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are frequently required under current railway practice is direct and convincing. As examples of accurate and clear interpretation of important conditions with regard to which there has been a good deal of misunderstanding, the following are introduced :
“There are conditions under which any freight may at some time be considered competitive; .... The difference between the more and the less competitive business is in the imminence of this competition as a direct acting force and not a mere potential quantity. The least competitive business is that which permits the widest margin of variation in the rate without affecting the volume of business.”—Pp. 9-10.
“Retrenchment is of two kinds—that which is real and that which borrows from the future
To the manager, his embankments and cuts, his ties and bridges, rails and buildings are a bank where he has accumulated a usefulness extending well into the future. To these he may go and draw when his credit in the money market is low.”—p. 45.
There are many other passages that are equally concise and suggestive. It is impossible in a brief review to present even an outline of so comprehensive a work, but a single chapter may be selected which shows Mr. Eaton's work at its best and at its worst. For this purpose the chapter entitled “Earnings Classification," pp. 262 et seq., is selected because the subject treated is among those most familiar to students. This chapter was clearly intended to present some general suggestions concerning the classification of earnings, which, in the judgment of the author, will best enable the railway manager to determine whether rates are profitably adjusted. In reality it goes much further and outlines the author's theory of the criteria of reasonable charges. The first paragraph contains the following in regard to the traffic manager's classification of freight:
“In his classification, expense of handling, distance, and insurance theoretically entered as factors. But, practically, insurance and expense of handling entered only in such a crude way that it may almost be said that they did not enter at all. Even distance itself was very much disregarded.”
The foregoing is Mr. Eaton at his best and shows how, at times, he can brush away cobwebs that have vexed railway managers during the whole history of the steam locomotive, and have been not much less an impediment to students.
A little later, in the same paragraph, Mr. Eaton writes:
“The theory of classification is that all the articles in each class involve the same cost to handle and the service performed is of equal value to them all."
Here is a flagrant misuse of the word "theory"; a reversion to the idea of separate costs which the author has done much, elsewhere, to dispel; a doubtful use of the term "value;" and a generalization that, with the most lenient interpretation, is far too broad.
The author's theory of charges is the time-honored what-thetraffic-will-bear theory which is held by railway men generally and to which in its proper form nearly all students return in effect, even though they prefer to call it the "socialization of rates," with Professor E. R. Johnson, or the "theory of public utility," with Professor H. C. Adams. Mr. Eaton's statement of this theory and his analysis of the conditions which make such a system of charges the best practicable are worthy of commendation. He is less happy when he suggests, possibly without intention, that there can be no unjust discrimination unless "direct" costs vary, and it is difficult to see much force in the statement that the bases of rateadjustments may generally be traced back to the costs of more primitive transportation. It is misleading, also, to say that:
“After the direct expense has been paid back it is a matter of indifference to the railroad what may be the basis for getting back the fixed charges, so long as it rests on fairly stable conditions."
This statement ignores the fundamental interest of the railway in the future development of the industries of the regions contiguous and tributary to its lines, an interest which is recognized by every enlightened railway officer and is frequently accorded a controlling force in determining rate-adjustments.
H. T. NEWCOMB. Census Office, Washington, D. C.
Die Socialdemokratischen Gewerkschaften in Deutschland seit dem
Erlasse des Socialisten-Gesetses. Von Dr. Phil. Josef Schmöle, Privatdozent an der Universität Greifswald. Zweiter Theil: Einzelne Organisationen. Erste Abtheilung. Der Zimmererverband. Jena, Gustav Fischer, 1898–8vo, vii, 300 pp.
The first volume of Dr. Schmöle's work on the Socialistic Trade Unions of Germany appeared in 1896 and was noticed in the YALE Review for Nov. 1897. That part of the work supplied a general introduction to the subject, tracing in broad outlines the progress of the movement, especially since the passage of the Socialist Law of 1878. It is the author's plan to issue a series of special volumes, of which the present one is the first, upon the individual unions, and to conclude the work by a general summary of results. This plan, while it insures thoroughness, has the disadvantage that the earlier parts of the work are quite liable to be out of date before the final summary appears, since the movement is in a constant state of flux and it is difficult to foresee what its developments may be from year to year. The advantage of a record of the fortunes of the unions in the separate trades is that we can trace more clearly their dependence upon the changing conditions of business, a dependence which is very marked in the carpenters' unions.
