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NONTHEMATIC / Vol. 17, No. 2 (Summer 1950)

Between any two economic units, A and B, the domination effect is present when, in a definite field, unit A exercises on unit B an irreversible or partially irreversible influence. The domination effect cannot be described purely and simply as either a difference in size or as a monopolistic regime. An economic unit exerting this effect does so through the combination of three elements: its relative dimensions, that is to say, the magnitude of its role in global supply and demand; its bargaining power, which is the power it can apply to fixing the conditions of exchange; and its place in the whole scheme or the nature of its operations. It is my aim in the following pages to show by establishing five fundamental propositions that the analysis of the domination effect is indispensable for defining and understanding a range of economic phenomena.

If the United States feels forced to spend part of its energies and resources on means which are primarily preventive, and yet without assurance that they will work; if discussions and negotiations increase rather than decrease the strain on her relations with the Soviet Union, then it is natural that alternatives should be under constant and serious consideration. The more hopeless it seems to engage in genuine argument across the council table, to make our word understood by face-to-face discussion or through the anonymous Voice of America, the more tempting it becomes to resort to the ultimate ratio--war. It appears to be the only action rally within our reach and at the same time sure to reach the Russians.

Assuming that the Soviets are waiting for the expected collapse of capitalism, and are using the United Nations merely for whatever interim purposes it may serve, one could hardly expect them to cooperate in an enterprise aimed at averting this expected collapse. In fact, in the light of the record, it is only natural to expect that they would not confine themselves to passive non-cooperation and patient waiting for the collapse, but would actively promote it, working against, rather than for, any western attempt to assure a high level of employment. If the effort sponsored by the United Nations should succeed in giving the western world adequate and dependable safeguards against the expected fatal crisis of capitalism, it would not only be a body blow to current Soviet propaganda; it would undermine one of the main tenets of their basic ideology.

In recent discussions of President Truman’s Point Four program and the wider ramifications of world economic development, economists have shown relatively little interest in agricultural, as distinguished from industrial development. Many regions are entirely unfitted for large-scale industrial production; the prospects for development in these areas, if examined realistically, lie primarily in reshaping their agriculture by wedding it to modern technology, especially output-increasing and soil-saving techniques. This is particularly true of tropical Africa, one of the few remaining parts of the world that still contain sizable human resources which have never been tapped in the interest of the overall economy. Africa offers tremendous scope for a substantial increase in the per capita production of both locally consumed food and exportable surpluses.

The 1948 campaign was the first since 1924 in which organized labor felt that it had a very personal stake involved. The issue of the campaign, according to the AFL, was the Taft-Hartley Law. But other questions were discussed as well, especially the extension of social security coverage, health insurance, civil rights, and housing. The major effort was not aimed at the presidency, since the presidential election was largely conceded to the Republican candidate, Thomas Dewey. Instead, the emphasis was placed on the close congressional races, where it was felt anti-labor congressmen could be defeated, and men more favorable could be elected. The states in which the AFL concentrated its efforts for the Senate contests were West Virginia, Illinois, Minnesota, Idaho, Iowa and Tennessee, while the major elections to the House centered primarily on the larger industrial cities.

On the entry of the United States into the second world war it became evident to all progressive-minded people that we could no longer tolerate the evil old American custom of discrimination in employment on account of race, religion, color, and national origin. We could not afford so shocking a flaw in our democratic pretensions. Besides, we could plainly foresee a desperate shortage in manpower, with the withdrawal of millions of men for military service and the tremendous demands on industry for war materiel. Discriminatory prejudices on the part of employer and employee alike had to give way to the national need.To accelerate the integration of minority groups in industry President Roosevelt set up a Fair Employment Practices commission, with jurisdiction in the limited fields of employment falling under federal jurisdiction, temporarily vastly expanded to cover war contracts. State governments, notably that of New York under Governor Herbert Lehman, set up committees against discrimination under the State War Council.

Review of book by John Dewey and Arthur F. Bentley. Boston: Beacon Press. 1949. 334 pp.

Review of book by Paul Sering. Vienna: Volksbunchhandlung Verlag. 1948. 258 pp.

Review of book by Robert Pick. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott. 1950. 350 pp.

Review of book by Hans Kohn. New York: Macmillan. 1949. 242 pp.

Review of book by Joseph Dorfman. New York: Viking Press. 1949. 494 pp.

Review of book by Foster Rhea Dulles. New York: Crowell. 1949. 402 pp.

Review of book by F. N. David. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1949. 230 pp.

Review of book by Asher Isaacs. Chicago: Richard D. Irwin. 1948. 838 pp.

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