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DE OLS Fighting Cocks.


The Year book of the United States Brewers' Association. 1915

general demand that the tax burden be lessened throughout the State. The committee found and reported: “There is a tendency throughout the State to increase taxes on an already overburdened people, both by constant increase of the assessment as well as the rate. Economy in public affairs, whether State, city or county, is the exception and not the rule.” Also the committee found that there was nothing in the industrial, commercial, or agricultural conditions throughout the State to warrant this increase of taxes. On the other hand, there was much to warrant a sharp reduction of the burden. This association is a non-partisan organization of manufacturers, having only the welfare of the whole State at interest. Its report as made by the special committee, is an honest portrayal of the results of prohibition and unwise policies of administration.

The enforcement of this prohibition law in Tennessee, made vacant more than 600 business houses in the four large cities of the State. Seventy-five per cent of them are vacant to-day. They formerly yielded to their owners an average monthly income of $50.00 at a conservative estimate. A simple calculation will inform the reader as to the total of this economic loss. It amounts to about $300,000 a year. And while these business properties have been rendered useless so far as revenue to their owners is concerned, the prohibition tax-gatherer presents a larger bill than he presented when the properties were yielding revenue.

It is an easy matter for the intelligent reader to see how such conditions affect all lines of trade and traffic in a State. Not one business, unless it be the dispensers of the habit-forming drugs and soft drinks, has escaped unhurt. Every prohibition State in the South repeats the record of Tennessee. They have had trouble with their finances under prohibition; the cities are full of vacant business houses; much labor is unemployed; values are unsettled chaos is the rule rather than the exception. North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and West Virginia, have all defaulted in payment of debts because of prohibition and the wastefulness of the average prohibition Legislature. Georgia made her school teachers wait for their money until bonds could be sold; Alabama's Governor declared a moratorium immediately following the passage of that State's newest State-wide law; North Carolina has been trying to sell bonds for two or three years to meet obligations of the State, and West Virginia has suffered all of its public institutions to go without money for months.

The assertion of the prohibition apologists that these things would have happened anyway, begs the question. Perhaps, however, they are right about it and that we who do not believe in the policy of prohibition, are wrong; but the plain, unclouded facts are, that these Southern States adopted a policy that destroys public revenue and trouble over finances followed. The prohibitionist himself does not deny that every prohibition State has suffered materially of recent years; his defense is that something else did it. Surely no opponent of prohibition in the Southern States denies him that privilege.

Have the morals of the South, public and private, shown any improvement under prohibition? Again let the record speak for itself. Before the adoption of prohibition in Tennessee the leaders of the crusade assured the people that a prohibition law would save more money in the item of criminal prosecutions and police protection than it would lose to the public treasuries in money. The cost of criminal prosecutions in Tennessee in 1908, the last year of license, is shown by the State Comptroller's report to have been $158,000; for the biennial period of 1913-14, the criminal cost bill was $342,000. To the latter sum must be added about $50,000, paid by the governor under a special act of the Legislature to friendly attorneys for their services in trying to enforce the prohibition law. Tennessee keeps no record of crime by which comparisons may be made, but the fact that there has been an increase in the cost of prosecuting criminals in the State, is reasonable proof that crime has increased since the adoption of prohibition. The present Legislature made further addition to this drain on the public treasury by enacting a law creating the institution of State Rangers, all to be appointed by the Governor. These Rangers have superior authority over local officers in the enforcement of law. The cities of the State are paying more money now for policė protection than they paid six years ago. Official reports show this to be true.

North Carolina keeps a record of crime, in bound reports of the Attorney-General of the State. From these reports it appears that crime is on the increase there also. The average increase in

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