The Making of Americ

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Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009 - 344 pages
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CONCENTRATION OF INDUSTRY IN THE UNITED STATES. BY J. A. HOBSON. [J. A. Hobson, one of the most eminent of English economists; born Derby. England, July 6, 1858; educated at Lincoln college, Oxford; classical master at Faversham and Exeter, 1880-87; lecturer in economics for the university extension department of Oxford university, 1887-97; contributor to the leading British and American economic reviews, and author of Economics of Distribution, International Trade, Problem of the Unemployed.] If by capitalism we understand industry involving large capital, owned or controlled by a few men and worked for private profit, there is a sense in which the United States must rank as the first capitalist nation in the world. It is not indeed the case that so large a proportion of her material wealth or of her industrial population is engaged in those manufacturing and transport industries which are distinctly capitalistic, as in Great Britain, Holland, and Belgium, or perhaps even Germany. Agriculture is still her most important single branch of industry; farm property still largely exceeds in value the aggregate of her manufacturing establishments, while 36 per cent of her occupied population are employed in agriculture as compared with 24 per cent in manufacturing and mechanical pursuits. Even if we turn to the statistics of manufactures, the enormous growth of concentrated capitalism in America is not at first apparent, for the increase in the actual number of separate businesses in almost all industries is very large. It is indeed quite evident that small competing businesses occupy a very great part of the manufacturing field. A closer inspection of the situation, however, shows that, though the number of businesses is growing, the total capital engaged in the trade is g...

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