The Aaa: An Epitaph


THE AAA — the Agricultural Adjustment Administration — has come to be the best known of all the many relief, recovery, and reform measures of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Every change made by Congress in the AAA law has served to strengthen the act, increase its penalties, and place larger powers in the hands of the Secretary of Agriculture. The AAA is a major segment of the New Deal, yet there is nothing new in it. It takes us into paths new for us, but often trodden by other peoples.

The farmer has a hazardous business. Weather, insect pests, plant diseases, and various other ‘acts of God’ may smite him. These woes he accepts philosophically, for hope springs eternal in his breast. But the hazards of the market he regards as man-made, and therefore proper subjects for individual and collective attack. In a period of falling prices, farm prices fall faster and farther than factory prices. There is, unfortunately for the farmer, one fundamental and inherent difference between a farm and a factory. The factory can and does adjust very quickly the quantity and quality of its output to fit market demand. The farmer can make such adjustments only approximately, and very slowly at best. He has a strictly limited control over the quantity and quality of his produce in any one season.

The corn farmer plants No. 1 corn. His crop may be No. 1, or No. 5, but on the average it is No. 2 or No. 3. The spring-wheat farmers in 1916 planted No. 1 wheat as usual, but the crop (owing to one day of hot winds, in August) proved to be No. 9 (technically known as ‘D Feed Wheat’). The Kansas wheat farmer plants 1½ bushels of seed wheat per acre. The yield may be 40 bushels or 20 bushels or 10, or 5, or nothing.

To carry the illustration a step further: Suppose the farmer decides to reduce his output. He reduces his acreage — but with what results? The spring-wheat farmers in the year 1914 reduced their acreage 5 per cent; the yield fell off 14 per cent. These same farmers in 1913 reduced their acreage 3.9 per cent; the yield decreased 27 per cent. Worse yet, these farmers in 1916 decreased their acreage 8 per cent, and their yield fell off 55.7 per cent. The wheat farmer can control acreage, but not yield. The AAA, for example, ‘planned ’ a wheat crop in 1935 of 775,000,000 bushels. The weather reduced the yield to less than 500,000,000 bushels. One week — even one day — of bad weather may play havoc with both quantity and quality of crop.

Consider the cotton farmer and his major enemy, the boll weevil. The South’s cotton crop suffered reduction from full yields, owing to boll weevil, from one fifth to one third in these four consecutive years: 1919, 18.8 per cent; 1920, 24.0 per cent; 1921, 35.4 per cent; 1922, 26.7 per cent. Nature plays strange and cruel tricks on the farmer. Nature is old-fashioned, and thus far refuses to come under any laws enacted at Washington.

But this dark picture of the farmer has one brighter side. The farmer, unable to adjust supply to demand except approximately, must accept bigger price swings than the manufacturer, who can and does make this adjustment. On a falling market the farmer is the big loser, under this economic law. Conversely, on a rising market, his prices go up first, fastest, and farthest. The farm is not a factory, and the factory is not a farm, and so there never can be equality between these two economic institutions. The farmer, as a gambler, loses most of all classes on a falling market, and makes the most of all on a rising market. Thus the World War gave the wheat farmer at Ponca City, Oklahoma, three-dollar wheat. The slump in 1932 gave him twenty-five-cent wheat. Such a big price drop is a tragedy for those four farmers out of every ten whose places are mortgaged. The individual farmer is well aware of this situation, and tries to adjust himself to it.

How ‘sick’ is agriculture, and what is the remedy? The sickness of agriculture dates from the close of the World War. It is the worst sufferer in a new Triple Impasse. First, we changed from a debtor to a creditor country, and therefore must import more than we export. Secondly, we are a surplus-producing country and therefore must export more than we import. Thirdly, under a hundred years of tariffs culminating in the all-time high HawleySmoot Tariff of 1930, we raised still higher our tariff barriers, thus making it well-nigh impossible for other countries to get their goods to us — or to buy our goods. The South, exporting 60 per cent of its cotton and 40 per cent of its tobacco, the North, exporting 40 per cent of its pork products and 20 per cent of its wheat, never recovered from this blocking of the normal channels of trade. This situation, new in the history of the world, is an impossible one. Obviously something must crack.

