In response to the letter, “Article Gets Tocqueville’s Lessons Wrong” (May 6), criticizing the Walter E. Williams commentary about a Tocqueville lesson on the positives of capitalism, I believe the letter has this entirely wrong and it bothers me that we have history teachers instructing our young students on the evils of American capitalism in our taxpayer-supported universities.
The letter describes American industrialists such as John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, and I will add JP Morgan and Henry Ford, as being the tyrannical rich of traditional America. Yes, they were very aggressive, wealthy business people. However, they risked all in their quest to contribute their wealth and products to the American and world marketplaces. They were so aggressive that our “US Government of the People” had to control their quest with regulatory laws such as the resulting anti-monopoly and price fixing laws.
These men, who risked all their wealth, are responsible for the development of the largest middle class of any nation in the history of this world, during and after the Industrial Revolution years between 1850 to 1910. They put hundreds of thousands of American citizens and legal immigrants to work with good wages within our resulting corporations and small businesses. Without the basic American freedoms given by God and written into our laws by our American forefathers, our nation might not have been able to have and grow these fossil fuel, steel, banking and transportation products that gave the American Dream, good jobs, and eventual retirement available to our workers of today.
The letter describes being rich as something negative, but the rich in our nation are paying most of the income taxes today and providing most of the jobs for the rest of us. In reality, the rich are responsible for paying most of our university professors’ incomes and benefits. We need to be more appreciative, respectful and less critical of our nation’s private sector business leaders.