of its completion is its being sold. But owing to the division of labour many articles produced in a 100 places, and the result which the consumer gets is the aggregate of a 100 previous sellings and makings. The law could make no distinction between articles sold to a manufacturer and a consumer. It would have been baffled by wholesale evasion. It taxed all „makings“ 6%. The Commission describes the curious result: „Under the operation of this law the Gvt. now levies and collects from 8 to 15%, in some instances 20%, on almost every finished industrial product. … A good illustration … is presented in the manufacture of umbrellas and parasols, as carried on in the cities of New York and Philadelphia. It was formerly the practice of umbrella-makers to manufacture the main constituents of their product as one business; but now the business of an umbrella-maker is rather to assemble the various constituents of an umbrella or parasol, which are made separately and in different parts of the country. Thus, f.e., the sticks, when of wood, are made in Philadelphia and in Connecticut; part of native and part of foreign wood, on which last a duty may have been paid. If the supporting rod is of iron or of steel, it is the product of still another establishment. In like manner the handles of carved wood, bone or ivory; the brass runners, the tips, the elastic band, the rubber, of which the band is composed, the silk tassels, the buttons, and the cover of silk, gingham or alpaca, are all distinct products of manufacture, and each of these constituents, if of domestic manufacture, pays a tax when sold of 6% ad valorem, or its equivalent. The umbrella manufacturer now aggregates all these constituent parts, previously taxed, into a finished product, and then pays 6% on the whole. It is, therefore, evident that under the existing excise system, all the parts of the umbrella are taxed at least twice, and, in some cases, three times, thus adding from 12 to 15% on the umbrella direct; while we may feel certain, moreover, that each separate manufacturer makes the payment of the 6% tax on his special product an occasion for adding from 1 to 3% additional to its cost price, in some instances over 6%.“

„Again, in the case of books, pamphlets etc, it is claimed that, including licenses and income tax, the finished book and its constituent materials pay from 12 to 15 distinct taxes before reaching the reader. Every separate item that enters into the bookpaper, cloth, boards, glue, thread, gold-leaf, leather |20 and type material – pays from 3 to 6% in the first instance, and then 5% on the whole combined; and this not upon the cost of the manufactured article, but upon the price at which it is sold.“

The effect of this tax, in appearance so equitable and simple, has been to impose a burden differing almost in every instance upon the different industries of the country.

Nor is this all. The tax of 6% on domestic products has led to the oddest results when compared with the tariff on imports. That tariff is necessarily a tariff on consumable articles: not on the bits and components of such articles. Umbrellas or books come by ship as wholes, and must be taxed as wholes. How then is an Excise-duty to be made equal to the Customhouse system, and no more than equal to the Custom-duty? The Commission describe describes the present contrast:

„In the case of the umbrella and parasol manufacture, the cover, as a constituent element of construction, represents from 1/2 to 2/3 the entire cost of the finished article. The silk, the alpaca and Scotch gingham, of which the covers are made, are all imported, the former paying a duty of 60% and the latter two about 50% ad valorem, the variation being slight on the quality of the texture. The manufactured umbrella, covered with the same material, whose constituent parts are not taxed, either on the material used in their fabrication or on their sale, are, however, admitted under the present tariff at a duty of 35% ad valorem, or at a discriminating duty against the American and in favour of the foreign producer of from 15 to 25%. If we make allowance for the various U. St. internal revenue taxes, it is claimed by the American manufacturer that the discrimination in favour of the foreign producer is fully equal to 40%. It needs hardly to be added that, during the past 6 months imported umbrellas have been sold at auction in New York and Boston, with the original cost, duty, freight and charges paid in gold, for a less price than the American article can be manufactured; or that the business of making umbrellas and parasols in New York and Philadelphia, involving a capital of 2,000,000 dollars and employing the labour of some 5000 persons, a majority of whom are females, is threatened with utter destruction. In two instances cited to the Commission, umbrella manufactures have closed their factories in the U. St., and, with a view of exporting to this country, have transferred their capital and skill to Europe. In a communication submitted to the Commission by a committee of umbrella manufacturers, they state that, unless relief is speedily obtained, we can perceive no other possible course to pursue but the alternative of retiring entirely from the field, and leaving it entirely to foreign hands.“

Ebenso mit books.

„The Commission would add that at the present time the one article which, above all others, would seem to be a peculiar product of American industry, viz. Webster’s Spelling Book, is now being printed in large quantities in London for the use of American schools.“

In practice no system of Excise pressing on all commodities can be made equal to a tariff pressing on all commodities. The home imposts cannot be too small, or they will not be worth collecting; the Customs duty must not be too large, or it will be a prohibition unproductive to the revenue and useful only to the smuggler.

Repairs: The Americans put a tax of 36/10% on the repairs of every article if the cost of that repair exceeded 10% on the value. Aristocratic legislation. A repair of trifling cost is more than 10% of an article of small value; much less than 10% on articles of great value: hence, expensive articles of luxury can be repaired without a tax, but cheap articles of common use must pay a tax. „If“, say the Commissioners, „the worker in wood repairs a wheebarrow wheelbarrow worth 1 dollar by adding 10 cents to the value, it is taxable; but if he repairs a carriage or piano worth 500 dollars, no tax accrues unless he adds 50 dollars to the value.“

It is amusing to think that the American financiers should have established a system so favourable to articles of luxury as well as to articles of foreign manufacture.|


3) The great revenue now to be raised will necessarily bring about in America a great political change.  Kommentar von Marx.
(Hierüber kohlt aber „Economist“ nur das Oberflӓchliche der Commission nach über die Nothwendigkeit stehende skilled collectors zu haben und dem finance minister neue Stellung zu geben.)

On the whole, the finance management of America is falling back into the old humdrum inevitable channels of Europe, just as the finance itself is falling back. Money can only be got by certain modes and by certain men, whether on the eastside of the Atlantic or the West.

The Economist, 10. Februar 1866. S. 190.
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The Bill authorising loans for the Construction of Houses for the Poor.

One half the population of Gr. Brit. now lives in towns. The Metropolis has a population equal to that of Scotland, twice that of Denmark, necessarily 3 × that of Greece. London receives new inmates at the estimated rates of 300 a day. This packing has now reached a point at which it threatens to be destructive – typhus has become endemic in London … The railways become a swath of erased houses, until it is officially calculated that, within this single year, 16 000 houses have been marked for destruction, and upwards of 80 000 persons will be thrown upon quarters already overburdened. This cannot go on without one or 2 results – pestilence or an attempt on the part of the dispossed dispossessed to obtain a remedy by force … . Besides, a population so overcrowded must deteriorate in virtue, civilization, and in the capacity for works.

Mr. Childers’ bill, sanctioned by Gladstone, authorises the Commissioners of Public Work Loans to lend money at 4% to municipalities, vestries, companies and private persons to construct dwellings for the poor, the security being the buildings, and the duration of the loan 7 years.


  • London. 1868.
  • 1866 „The Economist“ (Jahrgang 1866) vol. XXIV.
  • The Social Economist, 1. Oktober 1868
  • „The Economist“ (Jahrgang 1866) (Fortsetzung)
  • Jahrgang 1867.
  • Register der obigen Auszüge aus dem Economist für 1866 und 1867.
  • The „Money Market Review“. Jahrgang 1866.
  • The Money Market Review. Jahrgang 1867.
  • Register Money Market Review Jahrgänge 1866 und 1867