Business & Finance: Gratuity

ICC last week allowed the railroads to increase passenger fares by 10%, thus adding an estimated $45,000,000 to 1942 revenues, subtracting a like amount from the commuter-consumer's purse. Principal beneficiaries: the Pennsylvania, which stands to gain about $9 million; New York Central, $6.5 million; Southern Pacific, $3.1 million; New York, New Haven & Hartford, $3 million.

Without any increases at all, the roads are doing all right: net earnings for this year have already been guesstimated at 7½% over last year's $500,000,000, itself by far the best railroad year since 1930. Thus the rate increase was chiefly a gratuitous contribution to inflation...

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