Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/577

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559
LITERARY NOTICES.

strated, and Mr. Atkinson adds his word to that of others who have written upon the subject.

He thinks that the effect of the tariff on wages has been greatly overestimated by both free-traders and protectionists. The number of those who can be directly benefited in their wages by a tariff is for the country as a whole not much over five per cent. Wages have steadily risen in the last twenty-live years, and the rise has been much more rapid in the non-protected than in the protected industries. The tariff cuts but a small figure as a factor in determining wages, and so far as it is an element its tendency is to lower wages. Mr. Atkinson considers that the important factor in raising wages is the steady improvement in the tools and processes of the mechanic arts, agreeing entirely with Mr. Schoenhoff that a high rate of wages is the necessary concomitant of high efficiency and low cost of production. His discussion of bimetallism, though brief, is clear and to the point. He arranges it in the form of a number of propositions, as the readiest means of exposing the essential elements of the question to the understanding of the reader. It is perhaps unnecessary to state that he shows clearly the folly of the silver advocates. Taken as a whole, this discussion is one of the strongest and clearest presentations of the tariff question in all its bearings which the current interest in the subject has brought forth, and it can be unreservedly commended to those seeking light upon this important issue.

Experimental Evolution. By Henry de Varigny. London and New York: Macmillan & Co., 1892. Pp. 271. Price, $1.50.

Prof. de Varigny has gathered together in this volume five lectures delivered by him before the Summer School of Art and Science at Edinburgh, advocating the desirability of experiments in organic evolution to prove in a direct way the birth of new species of plants and animals out of antecedent ones. In his discussion of the character of the proofs we now have of evolution, he points out that they are all inferential, and, while they are convincing to the great body of naturalists who have studied the facts, he thinks that the main contentions of the evolutionist can be demonstrated beyond question by direct experiment. Already much experimenting of this kind has been done, which has resulted in the production of a great number of varieties, but this has not been carried on systematically through a sufficient period nor simply with reference to the scientific value of the experiments. The lectures are very suggestive in an important line of scientific work, and will doubtless receive adequate attention from the naturalists.

The Farmers' Tariff Manual. By Daniel Strange. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1892. Pp. 363. Price, $1.25.

Mr. Strange has given in this volume a very excellent tariff talk to the farmers. He is himself a farmer, and is therefore able to bring to the attention of the farmers in an effective way the things in our tariff medley which bear most directly upon their interests. The author's method of dealing with the subject is to take a quotation from a speech or the writings of well-known protectionists and comment upon it. As such quotations embody the points made by protectionist orators in the current discussions of the tariff issue, this method has considerable advantage over the systematic treatment of the subject by economists. The work is divided into four main parts, devoted to a Tariff for Revenue, Theories of Protection, History of Protection, and the Practical Results of Protection. The author deals with the first of these divisions very briefly. He does not believe in such a tariff on account of its extreme inefficiency, but holds that all taxation should be direct. In the division devoted to theories of protection he disposes in very short order of the ridiculous claim of the latter-day protectionists that the foreigner pays the tariff tax. He also considers Mr. Blaine's wonderful reciprocity scheme, and once more endeavors to make clear to the average man the meaning of a "balance of trade." In the historical division he gives a brief account of the successive tariffs from the foundation of the Government down, which the protectionist farmer, who is at all open to conviction, will find very instructive reading. The book closes with a review of the practical results of protection, and an earnest appeal to the farmers of the country to drop all side issues,