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{Empty title} | The Nation

This is an excellent article! However, there is very little new under the sun. Capitalism, socialism and other systems have been tried before, so there is a record on how well they worked. Since everything has been done before, we have a historical record of their achievements and failures. We do not have to reinvent the wheel, or go through all the struggles of the Roosevelt administration. We know what worked, and just have to do it again.

But that is not enough! Conservatives were not quite as simple-minded as they are today. Also, while there were conflicts between management and labor, they sometimes combined to defend their mutual interests. Opposition to slavery in the North was opposed by working people, because it undercut "free labor." Labor and management in the North supported tariffs, because American industries and their workers were protected from overseas competition, and cheap goods produced by "free trade" wage slavery in Great Britain. William McKinley was not a "free trader," and defended his industrial base in Ohio, when he was in Congress. His speech against the Wood "Tariff Reform" on April 15, 1878, was a more readable version of Alexander Hamilton's "Report on Manufactures," though limited to the business side of the argument.

Tariffs are an essential tool for development in any country or, in our case, redevelopment. The Sherman Anti-Trust act will also be a valuable tool. Concentrated economic power provides an opportunity for widespread failure in any economic system. Management must be close to the means of production so that they understand the process and the market they serve. Holding companies in business are the equivalent of absentee landlords in agriculture, in that they have no knowledge of the companies they run or the markets they serve. Failure on a massive scale is built into a centralized economic system. Decentralizing the national or international economy reduces risk because failure is reduced to one company or nation. (McKinley's speech is available on Google Books in the collection "Speeches and Addresses of William McKinley From his election to congress to the present time," New York D. Appleton and company 1893. The Wood tariff speech is the first chapter.)