Wednesday, December 28, 2011
The Golden Age Of Unregulated Capitalism
This is a review of a book on the history of the transcontinental railroads in the US. It is often celebrated as an example of the entrepreneurial spirit that made us prosper. It turns out that what really happened does not square with the fairy tale about the utopian form of free market capitalism. It would not have happened without government subsidies and financing. There was not sufficient demand to operate profitably and crony capitalism, rather than free market capitalism, enabled the railroads to survive and make their owners and speculators super rich. It looks much like the banking industry today.