In the case of all quasi-public corporations rigid laws exist prohibiting the issue of stock or bonds unless the par value is first paid in; prohibiting the declaration of any stock or scrip dividend, and requiring that new stock shall be offered to stockholders at not less than its market value, to be determined by the proper state officials, any shares not so subscribed for to be sold by public auction.
A national debt, he maintains, enriches the capital at the expense of the provinces; further, it creates a leisured class of stockholders, and possesses all the disadvantages of paper credit.
The suggestions that votes should be conferred on graduates and stockholders were laughed at as fancy franchises.
Other radical legislation, especially in regard to railways, has included: the Porter Law, regulating rates, which was enacted in 1874 during the "Granger Movement," was modified from time to time, and was displaced by a law of 1905 (in 1908 declared constitutional so long as stockholders receive a "reasonable compensation" on investments) creating a state railway commission, and providing for the physical valuation of railways on an ad valorem basis for taxation; a law (1907) making 2 cents a mile the maximum fare; an antitipping law (1905); a law forbidding the sale of cigarettes; an act (1907) forbidding insurance companies to do both participating and non-participating business; and an eight-hour labour law in effect on the 1st of January 1908.
Next came the crowd of stockholders and creditors of the state, who, in face of the governments extravagant anarchy, no longer felt safe from partial or total bankruptcy.