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Robber barons.

the middlethe middle Member Posts: 3,089
edited April 2014 in Politics
Where they evil, or just business men using all the means that were legal at the time to build empires?

Like them or hate them, they left a lot of wonderful things in their wake. America has we know it, I think would be very different if it were not for them.


My own opinion, I think they were the right men, at the right time, doing what had to be done. Some were better than others.

Rockefeller was the most hated.....very unjustly IMO. Yes, he was cut throat in his drive to consolidate the oil refining business, however, for those who played along and sold out to him became very very rich in the process. Those that didnt play along, he crushed. I dont think he cheated at all, he was a very religious man, and was honest in his dealings....he did what he said. If those dealing were not in your favor, well it wasnt because he lied. he was also known for rewarding his employees who found ways to make, or save him money. He gave people long lengths of paid time off, sometimes up to a year or more, for presenting a good idea.

The price of kerosene dropped over 90% while he expanded his empire to over 95% of the refining business. His monopoly didnt seem so bad to me. Funny thing, when the "trust busters" broke up his standard oil, he became even richer, because he owned a 37% stake in every company created from standard.....it more than doubled his wealth in a very short time.

Henry Frick I do not like....he was an azzhat through and though. He is directly responsible for the deaths of 2000 people of Johnstown PA due to the flood cause a damn breaking a a hunting club he started and owned. he was warned that the dam was weak....and he responded by making the dam even weaker by lowering it, so his carriage could cross it! He bought the courts off and walked away scott free. Add to that, he hired gunmen to kill strikers at Homestead......
Not a nice guy any way you look at him.

JP Morgan was the MAN!! If it wasnt for him, we still might be using kerosene lamps for light. Single handedly electrified the nation. Yes, he screwed Westinghouse out of Tesla's patents....but the real loser was Telsa.....he died broke, and he gave the world so much!


What think you?

Comments

  • notnownotnow Member Posts: 1,684 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Westinghouse started an eight hour work day at his Wilmerding plant outside of Pittsburgh in the late 1890's.
  • wpagewpage Member Posts: 10,205 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    More concern about ruthless modern day US CEO robber barons. They do nothing but leech off both consumers and workers.

    At least the old time robber barons had some heart & soul...
  • scrumpyjackscrumpyjack Member Posts: 5,336 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by wpage
    More concern about ruthless modern day US CEO robber barons. They do nothing but leech off both consumers and workers.

    At least the old time robber barons had some heart & soul...


    They listened to Huey Lewis & The News[?][?][?]
  • woodhogwoodhog Member Posts: 13,115 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    heart and soul? look up Ludlow, Colorado...
  • skicatskicat Member Posts: 14,431
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by the middle
    Where they evil, or just business men using all the means that were legal at the time to build empires?

    Like them or hate them, they left a lot of wonderful things in their wake. America has we know it, I think would be very different if it were not for them.


    My own opinion, I think they were the right men, at the right time, doing what had to be done. Some were better than others.

    Rockefeller was the most hated.....very unjustly IMO. Yes, he was cut throat in his drive to consolidate the oil refining business, however, for those who played along and sold out to him became very very rich in the process. Those that didnt play along, he crushed. I dont think he cheated at all, he was a very religious man, and was honest in his dealings....he did what he said. If those dealing were not in your favor, well it wasnt because he lied. he was also known for rewarding his employees who found ways to make, or save him money. He gave people long lengths of paid time off, sometimes up to a year or more, for presenting a good idea.

    The price of kerosene dropped over 90% while he expanded his empire to over 95% of the refining business. His monopoly didnt seem so bad to me. Funny thing, when the "trust busters" broke up his standard oil, he became even richer, because he owned a 37% stake in every company created from standard.....it more than doubled his wealth in a very short time.

    Henry Frick I do not like....he was an azzhat through and though. He is directly responsible for the deaths of 2000 people of Johnstown PA due to the flood cause a damn breaking a a hunting club he started and owned. he was warned that the dam was weak....and he responded by making the dam even weaker by lowering it, so his carriage could cross it! He bought the courts off and walked away scott free. Add to that, he hired gunmen to kill strikers at Homestead......
    Not a nice guy any way you look at him.

    JP Morgan was the MAN!! If it wasnt for him, we still might be using kerosene lamps for light. Single handedly electrified the nation. Yes, he screwed Westinghouse out of Tesla's patents....but the real loser was Telsa.....he died broke, and he gave the world so much!


    What think you?


    I think you need to do a lot more research.
  • the middlethe middle Member Posts: 3,089
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by woodhog
    heart and soul? look up Ludlow, Colorado...



