Almost 50 years ago, Gabriel Kolko's "The Triumph of Conservatism" demonstrated EMPIRICALLY that the “progressive” reforms during the "robber baron era" were put in place by the very elite from whom the public allegedly needed protection.
Prior to the “progressive” reforms, as Kolko states, "There was more competition, and profits, if anything, declined. Most contemporary economists and many smaller businessmen failed to appreciate this fact, and historians have probably failed to recognize it altogether"
The stage thus set by the failure of the merger movement, Kolko moves on to the myth that Progressive Era reforms were uniformly or even predominantly opposed by their affected industries. The key is to realize that, economic strategies like corporate consolidation having failed, companies turned to political strategies to freeze the status quo or to gain new competitive advantages. As Kolko states, "the essential purpose and goal of any measure of importance in the Progressive Era was not merely endorsed by key representatives of businesses involved; rather such bills were first proposed by them."
This is what results from granting the government plenary economic power in a “democracy”. Voters simply do not and never will have sufficient information to make informed choices and the all-powerful state will be easy pickings for the rich elite. Just like today.
MMTers have typical leftist naiveté about the nature of government and their purposeful historical ignorance is simply amazing.
The inept MMTer response:
Government is a fact of life in the modern world. Any country that would go without government and national defense would last about a minute. Moreover, pure laissez-faire is not a "free market" but a market that would soon be controlled by the strongest who would seize control by force, i.e., the Mafia.
And then there was this:
Wait, what? Don't be absurd. Big business always inclines to monopoly/oligopoly, to the detriment of consumers and citizens. Giant piles of money generate their own gravity wells, distorting the space around them and bending governments and law to their will. Wall Street views this as a feature, not a bug.
Did they read the book?