Question: "Resolved, That all trusts and combinations intended to monopolize industries should be prohibited."
Brief for the Affirmative.W. M. TROTTER and J. W. WORTHINGTON.
Best general references: James F. Hudson in N. A. Review, vol. 144, p. 277 (Mar. 1887); Albion W. Tourgee in N. A. Review, vol. 157, p. 30 (July 1893); Nation, vol. 47, p. 125; vol. 44, p. 381; vol. 45, p. 68; vol. 48, p. 108; vol. 49, p. 186; Unitarian Review, vol. 26, p. 522-529; H. D. Lloyd, Wealth against Commonwealth.
I. Monopolies are unnecessary. - (a) Concentration of capital possible without trusts. - (1) Trades are sufficiently large to admit several great competitors. - (b) Monopoly is not necessary to resist labor organizations. - (1) Labor unions have not complete monopoly of labor. - (x) Strikes often a failure. - (2) Union to resist labor possible without trusts.
II. Trusts are an economic evil. - (a) Limit natural production: Nation, vol. 49, p. 186 (Sept., 1889). - (b) Destroy competition. - (1) Absorb all large producers. - (2) Crush smaller rivals; Pop-Science Monthly, vol. 34, p. 19 (Mar., 1889). - (c) Raise prices: N. A. Rev. vol. 144, p. 277 (Mar., 1887).
III. Trusts are a social evil. - (a) Wealth in the hands of a few: Nation, vol. 48, p. 108. - (b) Individual enterprise discouraged: Nation, vol. 45, p. 61. (1) Small capitalists driven out. - (2) Independent producers made dependant. - (3) Tyrany of trusts over dependants. - (c) Irresponsibility. - (d) Unscrupulous use of power. (1) Standard Oil Co. - (e) Interference in politics: Quart. Rev. vol. 131, p. 460-492.
IV. Prohibition of trusts is practicable. - (a) It is constitutional. - (1) Congress has power over interstate commerce: Constitution, Art. 1, Sec. 8, S 3. - (2) Jurisdiction of U. S. Courts sufficiently extensive: Const., Art. I, Sec. 8, S 8, S 9; Art. III, Sec. 2, S 1, S 2, S 3. - (3) Executive can assist: Art. II, Sec. 3. - (4) State has jurisdiction in its territory. - (b) It is applicable. - (1) Law may be made sufficiently stringent to reach trusts effectually.
V. Prohibition is desirable. - (a) Other methods are insufficient. - (1) Mere government regulation inadequate: Quart. Rev. vol. 131, p. 470-492.
Brief for the Negative.W. L. VAN KLEECK and W. B. WOLFFE.
Best general references: Pol. Sci. Quar. 3-385, (1889) ibid 3-592; Forum, 5-584, (1888); ibid, 8-61, (1889-90); New Englander, 52-223, (1890); ibid, 52-343; S.C.T. Dodd, combinations, their Uses and Abuses.
I. Trusts are not in themselves illegal. - (a) Contrivances of every day occurrence in common law. - (b) Right of stockholders to place stock in hands of trustees undeniable. - (c) Abuses of trusts are amenable to law; New Enlander, 52, 360 ff. - (d) States able to provide against all now observances of the law.
II. Trusts are a natural result of industrial conditions. - (a) Lower prices caused by overproduction. - (b) Opposition of labor to corresponding reduction of wages. - (c) Organized for self protection as offset to trade unions. - (d) Trend of all industry is toward combination, W. Gladden, "Tools and the Man," ch. on "Collapse of Competition."
III. Trusts are not harmful. - (a) They can never maintain abnormal prices. - (1) Competition, latent or active, is always a check. - (2) Too great increase of prices lessens demand. - (b) Profits are enlarged by cheapening cost of production not by raising prices. - (c) Regime of combination is less harmful than one of free competition: Forum, 8:67 - (d) Trusts differ from corporate and individualistic forms of industry only in size and complexity. - (e) Popular prejudice is illogical. - (1) Classes most injured by competition are loudest in denouncing trusts.
IV. Trusts are of positive economic advantage. - (a) Decrease cost of production. - (1) Competition is wasteful. (2) Improved methods. - (b) Prevents overproduction. - (1) Regulate supply to demand - (c) Steady labor. - (d) Prevent ruinous competition. (e) Increase consumption. - (1) Facilities of transportation. - (2) Lower prices. - (f) Prices may rise temporarily, but fall steadily afterward.