Congress, in its wisdom, looked about for a remedy. Shall we curtail the farmer’s wheat acreage, thus flirting with famine? Shall we go on a basis of new nationalism, limiting our output to our domestic market? This question of ‘farm relief’ brings us to the AAA, with its philosophy of planned scarcity and higher prices, and its programme of crop reduction and destruction.

If we seek the beginnings of the AAA, we must look back some fourteen years. In 1922 appeared a small anonymous booklet, Equality for Agriculture, conceived and written by a few farmimplement manufacturers who had found farm credits frozen. A farmpaper editor in Iowa was the most important convert to the philosophy of ‘equality for agriculture,’for he was destined to become Secretary of Agriculture.


‘Equality for agriculture’ as a new economic doctrine was translated into the law of the land on May 12, 1933, when the AAA legislation received the President’s signature. Secretary of Agriculture Wallace had successfully steered the revolutionary measure through an obliging Congress. The seed planted by the implement dealers had fallen on good political ground. I say ‘ political’ ground advisedly, for the three big farm organizations originally had quite different economic programmes of their own, and none of the three contemplated restriction of output. However, the leaders of these farm groups quickly switched to the AAA when once it became the dominant plan.

The AAA philosophy of equality for agriculture, as formulated and implemented in the law of the land, is based on the very simple dogma of higher prices for agriculture. ‘Put prices up we will,’ declared the President. This dogma, as written in the law, means, in plain English, higher prices by means of scarcity. In spite of all assertions to the contrary, the philosophy of the AAA is the philosophy of scarcity. The English language has an abundance of beautiful names with which to camouflage this ugly fact. Spokesmen of the AAA always refer to acreage reduction under the gracious name of ‘adjustment.’

Here it must be pointed out that the AAA law is wonderfully and fearfully made; it contains many different titles on unrelated subjects; it provides a new and safe way for farmers to speculate in cotton futures; it provides bigger and better and cheaper loans to farmers; it provides for a ‘limited amount,’ of printing-press money; it provides for monetary manipulation by the President; and finally it creates the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, with unprecedented executive and legislative (taxing) powers in the hands of an administrative officer. Four specific ways are provided for putting up farm prices: reduction of the amount of gold in the dollar; price fixing by fiat — that is, by ‘marketing agreements’; price fixing by fiat — that is, by licenses (changed to ‘orders’ in the new amendments); and finally price elevation by reduction of output — that is, by scarcity. While there are thus four roads to the goal of high prices, the road marked ‘scarcity’ has proved to be the one of overshadowing importance. The marketing agreements have proved of doubtful value, and many of them have already been abandoned.

The AAA philosophy of scarcity involves some rather delicate problems of administration. If the farmer is to be rewarded for doing nothing, whence comes the money? A 2 or 3 per cent sales tax is an odious thing. However, a political miracle was performed. By changing the name of crop reduction to crop ‘adjustment,’ and by changing the name of the sales tax to ‘processing tax,’ the programme of crop reduction was financed by a sales tax of 30 per cent. Secretary Wallace estimates that this sales tax on wheat, cotton, tobacco, corn, and pork products represents ‘on the average a tax of about 30 per cent on those commodities.’

The Secretary was the father of the AAA act as finally enacted. Some of his philosophy in his own words may throw light on this subject. ‘I hold to no particular philosophy of economics,’ warns Wallace in his book on Agricultural Prices. The gold policy of the Administration he calls ‘temporary money magic.’ His conclusion on this point is: ‘A balanced relationship between these prices [farm prices and general prices] cannot be maintained by monetary policy alone.’ The AAA is to achieve ‘economic democracy.’ Once achieved, this economic democracy ‘must be in a position to resist unwise political pressure.’ ‘Human beings,’ he tells us, ‘respond far more readily to psychological than to logical arguments. . . . We must invent, build, and put to work new social machinery. This machinery will carry out the Sermon on the Mount as well as the present social machinery carries out and intensifies the law of the jungle.’

The Secretary’s claim that the sales taxes under the AAA are the farmer’s tariff has come to be universally accepted by the farmer. The tariff itself has never yet had a kind word from the Secretary. Quite the contrary. He says: ‘To all intents and purposes the processing tax is the farmer’s tariff.

