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Standard Oil Company Must Dissolve in 6 Months...
Special to The New York Times
Washington, May 15, 1911 -- Final decision was returned late this afternoon by the Supreme Court of the United States in one of the two great trust cases which have been before it for so long -- that of the Standard Oil Company. The decree of the Circuit Court for the Eighth Circuit directing the dissolution of the Oil Trust was affirmed, with minor modifications in two particulars.

The Leviathan of its day:

Established in 1870 as a corporation in Ohio, it was the largest oil refiner in the world and operated as a major company trust and was one of the world's first and largest multinational corporations until it was broken up by the United States Supreme Court in 1911.

.... By 1890, Standard Oil controlled 88% of the refined oil flows in the United States. The state of Ohio successfully sued Standard, compelling the dissolution of the trust in 1892. But Standard only separated off Standard Oil of Ohio and kept control of it. Eventually, the state of New Jersey changed its incorporation laws to allow a company to hold shares in other companies in any state. So, in 1899, the Standard Oil Trust, based at 26 Broadway in New York, was legally reborn as a holding company, the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey (SOCNJ), which held stock in 41 other companies, which controlled other companies, which in turn controlled yet other companies. This conglomerate was seen by the public as all-pervasive, controlled by a select group of directors, and completely unaccountable.

In 1904, Standard controlled 91% of production and 85% of final sales. Most of its output was kerosene, of which 55% was exported around the world. After 1900 it did not try to force competitors out of business by underpricing them.[23] The federal Commissioner of Corporations concluded that beyond question, Standard's dominant position in the refining industry was due "to unfair practices, to abuse of the control of pipe-lines, to railroad discriminations, and to unfair methods of competition."

Holy Mackerals! Shades of Comcast.

And Exxon Mobile.

And BP/ARCO/AMOCO et al.

And Bank of America and Chase/Manhattan/UP Morgan/Bear Stearns/Washington Mutual....

And the insurance conglomerates.

And the pharmaceutical conglomerates. And the industrial strength health care provider conglomerates.

Whew! It's getting kind of hot and crowded in here. I need me a bottle of Sherman Anti-Trust and a couple of Theodore Roosevelts.

And an Ida Minerva Tarbell or two wouldn't hurt, even though we've got Matt Taibbi gnawing on Goldman Sachs and a few other modern muckrakers.

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Comment Preferences

  •  With the Clinton-ista DLC crowd in charge, who (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kevinpdx, Gooserock, BigAlinWashSt

    needs enemies!

    the GREAT thing about the $ell out$ -

    for the oligopoly crowd, anyway -

    is that the oligopoly crowd gets 80 or 90% of what they want and it is called "center" and "bipartisan"!  

    of course, screwing over the bottom 90%++ of us is 1 of the co$t$ to society of what the $ell out$ do, BUT


    now you should feel ... yawn ... inspired! ... yawn ... to vote Dem!


    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Sun May 15, 2011 at 01:00:01 PM PDT

    •  They Get 100% of What They Want. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The Dems simply deliver it slowly enough that decades later people still think they improved things for the masses.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun May 15, 2011 at 01:48:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So...if you really think the Democrats are so... (0+ / 0-)

      ...uninspiring, seemingly so utterly non-viable, then wtf are you doing here, on dkos?

      Those of us with a brain know that the Democratic Party is far more likely to curb corporate excesses, and to even bring them to justice, than the Republicans would even consider.

      To whatever extent some elements of the Democrats are more or less compromised, that co-optation, corruption and coercion is coming from the right, the Republicans, and their sponsors, the Chamber of Commerce.

      With actual real progressive/moderate Majorities in Congress, that are not rotten with Blue Dogs, coming out of 2012, we can expect to see some real progress, in suppressing the right, and mitigating those negative influences.

      The greater the plurality, the more progress.

      Less plurality, not so much.

      So...which side are you on, that of the right, reviling and vilifying the Democrats, as utterly non-viable, or the side of the masses, who rose up electorally in '08, to suppress the right, and seize the power via the Democratic Party?

      And why is the obvious fact that this is not quite over yet, and that the struggle thus continues, have to be taken to mean that all is lost, and woe is me, we are all doomed?

      We have real potential for real change ahead of us...but first one has to actually agree that it's feasible, and desirable.

