Left wing economist Paul Krugman, who writes for the New York Times, recently faulted America’s corporations for a low rate of capital investment. A similar period of low capital investment occurred during the 1930s. It was the reason that recovery from the Great Depression took so long. Both then and today great hostility existed towards business. In the 1930s regulators and unions harassed business, and tax authorities pushed for rate hikes. Bad publicity was merciless. Business was well capitalized back then but pulled in its horns and invested very little in expansion. It was too risky to do otherwise.
We have much the same going on today. Various state attorney generals are on the warpath against business in hopes of furthering their political careers. Government threats and lawsuits are daily fare in the media. Unions and activist groups vilify successful companies like Wal-Mart. Capitalist villains get far more ink in the press than innovators and entrepreneurs. Fairness doesn’t exist. An Enron chief gets 21 years while a drunk driver who kills two people gets nine months. New government regulations inhibit raising capital and stifle expansion while mealy-mouthed politicians push to raise taxes. In other parts of the world, government keeps out of your hair. They don’t load you down with regulations, pension costs, health care expense, legal costs, exorbitant insurance requirements, permits, licensing and every kind of tax under the sun. What business wouldn’t think twice about building a new factory in the US?