Imagens das páginas

state as a producer? May it not be that the inferior grades of tobacco offered to French consumers are due not to mismanagement under a collectivistic control of industry but to a deliberate policy on the part of the government to use poor raw materials in order to raise more revenue? One is inclined to doubt the validity of an attack against government ownership on social and economic grounds by taking as the basis of such an attack a study of the shortcomings of tobacco monopolies, which were created and have been kept up with one aim in view-the obtaining of a maximum of income with the least amount of expenditure.

University of Illinois.



FINN, J. J. Operative ownership, a system of industrial production based upon social justice and the rights of private property. (Chicago: Langdon. 1916. Pp. 301. $1.50.)

LORIA, A. Carlo Marx. Profili, no. 43. (Genova: A. F. Formíggini. 1916. Pp. 69.)

MILLS, W. T. Democracy or despotism. (Berkeley, Cal.: International School of Social Economy. 1916. Pp. xiv, 246.)

Mr. Mills states in an original manner the case for complete democracy, political and industrial. He shows first that the United States is not a real democracy, pointing out the familiar conditions in industry and politics through which the popular will may be checked. The measures through which democracy is to be attained are universal political education; representation in legislative bodies of the economic interests of the people rather than of geographical divisions; social ownership and control of the means of production, transportation, and exchange; and the initiative, referendum, and recall. The ideal is a world democracy. The author's position is essentially that of the organized socialist movement, although in some details he is in opposition to the position officially taken by the American Socialist Party.


SNOWDEN, P. Socialism and syndicalism. The nations library, no. 4. (Baltimore: Warwick & York. N. d. 262. 40c.)

This book is a disappointment. Knowing the gifts of Philip Snowden as a parliamentary orator and party leader, one naturally expects in his writings some real contribution to radical thought, or at least originality of statement or spontaneity of style. Instead of this one finds a rather dull restatement of socialist philosophy along the usual propagandist lines, followed by a short unfavorable criticism of syndicalism. The bibliography is poorly chosen and

nowhere does the author reveal any familiarity with recent continental or American socialist literature.

G. B. L. A.

Statistics and Its Methods


BRENIER, H. Essai d'atlas statistique de l'Indo-Chine française. (Hanöi: Imprimerie d'Extrême-Orient. 1916. Pp. 256.)

PERET, R. La population, le budget, la fortune et la dette publiques de la France, de ses alliés et de ses ennemis avant la guerre. Aperçus statistiques. (Paris: Alcan. 1917. Pp. 39. 1 fr.)

TERMAN, L. M. The measurement of intelligence. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 1916. Pp. 363. $1.50.)

Census of manufactures. General totals for the United States by geographic divisions, states and industries, 1914, 1909, 1904, and 1899. (Washington: Bureau of the Census. 1916. Pp. 26.) Ohio comparative statistics: cities, counties, schools, 1914. (Columbus, O.: Auditor of State. 1917. Pp. 212.)

Statistical notes on cereals. Studies on yield, trade, consumption and prices, with rates of ocean freight. (Rome: International Institute of Agriculture. Bureau of Statistics. 1916. Pp. 82.)

Statistical year-book of the province of Quebec. (Quebec: Provincial Secretary's Department. 1916. Pp. 609, xii.)

The story of the census: 1790-1916. (Washington: Bureau of the Census. Pp. 38.)

Resumen anual de estadística municipal (ano XIII, 1915). (Montevideo: Intendencia Municipal. 1916. Pp. 392.)


Industries and Commerce

The following documents have been published by the federal Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce:

In the Special Agents Series:

No. 126, Textiles in Cuba (pp. 56), by W. A. Tucker.

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No. 127, Cotton Goods in British India: Part II, Bengal Presidency (pp. 88), by Ralph M. Odell.

No. 128, Electrical Goods in Cuba (pp. 40), by P. S. Smith. No. 129, The Danish West Indies, Their Resources and Commercial Importance (pp. 68), by H. G. Brock, P. S. Smith, and W. A. Tucker.

No. 184, Electrical Goods in Porto Rico (pp. 16), by Philip S.


In the Miscellaneous Series:

No. 46, Russian Markets for American Hardware (pp. 111), prepared under the supervision of Henry D. Baker, commercial attaché at Petrograd.

No. 48, Markets for American Hardware in Germany, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia (pp. 126), prepared under the supervision of Erwin W. Thompson, commercial attaché. No. 49, Markets for American Hardware in France, Algeria, and Morocco (pp. 61), prepared under the supervision of C. W. A. Veditz, commercial attaché at Paris.

No. 50, Far Eastern Markets for American Hardware (pp. 145), prepared under the supervision of Julean Arnold, commercial attaché at Peking.

