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wreck, as many more in an explosion, wrestled with a typhoid epidemic in a city, taught first aid to a quarter of a million people, trained over seven thousand girls and women in home hygiene, and so on, and so on a long list of things done here, there, and everywhere.
The American Red Cross is a National institution in its Governmental affiliation, its universal field of work, and in the make-up of its membership.
Akin to the Red Cross work is the annual Christmas Seal Sale. The Outlook has a special feeling about this, because it helped, through Jacob Riis, to introduce the custom. Now seals are sent out by the National Tuberculosis Association and, by their sale and distribution on letters, help in the great fight against the white enemy.
The Basis for Railway Valuation AVE the courts granted to public utilities the right to base the valuation of their properties on the cost of reproduction? If so, then in a growing country these utilities can charge the community for value that the community has created. That means, for example, that when people pay a railway for transporting goods they pay it also for its privilege of owning property the value of which has been increased by the industry and development of the people themselves.
I have been engaged in rate litigation for some nine years past, representing the public as opposed to various utilities. One of the hardest problems we have had to meet was the propaganda of the utilities seeking to impress upon the public that the courts had granted them and had established their right to a reproduction valuation. They state this so often that they not only mislead the public but eventually come to believe it themselves.
properties... without giving consideration to the cost of labor, supplies, etc., at the time the investigation is made." The Court also took into consideration "probable future value." In another case that of the Georgia Railway and Power Company-the same Court declared that "the refusal of the Commission and of the lower Court to hold that, for rate-making purposes, the physical properties of a utility must be valued at
the replacement cost, less depreciation, T
was clearly correct."
In still another case (Newton vs. Consolidated Gas Company) the Master, who was upheld by the Supreme Court, said that the company's "rate of return should be calculated, not upon the present high reproduction cost of its property, with or without deduction of observed or actual depreciation, in whatever manner computed, but upon the actual, reasonable investment in the property devoted to the service of the complainant's customers."
Mr. Taggart's letter is too long to quote in full; but by citation of opinions it seems to establish his contention.
In one case William Jennings Bryan actually argued for reproduction cost as
a basis of valuation. This was at a time when reproduction cost of most railways was less than the investment. The Supreme Court rejected the plea and specifically mentioned several factors that should enter into the estimate of a fair value.
In an article in The Outlook for Octo
ber 5, entitled "One Man Beats 150," THO
Hugh Russell Fraser said that the United States Supreme Court on six different occasions "had upheld the 'reproduction new' theory." In a letter to The Outlook Ganson Taggart, City Attorney of Grand Rapids, Michigan, takes issue with this statement. He writes:
The Danger to the Investor
HOUGH Mr. Taggart believes that much can be said for original cost as a basis, as that "safeguards the investor, assuring him a return on money actually spent for the public service, and requires the public served to pay no more than a just return on such investment," the Court, as he views it, "has squarely held that neither original cost nor reproduction is the basis for a proper valuation; but a 'reasonable judgment having its basis in a proper consideration of all the relevant facts.'"
Mr. Taggart shrewdly adds: "The danger to the investor, should reproduction really be the basis, is so patent that it would seem no company in good faith could properly urge it, as the investor in such case stands, if prices go down, to lose his investment."
In commenting upon the points made by Mr. Taggart Mr. Fraser writes: "The examination of six public utility. cases taken on appeal to the Supreme In the Southwestern Bell Telephone Court-notably that of the Indianapolis case, for instance, the Supreme Court Water Company-reveals that the Court said that it was "impossible to ascertain has held that 'dominant weight' should what will amount to a fair return upon be given the 'reproduction new' estimate.
If railroad attorneys are erroneous, Mr. Taggart points out, in asserting the such a position by the Court is an af mation of their 'reproduction new' view point, then most certainly I am glad note the fact; for it further strengthe the position of the advocates of the pre dent investment theory."
Out of Russia
HOSE who come out from Russ generally bring with them th opinions and impressions they had be fore they reached that country. A cent meeting in New York City listere to reports from delegates who visite Russia as representing American trad unions. This committee was not off cially sent by the American Federatio of Labor, and its report does not repre sent the Federation's views. In fact, th Federation, we understand, has posi tively repudiated the committee's clair to represent organized labor.
One radical member of the delegatio said he could find nothing to criticis and the report generally painted cond tions in Russia in the brightest colors.
