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19 HINDRANCES TO PROSPERITY
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HINDRANCES TO PROSPERITY;
CAUSES WHICH RETARD FINANCIAL AND POLITICAL
REFORMS IN THE UNITED STATES.*
Mr. President and Gentlemen :
It must appear something like a paradox to my hearers, but I shall maintain, in this address, that in all financial and political reformatory measures, we do not keep pace with our sister nations of Europe.
That the mass of our people is perhaps better fed and clothed than those standing upon the same level abroad, is due to causes quite independent of legislation and politics; but that our people are not better off than we find them, is mainly due to our inaptitude to appreciate and carry out what other nations have done in the way of such reforms.
In every form of society there is, and always has existed, a spirit which desires change, and a vis-inertiæ which happily resists change of every kind, be it beneficial or otherwise. This conservative element prevents
* An Address delivered on the 21st of Nuvember, 1878, before the N. Y. Free Trade Club.