The statistics of occupations in Germany tell us that the number of independent employers in the building trades increased from 1882 to 1895 by 21"/10 per cent., while the number of dependents, that is of employed, increased during the same period by 34 per cent. This shows that the building trades have shared in the general tendency of production towards concentration, though perhaps in a less degree than those occupations which are subject to the factory system. Indeed the change in the organization of the trades has been very marked. Ninety years ago the person for whom a building was to be constructed bought and supplied the materials and employed workmen to do the work. Then there arose a class of contractors who themselves supplied the necessary capital and undertook to complete buildings for the owner. A third stage followed in which buildings were put up, not to order, but as it were for the market; builders now erected houses on speculation, supplying all of the capital without knowing who was to be the ultimate owner and selling the finished building as best they might. This might seem to encourage still more the growth of capitalism in the building trades, but in fact it has had rather the tendency to preserve the smaller contractors, because the speculating builders, whose principal aim was cheapness, could do better by employing unknown and irresponsible builders rather than large firms who would, out of regard for their reputation, hesitate to put up a badly-constructed house. In many cases the nominal builders were in reality but the tools of capitalists who supplied the money; they were thus pressed on both sides, being obliged to meet their obligations towards the capitalist on the one hand and, on the other, to meet the demands of the workingmen for better wages. This condition of things naturally increased the danger of wage disputes, which was also aggravated by the uncertainty of trade conditions, and the danger of a sudden change from a period of great activity to one of depression.
The general organization of the German carpenters began in 1868 by the formation of a general association in Berlin. After various vicissitudes and the merging of this association in another formed in 1876, the socialistic law passed in 1878 dissolved all associations with socialist leanings. For a time there was no general union. The carpenters of Berlin began to agitate for higher wages in 1881 and formed an association of their own. A strike which they undertook in 1883 resulted disastrously and made them feel the necessity of a broader union. This was formed in 1883 by twenty-seven delegates from forty-one cities, who met in Berlin and voted the formation of the Verband Deutsche Zimmerleute. It is unnecessary to follow in detail the vicissitudes of this organization. From the beginning there seems to have been more or less discord among the leaders. An attempt on the part of the management to check the exuberance of the Magdeburg branch in order to prevent it from violating the ministerial order regarding strikes, and thus bringing the whole organization within the clutches of the police, led to the formation of a rival association in 1887. For several years these two existed side by side, though the opposition, which was based upon a looser form of government, was always weak. In 1890 the two rivals decided to make peace and to again unite in a single association, which has existed with few changes of organization since that time. It has had its ups and downs according to the state of trade, a period of dullness such as existed from 1889 to 1891 resulting in a falling off of membership and of funds, while a period of trade activity such as existed from 1895 to 1897 led to an influx of new members, successful strikes and general prosperity. One great difficulty, however, with which the association has had to contend from the beginning is the fact that being avowedly socialist, there is a perennial strife as to whether it shall be mainly a political or mainly a trade organization. The tendency has shown itself to emphasize more and more the political side, hence as compared with the English unions comparatively small sums are expended for the benefit features, which are insignificant, and most of the income goes to the support of the organ and the maintenance of strikes. The association is, however, not a very large one. Its greatest membership at the time at which the book was written did not exceed 18,000 out of a total of about 155,000 working carpenters in the German Empire. The significance of such a union does not, therefore, lie in its own strength but rather in the general movement of which it forms but a part. One feels in reading the book of Dr. Schmöle that thus far a finished type of socialist union has not yet been produced, and that the German Gewerkschaften, harassed as they have constantly been by the police and torn asunder by the bitter personal feuds of their leaders, are still in a state of fermentation and that it is not possible as yet to pass a final judgment upon them. The reader should also not forget that the whole work deals with the Gewerkschaften or socialist unions only, and does not include the Gewerkvereine, or trade unions of the English pattern.
H. W. F.
Das Aufsteigen des Arbeiterstandes in England. Ein Beitrag zur
socialen Geschichte der Gegenwart. Von Hans von Nostitz, Legationsrath im Klg. Sächsischen Ministerium der auswärtigen Angelegenheiten. Jena, Fischer, 1900.
There are good reasons, as the author of this book observes in his preface, why students of the social problems of this century should seek their material in England. That is the country where the modern economic organization first reached its full development, where the social and political results of this development first commanded attention, and where the fullest record exists of the failures and successes in the attempts to meet the new conditions. Readers of German must be impressed with the amount of work that German scholars have done in the history and criticism of conditions in England, and must admire the skill and patience that have enabled them to achieve so many brilliant successes in their invasion of a foreign field. The present book is worthy to take a place in the line, and to hand down the tradition of good German work. It will not rank as a great book, it stands in a class distinctly below that to which Held's unfinished essay belongs, but it is an able and independent study, and to both Germans and English will be useful even though it is not indispensable.
The eight hundred pages of the book include the topics that the title would lead us to expect; the material conditions of the laboring classes throughout the century (money wages, time of labor, strikes, ability to find work, housing and other points affecting the question of real as opposed to nominal wages), associations of laborers (trade unions, friendly and cooperative societies), and legislation affecting the relation of laborers and employers. Then in the first part of the book (to page 224) are chapters on subjects less directly connected with the field indicated by the title, one on the political constitution