The phenomenon of regulatory capture notwithstanding, I deny the premise. If you look back in history, governments were even more “pro-corporation”. Look at the Dutch East India Company. Look at the East India Trading Company. Look at the Union Pacific/Crédit Mobilier scandal. Heck, even look at AT&T before its breakup.
I’m with Max. In the past governments did not believe in “a separation of government and business”. They routinely intervened in business by, e.g., granting monopolies, imposing taxes specifcally designed to alter or prohibit particular business practices, keeping prices low, keeping prices high or protecting the commercial/economic interests of particular classes/groups at the expense of other classes/groups.
There was a time when the nation was openly anti-union, before we had laws against monopolies. There were practically no safety rules for workers, almost no rights at all. I agree, it used to be a whole hell of a lot worse.
Of course, you also later had things introduced like the Taft-Hartley Act which limited unions. And other laws seek to curb their power, see the recent ruling about union dues from the Supreme Court.
It’s basically a pendulum, like many political issues.
This nation was founded by a bunch of people who were somewhat upset by the way Parliament was interfering in their ability to do business. The United States has never had a separation of government and business and I’m not sure any modern nation has a separation of government and business. Mercantilism (Wiki link) was a popular economic policy for many European nations for a few centuries. Great Britain alone created subsidies for industries, promoted colonialism, enacted tariffs, etc., etc. in order to meet economic goals.
Oh, gosh, government used to grant monopolies all the time. Chartered companies were granted monopolies on trade with particular foreign parts (e.g. the Muscovy Company, granted a monopoly on trade between England and Russa; the French East India Company, given a monopoly on Trade between France and countries bordering the Indian and Pacific Oceans; numerous others) or on particular industrial activities - salt manufacture, silk weaving, wine importing. The rationale for this was to encourage investment in novel or speculative trades or processes or to promote import substitution, but a large part of the real motivation was that the state could raise money by selling these monopolies, thus reducing the need for direct taxation.
Then you have things like the corn laws, designed to keep the price of food high to ensure the prosperity of agriculture (for the benefit of landowners, and at the expense of the urban proletariat).
This was all absolutely normal and was widely practiced by govenments of most or all countries until well into the nineteenth century, at which point it was criticised by liberal economic thinkers, and greater commercial and industrial freedom, and a more hands-off stance by the state, became fashionable. But it survives in things like patents for inventions, regulation of trades and professions which restrict entry and so protect those already in the trade/profession from competition, the imposition of taxes or tariffs to secure particular industrial or commercial outcomes (e.g. tariffs on imports to protect domestic producers) and the provision of subsidies to particular activities (e.g. subsidies for tobacco farmers).
This is a cliff notes response, but the American government and corporations became more intertwined as the industrial capacity of the private sector increased – war and westward expansion (often through war) are probably two factors. Industrial-era businesses created massive amounts of wealth, and with it the ability to corrupt.
We’ve had periods in which the public fought to establish labor rights and policies promoting public interest but those fights were bloody and decades in the making. It often took collective suffering and outrage before change was effectuated.
It’s harder now because corporations have not just interstate but transnational reach and power. If they don’t like the laws and policies of the United States, they can shift their operations elsewhere. We could tax economic activity here, but that would probably raise the price of consumption, which wouldn’t be popular.
As someone that’s a member of such profession (Certified Public Accountant), I heavily dispute this characterization, at least with respect to the regulation of public accountancy. The entirety of the regulation is to protect the public interest by only certifying accountants who are up to the task and know their stuff, and to strip certification from those who abuse the trust that clients place in them. There is no limit on the number of people who can pass the CPA exam, and it’s possible that the profession could become flooded with too many qualified candidates to support the amount of work appropriate for such credentialed professionals (certainly I do plenty of work that could be done by non-CPA accountants simply because I’m the low man on the totem pole and the only non-CPA accountant in the firm is half-retired). If competition is being restricted, it’s only in service to the goal of having the credential be a meaningful indication of the skill of the practitioner.
I can’t imagine that there are any other similar professions where the state regulatory goals are any different. They protect the quality of the certification they provide, not the incumbent members from competition.
Oh, sure. I myself am a member of a regulated profession and I would argue that this is for the public benefit. But of course I might have a vsted interest. The truth is that regulation can have more than one consequence - it can confer benefits on the public whil also conferring benefits on special interest groups, possibly at some cost to the public - and we can also distinguish between the effects of regulation and people different motives in seeking (or opposing) it. And we can also consider that not all professional regulatory regimes are necessarily equally beneficial.
Occupational regulatory regimes of this kind descend from, and are one of the surviving aspects of, a once much greater involvement of the state in commercial/economic affairs, and there’s no reason to think that some of the motivations that once fuelled that much greater involvement play no role at all in the surviving remants.
But the problem is does capitalism lead to monopoly?
Because most conservative in the US seem to think capitalism does not and the free market will take care of it self and you don’t need laws on monopoly. Well liberals in the US say capitalism leads to monopoly and the government does not do any thing about it.
Some make reference to the railroad in the past and telephone that had to be broken up and the steal industry. That all had a monopoly in the past and had to be broken up.
Now liberals in the US say tech companies like google are like the railroad or telephone in the past that had to be broken up.
But at least in the US conservatives seem to think capitalism will not lead to monopoly and the free market will take care of it self.
Now I don’t know if Republican Party in the US believe that or they just tell the conservatives voters propaganda or just corruption or both.
It just in the US conservatives that vote for the Republican Party believe capitalism will not lead to a monopoly and the free market the hands of approach of the free market is best as the free market will take care of it self.
