In January 1919, as the Allied leaders met in Paris to hammer out a treaty ending World War I, famine and pestilence raged from St. Petersburg to Istanbul. To the Britons and Americans who came to survey the damage, the whole continent seemed to be in extremis.
Americans are egalitarian. This trait has long frustrated plutocrats who, more than a century ago, invented Social Darwinism to teach that the rich prospered because they were smart and productive. Few people believed this, not then and not now.
On July 31, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis will rewrite history on a grand scale by restating the size and composition of the gross domestic product, all the way back to the first year it was recorded, 1929.
Many Americans opposed federal bailouts of financial institutions and large corporations. By promoting a “too big to fail” policy, favored businesses can engage in risky, undesirable behavior, while deriving unfair advantages over competitors, all financed by the taxpayer.