Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Best Books for Business

The Myth of the Robber Barons: A New Look at the Rise of Big Business in America by Burton W. Folsom, Jr. has just been added to the Bastiat Society's list of the Best Books for Business.

In his book, Folsom makes a critical but often overlooked distinction between market entrepreneurs that create wealth and benefit society, and political entrepreneurs that use government to enrich themselves at the expense of society.

Folsom summarizes his theme, "Market entrepreneurs made decisive and unique contributions to American economic development. The political entrepreneurs stifled productivity (through monopolies and pools), corrupted business and politics, and dulled America's competitive edge."

He also makes the point that "in the key industries we have studied, the state failed as an economic developer."

Myth of the Robber Barons joins The Law, Economics in One Lesson, and Can Capitalism Survive? on the Society's list of the best business books.

Burton Folsom is the Charles Kline professor of history and management at Hillsdale College in Michigan.

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