. . . Long ago, of course, there should have been a far greater outcry about the cost of high tariffs. Fundamentally the tariff and the processing tax are twins. . . . The passage of the Fordney-McCumber Tariff Act, presumed to help the farmer, was a ghastly fraud in the minds of economists generally and producers of export crops specifically. . . . The cost-of-production theory in tariff making was merely a convenient political dodge. . . . Nearly every President who has had anything to do with tariff revision has been impressed by the way great businesses rally round in the hope of securing governmental favors through the tariff in order to help them promote monopolies. Such legalized thievery is probably working more harm to the people of the United States than all other forms of robbery put together.’ The Secretary has no high regard for the tariff, and he realizes that his ‘economic democracy’— the AAA, founded on the tariff’s ‘twin,’ the processing tax — is not likely to remain free from successful political ‘pressure groups.’


Congress and the President have given us the AAA as a permanent policy. It is part of a ‘new deal.’ The assumption behind it was that we had been running our agricultural plant without any policy and without any programme. In other words, agriculture was in a state of economic anarchy. This picture of American agriculture is far from correct. Our agricultural programme of the past fifty years has been one of truly brilliant achievement and progress. The United States Department of Agriculture, with its trained staff of more workers than those of all the Departments of Agriculture of all the countries of Europe combined, has built up one of the greatest fact-finding institutions in the world. The function of the Department of Agriculture was stated in this manner by the late Secretary of Agriculture, Henry Cantwell Wallace: to supply information which the farmers cannot get for themselves; to go further would be to injure rather than to aid the farmers.

Few laymen realize the vastness of the achievements of the Department of Agriculture in promoting scientific agriculture in the United States. We need to be reminded that when we evolved our marvelously efficient inspection and grading systems for wheat and cotton we automatically improved our production of those great crops, thus enabling the farmer to ‘cash in’ on purely scientific work done in Federal laboratories. We have scouted all corners of the world, discovering and bringing home new plants suited to our conditions. We have laboratories for soil chemistry, out of which have come our thirty years of progress in soil conservation and improvement. We have our Bureau of Entomology, which is our front line of defense against the farmer’s worst enemy — the noxious insect. Every phase of agriculture is studied scientifically by the United States Department of Agriculture — soils, plants, animals, farm management, the weather, the markets. Information to help the individual farmer is relayed to the farmer by means of the written word, or by the spoken word. The ‘Extension Services ’ of the Federal Department, the state colleges, county agricultural agents, and county agricultural high schools carry the message of scientific farming to the man on the farm. In this broad way we have already made notable progress in planning and achieving ‘better farming, better living, better business.’

In a more specific way, the separate states have gone a long way on the road of a ‘planned agriculture.’ Wisconsin in the year 1922 was the first state to adopt a fifty-year plan. Virginia some twelve years ago was among the first states to adopt a five-year plan. Some nine years ago Massachusetts adopted a ten-year plan for her fruit growers. About thirty states to date have agricultural plans. In some cases counties have adopted a plan. Kern County, California, in 1924 adopted a cotton plan which is working successfully. Seneca County, New York, in 1928 adopted what seems to be the best county agricultural plan in the United States. In all cases of planning by states and counties, the actual planning was done by those with their own money invested in the enterprise, by those on the ground, by those with successful experience.

In short, while a planned scarcity is a new thing in American farming, a planned agriculture is not a new thing. It is now an applied science. In fact, the agricultural college of Iowa, at Ames, has formulated a ten-point score card for planning, as follows: —

1. Plan should not yield an immediate benefit at the expense of the future.

2. Plan should promise net gain to American agriculture as a whole.

3. Plan should not interfere with farmer’s plan to raise the most advantageous combination of products.

4. Plan must not put in motion forces which will nullify its effects.

5. Plan should not retard desirable economic shifts already under way.

6. Plan should utilize, not oppose, private initiative.

7. Plan should promote conservation of natural resources.

8. Separate plan is needed for each critical area.

9. Plan should involve minimum of social cost — uproot smallest possible proportion of the population.

10. Plan should be as free as possible from political influences.

The AAA plan frankly violates every one of these ten points; it violates all of the principles of farm management taught in all our agricultural colleges during the past twenty-five years.