On the other hand, Mr. S. B. Axte who is a member of the Internation Seamen's Union, differed as far as coul be conceived from these rosy views the Soviet experiment. He said (ove the radio, for he did not attend th meeting) that law as we understand th word does not exist in Russia; th thirty-five persons in a committee di tate law and conduct for the people Russia; that the Russian idea of liber as it is held today is the reverse of t Anglo-Saxon idea. Mr. Axtell wrote reply to the invitation to attend th meeting: "I will agree with you th Russia is an interesting country, but me it was the most dismal and unhap place I ever was in, and I hope that t kind of government they are endeav ing to build will be confined to the R sian territory forever."
"What Is that Bright Star?"
HOSE who are astronomically clined have frequently been ask this fall to identify the brilliant star th is seen each evening in the southeast a south; also the dazzling star that g ters in the early morning skies. T are the planets Jupiter and Venus, a of course, there is nothing of scien news value in their presence, for th two have many times occupied the sa positions since the stars first comman the attention of man. The stars
tant suns are relatively fixed, but the planets occupy these conspicuous positions only a few weeks or months at most at a time.
Jupiter has got into astronomic news of late-astronomers have been taking his temperature. Through a telescope of medium power Jupiter is seen to be ringed with roughly parallel bands. Until comparatively recently it was taught that these betokened a red-hot world, especially because of the presence of an immense round brick-red area known as the "Great Red Spot." We now know, however, that the most of what we see on Jupiter is cold-frigid, in fact-being about 225 degrees below our familiar Fahrenheit zero.
What do we see on Jupiter? Clouds of gas in turbulent agitation, icy winds that blow at the constant rate of over two hundred miles an hour-these are what hide the actual surface of Jupiter. The physicist Coblentz, of the United States Bureau of Standards, has measured the temperature of these gases by means of the same delicate apparatus used for measuring that of Mars, the vacuum thermocouple, and found that it revealed the intense frigidity of the giant planet. It seems pretty conclusive, therefore, that these gases are those which do not liquefy at the temperatures ascertained; and only such inert gases as oxygen, helium, and neon will answer to that description. There is indirect evidence, however, that the solid globe far beneath this deep cloud is at least warm.
To discover that ideas imparted to us in our youth are essentially wrong is something of a wrench, hence the recent determination that three other members of the sun's family-Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune-are equally frigid on the surface may also upset some of us.
Before Jupiter gets out of convenient reach after November those who can lay hold of even common opera-glasses would do well to focus them on his orb, for the expected purpose of seeing, not of course his interesting surface markings, far beyond the power of such a glass, but his satellites. Of the nine, four may thus be seen with ease, for they are all about the size of our own moon. It was these four tiny dabs of yellow lying near Jupiter that gave Galileo his first discovery when in 1610 he completed his famous telescope.
If we look with our little glass at Venus early before the dawn we shall see, nearly as well as astronomers can see with any telescope, all of her that
Underwood & Underwood
Fellow, a German shepherd dog, understands between 300 and 400 words and has been given the rating of an eight-year old-boy
is visible. For Venus, incongruously enough, is always clothed in a thick garment of clouds and hides well most of her secrets. To many, however, she offers one surprise-when magnified her shining figure is seen to be a crescent, like the new moon. Few, by the way, know that Venus may be clearly seen at midday with the unaided eye, if one knows where to look.
A Prosperity Prediction
HOSE who have the feeling that prosperity comes and goes in cycles are apt to shake their heads when we have had several successive years of good times, and to predict an early impending reversal. This has a certain measure of reason-a high-peak level cannot be sustained indefinitely. But those close to the large movements of finance and commerce weigh and measure actual conditions rather than theories.
If any one should be in a position to judge of the indications, it is the banker. At the annual meeting of the American Bankers Association, at Houston, the view, as gathered by a correspondent of
the New York "Herald Tribune," of many influential bankers concerning the probability of continued prosperity was encouraging. One element that weighed with them was the fact that farmers will get better prices this year than for some time past. One banker put it in this way: "Probably for the first time since 1920 agriculture is catching step with industry. If this pace can be maintained, I see no reason why business cannot continue to go forward." Another was pleased at knowing that the farmer has become more businesslike and is more inclined to work out his own problems than to leave them to politicians.
It is true that there has been some decline in activity in certain industries, but this is due, it was thought, to excessive activity in the immediate past, which bas in some directions overdone production. Apart from lesser indications and temporary aspects, these bankers, who come from every part of the country and know about every kind of commercial activity, feel confident that even though 1928 may not be able to maintain the peak reached by 1927, it will be free from serious disturbances.
