This man was a 'capitalist' and he was plain EVIL. He had money, yes, he used that money to set up a business, yes. He employed many workers in that business, yes...but was he a 'capitalist'? Perhaps the best and fairest answer is..'yes', but if we ask "Did his conduct and behavior and attitude reflect the essential values of true Capitalism?"...the answer is a vehement NO! Capitalism does not, as a system involve the self destructive practices of killing your workers. (whether slowly or quickly by lack of safety)
The way he treated his workers was about one millimeter removed from a camp guard at Auschwitz! Just read the following account to see just how bad this man was:
Working conditions in the plant were primitive even by Pittsburgh standards. Pressed Steel Car Company was locally called "The Last Chance" and "The Slaughterhouse". "Men are persecuted, robbed, and slaughtered, and their wives are abused in a manner worse than death—all to obtain or retain positions that barely keep starvation from the door, said Rev. A.F. Toner, a priest at St. Mary Roman Catholic Church in McKees Rocks, in an interview with The Pittsburgh Leader. The local coroner, Joseph G. Armstrong, estimated that deaths in the plant averaged about one a day and were often caused by moving cranes. One of the charges made by Slavic immigrant workers was that wives and daughters were subject to sexual harassment to repay food and rental debts to the company agents.
WHO WAS THE BAD GUY HERE? No argument that this man Hoffstott was one of them but we have to look at his 'enablers'. Is it possible that no one in Government knew of his antics? Remember the Gettysberg Address by Abraham Lincoln?
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
We have to give 10 out of 10 for intent, for aspiration, for ambition.... but 0 out of 10 for implementation! If a Government is 'of and for' the people... and those installed in Congress are so installed 'by' the people...it stand to every fibre of logic and reason that this Government would act in the interests of it's.....people. No right minded man (and I'm aware of the use of logical fallacy here) would agree with the conditions under which the workers of Hoffstott slaved. Hence it is the absolute duty of Government to hold such brutal evil individuals to account, and I'm not referring to some light slap on the wrist accompanied by a wink.
We must never forget that the real fundamental problem in all this is an 'adversarial' political system. Once you have that, it is fraught with corruption and the potential for graft. Wealthy men will support the campaigns of those they see will look after their economic and social interests. When the private interests of prominent citizens blinds the eyes of legislators to their pernicious behavior, there is a problem of mountainous proportions.
In my own vision for Australia's future, which involves the abolition of organized labor, (it also will entail the abolition of Employer organizations where they are used to initiate and perpetuate unfair exploitation) such practices as those of Hoffstott will attract the most 'hob-nailed boot' application of the law. I would seriously consider the death penalty for such a man, but a long stint in a labor camp on bread and water might be more satisfying to most of us.
It was James Maddison, a founding father of the United States who recognized the danger of exploitation.
There are two methods of curing the mischiefs of faction: the one, by removing its causes; the other, by controlling its effects. There are again two methods of removing the causes of faction: the one, by destroying the liberty which is essential to its existence; the other, by giving to every citizen the same opinions, the same passions, and the same interests. (Federalist Papers #10)
Notice the 2 important elements to this...
i) Remove the causes.
ii) Control the Effects.
I am advocating the first...'remove the causes'. The reason organized labor must be abolished, is that such Unions are not only susceptible to infiltration by dark elements of political intrigue (usually hard left Communists) but they are the absolute target of such nefarious groups. These groups will try to amplify and misconstrue the real conditions of the labor force, purely for political gain. If the workers find the going 'tough'...the communist agitator will amplify this to being 'brutal and ruthless exploitation of the persecuted workers' or something similar.
Using the other approach "Control the Effects" would mean the type of professional strike breaker that we read about here. This is just a time bomb and only forestalls the inevitable. For this instance I can use Kennedy's otherwise bad sound bit "If we make peaceful revolution impossible, we make violent revolution inevitable".. in this case I believe it fits like a glove.
Labor Unions must be removed from the National equation altogether and a true 'Peoples Ombudsman' must be set up with the strictest possible accountability standards. No matter which way this rabbit is skinned, there will always be those dark political elements who try to gain some inroad or influence on them. For this reason, frequent changing of positions would need to be carried out and a fairly high level of secrecy regarding the identities of the field workers would be necessary.