“Old Bill” Suggests—
The Chicago stockyards, run by the Union Stock Yard and Transit Company, with the farmers of the middle west as customers at one end and the Chicago meat packing firms as customers at the other, is an enterprise so huge that few people realize the volume of business that is being handled out on the west side of the city.
In the last seventy years the stockyards have handled 192,000,000 cattle, 21,000,000 calves, 461,000,000 hogs, 200,000,000 sheep, and 3,934,000 horses. Leaving out the horses, the total of 844,000,000 animals amounts to twenty-five head of livestock for every family in the United States.
The year 1935 was the worst for the stockyards, in point of volume, since 1886. There were 1,972,180 cattle handled, compared with 2,272,260 in 1934 and 3,202,719 in 1924. There were 3,600,343 hogs handled, compared with 6,510,002 in 1934 and 10,443,175 in 1924.
One of the troubles with the “economy of scarcity” theory, which nature so amply reinforced, was that while farmers received payments for not raising pigs, the men at the stockyards could not get jobs handling the ghosts of hogs and cattle.
Jobs at the stockyards depend on millions of prosperous and producing American farms and ranches throughout the west and middle west. The sooner Chicago realizes its close integration with the whole Mississippi valley, the more leadership it will take in aiding the prosperity of the region of which it is the largest city and the financial center.
ROYAL F. MUNGER.