Free Markets Killed Capitalism
If you want to understand political economics in America, study the election of 1912. Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and William Howard Taft, (with just a dab of Debs). That's the point where you clearly see the three main ideas that still sort of dominate how we think about political economics in America today.
First wasTaft with the idea that private feudalism is okay. The Republican Party’s message was pretty straightforward. It was, to paraphrase, “Just let us take care of business for you. We’re wise, we’re expert in it—“
The second idea was that of the Progressive's Bull Moose Party. Teddy Roosevelt’s basic stance in 1912 was to acknowledge that the capitalists had concentrated control over entire industries. What we needed to do, he thought, was make sure that system works for the public benefit. Regulate the monopolies.
The third idea in 1912 was that of Wilson's, that all concentrated power is dangerous. Power overly concentrated in public government is dangerous. And power concentrated in private corporate government is even more dangerous.
Wilson also acted to ensure that farms were not taken over by giant combines, that small businesses, small stores were not taken over by giant chains like Walmart or Amazon.
And then came WWI.