Some sage has remarked that, when you yoke together the scientific ox and the speculative ass, progress is slow. The AAA feels that our team, scientific programme and economic progress, is too slow; we must speed up. So now we are putting to the test the new philosophy of ‘equality’ for agriculture based on a programme of scarcity. This is a new path for us, but this path was trodden by England with her Eastern rubber plan, by Japan with her silk plan, by Cuba with her sugar plan, and by Brazil with her coffee valorization. In each of these four cases the results were the same: first an immediate success — that is, an upswing in prices; then a decrease in consumption and an increase in world output in unrestricted countries; then a crashing downward of prices to new all-time lows.

The AAA programme was applied to major crops first: to cotton by ploughing under one fourth of the crop, amounting to over four million bales of mature cotton (it was a puzzling sight to the ploughman in rags and tatters to see this white cotton being turned back into the black earth); then came the pig slaughter — six million pigs, and two hundred thousand sows about to become mothers of another million pigs. About 15 or 20 per cent of this slaughter went into human food; another portion into fertilizer; another part into carrion. Here was sabotage on the grandest scale in the nation’s history.

Wheat farmers signed contracts with the government agreeing to cut wheat acreage 15 per cent. Cotton farmers the second year signed contracts calling for a cut of 40 per cent in their acreage. That is, each individual farmer agreed to cut his individual acreage 40 per cent, thus securing a blanket reduction by that amount in the whole cotton belt. For the land thus put out of use— ‘rented to the government’ — the farmer received a check. To the cotton farmer the check amounted to ten or eleven dollars an acre on the average. The hog farmer was given a similar check for the specified number of hogs which he did not raise. In other words, the farmers were paid for not producing. They were literally getting something for nothing.

The money paid to the farmers (about one billion dollars to date) came from sales taxes averaging about 30 per cent, as already mentioned. The farmer frankly looks on this money as a gift from Santa Claus. It violates his common sense to leave his fertile acres fallow — and to be paid for doing it. In principle he rejects this philosophy; but in practice he is glad to have the cash and to ‘get his share of the plunder.’ Accepting the tariff as a legal device to enable one group to prey on another group, he feels it is his turn to be on the receiving end of the line instead of the paying end. Does this mean that the farmer’s morals are being corrupted and his morale lowered? In a sense, yes. As the Secretary would say, the farmer is merely applying the law of the jungle in his own behalf. A lucky break in favor of AAA popularity in the Middle West was the drouth of 1933, 1934, 1935. The contract signer found the government check a godsend.

Various ‘referendums’ have been held to discover farmer sentiment regarding the AAA programme. From one third to one fifth of the farmers part icipate. A large majority of those voting thus far have upheld the AAA. In fact, however, these referendums do not reflect sober farmer opinion. There are few greater factories in the world manufacturing mass sentiment than the AAA’s staff of over sixty highpower experts on publicity. The Secretary can, in twenty-four hours’ time, carry any message he desires to practically every farmer in the United States. First, his statement goes to the Extension Department of each of the forty-eight agricultural colleges. Here it can be relayed by telephone or telegraph to the county agricultural agent in each county. Then it is instantly passed on to the precinct or township committeemen, and by them to the individual farmers in the neighborhood. Words Wallace utters to-day you hear a Wyoming farmer repeating verbatim to-morrow. The state and county agencies move with great alacrity when the Secretary speaks. They are only human beings, and their salaries come in part from Federal funds. Like the voice of doom, an echo reverberates in the back of their mind: ‘Federal control follows Federal financing.’ Before each referendum, each farmer has the pleasure of reading the ‘facts’ as furnished him by a publicity expert in Washington. The farmers laughingly refer to these referendums as ‘ turning on the heat.’ When the first cotton sign-up campaign was under way, frank and open social pressure was successfully applied to the non-signers.


The first result of the programme of artificial scarcity is an unbalanced agriculture.