    Jr. thought he could buy his soul into heaven by handing out shiny silver dimes to the children of the killed miners after that one.....

    He wasnt his old man.
  • the middlethe middle Member Posts: 3,089
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by skicat
    quote:Originally posted by the middle
    Where they evil, or just business men using all the means that were legal at the time to build empires?

    Like them or hate them, they left a lot of wonderful things in their wake. America has we know it, I think would be very different if it were not for them.


    My own opinion, I think they were the right men, at the right time, doing what had to be done. Some were better than others.

    Rockefeller was the most hated.....very unjustly IMO. Yes, he was cut throat in his drive to consolidate the oil refining business, however, for those who played along and sold out to him became very very rich in the process. Those that didnt play along, he crushed. I dont think he cheated at all, he was a very religious man, and was honest in his dealings....he did what he said. If those dealing were not in your favor, well it wasnt because he lied. he was also known for rewarding his employees who found ways to make, or save him money. He gave people long lengths of paid time off, sometimes up to a year or more, for presenting a good idea.

    The price of kerosene dropped over 90% while he expanded his empire to over 95% of the refining business. His monopoly didnt seem so bad to me. Funny thing, when the "trust busters" broke up his standard oil, he became even richer, because he owned a 37% stake in every company created from standard.....it more than doubled his wealth in a very short time.

    Henry Frick I do not like....he was an azzhat through and though. He is directly responsible for the deaths of 2000 people of Johnstown PA due to the flood cause a damn breaking a a hunting club he started and owned. he was warned that the dam was weak....and he responded by making the dam even weaker by lowering it, so his carriage could cross it! He bought the courts off and walked away scott free. Add to that, he hired gunmen to kill strikers at Homestead......
    Not a nice guy any way you look at him.

    JP Morgan was the MAN!! If it wasnt for him, we still might be using kerosene lamps for light. Single handedly electrified the nation. Yes, he screwed Westinghouse out of Tesla's patents....but the real loser was Telsa.....he died broke, and he gave the world so much!


    What think you?


    I think you need to do a lot more research.


    No, I know there is a HELL of a lot more to it....I only posted generalities. Just wondering how our little group here thinks of them.
  • ChrisInTempeChrisInTempe Member Posts: 15,562
    edited November -1
    The "Robber Barons" were a mixed lot. Enormous good came out of them, along with terrible abuses. The net effect was a massive step ahead for the USA, growth of industry, better jobs, improved standards of living. Does not excuse anything they did wrong any more than what they did wrong erases what they did right.

    Take it all as a whole, or it isn't History you are interested in.

    Today we have a different situation. Vast financial resources are used to pervert business and industry into fixed games where super-wealth is created with nothing real produced. No product, no service, no expansion in the general economic health of the country.

    The purpose of large investment and industrial banking became figuring out solely how to pull the money out. It isn't like it was in the past, when investment banks looked for companies worth taking a risk on.

    I'm not saying none of the old style banking/investing goes on anymore, of course it does. Just saying that Greed and Extraction of money has become the greatest force out there.
  • wpagewpage Member Posts: 10,205 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    US CEO's average 343 times the pay of average US workers...

    In Europe its significantly less by factors of 100x. So why is the greed so much higher here.

    Gov is compliant with tax laws that will make us all tax slaves if things continue as they are.

    Some things never change:)[:o)]
  • machine gun moranmachine gun moran Member Posts: 5,198
    edited November -1
    J. P. Morgan was one of the major players in the creation of the Federal Reserve. Two people who were enemies of both the idea of the Federal Reserve and J. P. Morgan, were Benjamin Guggenheim and John Jacob Astor IV. Astor alone had enough friends and influence to stop the formation of the Federal Reserve, but he and Guggenheim both went down with the 'Titanic'. Which, ironically, was owned by J. P. Morgan, who cancelled on his own trip on the 'Titanic's' maiden voyage for 'personal' reasons.
  • the middlethe middle Member Posts: 3,089
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by machine gun moran
    J. P. Morgan was one of the major players in the creation of the Federal Reserve. Two people who were enemies of both the idea of the Federal Reserve and J. P. Morgan, were Benjamin Guggenheim and John Jacob Astor IV. Astor alone had enough friends and influence to stop the formation of the Federal Reserve, but he and Guggenheim both went down with the 'Titanic'. Which, ironically, was owned by J. P. Morgan, who cancelled on his own trip on the 'Titanic's' maiden voyage for 'personal' reasons.


    Good tin foil hat story, but thats not how it really went down.


