Fallacious Doctrine

Bryan's World Herald criticizes John Thurston's claims in the joint debate that the Republicans defend American working men with the protectionist tariff.


Tecumseh, Neb., October 20, 8 p.m.
Burr, October 20, 8 p.m.
Fairbury, Monday October 22, 1 p.m.
Hastings, Monday, October 22, 8 p.m.
Kearney, Tuesday, October 23, 1 p.m.
Grand Island, Tuesday, October 23, 8 p.m.
Nelson, Wednesday, October 24, 2 p.m.
Clay Center, Wednesday, October 24, 8 p.m.
Hebron, Thursday, October 25, 2 p.m.
Geneva, Thursday, October 25, 8 p.m.
Union, Friday, October 26, 2 p.m.
Plattsmouth, Friday, October 26, 8 p.m.
Springfield, Saturday, October 27, 2 p.m.
South Omaha, Saturday, October 27, 8 p.m.


The joint debate is over and the merits thereof left to the determination of the people. But in so far as the press becomes the purveyor of statements publicly made it owes the public the duty of refuting fallacious statements boldly put forth without support or verification. Upon the subject of the wages of American working men the Hon. John M. Thurston dwelt at length and with fervor. According to his view the American working man was the especial charge of the republican party and the special beneficiary of the policy of protection.

Now as a matter of fact, in proportion to the product there is no cheaper factory labor than that of this country. The average manufacturing operative of England receives $204 per year against an average of $175 paid to the French operative; an average of $155 to the German operative and an average of $120 paid to the Russian operative, while the United States operative earns on an average of $347 per year, but it is further shown that because a superior skill and superior machinery the average operative in the American factory turns out $1,880 wroth of product, and the average English operative turns out $790 worth of product so that the American factory worker is really paid lower wages relatively to the value of the product. In every $100 worth of factory goods in the United States the labor is represented by $18.45. On the same goods produced in England $25.82 is paid for labor. In France the labor costs $32.11; in Germany, $28.44; in Austria, $36.63, in Italy $49.05.

Of all the eminent protectionists of the country no one's utterances were accepted as oracular as were James G. Blaine. He admitted that American labor was cheaper than the best-paid labor of Europe. In his report made as secretary of state to congress regard to the comparative wages of Europe and the United States, abased on reports made on his order by our consuls in European countries, Mr. Blaine said: "Undoubtedly the inequalities in the wages of English and American operatives are more then equalized by the greater efficiency of the latter and their longer hours of labor.

"In the two prime factors which may be said to form the basis of the cotton manufacturing industry, namely, raw material and labor, we hold the advantage over England in the first, and stand upon an equality with her in the second." And yet with this point-blank statement on record from Blaine that the higher nominal rates of wages paid here is "more than equalized" by the fact that the American operative works longer hours and produces more for the money.

In spite of this Mr. Thurston's logic seems to be that because American manufacturers have been given free, and consequently cheaper raw material, that they will cut the wages of the American working man, even though under the new law the duties of finished products are higher the entire cost of the labor on them.

About this Document

  • Source: Omaha World Herald
  • Citation: 4
  • Date: October 20, 1894