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Trusts

Book Reviews: 'Wealth Secrets of the 1%', & 'Nation-States - Consciousness and Competition'

Open Secret

'Wealth Secrets of the 1%', by Sam Wilkin. Sceptre £9.99

There’s no secret, really, is there? The one percent get their wealth by exploiting the rest of us, by paying us less in wages than the value of what we produce. This is not, however, the kind of thing that Sam Wilkin deals with here, since he is really concerned, not with how the capitalist class in general become rich, but with how and why some capitalists, in contrast to others, become very rich indeed. His answer is by ‘gaming the system’: by having the government introduce regulations that make competition difficult, and by making it more or less impossible for companies, especially banks, to lose money.

Who Can Boss?

Roosevelt will fight the Trusts! So were the American people in particular and the civilized world in general told when he was put in power. Such of the American people as had knowledge smiled, if they did not, they should have done. The Beef Trust was impeached, and found guilty of conspiracy to fix prices, secure illegal rebates from the railroads, and stifle free competition. The United States Circuit Court of Illinois granted an injunction against the Trust on the foregoing counts. But the Trust did not worry—it simply continued in the same old way. On the 31st of January, 1905, the newspapers stated their belief that criminal proceedings would be taken against the firms constituting the Trust. Speaking an the following day at Philadelphia, Mr. Roosevelt urged, among other things, more federal control of commerce and particularly of railroads.

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