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Railroad Stocks

Railroad Stocks image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Stocks in theory and stocks in fact are two very different things. In theory the railroad stockholder is a capitalist who having by some nieans or other - perhap3 by an operation on the " street," perhaps, but not probably, by honest industry - accumulate a considerable sumof money, goes to Washington, and by corrupt ineans secures, in combination with other capitalists, a large land-grant from Congress, than builds his road by means of selling his land, calculates how much the poor farmer ought to be made to pay tbr transportation, in order to render his stock profitable after it has been thoroughly watered, establishes rates of freight based on the result of this calculation, and then retires from business on the fruit8 of his fraud. If at any time he noeds more money, he makes a new calculation, weters his stock again, and again wrings from the poor farmer his hard-earned substance. Railroad stocks in fact, however, as many people know to their cost from what has happened in the past few weeks, are quite a different tking. So far from its boing truc that the dividends they yield are certain and easily made, there is hard ly in the world any security which is subject to so many risks of a kind so difticult to calcĂșlate. There are, it is true, a good many railroads in the older parts of the country the condition of which is thoroughly known and under management entirely trusted. which yield a certain income upon the capital invested in them ; but the income is small, and it is not these roads which even in theory form and support the breed of railroad capital ists. It is the new roads built through the West, with land-grants, by nieans of bonds, as well as such old roads asflnd it necessary to extend their business in all directions by the purchase and lease of competing and connecting lines. And these are the roads of which we say that stock in many of them is, and will be for a long time, a dangerous investraent ; so dangerous that those who risk their money in the purchase of them are arnply entitled to all the returns they ever can


Old News
Michigan Argus