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tion of the necessaries, and for not a very large portion even of the luxuries, of life. Very many of the anti-trust laws which have made their appearance on the statute books of recent years have been almost or absolutely ineffective because they have blinked the all-important fact that much of what they thought to do away with was incidental to modern industrial conditions, and could not be eliminated unless we were willing to turn back the wheels of modern progress by also eliminating the forces which had brought about these industrial conditions. Not only trusts, but the immense importance of machinery, the congestion of city life, the capacity to make large fortunes by speculative enterprises, and many other features of modern existence could be thoroughly changed by doing away with steam and electric ity; but the most ardent denouncer of trusts would hesitate to advocate so drastic a remedy. What remains for us to do, as practical men, is to look the conditions squarely in the face and not to permit the emotional side of the question, which has its proper place, to blind us to the fact that there are other sides. We must set about finding out what the real abuses are, with their causes, and to what extent remedies can be applied.

That abuses exist, and that they are of a very grave character, it is worse than idle to deny. Just so long as in the business world unscrupulous cunning is allowed the free rein which, thanks to the growth of humanity during the past centuries, we now deny to unscrupulous physical force, then just so long there will be a field for the best effort of every honest social and civic reformer who is capable of feeling an impulse of generous indignation and who is far-sighted enough to appreciate where

the real danger to the country lies. The effects are bad enough when the unscrupulous individual works by himself. They are much worse when he works in conjunction with his fellows through a giant corporation or trust. Law is largely crystallized custom, largely a mass of remedies which have been slowly evolved to meet the wrongs with which humanity has become thoroughly familiar. In a simple society only simple forms of wrong can be committed. There is neither the ability nor the opportunity to inflict others. A primitive people provides for the punishment of theft, assault, and murder, because the conditions of the existing society allow the development of thieves and murderers and the commission of deeds of violence; but it does not provide for the punishment of forgery because there is nothing to forge, and, therefore, no forgers. The gradual growth of humanitarian sentiment, often unconscious or but semi-conscious, combined with other causes, step by step emancipated the serf from bodily subjection to his over-lord; he was then protected in his freedom by statute; but when he became a factory hand the conditions were new and there were no laws which prevented the use of unguarded machinery in the factories, or the abuses of child labor, forced upon the conscientious employers by the unscrupulous, until legislation put them on an equality. When new evils appear there is always at first difficulty in finding the proper remedy; and as the evils grow more complex, the remedies become increasingly difficult of application. There is no use whatever in seeking to apply a remedy blindly; yet this is just what has been done in reference to trusts.

Much of the legislation not only proposed but enacted against trusts is not one whit more intelligent than the mediæval bull against the comet, and has not been one particle more effective. Yet there can and must be courageous and effective remedial legislation.

To say that the present system, of haphazard license and lack of supervision and regulation, is the best possible, is absurd. The men who endeavor to prevent the remedying of real abuses, not only show callous disregard for the suffering of others, but also weaken those who are anxious to prevent the adoption of indiscriminate would-be remedies which would subvert our whole industrial fabric. The chicanery and the dishonest, even though not technically illegal, methods through which some great fortunes have been made, are scandals to our civilization. The man who by swindling or wrongdoing acquires great wealth for himself at the expense of his fellow, stands as low morally as any predatory mediæval nobleman and is a more dangerous' member of society. Any law, and any method of construing the law which will enable the community to punish him, either by taking away his wealth or by imprisonment, should be welcomed. Of course, such laws are even more needed in dealing with great corporations or trusts than with individuals. They are needed quite as much for the sake of honest corporations as for the sake of the public. The corporation that manages its affairs honestly has & right to demand protection against the dishonest corporation. We do not wish to put any burden on honest corporations. Neither do we wish to put an unnecessary burden of responsibility on enterprising men for acts which are immaterial; they should be relieved from such burdens, but held to a rigid financial

accountability for acts that mislead the upright investor or stockholder, or defraud the public.

The first essential is knowledge of the facts, publicity. Much can be done at once by amendment of the corporation laws so as to provide for such publicity as will not work injustice as between business rivals.

The chief abuses alleged to arise from trusts are probably the following: Misrepresentation or concealment regarding material facts connected with the organization of an enterprise; the evils connected with unscrupulous promotion; overcapitalization; unfair competition, resulting in the crushing out of competitors who themselves do not act improperly; raising of prices above fair competitive rates; the wielding of increased power over the wage-earners. Of course none of these abuses may exist in a particular trust, but in many trusts, as well as in many corporations not ordinarily called trusts, one or more of them is evident. Some of these evils could be partially remedied by a modification of our corporation laws; here we can safely go along the lines of the more conservative New England States, and probably not a little farther. Such laws will themselves provide the needed publicity, and the needed circumstantiality of statement. We should know authoritatively whether stock represents actual value of plants, or whether it represents brands or good-will; or if not, what it does represent, if anything. It is desirable to know how much was actually bought, how much was issued free; and to whom; and, if possible, for what reason. In the first place, this would be invaluable in preventing harm being done as among the stockholders, for many of the grossest wrongs that are perpetrated are those of promoters and organizers at the expense of the general public who are invited to take shares in business organizations. In the next place, this would enable us to see just what the public have a right to expect in the way of service and taxation. There is no reason whatever for refusing to tax a corporation because by its own acts it has created a burden of charges under which it staggers. The extravagant man who builds a needlessly large house nevertheless pays taxes on the house; and the corporation which has to pay great sums of interest owing to juggling transactions in the issue of stocks and bonds has just as little right to consideration. But very great hardship may result to innocent purchasers; and publicity by lessening the possibility of this would also serve the purpose of the State.

Where a trust becomes a monopoly the State has an immediate right to interfere. Care should be taken not to stifle enterprise or disclose any facts of a business that are essentially private; but the State for the protection of the public should exercise the right to inspect, to examine thoroughly all the workings of great corporations just as is now done with banks; and wherever the interests of the public demand it, it should publish the results of its examination. Then, if there are inordinate profits, competition or public sentiment will give the public the benefit in lowered prices; and if not, the power of taxation remains. It is therefore evident that publicity is the one sure and adequate remedy which we can now invoke. There may be other remedies, but what these others are we can only find out by publicity, as the result of investigation. The first requisite is knowledge, full and complete.

1 Annual message as Governor of New York State (1900).

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