Trade and Trusts; Enriched and the Rich
This chapter examines the American preoccupation with money. While there was little concern in the United States for the central themes of classical economics or for the Marxian and other forms of criticism against it, there was an intense discussion of various practical economic topics such as tariffs, monopolies, and questions relating to money. The chapter first considers the debate over tariffs and tariff protection in nineteenth-century America involving figures such as Alexander Hamilton, Henry Clay, and Henry Carey before discussing issues pertaining to trade, monopolies, trusts, and competition. In particular, it looks at the Sherman Act and other antitrust legislation. It also analyzes the Social Darwinism of Herbert Spencer that provided a defense of the classical ideas in the United States. The chapter concludes with an assessment of the contributions of Henry George and Thorstein Veblen to the debate on classical economics.
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