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Of the many paradoxes posed by the attempt to enforce competition, none is more exasperating than the riddle of basing-point pricing. Here is a system which is capable of precise exposition and graphic delineation, as has been ably demonstrated by Professor Machlup in his timely monograph. Yet the effects are controversial, and the remedies baffling. It is like a game of checkers in its geometric nicety; but the onlookers, and perhaps the players, are blindfolded.
Readers of the Yale Law School are presumably acquainted with the economic arguments for and against geographic price systems, lucidly set down in a recent Comment, and with the political implications, etched by Professor Latham. Such readers may well inquire why we must have a whole book on basing-points at this time, especially one which, in the author's own apt characterization, "is rich in economic theory and poor in statistical material."
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