State and Federal Elections
HOULD we elect our Governors when we elect our Presidents? Or, should we elect our Governors in other years when we choose public officers of no greater importance? Those alternatives have been before the voters of New Jersey, and they have voted by a large majority against putting Presidential and the gubernatorial elections always at the same time. These alternatives are now before the voters of the State of New York.
In New Jersey the term of the Governor is for three years. Consequently, once every twelve years the election for Governor coincides with the election of a President. Otherwise not. In New York the term of Governor is for two years. In every Presidential election a Governor is elected, but a Governor is also elected in intervening years.
At first, the argument for keeping the election for Governor separate from the election of President seems most convincing. It is generally acknowledged that in municipal elections the voters should not be confused by other than municipal issues, and therefore the municipal elections should take place by themselves. The same process of reasoning would seem to point to State elections separate from those for Federal officers. Within its own sphere, the State, according to our theory of government, is sovereign; it is the State which exercises most of the governmental jurisdiction over individuals. It is the State which defines most crime, prosecutes the accused, and punishes the convicted. It is the State which creates municipalities and corporations; it is the State, in brief, which performs most of those functions of government which are regarded by other peoples as belonging to the Nation. When the people of New York select their Legislature or their Governor, they are doing most of what the people of England do when they choose their Parliament and indirectly their Government. It therefore would seem to be of the utmost importance that the people of the State. should be able to give their undivided attention to the selection of the Governor and those who are to serve at the same time with him in legislative or executive office. It is notorious, however, that during a Presidential election the people of most of the States have their minds focused, not on their several State governments, but upon the Capitol and the White
House at Washington. If, therefore, the people of a State are to consider State issues apart from National issues, they should have for the purpose a State election at a separate time. This, in brief, is the argument, a very strong argument, for keeping State and Federal elections separate. But there is another side to be considered.
If democracy as it has developed into representative government in the United States should break down, it would be largely because of the indifference of the mass of the voters. Nothing can create such indifference more effectually than a sense of futility. If the voters once get the idea that politics is confusing, complicated, and more or less meaningless, they will turn their minds to other matters to their business, to their pleasures, to anything but Government. The surest way to create that sense of confusion and futility in the minds of the voters is by the multiplication of elections and of the number of offices which the voters are called upon to fill. A great mass of people cannot be kept in a continued state of interest in any one subject. They must feel that the questions before them are simple, fundamental, and important. Otherwise, they will not pay attention to them. They will let those questions be decided by those of their number who have a taste for public life. This is the reason for the falling off of the proportion of voters in the elections during what are commonly called "off years." The one time when voters are most ready to go to the polls, most ready to give their thought to public questions, most concerned with the questions of government, is when a President is to be elected. It is easier for a man once in four years to give his thought to all the public questions that are likely to come before him than it is for him to give every year or two part of his attention to part of those questions. It is notorious that in the so-called "off years" the vote that is cast largely consists of those upon whom the party politicians can depend. Multiply the elections, and you enhance the power of the party leaders. Every movement for less frequent elections and for a shorter ballot has been pushed against the influence of the bosses.
The real choice, therefore, seems to be between the danger of confusing the voter by having too many kinds of ques
tions at one time and the danger of confusing the voter by calling upon him toc many times to make decisions. Are the voters more likely to think clearly when they are called to the polls often on sep arate questions or when they are called to the polls less frequently and ther asked to review both State and Federa issues?
From the point of view of party re sponsibility, there are also two sides to the question.
Our National parties are really com posed each of forty-eight State parties There is a vast difference between the Democratic Party of North Carolina and the Democratic Party of New Yor City. There is also an equally grea difference between the Republican Party of Oregon and the Republican Party o Philadelphia. The question, therefore arises whether independent voting an at the same time party responsibility may not be increased by separating Fed eral and State elections. On the othe hand, just because of the differences be tween the States will not the responsi bility of the National party be increase and independence in National voting b promoted by bringing State and Federa issues up side by side and calling upo the voters to distinguish between them voting one way on their State ticket and another way on their Federa ticket?
