The Meaning of 18%


In an obscure corner of Washington's huge Commerce Department Building, two mild young statisticians completed a routine slide-rule job. Their latest release seemed nothing special to small (5 ft. 4 in.), studious Oregonian Tynan Smith and stocky (5 ft. 10 in., 185-lb.), studious New Yorker Robert Sherman (35), the Department's experts on corporation profits. But it came at an explosive moment in U.S. history: labor is howling harder than ever for higher wages, farmers are insisting on higher prices—and the Commerce Department study alleged that U.S. corporations made 18% more money...

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