    JP Moran died on March 31st 1913. The Fed was created on Dec 23 1913......guess old JP did it from the grave!
  • kristovkristov Member Posts: 6,633
    edited November -1
    For those willing to take the risk there were fortunes to be made beyond the wildest dreams of even Bill Gates. No taxes, the Dollar fully redeemable for gold and none of those nasty EPA and OSHA regulations that the GB Gang often posted about as being just plain bad.
  • machine gun moranmachine gun moran Member Posts: 5,198
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by the middle

    Good tin foil hat story, but thats not how it really went down.


    JP Moran died on March 31st 1913. The Fed was created on Dec 23 1913......guess old JP did it from the grave!



    It was in the works before 1912.
  • CaptplaidCaptplaid Member Posts: 20,277 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I would give more credit to Thomas Edison for the creation of the modern electricity business model. Again, he didn't play nice but did what benefited
  • the middlethe middle Member Posts: 3,089
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Captplaid
    I would give more credit to Thomas Edison for the creation of the modern electricity business model. Again, he didn't play nice but did what benefited


    I cant agree with you there. Edison came up with the idea of electricity in every house, but his own stubbornness about using DC killed him, and cause the control of his company to go to JP Morgan....(General Electric)because JP was smart enough to see that AC was the way to go....

    Tesla is the one who came up with AC. He worked for Edison, but Edison fired him because he tied to tell Edison about the folly of DC!

    Talk about a bone head move!
  • ChrisInTempeChrisInTempe Member Posts: 15,562
    edited November -1
    Edison and Tesla both contributed great inventions. It was Tesla though who gave us the modern world that runs on alternating current. His electric motor, generation and transmission designs remain the foundation of the world we live in. From an electrical power angle that is.

    Had Edison won the fight we would have direct current power plants by the tens of thousands. Every 10 to 30 miles, in a grid across the country. Just wasn't practical on a large scale.

    As for the creation of the Federal Reserve, yes Morgan was in on it. Some interesting history about it here:
    http://www.jekyllislandhistory.com/federalreserve.shtml

    I know it is rather standard fare to despise the Federal Reserve on GB, and call for its destruction. When I consider what the creators of it were trying to fix (constant threat of emotional panic destroying economies), rather than go backward it makes more sense to me to debate how to improve the system for today's troubles.
  • Rack OpsRack Ops Member Posts: 18,597 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The History Channel actually made a pretty good mini-series on the subject. "The Men Who Built America"
  • the middlethe middle Member Posts: 3,089
    edited November -1
    Rockefeller also was responsible for killing the whaling industry when he made kerosene so cheap.

    Imagine that......Rockefeller was actually an environmentalist!

    (yes, he dumped gasoline into the Cuyahoga river before he found a use for it, causing it to catch fire a few times....but it was CLEVELAND.....so who cares!![:D])
  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 32,337 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Are you talking about the same guys that created the FEDERAL RESERVE in the dark of night thereby assuring they win you lose?
  • ChrisInTempeChrisInTempe Member Posts: 15,562
    edited November -1
    At the risk of hearing yet another incredibly over simplified conspiracy theory pretending to be more authoritative than a very well documented period in American History ...

    What guys?

    What night?
  • serfserf Member Posts: 9,225 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    It's a jungle out there! There is always leaders of the packs and they are not going to share any more then they have too! Governments just leach off these people and it doesn't make it any better either.In fact the rich just buy them.

    The central Banks are the biggest leaches out there ! Money supply and money destruction (Stock markets) is their game and we the people elect representatives to invest in the Ponzi scheme!

    Money theory is the biggest con out there and with endless population growth and limited energy supply the horizon is very very dark! Believe it or not.

    A non carbon energy source with no pollution would help for a while yet even then population control is coming by our hand or nature take your pick!

    serf

    http://fixingtheeconomists.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/bank-of-england-endorses-post-keynesian-endogenous-money-theory/

    Perhaps we should think of the central bank as a corporate institution that, like any corporate institution, seeks both funding/revenue and influence. And then perhaps we should understand their bald assertions that they are almost omnipotent in their creation of credit money not simply as self-aggrandisement - although there is surely an element of that - but as a sort of public relations exercise deisgned to keep the public interested and the politicians listening.

    After all, it would be a strange emperor that would reveal his own nudity in front of his subjects. But still, the BoE - which is surely the most honest of the central banks - should certainly be given credit for at least giving its loyal subjects a little grin and a wink as it parades in front of us in its birthday suit.
  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 32,337 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by ChrisInTempe
    At the risk of hearing yet another incredibly over simplified conspiracy theory pretending to be more authoritative than a very well documented period in American History ...