But it is the liberals in the US saying capitalism lead to a monopoly and government does not want to do any thing about it and the anti trust laws they have are a joke what they are saying.
Now I’m not sure but doing some reading the anti trust laws got past when the US had some major problems with monopoly in the past.
I think they are making reference to the railroad or steal industry that had a major monopoly and not even two or three companies. And this lead to the anti trust laws.
—-In the past government was really pro capitalism a separation of government and business.
—-The United States has never had a separation of government and business and I’m not sure any modern nation has a separation of government and business.
This is some think conservatives in the US like to say over and over so may be I’m getting confused here with that typical talk that you had small government in the past and more free market and hands of approach before minimum wage, environment laws , work safety laws, pay sick days, child labor laws, fire safety laws, no dumping laws, work discrimination laws, earthquake proof zoning laws and so on.
And some hardcore conservatives seem to think that things are worse today because of big government and controlling of capitalism.
And I know some liberals and even some conservatives on talk radio station make reference to corporations saying this where the US is at now where businesses control the government and the government yes both parties be it democratic party and the republican party are controlled by businesses and the government will do every thing in their power to help them be it monopoly laws and bill out money.
And the things I said above took lot of protests and people dying before the government past those laws.
Left to our own devices, too many human beings will look to maximise, rather than optimise, any benefit they get from any system.
Adam Smith, in his Wealth of Nations (published, as it happens, in 1776), famously recognised this as an inherent danger: People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.
In his view, government interference was more likely to create the conditions that would make this possible, and therefore they should stand back and let competition defeat such behaviour, but subsequent experience suggests that’s a bit simplistic. And it isn’t just a matter of monopolisation per se, but, e.g., cartelised agreements to limit competition, or to drive down technical and safety standards where the effect of these aren’t readily visible to the general consuming public: the problem of ensuring equality of information, which is necessary to enable free market competition to work to the general benefit.
Well that is the thing the conservatives over and over seem to subscribe to Adam Smith views of hands of approach of capitalism and also there are libertarians in the US that say even the conservatives are not going all the way to 100% true free market.
The conservatives seem to say over and over you need a small government and free mark and not to control capitalism and anti monopoly laws are bad.
But today it is worse we have merger of businesses and government. Where government will do any thing to help the big businesses. What I would like to know is how did this happen and want is causing this and how can people stop this.
This has been explained to you by earlier posters in the thread. Business and government aims have always been strongly intertwined in the US.
Anti-regulatory efforts, the weakening of labor organizations, privately funded electoral campaigns, and high levels of economic inequality all exacerbate this problem by giving the wealthy even more disproportionate economic power, and closing off the non-wealthy from access to political power.
Well, duh: persuading voters to limit government’s ability to regulate business, and to be ideologically opposed to regulation of business in general, is very helpful to business’s aim of being able to dominate government for its own interests. Why would you think that pro-business conservatives would say anything else?
Well sorry for my english but are the monopoly laws like the anti trust laws we have are terrible or the courts and government are very much corrupted.
Looking at wiki it is saying below.
The main statutes are the Sherman Act of 1890, the Clayton Act of 1914 and the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914. These Acts serve three major functions.
First, Section 1 of the Sherman Act prohibits price-fixing and the operation of cartels, and prohibits other collusive practices that unreasonably restrain trade.
Second, Section 7 of the Clayton Act restricts the mergers and acquisitions of organizations that would likely substantially lessen competition.
Third, Section 2 of the Sherman Act prohibits the abuse of monopoly power.
Federal antitrust laws provide for both civil and criminal enforcement of antitrust laws. The Federal Trade Commission, the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and private parties who are sufficiently affected may all bring civil actions in the courts to enforce the antitrust laws.
Large manufacturing conglomerates emerged in great numbers in the 1880s and 1890s, and were perceived to have excessive economic power.
So these laws we have don’t do much it the way laws the laws are written that allow monopoly the laws are terrible or the courts and government are very much corrupted?
The first two political parties in the U.S. were the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans. The Federalist party would end up collapsing in the 1820s and the Democratic-Republicans would also fracture and collapse around the same time. The modern Democratic party came out of a major split in the Democratic-Republicans, and a new party called the Whigs formed. While a lot of Federalists joined the Whig party, the new Democratic party was not a direct successor to the Democratic-Republicans (it was more of a splinter-off from that party) and the Whig party was not a direct successor to the Federalist party. The Whigs would collapse in the 1850s and a lot of Whigs would end up joining up with a bunch of abolitionists in the North and they created the modern Republican party. That’s glossing over a lot of things, but that’s the basic gist of it.
Looking at the first two parties (the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans), the Federalists believed in a strong central government, and also had strong ties to both banking and business. So right from day one, the U.S. had a political party that was very much pro-business. There was no separation of government and business. For what it’s worth, the Democratic-Republicans were also known as the anti-Federalists, which says a lot about their political beliefs.
After the collapse of the political parties after the War of 1812, the Whigs became the political party for the bankers and businessmen, so even though the Federalist party was gone, there was still a major political party supporting banking and business.
The Republican party formed out of the collapse of the Whigs and also included abolitionists. The Republican party started out as pro-business and continues to this day to be pro-business. Protecting the growing industrial businesses in the northeastern U.S. was a major part of the Republican party’s platform under Abe Lincoln’s election, with the other major bits being a halt to the expansion of slavery into what would become the new western states, homesteading to populate the western territories, and a promise to construct a national railroad system to the west.
Anyone who thinks that the U.S. had a separation of government and business hasn’t studied history. The U.S. government has always been strongly tied to business, starting at the very creation of the U.S. with the Federalist party and continuing with the Whigs and the Republicans.