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Maken
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If you have the ability to go back to your that book, there are some very interesting things about the railroads mentioned in The Unknown Ideal.

I have this one on hand because I recently cited it, but there were 3 or 4 other specific mentions of railroads.

Oh my gosh you are amazing. That is a point I was trying to grapple with. I knew, historically speaking, that the government granted land to these railroad companies and thus help form their monopolies. Thanks for the information :D

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This might be a little bit off topic for this, but I am going to go ahead and ask it here.

Currently in US History we are learning about the construction of the first transcontinental railroad and the creation of what was deemed the first "monopoly" under these railroad companies. Basically long range trips were subject to transportation and short range trips were not, therefore there was a travel monopoly.

Now, my teacher is actually a capitalist, but he claims that this is the issue with the free market, aka that is lets monopolies form unchecked, and therefore requires regulation.

After reading Capitalism TUI and other various Rand excerpts on monopolies, I am not really sure how to explain that he is wrong to people in layman terms.

There are so many myths about capitalism, many of them accepted by people who regard themselves as proponents of capitalism, that are not true. False. In fact they were made up specifically to attack capitalism. This is one of the examples. There was no monopoly in trans-continental railroads. There were several. Most were supported by government subsidies which basically killed them. They all went bankrupt. The owners and managers did not feel it necessary to concern themselves with costs and legislators smothered them in regulations and requirements. J.J. Hill built a railroad without subsidy, concentrated on costs and good management and succeeded. He worked on providing service and making money.

If you are going to talk about the history of U.S. capitalism, do not rely on standard sources or college courses. You need to look at writers who go back and look at original material. One great book is Capitalism and the Historians. I had a copy at one time. It was a well researched account of the biases and lack of scholarship in the historians of the 19C. A very good recent book for U.S. economic history is How Capitalism Saved America by Thomas J. DiLorenzo. It discusses many of the myths of capitalism.

Regarding your example of the company town, again, I think that if you look at actual history, the factor owner wants to be successful. He wants the best employees he can get and he wants them to be as productive as they can. His cost is not his per hour wage, it is the cost per unit sold. Your problem here is that you are unfortunately thinking like a liberal, not a businessman, not like a real businessman, as opposed to someone who wants Washington to do everything for him.

The charges against capitalists from the 19C, monopolistic pricing, driving people out of business, making people, including children, work in health-destroying conditions, have never been supported by evidence. Do not accept arguments based on "everybody knows that". They don't.

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There are so many myths about capitalism, many of them accepted by people who regard themselves as proponents of capitalism, that are not true. False. In fact they were made up specifically to attack capitalism. This is one of the examples. There was no monopoly in trans-continental railroads. There were several. Most were supported by government subsidies which basically killed them. They all went bankrupt. The owners and managers did not feel it necessary to concern themselves with costs and legislators smothered them in regulations and requirements. J.J. Hill built a railroad without subsidy, concentrated on costs and good management and succeeded. He worked on providing service and making money.

If you are going to talk about the history of U.S. capitalism, do not rely on standard sources or college courses. You need to look at writers who go back and look at original material. One great book is Capitalism and the Historians. I had a copy at one time. It was a well researched account of the biases and lack of scholarship in the historians of the 19C. A very good recent book for U.S. economic history is How Capitalism Saved America by Thomas J. DiLorenzo. It discusses many of the myths of capitalism.

Regarding your example of the company town, again, I think that if you look at actual history, the factor owner wants to be successful. He wants the best employees he can get and he wants them to be as productive as they can. His cost is not his per hour wage, it is the cost per unit sold. Your problem here is that you are unfortunately thinking like a liberal, not a businessman, not like a real businessman, as opposed to someone who wants Washington to do everything for him.

The charges against capitalists from the 19C, monopolistic pricing, driving people out of business, making people, including children, work in health-destroying conditions, have never been supported by evidence. Do not accept arguments based on "everybody knows that". They don't.

Guess I know whats next on my reading list :D

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