Concentration of Control in American Industry

Concentration of Control in American Industry

Concentration of Control in American Industry

Concentration of Control in American Industry

Excerpt

The Wall Street crash of October, 1929, witnessed the conclusion of the third and the most feverish and extensive period of industrial and financial consolidation in the history of American industry.

About a quarter of a century before, at the end of the second period of great corporate development, John Moody, financial writer and industrial statistician, from his watch tower in Wall Street, surveyed the industrial field and graphically described to the American people the extent to which business had concentrated in the hands of the few. Since these days many excellent studies have been made by private and governmental bodies of trends toward monopoly in particular industries. Many analyses have been offered of the changing attitude of the law toward trusts and combines. Many text-books have been written setting forth reasons for the decreasing importance of the small, individually owned concern and for the development of the million dollar and the billion dollar corporation.

But no attempt has been heretofore made to do for the post-war development what Moody did for the early twentieth century industrial scene. No one has assayed the task of taking up one by one the great branches of American business-- our natural resources, our public utilities, our manufacturing and miscellaneous industries, our banking, our retail distribution, our agriculture--and of giving a close-up picture of the extent of concentration in each field; the extent to which competitive conditions still exist; the extent to which monopoly has supplanted competition. And yet such a picture is vitally necessary as a basis for an intelligent understanding of our industrial life, and for constructive social action.

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