Economist Educational Exercises.
A series of instructive lessons for use in Alliances, debating societies, lyceums, and to disseminate a correct understanding of the economic questions of the day.
The series will consist of forty exercises, and will be published in The National Economist during the year 1892, ten lessons each quarter.
Lodges or societies which meet only once or twice a month should at once open a voluntary class that will agree to have weekly meetings for the purpose of conducting this educational work.
The exercises will be published about two weeks ahead of the dale on which they are intended to be used, in order that Ali may have time to get them and study them well.
LESSON No. 2 --To be used during the second week in February.
Who is he?
How did he get his money?
How much of it has he produced or earned by hard labor?
As we are the richest nation in the world by several billions, it is natural and fitting that we should possess the richest man.
The exact value of Mr. Rockefeller's estate is probably unknown even to himself. It is variously estimated by conflicting authorities at $200,000,000, at $250,000,000, and even as high as $300,000,000. According to the best authority it must be at least $200,000,000, and those are the figures we shall use in our computations.
It is said that Cornelius Vanderbilt, who inherited $5,000,000 from his grandfather in 1877, has already trebled the amount in 1891. At the same rate of increase, $200,000,000 will become $600,000,000 in 1905. Before 1920 the $600,000,000 will have become $1,000,000,000, and the billionaire will be among us.
If the same conditions continue, in much less than thirty years our one richest man may be able to pay the present national debt.
In considering such enormous sums of money we lose our sense of its value. We fail to realize its power.
1. Estate, $200,000,000.
2. Income, } $1,000,000 per month. $ 12, 000,000 per year.
He is four times as rich as the Queen of England.
He can hire an army or build a city.
Possible value of estate in 1920, $1,800,000,000.
What may be done with his income of $12,000,000 per year.
1. How many men can be hire, paving each man a salary of $1,000 each? How many, paying the wages usually received by farm hands in your neighborhood?
The Queen of England receives $3,000,000 per year. How many queens could be pay?
3. The President of the United States receives a salary of $50,000 per year. If he were in need of presidents, how many could he hire and pay with his income?
4. How many 30 acre farms could he buy at $50 per acre?
5. If he should use his income for twenty years in buying farms, how many would he own at the end of that time?
6. How many acres of land could he buy at $50 per acre?
7. There are 640 acres in a square mile, and 36 square miles in a township. How many town ships could he buy with one year's income?
8. If he should buy 1,000 acres of land at $50 per acre, how much money would he have left?
9. How many houses could he build with it at $1,000 each?
10. How many people would this city contain (11,950 houses x 5, the average number in a household, and 59,750 people)?
11. Should he continue to expend his income in building for the next twenty years, how many homes would he own?
12. What would be the population of his city?
What may be done with his principal, $200,000,000.
1. How many acres of land can he buy at $50 per acre? How many 80 acre farms?
2. How many townships? How many counties?
3. How many grocery stores could he stock at $5,000 each?
4. How many dry goods stores at $10,000 each?
5. How many drugstores at $10,000 each? (Continue these problems at pleasure. Their use is to give an idea of the power of wealth?)
1. Mr. Walling, ex -- superintendent of police of New York city, has said: "Although, of course, all things are possible, yet I would not count as among probable contingencies under the present system of government in New York the hanging of anyone of its millionaires, no matter how unprovoked or premeditated the murder he might have committed."
2. Call attention to the fact that the possessor of a twelve million dollar income could offer each juryman one million dollars for a verdict of acquittal. Should ten prove honest and refuse the bribe, he could offer the other two six million dollars each, aim only use his year's income; or, should eleven prove honest, he could offer one juryman twelve million dollars, and only use his income. Is justice likely to be strictly administered to millionaire criminals?
3. What will be the condition of the people when one man owns the homes of 1,195,000 people?
4. Call attention to the fact that 60,000 farms in one man's hands means an army of 100,000 tenant farmers.
5. Is that a cheering prospect for the laborers of this nation?
6. Call attention to the fact that some people grumble because the President's salary is so large, yet we have among us men whose yearly income would pay twenty presidents, and a still greater number whose yearly income would pay ten presidents.
The subject of lesson III will be: Our millionaires.
Look over your books, magazines, and newspapers, and bring to the lodge everything you can find of interest about our millionaires. How did they get their start in life? Where were they born and educated? Did they get their money by honest dealings, or the reverse? How are they using it? What charitable institutions are they founding? What educational institutions? The instructor and the lecturer will make use of the materials brought in. If you are willing to read your selections yourself, so much the better.
1. Do not fail to call attention to the vast difference in resources between the thirteen undeveloped colonies and the present United States.
2. Call particular attention to the fact that the accumulated wealth, divided by the population, gives one thousand dollars each for every man, woman, and child in the United States, including the baby in the cradle.
3. The average family consists of five members. Each household of five by equal division of the property of the United States would be entitled five thousand dollars.
4. Remember that we are not contending that an equal division would be a just division. We are merely trying to find out whether the laborers of the United States produce enough yearly to properly feed and clothe the nation and furnish each family with the comforts of life.
5. Bring out the point that according to all division each household of five is entitled to an annual income of $1,030.
6. Bring out the point that by equal division of the amount saved during the last ten years, each household, after using its annual income of $1,030, should have saved at least $1,700.
7. Is there enough for all?
Per capita wealth, true valuation, by States, 1850 to 1880, from Scribner's Statistical Atlas:
|District of Columbia||271.23||547.22||965.35||1,255.45|
Hunt up the average wealth in your own State and see how many such men Mr. Rockefeller's income represents, etc.
The following table is taken from an article by Widow; G. Sherman, printed in the Forum, and may be considered as comparatively correct. The names of many of these wealth owners might be given, but it would only take up space: The
|200 people are worth||2,000,000,000|
|31,100 people.||Total wealth $56,250,000,000|
This table shows that three fifths of the entire wealth ($60,000,000,000) of the United States is owned by one twentieth of 1 per cent of the population.
There was but two millionaires in 1860, now there are over 31,000. Then there was no tramp; now there are 2,000,000. Comment is unnecessary.