The Men Who Built America’s Free Enterprise: The So-Called ‘Robber Barons’

The real representatives of America’s free market system: Cornelius Vanderbilt, James J Hill, J.D. Rockefeller, to name a few. These great men were responsible for creating and introducing innovations and new technologies in their respective industries, and thus benefited (and still continue to benefit) mankind in the form of cheaper products/services, new opportunities and better quality of life.

Yet these men were vilified for their success. They were called “robber barons”. 

Today’s American liberals and global leftists still spread stupid lies about J.D. Rockeller for allegedly monopolizing the oil industry in the United States. Yet history has it that Rockeller achieved economic success by introducing new technologies (e.g., innovative, efficient refineries, reduced supply chain costs, innovative form of cost-cutting, new business techniques, etc.) and not by relying on government help. 

Rockefeller was not only responsible for lowering the cost of oil prices; he was also responsible for reducing costs in the refining process. True, his successful company, Standard Oil, was able to dominate the oil industry by devouring its weak competitors, but that’s what the free market is all about. Plus, the entire American society and the rest of the world largely benefited from lower oil prices, new technologies/innovations, new refining techniques, etc. 

Yet despite being accused of engaging in “anticompetitive” actions (rebates, “predatory pricing,” endless combinations), Rockefeller did not increase but instead lowered the price of refined oil. 

From energy expert and physicist Alex Epstein

“Contrary to the antitrust expectation, Rockefeller did not artificially restrict supply and dictate higher prices. He neither had nor sought such power. But he did have the power to be very profitable by producing an excellent product at low cost and by selling it at low prices. In 1880, kerosene cost 9.33 cents/gallon; in 1885, 8.13 cents; in 1890, 7.38 cents. As for the industry’s total output, it increased steadily throughout the late 1800s; for example, between 1890 and 1897 kerosene production increased 74 percent, lubricating oil production increased 82 percent, and wax production increased 84 percent.” 


Note of the History on American Free Enterprise by Ayn Rand

The Myth of the Robber Barons: A New Look at the Rise of Big Business in America 

The Truth About the “Robber Barons”


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