      Democracy is the most fundamental revolutionary principle. Information is the ultimate key.

      by Radical def on Sun May 15, 2011 at 02:46:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  WHOA! HOPE-fully all that apologi$t-i$m PAY$ (0+ / 0-)

        your rent or your mortgage!

        cuz I call sell outs what the fuck they are,

        cuz I'm 51 AND sick of being lied to by yuppie fucking sell outs,

        I'm 1 of the hannity-raygun-bush-cheney droolers!

        the masses rose up in '88 AND

        obama kissed the asses of wall street & AHIP & the boyz at exxon-bp... !!

        I'm on this site for the corner of the big tent which is seeking something other than clapping louder and celebrating being fucking sold out!

        ever heard of FDR "I welcome their hatred" ??

        I'm here for THOSE Democrats,

        not diaper pissing whiny incompetents, and

        NOT yuppie fucking sell outs.


        Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

        by seabos84 on Sun May 15, 2011 at 03:26:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And who pays Your bills, I wonder... (0+ / 0-)

          but that's really irrelevant, as to whether you work for Koch, or say, freakin' Avakian, lol.

          The question, and the issue, is really whether you actually see any viable prospects for electoral struggle, via the Democratic Party, or not.

          Since you evade the question, merely slinging unprincipled adhominem jive, I can only surmise that you are hostile to the very concept.

          So again I ask, what can your purpose here be, if not merely to harass and troll us with hostile ultra-negativity?  

          And whose interests do you really think that will tend to serve, ultimately, besides those of the right, and fascism, whom you seem to emulate so closely in style, even if your rhetoric may be a more or less mirror image evil twin doppelganger, lol.

          Stop drooling and slobbering and foaming for a sec, and just answer my question, why don't you?

          And why do you insist on bringing the absolutely false meme, implying that Obama woulda, shoulda, coulda run roughshod over the Republicans, despite being hostage to right wing majorities, even after '08?

          Your subjective absolutist oppositionalist hyperbole is showing, and it does not become you.

          Democracy is the most fundamental revolutionary principle. Information is the ultimate key.

          by Radical def on Sun May 15, 2011 at 04:31:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  typical $ocial cla$$ re$pon$e (0+ / 0-)

            since I don't talk like a kennedy school aspirant,
            I'm a commie or righty.

            since I'm fed up with the dudcrapkis-clinton-kerry-cantwell-murray-gore-obama upper middle cla$$ excuse makers making excuses for losing to these lying thieving slime,
            I'm a commie or a righty.

            Since I call upper middle cla$$ excuse makers out on their bullshit, since I don't bother referencing the endless diaries detailing the incessant thievery from us working stiffs,
            I'm negative and I'm hyperbolic and I'm a troll -

            Since I won't play the noble game of who did more to be more noble,

            Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
                And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'

            Because I cannot flatter and speak fair,
                Smile in men's faces, smooth, deceive and cog,
                Duck with French nods and apish courtesy,
                I must be held a rancorous enemy.

            There are viable prospects for electoral struggle -
            HOWEVER, if you think it is viable to help fucking sell outs and help the politically incompetent, you're the perfect foot soldier for the sell outs and the incompetents -

            unless, of course, you're 1 of them.

            By the way - the state of washington pays my salary.

            there are a LOT of reasons this party has been getting its ass kicked for decades - 1 of the most significant reasons is the apologists LIKE YOU who drive people away - I won't leave, and I call you on your bullshit -

            but - call it negative hyperbole, cuz, clearly, you can afford to be fucked over by bernanke and AHIP and Goldman and BP and exxon, while being lead around by your nose, in fear of whack jobs like palin.


            Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

            by seabos84 on Sun May 15, 2011 at 08:30:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for the history Karen. :-) n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vzfk3s, cotterperson

    "The United States will not be able to dictate the pace and scope of this change. Only the people of the region can do that. But we can make a difference." 3/28/11

    by BarackStarObama on Sun May 15, 2011 at 01:51:11 PM PDT

  •  shout out to Daniel Plainview (0+ / 0-)

    "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

    by TheHalfrican on Sun May 15, 2011 at 02:28:27 PM PDT

  •  Part of the genius of J.D. Rockefeller (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Orinoco, cotterperson

    was in naming the company "Standard".

    Back in the day all manner of things where sold a kerosene, many of which proved to blow up and kill people. Thus the name Standard was popular because people new that safe
    practices were used in the production process.

    The lesson missed by many is that regulation, (even if self imposed) is actually good for business.

  •  I should H/T Miss NcrissieB (0+ / 0-)

    for the info awhile back.

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