    What guys?

    What night?


    Quite interesting actually....
    http://www.jekyllislandhistory.com/federalreserve.shtml

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-us-federal-reserve-bank-dirty-secrets-of-the-temple/2712
  • the middlethe middle Member Posts: 3,089
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by bpost
    quote:Originally posted by ChrisInTempe
    At the risk of hearing yet another incredibly over simplified conspiracy theory pretending to be more authoritative than a very well documented period in American History ...

    What guys?

    What night?


    Quite interesting actually....
    http://www.jekyllislandhistory.com/federalreserve.shtml

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-us-federal-reserve-bank-dirty-secrets-of-the-temple/2712


    Sorry Bruce, I dont buy the tin foil hat stories about the Fed. Its not a conspiracy to defraud us of our wealth, its merely a very complex central bank.

    I understand all the arguments about fiat money....not backed by gold...and so on. I would like to be able to trade my paper dollar for a gold coin.....but reality being what it is in the modern world, its never going to happen again. The whole world would have to go back on the gold standard...or guess what...if the US was the only nation to do it we would have zero gold in no time flat.....it would all leave the country.

    The gold standard sounds nice and worked well at one point in history, but no more. Hell, before too much longer, paper money and all coins will be gone too.....digital money is the direction the world is going......I REALLY hate that, but not in a position to do a damn thing about it.


    Th Fed is not a conspiracy, its not controlled by a "few" rich families, and its not a scam. It needs more oversight....and Im sure a few other improvements that are beyond me.....but its not going away.
  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 32,337 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by the middle
    quote:Originally posted by machine gun moran
    J. P. Morgan was one of the major players in the creation of the Federal Reserve. Two people who were enemies of both the idea of the Federal Reserve and J. P. Morgan, were Benjamin Guggenheim and John Jacob Astor IV. Astor alone had enough friends and influence to stop the formation of the Federal Reserve, but he and Guggenheim both went down with the 'Titanic'. Which, ironically, was owned by J. P. Morgan, who cancelled on his own trip on the 'Titanic's' maiden voyage for 'personal' reasons.


    Good tin foil hat story, but thats not how it really went down.


    JP Moran died on March 31st 1913. The Fed was created on Dec 23 1913......guess old JP did it from the grave!

    Your moniker of TROLL is well earned. You really and I mean REALLY should look into things before you open your yapper for the umpteenth time and insert your foot.

    You may have missed this " Several banking leaders including Jekyll Island Club members George F. Baker, president of the First National Bank, and James Stillman, president of National City Bank, met with financier J. Pierpont Morgan and began examining the assets of the troubled institutions. A decision was made to offer loans to any of the banks that were solvent. The secretary of the treasury George B. Cortelyou was eager to divert the situation and offered the New York bankers use of government funds to help prevent an economic disaster. President Theodore Roosevelt, while the panic of 1907 transpired, was on a hunting trip in Louisiana.
    Congress did not make it official until 1913 but the deal, the idea the working plan for the Federal Reserve was done long before JP croaked.
  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 32,337 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Conspiracy theories are not part of the well documented creation of the Federal Reserve. The creation of fiat money, the plan and the secrecy speak for themselves.


    Looking back over history it is fascinating to see the degree by which the plans of very powerful men alter the course of nations. But as interesting as it is, it is even more stunning to realize that these ideas are rarely, if ever, the product of middle class thinking.

    The creation of the Federal Reserve was no different. It all began in a New Jersey train station on a night in November 1910.

    Leaving from a Hoboken Railway station were a group of the nation's leading financiers and a powerful Congressmen and his staff. And although few of them knew it at time they were headed for Georgia, 1000 miles away.

    Their mission was a secret and in the end it would change the nation forever.

    And while a few reporters suspiciously witnessed the gathering of the powerful, none of them bothered to report on the exodus. The men, they were told, were simply going duck hunting.

    But to be sure this was no ordinary hunting trip. The railcars themselves were sealed and the blinds were drawn. And each member of "the hunting party" was instructed to at no time to use his own last name or to use that of any of the others.

    And while they stopped short of outright disguises, their intentions were clear-their identities were to remain secret.

    Leading the ultra secret trip to Georgia was Senator Nelson Aldrich, head of the National Monetary Commission. Joining the Senator was A. Piatt Andrew, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Frank Vanderlip, President of National City Bank of New York, Henry P. Davison, senior partner of J.P. Morgan Company, and generally regarded as Morgan's personal emissary; Charles D. Norton, president of the Morgan-dominated First National Bank of New York, Benjamin Strong, also known as a lieutenant of J.P. Morgan; and Paul Warburg, a recent immigrant from Germany who had joined the banking house of Kuhn, Loeb and Company of New York as a partner.

