Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 45.djvu/328

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

A recapitulation and summary of cause and effect throughout the industrial development of the United States as outlined in the foregoing pages lead to the conclusions:

That specialization of function and co-ordination of similar functions become more pronounced with the growth of population and ease of communication; that this specialization and coordination is accelerated by the invention of machinery, the discovery of processes whereby the production and distribution of greater quantities of an increased variety of products are facilitated; that this specialization and combination are of benefit to all individuals of the nation in that they bring to the control of the processes of production and distribution the men best fitted therefor, under whose directions the efforts of great bodies of workers are co-ordinated to the greatest advantage, and under whose direction the accumulations of great numbers of people can be used with profit to the investors and to the individuals of the whole nation, for this specialization and co-ordination lead to the production and distribution on an ever-extending scale and at decreasing expense of the products that contribute to the strength and fitness of the buildings in which these individuals live and work, in which they congregate for instruction, deliberation, and recreation; of the products that nourish and the products that clothe the body under the varying conditions to which it is subjected, thereby aiding each individual to preserve for the greatest period that condition which permits the effective performance of the functions dependent upon physical action.

That a powerful factor in this industrial specialization and combination and in the diffusion of the benefits thereby attained is the force known as competition. Increased demand causes increased production by an increased number of producers, who, by competition, are forced to lower selling prices and are thereby forced to the discovery, invention, and adoption of appliances and methods that decrease cost of production. Competition, still encroaching upon their profits, incites a combination of producers in self-defense, but to withstand its still active force they are compelled to production only in localities where conditions are most favorable and to vest its control in men most competent to direct it. Competition that rippled and eddied around and among the simpler organizations of employer and employee gains increase of force as the agencies of production combine, and rolls in mighty waves upon a great organization, washing away and crumbling every point of weakness, until there is left but that wall of bed rock formed by production and distribution upon the most economical basis that can be maintained with justice to producer and consumer alike.

That as the conditions incident to industrial combination have