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Memo to The New Yorker: yesterday's plutocrats weren't 'progressives'
Memo to The New Yorker: yesterday's plutocrats weren't 'progressives'

In a piece about the whining crybabies among our privileged 1%, James Surowiecki of the New Yorker compares the plutocrats of today to those of the past, to the contemporary breed's disadvantage. One hundred years ago, he writes, "industrial magnates played a central role in the Progressive movement, working with unions, supporting workmen’s compensation laws and laws against child labor, and often pushing for more government regulation." Well, sorta. Some industrial magnates did. Others did not. And while Surowiecki is correct in finding today's business leaders to be, in general, less public-spirited than their forebears, the distinction isn't as great as all that. Taken altogether,...

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