Business & Finance: Looking Backward

Last week the U. S. Treasury issued a breakdown of income-tax returns for the depression year 1938. Set against the returns for previous years, they all but completed the pattern of a decade's economic change.

Since Coolidge's time, the number of taxpayers has grown, but not the amount of taxable income. In 1928, 2,523,063 taxpayers reported $21,032,000,000 of taxable income. In 1932, 1,936,095 taxpayers* reported only $7,920,000,000; in 1937, 3,371,443 taxpayers reported $15,264,000,000; in 1938, 3,048,545 taxpayers reported $12,672,000,000. Income from corporation dividends went down more slowly than total income, came back...

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