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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/26

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Letters From A Railway Official

little. What are results? Does any one know exactly? One year they are operating ratio, another, train load, and later on, net earnings. In no storehouse do material things deteriorate to scrap value faster than does the intangible, indeterminate stock article, results. No, I am not a pessimist; I still see the ring of the doughnut on the lunch counter. But I do object to being fed on birds from year before last’s nests. I believe the railways hatch out better results every year, but I also feel that improvement should and can be made even faster. It is largely a breeding problem. How best can we blend our numerous strains to produce a balanced output? Too often we try to do this by cutting off the heads of all the old roosters, whose craws really contain too much good sand to be wasted. A change of diet to a balanced ration may be all-sufficient.

The wonderful Nineteenth Century in the name of a proper specialization went too far. It over-specialized. The still more wonderful Twentieth Century will swing back to a balanced specialization. The medical colleges are learning that they can not turn out successful eye and ear specialists, the law schools that the constitutional or interstate commerce lawyer is