From Deceit to Riches

“Thomas Edison promised New Jersey politicians $1,000 each in return for favorable legislation”. (248).  In this era, fraud and deceit was the only way to have skyrocketing income. Robber Barons such as John D. Rockefeller made millions, all fueled by the poor people’s pockets. The working class remained with its low wages working 12 hour shifts. “Shred efficient businessman building empires, chocking out competition, maintaining high prices, keeping wages low, using government subsidies”. (251).

Then there were the lawyers, technicians, and engineerings, paid slightly more, but these were the ones keeping the scheme running in this perfectly devised system designed by the Robber Barons themselves. Ruthless tactics such as price fixing and sabotage were the norm. These banditos attained government subsidies and used it to their advantage to fund their enterprises; meanwhile the working class people could not obtain a simple housing subsidy.

Robber Barons alike to Rockefeller concentrated industry onto a saturated monopoly that controlled a great deal of markets. Many different industries depended on one another for survival, but the common denominator was, most of them needed the steel industry for survival, to supply machinery, railroad tracks, and raw material for building blocks.  Although there was much carelessness during industrialization, many good things came out from industrialization. Howard Zinn relates the good things to the transcontinental railroad which connected hubs and cities to many different destinations. Steel in itself increased productivity and made possible many commercial ventures. However, too much fast progress in society is usually accompanied by cutting corners and legalized organized crime as to the point where the middle-class is almost nonexistant.

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