The individual farmer finds his farm-management plans all awry. On information gleaned from Federal farmers’ bulletins, from his agricultural college publications, from his farm papers, and from his own costly experience, he has invested a certain amount of money in horses or mules, or in a truck or tractor, and in other farm equipment, and in land, and has hired a certain amount of labor to give him a balanced enterprise. Or, in technical language, he has secured the best balance of land, labor, and capital for his particular farm enterprise, considering his soil, topography, climate, markets, roads, and so on. Under the reduction (‘adjustment’) planned in Washington for the country as a whole, he must leave part of his plant idle. True, he may grow certain specified crops, as Washington permits, on the ‘rented land.’ But even so, part of his labor and part of his machinery will not be needed. Consider, for example, the cotton farmer in Mississippi — the best cotton land in the world. Farmer A has a plantation of 2000 acres. He has the right number of mules and ‘hands’ to work this land. To be sure, he can grow corn, good corn. But he has learned by experience that his cotton nets him $31 an acre and his corn $17. Therefore he sells cotton and buys Iowa corn for his mules. He signs the ‘adjustment’ contract, and reduces his cotton 40 per cent, or by 800 acres. His cost of production is now increased, because of his big investment in idle cotton machinery. The surplus ‘ hands ’ — renters and share croppers — he can and does send away.

Or take the example of a New York farmer operating a 1000-acre farm. His blueprints of his farm show nineteen types of soil. He does mixed farming, to fit his soil condition. He has 75 acres of potatoes on his potato soil. Next year, under the AAA plan, he will be given a definite quota, drastically cutting his potato acreage. The blueprints made in Washington for the ‘average farmer’ (an imaginary being) do not fit the actual farmer.

Dealing with agriculture in the blanket manner, the AAA has now put out of use for cotton millions of acres of the best cotton lands in the world. The best corn lands of the world are in Iowa, and here again the AAA has put out of use for corn millions of acres of this superior land. The net effect is to increase the cost of production. Farmers producing crops for the export market, as most of them do, are under the dire necessity of reducing their cost of production in order to survive the competition in this market.

A second effect of the AAA programme is to unbalance agriculture as between regions. The cotton farmer, for example, when forced out of cotton, turned to peanuts, an unrestricted crop. Then Congress declared peanuts to be a basic commodity. The peanut farmer, forced out of peanuts, turned to potatoes, an unrestricted crop. Congress again intervened, and made potatoes a basic crop. So the AAA restricted potatoes. The Texas farmers, forced out of cotton, turned to pastures and meadows — feed for beef and dairy cattle. This meant new competition for the dairy farmers of Wisconsin and Minnesota and New York and Vermont. And the dairy business was already suffering from farmer strikes and violence owing to low prices for butter and milk.

The Northeastern States are known as dairy and poultry states. One half the dairy and poultry ration consists of wheat and corn. But the ‘adjustment ’ in wheat and corn put these prices up, thus crippling the Eastern dairy and poultry farmers. The country’s milk crop is worth considerably more than the wheat and cotton crops combined. In fact, the poultry and egg crop is worth more than the wheat crop. So, to the extent that the product of one farm becomes the raw material of a second farm, the second farm suffers from any artificial price boosts of this raw material. Farmers themselves are consumers of at least 40 per cent of our total crop output.

A third effect of the AAA programme of scarcity is an unbalancing of international agriculture. For two hundred years the farms of the South have been geared to the world’s cotton markets. Sixty per cent of the crop went into export channels. Cutting our acreage 40 per cent did not create a vacuum in world markets. Quite the contrary. Sixty countries produce cotton commercially; they merely stepped up their output enough to offset our ‘adjustment.’ Now Liverpool, for the first time, has introduced a standard cotton contract for future trading, permitting deliveries of Brazil and Argentine cotton. Japan, finding abundance of good cotton in various countries, at unpegged prices, has been able to import these growths, manufacture them, and export to the United States tens of millions of square yards of cotton cloth within the last year.

In former years we depended on our exports of wheat to pull us out of a depression. This year we are importing from fifty to one hundred millions of bushels of wheat. Before the World War we produced more than two thirds of the world’s corn. Now we are importing corn, our crop being about half the world’s crop. In fact, ships from many lands are bringing to our ports wheat, corn, rye, meat, butter, and other foods and feeds. During the year, partly owing to drouth, partly owing to AAA, we have imported butter from Canada, South America, England, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Asia (Iran), Australia, New Zealand, Africa (Morocco, Union of South Africa).

