IN the present essay an adequate acknowledgment of indebtedness to others would require a history and criticism of theories of distribution, pointing out what seems to me to be of permanent value in the work of the leading economists, and showing reasons for disagreeing with their weaker and more transient arguments. This is a task which needs to be done, but for the present I am interested in the practical outcome of these theories. Neither should the reader expect to find in this essay more than an outline. I have attempted to cut a straight line through a tangled jungle, and to give merely a glimpse into the maze of conﬂicting opin ions. Each chapter herein might well be expanded into a volume; and this would necessarily be done were it not that I assume on the part of my readers a fair acquaintance with the problems and the extant discussions of the subject.