In New York and New Jersey, wher this question has been brought befor the voters, the Democratic organization have in general favored the separation of the elections and the Republican or ganizations have favored their union This is natural. The Democrats ar more likely to win their elections i the off years, the Republicans in th Presidential years. To strong partisan these facts seem important, but the ought to be ignored by the ordinary vo ter. The real question is what is goin ultimately to do most for the develop ment and responsibility of our repre sentative form of government. Thos who believe that State issues are impor tant enough not only to deserve but t
oped the psychological elements of organized combat, and even acquired some of its phraseology of field tactics and strategy. Marshal Foch, of France, on his visit to America, witnessed one of the big games at New Haven. At the end of the first quarter one of his aides, who had been silent all through the moments of play, snapped out the laconic comment: "Sont diables!" And at the end of the first half, the Chief of the Allied Supreme Command is said to have remarked, "Now I understand the attacking drive of the American Army."
No other nation has shown a tendency to evolve anything like this direct man-to-man and mass-to-mass test of strength. Out of the old Rugby game, with its open running and no interference, its permission of passing during a run, and its general principle of favoring individual skill, the people of the United States have made a game of unified team play that is distinctive and unique. The forward pass and other modifications of the rules in recent years have not altered this basic character of the game. No other people shows a taste for such a contest of matched forces. The ancient Romans might have developed something like it—if it had occurred to them -and bucked the line with brass helmets. But football, with its combination of plunging backs and surging lines,
One is that there may not, after all, be such a surplus as we expect. Revenues have a way of falling off below estimates. Another objection-and one perhaps more serious is that a sweep
That the destruction of the legalized liquor traffic represents a tremendous political and economic advance.
That there still remains a vast liquor ing tax reduction would make impossible corresponds to something fundamental
problem which must be solved by social
an otherwise possible reduction of the
in American instincts which it expresses
the time when debt reduction can be
For that reason there is a growing disposition to over-nationalize the gameto match the East against the West and to build up gradually to a climax of competition for a continental championship. That would be to carry the logic of the college leagues too far, and to establish a superorganized sport. The trend needs to be recognized and forestalled, if possible. The saner way is to continue the traditional system of regional rivalries of college against college, university against university. To go further is to give undue emphasis to what is, after all, only an unusually dramatic and picturesque game and to put unwarranted strain on boys in their years of training for their real careers. Yet the inclination, in this time of country-wide consolidation along all lines, may prove hard to resist.
command the attention of the great body of voters will urge the separation of State and Federal elections. Those, on the other hand, who believe that the essence of our Government consists in part in comparing State and Federal issues and holding a true balance between them, and who also believe that the great danger in representative government is scattering the attention of the voters and allowing them to become indifferent by calling upon them to vote too often, will advocate putting State and Federal elections at the same time.
HE OUTLOOK believes
That the purpose of the Eighteenth Amendment was the destruction of the legalized liquor traffic.
That in the pursuit of this end it is illegitimate to break down or infringe upon the hard-won guaranties which assure us the protection of our homes from invasion.
That the problem of the home brewer and the home wine-maker falls within the field of personal temperance rather than public law.
That the liquor question will never be solved rightly until an accurate line has been drawn between what can be accomplished by prohibition and what can be accomplished by temperance.
That the crying needs of the hour are for honest enforcement of the original purpose of the Eighteenth Amendment and constructive social statesmanship in the field of temperance.
Tax Reduction or Debt
N one respect it pays to be generous.
strains on the public treasury. If the country is going to be disappointed, it is better to expect little and have much in its coffers than to expect much and have little or less than nothing at all.
What statesman, what thinker, what citizen, will come forward with a constructive suggestion?
The Outlook proposes to ask this question, in and out of season, until the answer is found.
At least that is the principle upon which Secretary Mellon, of the Treasury Department, seems to have worked. As a consequence, the American people have the pleasant problem of deciding what to do with the surplus. The Democratic leaders in Congress, Mr. Garner in the House and Mr. Simmons in the Senate, want to use this surplus by making a great reduction of taxes. The amount is something like half a billion dollars. That simply means to cut off the surplus by reducing the Government's income. To a certain extent reducing taxes may increase the income, but that is not the purpose of the Democratic proposals.
There are two objections:
The Fall War Game
IT behind the coaches' bench at one of the big football games—if you can get a seat in that coveted section and notice how the field generals call out their men for action:
"Brown! McAndrew! Warm up!" The members of the squad chosen for the scrimmage line leap into action, practice passes and falling on the ball, run up and down-faces set in grim lines, eyes glancing seriously at the shifting center of conflict. There is no joking about it; the business is in dead
Scrimmage? Skirmish, rather. Football, for all that it is sport, has devel
William James once wrote that the world needs a moral equivalent for war. America advances football. Even to the victors looting the field of the vanquished, the substitute is complete.