A fourth unbalancing effect of the AAA scarcity programme is the tragic increase of unemployment. Over two hundred thousand share croppers and tenants, with their families, well over a million souls in all, have been forced into the bread lines of the cities and towns. The curtailed hog crop meant tens of thousands of stockyard and packing-house workers in Chicago alone put on the relief rolls. Cotton gins, oil mills, packing houses, transportation companies, and many other agencies have their services reduced by the AAA programme. The killing of eight million cattle, to conserve feed stuffs, added enormously to the ‘surplus’ labor of the country. North of the international boundary a few miles was a volume of literally hundreds of millions of bushels of wheat and oats and barley, excellent feed for animals, and not needed there, but desperately needed here to save the lives of our drouth-stricken cattle. Idle labor could have been put to work transporting this grain. But the AAA plan decreed death to the animals, idleness to the labor, and the piling up in Canadian warehouses of this ‘surplus’ grain. In short, the AAA programme has now added at least two million men to our unemployed. Thus do the AAA and PWA work at cross-purposes, one nullifying the other.


The Secretary spoke of the danger of ‘pressure groups.’ Already there are ominous signs that the economic planning done by the AAA is frequently overruled by the political planning done by these pressure groups. In the closing days of the last Congress we saw a sight to sadden our hearts. Senators ceased to represent the nation. The potato Senators combined with the wheat Senators. The coal Senators, like the silver Senators before them, fought for their economic group. So it came to pass that after less than one hundred minutes of debate in both houses the potato law — the most drastic piece of regimentation in our history — was passed.

The potato law is a drastic, compulsory-control law. Under it ten new crimes are created. Each of the three or four million potato farmers is to be given his quota. Any potatoes he produces above his quota and sells on the market will be taxed 45 cents a bushel — unless he can successfully bootleg them. But if he is caught he is subject to a line of one thousand dollars and a year in the penitentiary. If a farmer drives to town with a load of potatoes and sells some of them at the housewife’s back door he is likely to get her into trouble. She is guilty of a felony if these potatoes are not in a specified container and if there is no stamp tax on them. She can be sent to the penitentiary for a year for her crime. Can pressure groups go further than this?

The AAA law, as originally passed, contains the word ‘emergency’ three times in its title. But now the Administration has declared the act to be permanent, and Congress has made it as permanent as any law can be. As originally passed, the essence of the act was ‘voluntary coöperation’ on the part of farmers. Already the law has been made compulsory for cotton, tobacco, and potatoes.

As originally enacted, the law applied to seven so-called ‘ basic ’ crops — the wheat, corn, and hogs of the North; the cotton, tobacco, and rice of the South; and milk and its products. These seven basic crops have now swollen to seventeen by adding sugar cane, sugar beets, beef cattle, dairy cattle, peanuts, rye, flax, barley, grain sorghums, potatoes.

This sudden spurt in the number of ‘basic’ crops, like the enactment of the potato act, is a warning to the Secretary that already the political planners have taken the stage away from him. The Secretary had quite a different vision before him when he entered upon his superhuman task.

However, as the Secretary surveys the AAA in operation, he is led to express approval and to say frankly that one step leads to another: ‘The cotton plan, the corn and hog plan, the dairy, tobacco, fruit and wheat programmes that we are launching — all these are experimental first steps in the new direction. Once you take the first step in that direction, you are forced to take other steps.’

Undersecretary Tugwell, with the vision of an Isaiah, seems to glimpse a time here when every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill shall be made low. Farmers on the hilltops are to be taken down into the valleys to do ‘rational’ farming. ‘The National Administration,’ says Tugwell, ‘has procured a regulated harvest of cotton and cigar tobacco for this year and is moving to procure a regulated harvest of wheat. Soon we shall have plans under way for a long-time programme to adjust the production of corn and hogs.

’One move compels another as in a game of chess.

‘And that move in turn compels a whole series of others.

‘We have set upon a process which is bound to alter our entire agricultural structure.

‘It may go beyond that and lead in time to a rational resettlement of America.’

In a still more optimistic moment the Secretary declared: ‘The millennium is not yet here, although the makings of it are clearly in our hands.’

But Old Man HCL arrives ahead of the millennium. It was only some forty years ago when our magazines and journals were full of articles on the ‘High Cost of Living.’ Within this last year we have read of consumers’ strikes against the high cost of meat and of bread.

Will high prices and scarcity get us out of the depression ? Clearly a general organization of scarcity, however imposed, will simply make the depression permanent. Recovery can come only through an expansion of production.

  1. This paper, written just before the demise of the AAA, clearly foreshadows important conclusions. — EDITOR