20:20 “-we created a system a hundred years ago that said no one company can control society-” (actually, a hundred and thirty years ago)
From wiki: “In the 1880s, hundreds of small short-line railroads were being bought up and consolidated into giant systems. (Separate laws and policies emerged regarding railroads and financial concerns such as banks and insurance companies.) People for strong antitrust laws argued that, in order for the American economy to be successful, it would require free competition and the opportunity for individual Americans to build their own businesses. As Senator John Sherman put it, “If we will not endure a king as a political power we should not endure a king over the production, transportation, and sale of any of the necessaries of life.” Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act almost unanimously in 1890, and it remains the core of antitrust policy. The Act prohibits agreements in restraint of trade and abuse of monopoly power.”
Railroads really enabled the modern era to begin in the early 1800’s. Think about it…before railroads the only way to move large amounts of material or people any distance was by water or by horse-powered wagon. That was it- since the beginning of civilization ten thousand years ago this had not changed. Most people never traveled more than ten or twenty miles from where they were born and almost everything used by people was locally manufactured. If you did not live by a river or on the coast you were a long long way from anywhere or any-thing. Because railroads enabled vastly increased industrialization and commerce the wealth associated with this was astronomical.
Greater concentrations of private wealth than ever seen in history…ever.
The railroad companies were the first to stop competing against each other and began cooperating in mergers and this immediately resulted in these large companies blatantly raising prices as high as the market would bear. This made for super-rich shareholders and the general population essentially paying every penny they had for basic necessities. Like selling bottles of water for 10 dollars each after a hurricane except all the time. The citizens went to their representatives and the government began throwing executives of these companies in jail and breaking up the corporations. This is basically admitting super-rich individuals are a threat to the nation and regulating the amount of wealth they can have. Really.
But some corporations were seen as “good” in their effects and if they presented themselves as doing a service to the public they were allowed to continue as super-large companies. The main reason this was allowed, under strict government regulations, were good business practices that created a high standard of living for workers. From wiki:
“Welfare capitalism is capitalism that includes social welfare policies. Welfare capitalism is also the practice of businesses providing welfare services to their employees. Welfare capitalism in this second sense, or industrial paternalism, was centered on industries that employed skilled labor and peaked in the mid-20th century.
Today, welfare capitalism is most often associated with the models of capitalism found in Central Mainland and Northern Europe, such as the Nordic model, social market economy and Rhine capitalism. In some cases welfare capitalism exists within a mixed economy, but welfare states can and do exist independently of policies common to mixed economies such as state interventionism and extensive regulation. ”
Any distinctions between “welfare capitalism” and “embedded liberalism” (The New Deal) are about what side of the aisle the economists and politicians discussing them are on. An example of this word salad is found in this forward to a book on the subject:
“The current globalization debate has revived interest in the viability of welfare
states in competitive market economies. Comparing Welfare Capitalism challenges
the popular theory of a downward convergence. It argues that there are at least
two varieties of capitalism: Anglo-American free market economies, and Rhenish
(Germanic or Japanese) coordinated economies; each variation in production
systems is embedded in a national welfare regime.”
A new term for me to think about: the “coordinated economy.”
In 2020 we have these billionaire founders with a controlling interest and their shareholders who are also lesser billionaires running Super Corporations presenting themselves as providing necessary services to the public. They are inferring they should not be penalized or broken up when they in effect “regulate themselves” in pursuit of greater profits. They of course want to present all of this in the most confusing manner possible so they can keep getting richer and richer. It is…corruption. Plain and simple.
Neoliberals do not, in any way, consider regulating themselves richer as corrupt or immoral. That is their ideology. They have invested mountains of money over the last half a century in propaganda to convince the working class the rich are “the good guys”; the wealth creators who raise everybody up with what trickles down. Those of us living paycheck to paycheck who understand history have a different opinion; we are the ones paying ten dollars for a bottle of water. Let me copy and paste what I wrote a couple paragraphs up again: “The citizens went to their representatives and the government began throwing executives of these companies in jail and breaking up the corporations. This is basically admitting super-rich individuals are a threat to the nation and regulating the amount of wealth they can have. Really.”
I am voting for anything that sounds like “A New Deal.”