FDR partnered with big business while burdening the general economy. (Sound familiar?) LBJ did the same in better times. As the attached article points out LBJ even partnered with corporate America to take down Barry Goldwater. Nixon laid layer after layer of regulation on top of the American people, while remaining a good friend to big business. Much of the giant government apparatus we have today was built in concert with, not to counter, big business.
For a certain group on what is called the American “Left” this is a revelation. (It shouldn’t be.) But not one which leads them toward a freer, more open, less crony centered political philosophy – sadly.
(From The Nation)
Folks like these got even more resentful as the culture, and the masters of the political economy, came to see them as less and less relevant to the main direction of American economic development—as big business began to accept negotiating with big unions as a matter of course, as a good way to keep their workforces disciplined and efficient. They more and more bought into the Keynesian consensus that government social spending goosed the consumer economy in ways that redounded to their own bottom line. But the other guys, the conservative industrialists (I call them “Manionites” in my book), only got madder—and formed the core of the coalition that nominated Barry Goldwater in 1964. Even as big business formed a crucial part of the coalition that crushed Barry Goldwater in the general election. (If you’re interested in hearing just how copacetic the relationship was, listen to Lyndon Johnson’s conversations that year with Robert B. Anderson, the former Eisenhower Treasury secretary from Texas who was the president’s political liaison to big business.) They loved Johnson, even with his War on Poverty and Great Society, and feared Goldwater; at a LBJ speech to the US Chamber of Commerce, he was interrupted by applause sixty times.