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LIBRARY OF

ECONOMICS AND POLITICS,

EDITED BY

RICHARD T. ELY, Ph.D., LL.D.

NUMBER THREE.

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AN

EXAMINATION OF ITS NATURE, ITS STRENGTH

AND ITS WEAKNESS, WITH

SUGGESTIONS

FOR

SOCIAL REFORM

BY

RICHARD T. ELY, Ph.D., LL.D.

PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL ECONOMY AND DIRECTOR OF THE SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS,

POLITICAL SCIENCE, AND HISTORY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN.

SIXTEENTH THOUSAND.

NEW YORK
THOMAS Y. CROWELL & COMPANY

PUBLISHERS

HARVARD
COLLEGE
LIBRARY

COPYRIGHT, 1894,

BY

THOMAS Y. CROWELL & Co. PREFACE.

C. J. PETERS & SON, TYPOGRAPHERS AND ELECTROTYPERS,

145 HIGH ST., BOSTON, MASS.

DR. RUDOLF MEYER, a conservative German author, published a work some twenty years ago entitled " The Struggle of the Fourth Estate for Emancipation.” By the “ Fourth Estate” he of course meant the wage-earning classes. At that time Dr. Meyer entertained the hope that the acceptance of a program of social reform would be sufficient to save Germany from social democracy. Germany, however, was not ready to go so far as Dr. Meyer recommended, and the growth of social democracy was in no wise impeded. Germany has done much to improve the conditions of the masses, but she has always moved so late that the masses have received the impression that the action was forced by fear, and did not proceed from a real, sincere desire to benefit the less fortunate portions of the community, especially the wage-earning population. Dr. Meyer has just published another book, entitled “Capitalism, fin de siècle.” Dr. Meyer maintains that it is now too late for Germany to adopt the program of reform which he urged twenty

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