No. 51, Lumber Markets of the Mediterranean Region and the Near East (pp. 31), by Raphael Zon.

The United States Department of Agriculture has issued Bulletin No. 473, Production of Sugar in the United States and Foreign Countries, by Perry Elliott (Washington, Feb. 12, 1917, pp. 70); Commercial Handling, Grading, and Marketing of Potatoes (Nov. 1, 1916, pp. 40); Statistics of Fruits in Principal Countries, by H. D. Ruddimann (Feb. 14, 1917, pp. 40).

The Coöperative League of America (70 Fifth Ave., New York City) has for circulation various reprints dealing with consumers' coöperation and coöperative stores.

The Extension Service of the Massachusetts Agricultural College

has published a small pamphlet on the Cost of Distributing Milk in Six Cities and Towns of Massachusetts (Amherst, March, 1917, pp. 8). This investigation was undertaken by Professor A. E. Cance and Richard H. Ferguson, of the department of economics of the college. The cities chosen for the study are Amherst, Walpole, Haverhill, Pittsfield, Springfield, and Worcester. The average cost of preparing and retailing milk for 42 plants in Springfield and Worcester was 2.79 cents per quart for an average daily delivery of 165 quarts of retail milk per wagon. Among the conclusions to be noted is that there is a wide variation in cost and that there is no marked relation between cost and size of business.


THE BROOKLYN EDISON CASE DECIDED. The Public Service Commission of New York, First District, on October 27, 1916, rendered the decision in the rate case instituted in July, 1912, against the Edison Electric Illuminating Company of Brooklyn. The decision, especially the opinion by Commissioner Hayward, should have considerable interest to students of economics and political science. Large financial interests are involved, and several important points of view are presented. Following is a brief analysis of the case.

The commission fixed the valuation of the property at $22,000,000,000 and allowed a return of 7 per cent on the amount. It estimated the necessary annual operating expenses, including depreciation, uncollectible bills and taxes, at $4,260,000, the return on investment at $1,500,000, and the total revenue to be collected from the public at $5,760,000. In 1915 the total revenue at existing rates amounted to $6,927,000 placing upon the public an unreasonable charge of about $1,500,000. The commission, therefore, ordered such reductions in rates as would fix the return on the investment at $1,500,000 and would leave a reasonable reserve for contingencies.

Against the commission's valuation of $22,000,000 the company claimed $39,000,000, or $17,000,000 in excess. This difference is due chiefly to overhead and so-called intangible items. As to the physical appraisal, the commission and the company were practically in agreement, except that the commission made a reduction for depreciation while the company argued against the deduction. In most of the disputed items, the difference was due largely to the fact that the commission allowed only actual expenditures as shown by records and accounts, while the company based its claim on hypothetical amounts or percentages supported by special calculations and opinion. Here we strike the usual difficulties besetting a rate case.

The more important disputed points of special interest are: (1) stock issued between 1880 and 1888 for licenses for the use of certain Edison patents; (2) stock issued for organization or promotion, not representing actual investment; (3) securities issued in connection with the consolidation of earlier companies into the present system; (4) charges that had been made to operating expenses but should properly have been placed to capital account.

In regard to the first point, the commission refused to include in the valuation intangible rights which presumably had expired and for whose amortization there had been sufficient income. If the licenses had been amortized, this cost would have automatically appeared among the property covered by the appraisal. As to the second point, the commission would not admit capitalization which did not represent actual investment; and all real investment, with reasonable allowance for organization expenses, was included in the appraisal or was otherwise provided for.

The third point is particularly important. Originally there were several lighting companies in Brooklyn, but by 1900 they had been combined into and have since constituted a single operating system. The consolidation was effected chiefly through merger, resulting in the retirement of old securities and the issue of new; the exchange was based chiefly on the relative earning power of the merging companies and the expected profits of the new organization. Naturally, therefore, a large increase in total capitalization took place without corresponding additional investment. Full interest, however, has been paid throughout on the bonds and, except for the early years of the new system, 8 per cent dividends on the stock. The question, then, was: How should the increase in capitalization be treated in the valuation on which to base future return? That the unified control and the resulting monopoly were a public gain, can scarcely be doubted. And, at least partly as a result of combination, sufficient savings were made to pay interest and dividends on the new securities. Further, the consolidation probably could not have been brought about without the increase in capitalization. The company, therefore, claimed the net addition as cost of consolidation, which was justified by the more economical operation and should be included in the valuation precisely as are all necessary organization expenses.

The commission did not allow the claim. It viewed the amount as a special monopoly value, which cannot be used as a basis for rate making. And, in harmony with this view, it took the strict position that a fair return rests on property devoted to public uses and not on

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