James Emery bemoaned the state of business in 1916:
“There never was a time when it has been so easy to excite popular feeling against business; there never was a time when so many organized influences have been working to substitute laws of equalization for equal laws, to turn our States into social laboratories conducting experiments at the expense of the well-to-do and successful.”
The government and the public were against business back in 1916? The top corporate tax rate than was 2 percent. Today it’s 35 percent.
The percentage of American public expressing “a great deal or quite a lot” of confidence in big business declined from 34 percent in 1975 to only 18 percent in 2016. (I couldn’t find data going back to 1916, when polling was much less common, but it seems to reasonable to assume that confidence was even higher back then, considering that the general trend in the past century has been declining confidence in virtually every American institution.)
Why American Business Is Constantly Pounded: James A. Emery, Counsel for Council of Industrial Defense, Discusses Influences at Work in Congress and State Legislatures
From August 20, 1916