CROPS: Good Clip

During the summer of 1938, earnest, acidulous President Arthur Besse of the National Association of Wool Manufacturers took a look at his industry. He saw that its 560 firms had a net loss of more than $10,000,000 in the preceding six months and he grew sarcastic. Soon the trade received from President Besse a three-page printed blast against price cutting and reckless competition.

"In Memoriam—the Profit Motive," read a black-bordered box on the cover. "Honorary pallbearers will be men prominent in the textile industry." Inside the pamphlet the textile industry read the summary of its sins—a loss of $98,094,000 for...

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