Imágenes de páginas

Business law.

rules governing the contest. The honest man is the one who plays according to rule. A law-breaker not only runs the risk of losing points (i. e., of being "penalized”) but he may be "ruled out." This may be done by his fellows refusing longer to do business with him, or by his being "locked up"-put in jail as often as he breaks the rule. Business may be a very large game. The whole world is the field, and its rules must be understood and observed by all who come into common business relation. The laws of business must be common to all people trading together. It sometimes happens that what are known as civilized people attempt to do business with those who do not understand their rules or who have different ones. This is like two sets of players entering a football contest, the one trying to play "association ball" and the other trying to play "rugby." Two systems of business come into conflict. The rules of the one people must be made to conform to those of the other, else there will be trouble. The common advantages of trade are so great that no one industrial group can afford to shut themselves off. In fact, no barrier is strong enough to preclude men from following up a business advantage when it presents itself. This brings the people of all nations into constant contact. In the conflicts between systems, the stronger forces the weaker to change its rules. The importance of obedience to rules of business law is so great that nations as well as individuals are made to suffer by what is deemed a breach. That "honesty is the best policy" is a saying trite but true; whatever may be said of the attitude of one nation to another, no single individual can afford to raise even a suspicion of dishonest conduct; by so doing he cuts himself off from opportunity-precludes himself from the advantages offered by the broader cooperation with his fellows, cooperation made possible by confidence in fair dealing. To quote a saying of Mr. Croker, the Democratic boss of New York: "No combination can be made

where all are dishonest and each one knows it. The first element of leadership is honesty, perfect honesty. The honest man will prevail because other men will trust him. A rascal can trust an honest man, but a rascal can not trust a rascal. You may take one hundred men, ten of them honest and ninety of them false, and put them away on an island; come back in two months and, for the reasons I have given you, you will find the ten men dominating the rest." While Mr. Croker is not often referred to for standards of morality, his success as a politician has depended very largely on his recognition of the advantage of strict integrity between his political followers. The advantage of fair play is even more striking in business organization and control.

[ocr errors]

In a game, two conditions are prerequisite to success: (1) An intimate knowledge of its rules. (2) Skill in the use of the instruments employed. A knowledge of business laws and skill in the use of the instruments and agents by means of which "gains are to be made are just as necessary to business success. To the laborer-the one who relies for income on the sale of his labor, he who subordinates his own business or talent to help another to work out his play for gain-a general knowledge of law may be of less importance than skill in the use of some particular tool; but he must know enough of the rules to play his part well, otherwise he will not be able to render service to Elements of the manager with whom he engages himself. success in The man who manages a business plant and business. seeks to obtain income from the sale of its products must equip himself in a different way. He may have less of skill in the use of some particular instrument than has the man whom he employs, but he must know the use of instruments, and know the manner in which they may be used by others to highest advantage in order to direct the efforts of his working force in such manner as to make largest gains without breaking rules. Like a football cap

Funds a necessary part of business equipment.

tain, he must know how to manage his men and his plant in a way to take advantage of every opening. Business is cooperative. A man can not do business alone. He must play a part. Whatever part he plays he must be properly equipped for it. Business training, knowledge of the law, equipment adapted to the enterprise, materials, services, all are necessary, but in obtaining these the first need is for "funds." The acquiring of funds (capital), therefore, may be said to be the first step in providing for business equipment and business success.

Children are frequently found on the street asking for pennies. They have learned the use of money as a means of obtaining things desired, but they have not yet risen above the most primitive knowledge of how to get money. Their fathers and mothers may provide them by gift, as they would also the things which pennies will buy, but others pass them by. Those not moved by affection or, as sometimes happens, by charity, turn a deaf ear to appeals of this kind. In early years, "gifts" based on Funds, the subject of affection afford a means quite adequate, except finance. in cases of inability of parents to provide. Generally speaking, girls and women throughout their lives are limited to this means of obtaining funds. Many men also pass their lives in this fashion-they obtain all things desired by means of funds contributed. Those who may not depend on endowments of ancestors, those engaged in active business, have quite different financial problems to solve. Finance is that branch of business which has to do with the getting and the spending of the funds necessary to the equipment and management of enterprise. A student of finance must first consider what is meant by "funds." When a business man says that "his funds are running low," what does he have in mind? Does he mean that his money is nearly all gone? Perhaps he has not had more than a dollar in his purse for a week,

and has had no particular use for this, yet he has been carrying on a large "cash" business all the time-has had no lack of "funds." What are "funds"? How are they obtained? How are they managed? These three questions answered and the whole field of finance will have been covered.



« AnteriorContinuar »