During this period, Americans created the highest standard of living ever known. American innovation produced more and better goods, provided greater safety and economy in the extraction of raw materials and production conditions. American innovators created the largest middle class, and brought about the greatest technological leap; from the horse and cart to the automobile, from the single artisan working from home to the beginning of the modern factory floor. All of this innovation though came at a price, as immigrants fleeing the manor farms of
Europe filled the cities with cheap labor,
Capitalisms evil twin Cronyism began to exert its foul influence. Corporate
Managers and Boards of Directors replaced factory owners, who once employed
family members to produce quality goods and services. Seldom did the Capitalist
see the factory floor, now all decisions are made to increase profit, all
business information provided by charts and graphs. Where once innovators were
praised and provided a share of their genius, now workers were expected to keep
their heads down and their mouths shut. Invention slowed and by the Twentieth
Century seldom appeared outside of a corporate lab or think tank. For every
Steve Jobs or Bill Gates that succeeded in the New America hundreds failed for
lack of access to consumers.
Capitalists take the blame for all of this stagnation, even though Capitalists are the only job producers. Would Bill Gates or Steve Jobs become as wealthy as they did if all they had was an idea? Of course not, what they really had, what made them wealthy beyond the dreams of most normal people, was funding. Funding that built factories that paid wages, advertised their goods and made their products the icons they are today.
or anywhere in the world for that matter appears out of thin air. No government
has ever created a productive job; I would contend that all government jobs are
actually reductive, destroying more than they create. Since most Government
jobs are simply tasked with the creation of red tape, or obscure rules to
reduce the competition of new vs. older established companies. America
When Governments restrict their activities to enforcing contracts and ensuring fair play, industry can flourish. Old and stagnant companies fail and are replaced by new and vibrant companies, innovation becomes the watchword. Different corporate strategies create and destroy markets and products. Had Government intrusion and crony Capitalism been as prevalent during the Nineteenth Century, it is likely that rather than seeing the latest automobiles with the greatest safety features, we would be deciding between the Acme or the Reliable buggy whip.
What Government does by choosing the market winners is create uncertainty and chaos in what would, if left to its own devices, fluctuate but within predictable limits. Primarily syndicates or overly large banking establishments caused the market crashes of the Nineteenth Century and the recent Banking crash shows exactly how the Government rather than being an agent of stability causes the very chaos it is trying to control.
Nothing is ever perfect for everyone, and the poor of the Nineteenth Century cities are a testament to just how badly humans can treat one another, but relying on a fickle and capricious Government to provide a fair market place will only bring about equal poverty for everyone…everyone that is except the cronies.