Big Business and the Rise of American Statism
by Roy A. Childs (1949-1992)
Excerpt: In fact and in history, the entire thesis of all three schools is botched, from beginning to end. The interpretations of the Marxists, the liberals and the conservatives are a tissue of lies.
As Gabriel Kolko demonstrates in his masterly The Triumph of Conservatism and in Railroads and Regulation, the dominant trend in the last three decades of the nineteenth century and the first two of the twentieth was not towards increasing centralization, but rather, despite the growing number of mergers and the growth in the overall size of many corporations,
toward growing competition. Competition was unacceptable to many key business and financial leaders, and the merger movement was to a large extent a reflection of voluntary, unsuccessful business efforts to bring irresistible trends under control. …As new competitors sprang up, and as economic power was diffused throughout an expanding nation, it became apparent to many important businessmen that only the national government could [control and stabilize] the economy. …Ironically, contrary to the consensus of historians, it was not the existence of monopoly which caused the federal government to intervene in the economy, but the lack of it. Read on»