“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered” …Thomas Jefferson
ELDER PATRIOT – Since her beginning, America has embraced entrepreneurialism like no other nation. America’s innovators were unbridled by a central command and control financial system. Access to abundant and inexpensive energy and natural resources, limited regulation, and low taxes provided American entrepreneurs, armed with little more than an idea and the willingness to work hard, a pathway to success.
Some entrepreneurs built giant corporations. Most did not. Everyone enjoyed the success of their hard work. While those who grew large corporations employed many people, the largest percentage of American workers has always been employed by relatively small businesses.
Beyond employing the largest number of people, small businesses have historically provided the lifeblood of renewal for our economy. Spawned by innovative and entrepreneurial minds creating new inventions and improved methods of efficiencies and productivity, each group of new companies surpassed the success of their predecessors, in the process renewing the American economy. Older established companies were forced to improve their products, efficiencies and prices or lose their place. With little government interference, investor money freely flowed to new more efficient sectors of the American economy allowing for unfettered growth.
Entrepreneurs, investors and consumers were all winners as the American economy kept producing improved products that came to market at lower prices. Businesses of all sizes flourished and Americans who sought work could find it.
For its part the American government sought to foster this competitive environment with the passage of numerous legislative acts, most notably the Sherman Anti-trust Act in 1890. Even as late as the mid 1970’s and into the early 1980’s, the Justice Department broke Bell Telephone into 7 separate companies to protect the competitive balance which had served our nation so well.
But forces were aligning to upend this model. By the 1980’s an ever-increasing number of Americans were becoming vested in the stock market, where ownership interests in the largest of corporations are traded daily. American investors were growing mistakenly convinced that the health of the stock market reflected the health of the overall economy. More Americans than ever before were interested in protecting the value of these investments…at any cost.
This opened the door for the rise of the international mega-corporations and the growth of the world’s major banking institutions. These enormous and multi-faceted companies have established tremendous influence over the content of our media though, both, advertising dollars and outright ownership and that has shaped the opinions of many Americans in ways that favor the growth of larger and larger corporations.
The Founders had foreseen this eventuality and had provided us with electoral protections that we have ignored to exercise. By turning the primary process over to two political parties we allowed those parties to become populated with careerists who more resemble gangsters than politicians that have the people’s interest in mind.
Thomas Jefferson’s words from the early years of our country’s history as more salient than ever: “Our country is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation of power first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence.”
If we have any hope of resurrecting America’s greatness and our individual freedoms it will be by electing candidates willing to denounce “Too Big to Fail” as a policy counter to America’s best interests. When these monolithic companies become insolvent, if they are that important, they must be broken up quickly and their assets properly made available to well-managed companies that may desire to buy them at whatever price the market determines.
This is America. We are not a land of kings or nobility. Large corporations that operate here should be treated no differently than the smallest company.