    And while these names may be hardly recognizable today, in their day these were powerful and well known men indeed. And as amazing as it seems they represented approximately ? of world's wealth.

    In fact, Paul Warburg himself was one of the richest men in the world and even served as the basis of the character Daddy Warbucks portrayed in "Little Orphan Annie."

    Heading south that day, this famous entourage finally reached its destination, Jekyll Island, Georgia. And it was here, on an island off the coast of Georgia that our nation was changed forever.

    Now owned by the state, the island was once the private playground of the rich and famous. Its members included names like Astor, Vanderbilt, Morgan and Pulitzer.

    Needless to say the club was both incredibly ritzy and quite exclusive.

    Unbelievably, even Winston Churchill himself was once refused admission to the haven.

    And once ensconced in their private and discreet playground, the rich and the powerful went to work. And when they were finished some seven days later they had created the plan that would become the Federal Reserve Bank.

    And a simple plan it was because essentially it created a national central bank comprised of 12 regional banking systems.

    Not surprisingly it was modeled after the central banks of Europe. Paul Warburg knew them well and was its main architect.

    But, of course, they were very careful not to call it that since the public was rightfully wary of central banks themselves. In fact, its very name was the topic of much discussion.

    And after much debate it was named in such a way as to give the public the idea that the bank was just another government agency.

    In truth, of course, it was not because the bank that they created was a private corporation. And while this fact is not widely known it was a notion that was affirmed by the Supreme Court in 1982.

    In Lewis v. United States680 F.2d 1239 (9th Cir. 1982) , for instance, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit stated that "the Reserve Banks are not federal instrumentalities for purposes of the FTCA [the Federal Tort Claims Act], but are independent, privately owned and locally controlled corporations."

    So it was out of these secret meetings that the control of the nation's money supply was handed over to the very bankers and private corporations that earlier generations of Americans, including Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson found to be so onerous.

    Because some three years after the secret meeting, the plan conceived on Jekyll island became law.

    That's because, on December 22, 1913, while many members of Congress were home for Christmas, the Federal Reserve Act was rammed through Congress and was later signed into law by President Wilson.

    And a few days later the December 24, 1913 New York Times carried a front page headline that read "WILSON SIGNS THE CURRENCY BILL!" Below it, also in capital letters, were two further gems, "PROSPERITY TO BE FREE" and "WILL HELP EVERY CLASS."

    Prosperity to Be Free? Think about that one.

    And nearly a year later the bank was open for business and first Federal Reserve Notes began to roll off the presses. Our modern dollars were born.

    And we have been at the mercy of their printing presses ever since. Ideas after all have consequences.

    Even President Wilson, who some say owed his presidency to the very men that met so secretly in Georgia some 96 years ago, came to realize that.

    Because at a later date, Wilson himself admitted with remorse, when referring to the Fed that, "I have unwittingly ruined my country."

    And going even further Woodrow Wilson wrote this in 1916:

    "Our system of credit is concentrated (in the Federal Reserve System). The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities, are in the hands of a few men."

    Wilson, of course, was right.

    And you wondered why the Fed is so important.

    And to think it all began on Jekyll Island-- which is both fitting and ironic at the same time.

    You'll be happy to know that the island has since been purchased by the state of Georgia and converted into a state park. The clubhouse has been restored and you can visit it.

    I think you'd be very impressed by it.

    As you walk through the downstairs corridors you'll come to a door... and on the door there is a brass plaque and it says: "In this room the Federal Reserve System was created."

    The secret, it seems, is out. Or is it?
  • RocklobsterRocklobster Member Posts: 7,060
    edited November -1
    Careful, bpost. Sometimes folks fall and hit their heads when awakened too quickly.
  • gary wraygary wray Member Posts: 4,663
    edited November -1
    I happen to think that we owe "the robber barons: a great debt for helping to build this great country over the last 200 years. JJAstor, JDR, ACarnegie, JPM...on and on and on. Yes, they made great wealth but nothing like the "new" guys like Gates, Buffett, Bezo's and the others today. They were (are) great businessmen, yes, a bit ruthless (read something about Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and how they ran their companies.....not much different than the original "barons" but all have changed the way we live and have improved our lives in may ways. If Gates had not played around in his father's garage on his "idea" I would not be typing this today! I thank them for what they did.....and agree with you that they were the right men at the right time. None of them, Gates included, is what I would call "a nice guy" as to do what they had to do "nice" was not part of it. You know what is said about "nice guys".......
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